It was 10 years ago on this day I gathered in this small apartment. I was in college at the time and as young college kids from the Bay, it was an instant bond when we all realized we were Warriors fans. For a couple years prior, we would watch games and in hopes that the team might be good enough. Maybe the NBA would recognize that this team existed. It wasn’t meant to be.
But it was this season that the Warriors escaped the clutch of awfulness and squeaked into the playoffs on the last day of the season. The team was made up of misfits and they played a style of basketball that was perfect for them. We felt that this team was unstoppable.
That night, as we watched the Warriors dismantle the Blazers, we celebrated. It was a lifetime of frustration gone. We made the playoffs. We didn’t know how to react. The victory was in the books by early fourth quarter. We just waited for the formality of the clock hitting 0:00.
What we didn’t know was that this team was going to produce the greatest upset in NBA playoff history. I attended those We Believe playoff games against Dallas. It was special. And the wild ride began when the team made the playoffs.
Look at how much as changed in those 10 years. What a shift.
I still believe.
It’s NBA Playoffs time and it’s still a bummer that the Golden State Warriors aren’t in it and are not even close to becoming any type of playoff team. But every time the playoffs rolls around, I remember the last time the Warriors made the playoffs. I remember that “We Believe” team five years ago and being part of that magical crowd.
I grew up a Warriors fans ever since I learned to pick up a basketball. Since basketball ended up being my first love, it still holds a special place in my heart. And since the Warriors were the local team, they became the team I followed.
Naturally, like many other Warriors fans, it sucked to see the team struggle every year. But during the 2006-07 season, it became magic for us fans. The crazy run and gun offense of the Warriors led by Don Nelson gave the fans something to cheer about again. And when the team made the playoffs, we were ready to rock the house.
When the Golden State Warriors completed their trade of Monta Ellis to the Milwaukee Bucks, it brought back memories of the good times he had with team. When Stephen Jackson was shipped to San Antonio, the memories of his time with the Warriors flooded my memories.
It brought me back to the “We Believe” season and how magical that was. For me, it was the best time to be a Warriors fan. And in my opinion, Game 3 against the Mavericks was the greatest sporting event I ever attended as a fan.
I am prefacing this as the greatest sporting experience I attended “as a fan” because I didn’t want to include the epic playoff game between the San Francisco 49ers and Saints from January. I was at the game but I was there working. I didn’t watch the game as a fan.