Stephen Curry — the MVP and the leader for the Warriors.
I remember when I was in 1st grade when I started to watch a little bit of basketball. The first team I watched were the Golden State Warriors. Later, I remember reading about Joe Smith and I thought the Warriors were a good team. They had guys like Latrell Sprewell and Chris Mullin (who ended up being my favorite player) and I just kept following the team. I didn’t know any better. All I knew was that the NBA was full of great superstars but the Warriors were my team and maybe they were stars too. They weren’t, according to the commercials and advertisements they would air on national TV. I didn’t know any better. I thought the Warriors were good.
As the years went by, the Warriors did not play well. They drafted poorly. They overpaid bad players. They didn’t win. They had so many coaching changes. Just a lot of bad moves. Yet I still followed them. I remember Scott Burrell, Vonteego Cummings, the false hopes of the 1999 season and losing great players like Gilbert Arenas while booing an owner during a jersey retirement ceremony.
You know what I did last night? I stayed up on YouTube and watched the Warriors’ comeback win on YouTube. Over and over again, I watched every single highlight video of the game.
I watched Stephen Curry’s miraculous three-pointer over and over again.
I sat in awe and just could not believe that the 20-point comeback happened. That the Pelicans would freeze up late and the Warriors were able to claw their way back in. I was in amazement seeing a team that was tested and they delivered. I saw the future MVP blossom. A saw a team with high expectations meet those expectations.
Been a Warriors fan through these three eras.
A trip down memory lane for me as a Warriors fan.
I remember I was in first grade and I saw the Warriors on TV. I didn’t know much about basketball, I just liked it. I would try to imitate what I saw on TV to the playground. I even remember the first ever basket I made on the playground I thought that I could one day match what the Warriors did. It was so easy to be impressed by this Warriors team. Little did I know that they were embarking on a playoff drought. But they were the first team I watched. The first team I followed. I fell in love with basketball because of them. And I never left.
It’s not easy being a Warriors fan. As I grew older, my frustrations would grow more and more with the team. It started off innocently with guys like Joe Smith and Latrell Sprewell. Talented players but still not the answer to making the team successful. Of course there would be some questionable coaching decisions, odd free agent signings and just bad draft picks. Remember Todd Fuller? Yeah, the Warriors took him over Kobe Bryant. Still, I followed this team. I would sit by the radio almost every night, listening to the team on KNBR. I loved basketball and I felt that maybe one day they would turn the tide.
I thought their new logo in the 90s was the best. It was perfect for a kid like me. Some kind of mythical mascot with lightning bolts. That coincided with future draft picks like Vince Carter (who was traded for Antawn Jamison) and Gilbert Arenas. Some hope and potential came but it was not meant to be. Bad coaching hires and frustrating seasons later, this team was back to square one. Still, I followed this team. Of course it would have been easier to follow another team during that time. But I don’t do that. I stay loyal to the team that helped me love the game.
I remember that 1999 lockout season. The Warriors finished 21-29 and almost made the playoffs. I thought that was the greatest season. Only because it was the most successful the team ever hard. The bar wasn’t set high, but it gave me a glimpse of what could be.