Perhaps Baron Davis could come back from Sunday's tear of his ACL, MCL, and patella tendon (as initially reported by Brian Mahoney). But I doubt it. He'll be 34 by the time this injury heals and it isn't as though he was playing splendidly prior to it. So this is likely how it ends. On the floor of Madison Square Garden, legs splayed, bearing a grimace that almost looked relaxed.
He's probably the reason I'm writing about hoops for a living--though it's unfair to blame the man for that. I just found the We Believe run so inspiring, improbable, and irreverent. Obviously, regions enjoy when the local team wins, as the Bay Area most certainly did when Golden State beat Dallas. But this phenomenon was different because it transcended winning or losing: It was fun.
The Warriors, as galvanized by Baron, played a brand of basketball that appeared improvised, and only tied into order by the sheer visceral enjoyment of its participants. Joyful, insane, illogical Baron-ball conquered a mighty Mavericks team, while connecting with a region known for its love of hippie-dippy joie de vivre. Knock Davis for not taking the game seriously enough, but this fluid style could only spring from the brain of a supremely talented dabbler.
And of course, there was this:
Even this moment, loved as it is, isn't loved enough. The dunk was the punctuation on a crescendo of increasingly insane layups. Here's an example:
There was much to adore about Baron's career before the Warriors moments. He was a force at UCLA. In Charlotte, he was a canon ball, fired at missile speed. But I'll always cling to We Believe, and lament that I'll probably never see Baron Davis recapture that kind of moment.