I wonder if JR still has that shirt and wears it in Phoenix...
Yesterday while I was at school, I should have been working on studying for my finals that are coming up, but I had a need to remember a feeling that I really only had 3 years ago. I started off simply looking for highlights of Jason Richardson while he was on the Warriors, dunks, buzzer beaters, etc... but then I moved to the many high-light reels and pre-game videos that were made for the Warriors and their fans.
These videos brought the feeling of pride and joy back into me when I know that after this, I'm probably going to fail a final or two, but it didn't matter, the rest of the day was me remembering the good days of the Warriors to me.
These days were the Boom-Dizzle days, The J-Rich days, hell, even the Foyle days...
Growing up a Warriors fan was never easy as a child, I remember my childish thoughts as to why the Warriors were getting screwed every single game and sometimes even copying "Angels in the Outfield" and praying for the Warriors to get a break, and it took a few years of it, but it may have worked.
When the Warriors had finally made the playoffs in 2007, it meant something to the Basketball world, but it meant a hundred times more to almost any dedicated Warriors fan, the previous years of being so close, yet failing to beat out the other teams to make it in... the amazing add that Jason Richardson took out for all the Warriors fans simply saying that he was sorry that we hadn't made it and that he and the rest of the team would work harder next year to make sure we made it.
It was the times like that make me think that making the playoffs wasn't really what mattered...
It was the soul and passion of the entire Bay Area gathering around the most passionate team at the time, finally ending the suffrage of getting to play in late April.
The intensity of specifically Baron Davis and Jason Richardson was what made the playoffs for me, because they felt like the heart and soul of all that was the Warriors at the time, Baron the herald of promise, and Jason being the faithful fighter who kept going at it despite the sour taste from the years before.
When the Warriors first started in the playoffs, not many people even considered a chance of the Warriors winning the series, only the dedicated fans like myself and my friends among others truly had hope, I mean, the Warriors had won the regular season series! But by the end of the playoffs, after people had wiped off the drool on their chin from their amazement (talking to you Barkely, but maybe your second chin too)... it re-sounded the idea of never taking anything for granted and not selling the little guy short.
By the time the Warriors were playing the Jazz... people knew not to expect anything bad from the Warriors. Barkely was still saying they'd never make it out of the series (he was right) but it didn't matter to the real fans, not just the ones who came to see "post history" and the celebrities. But like most cinderella stories, the run came to a sad but satisfying end.
Looking back on now, I can tell that only the truest of Warrior fans still remember what it was like to either be apart of the sound-shaking crowds, from the arena or from their couch.
Now people only mention it when they have nothing great to say about our current Warriors.
The next time that people will really remember the playoff run will be when the Warriors make it in the next year or two, but at that point, there won't be the same feeling... sure Curry will try to spirit up the crowd with his awesome shots and whoever else is there will work hard to re-create the echoes of 2007, but it simply won't be the same.
I'm not saying that it won't have meaning to me... but ever since Cohen dismantled the Warriors team to save money, it was more like dismantling the soul of the Bay Area, and never in my life did I think someone could do something that painful to so many people.