I remember growing up watching the Warriors as a kid and never thinking my team would ever win a title in my lifetime. I was so accustomed to the team either never being good and if they made the playoffs, not being good enough to make any dent. To me, this was my Warriors. It wasn’t what other teams experienced. I had heartache and sadness for so long. It was all I knew and expected.
The team had the magical “We Believe” run but even at that, I knew this was going to be one shining moment in another long stretch of futility. It wasn’t until the 2013 playoffs when they took down Denver in the first round did I think maybe the team might be good enough. But that was still a pipe dream. Could my Warriors actually develop into a winning team with established superstars? Little did I know that right before me was future Hall of Famers Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green developing into greatness.
The closest I had to ever interacting with Dwight Clark was back in 2008 during a phone interview. I don’t even recall what we talked about. I am pretty sure it was about football. After the interview, he was so gracious for me taking the time to talk with him and that he was really happy to have taken the time to speak with me. (Unfortunately records of this interview no longer exist on the Internet.)
There was this one time I was at an event in San Francisco a couple years later to celebrate the anniversary of “The Catch” and I was in person to jot down some quotes from Dwight. That’s pretty much the only time I have ever been in the same room with him.
January 10, 2012 – An event celebrating the 49ers’ Super Bowl success and the 30th anniversary of “The Catch.” This was the best photo I took of the event.
My life would have been extremely different if weren’t for Dwight Clark.
Let me explain.
So what do you do when you’ve announced plans to move away from the city you’ve called home for 46 years? You pen this letter! (Read the responses to the tweet.)
On Friday the Warriors officially unveiled their “Statement” uniforms for the season. Basically, they’re wearing this every Saturday to replace the slate uniforms they had for the past couple of seasons. This uniform is to pay homage to the city of Oakland. The city in which they are leaving for a nicer, fancier arena in San Francisco. Add on the fact that the Raiders are leaving for Las Vegas, it hurts the people of “The Town” that two of their beloved franchises no longer want to call Oakland as home.
So here are the Warriors, who have planned to leave Oakland since Joe Lacob and Peter Guber took over, trying to make amends before the exodus. The team has worn throwbacks in the past but all these throwbacks that feature a city name is that of San Francisco. Both uniforms have featured San Francisco or The City on it. But never in franchise history has a uniform featured a moniker for Oakland. And the Warriors have played in Oakland longer than any other location they have in history.
Scott Hatteberg celebrates his walk-off homer which gave the A’s their 20th consecutive win on 9/4/02.
My friend texted me the other day and asked me how I felt about the Cleveland Indians challenging the Oakland Athletics’ American League record of 20 straight wins set back in 2002.
It was a scenario I was very well aware of anytime a team reaches double digits in a winning streak. Many teams since 2002 have reached that plateau but no team has come close to eclipsing the record set by my favorite team. Until the Indians.
On Monday night, the Indians dominated the toothless Detroit Tigers 11-0 to win their 19th game in a row. One more today and they tie the A’s for the American League record.
The Indians are my favorite to win the World Series this year. I have a soft spot for the team and since high school, I adopted them as my second favorite baseball team. My friend also wants to see them win it all this year. And that’s what I hope is the end result for the team this year.
But please, Indians, don’t win 20 games in a row.
It was a weird feeling watching that final fourth quarter unfold during Game 3 of the NBA Finals.
I was sitting in my living room having a bunch of friends over to watch the game. One of them was a Cleveland native. The others were all for Los Angeles who were Lakers fans. I didn’t really care much about how they felt.
But it took me back as the game went back and forth and the Warriors lost their lead. I had a flashback to all the early years of my fandom of the Warriors and how a deficit would devastate me. That the end was inevitable and the Warriors had no chance of coming back.
That could have derailed me. But I also had a sense of calm.
Oh how the times have changed.
I grew up watching this Warriors team never believing that they could ever be the top dog. The years of horrible draft picks during the 1990s became normal. Then the years of realizing no big free agent would want to sign here was also just an accepted fact. And hey, the Warriors were just never going to be good.
Yet in only a matter of a few seasons, the Warriors were the top dog. They win a championship. They have the league MVP. They are the talk of the league. Yet all of that was still cool with me because the Warriors did this organically. Pulling off trades. Signing players that were discarded. Building through the draft.
This team to me was a team that had to fight and claw for survival. And they did that leading up to this recent run.
Now Kevin Durant changes all of it.
The Golden State Warriors had everything in place for them to win the NBA Finals. They had the all-time record. They had the unanimous MVP. They survived the Thunder. Everything pointed out to them winning the championship again.
But they didn’t.
This is what makes sports so interesting. The Cleveland Cavaliers were poised to write their own history and against all odds, won the final three games to take that title. The city of Cleveland, a city I have visited and enjoyed, deserve a champion and I am glad that they get to celebrate. It sucks that they did it on behalf of my team, but the Warriors had their chance and lost.
It can be said that the league was under some conspiracy to suspend Draymond Green for Game 5 and have some sketchy officiating for Game 6. Regardless, the Warriors are better than that. They played well enough to win Game 7 but the Cavaliers matched them.