Earlier tonight, I was watching The Social Network on my PlayStation 2 downstairs and was towards the end of the movie (to be specific, the part where the chick tells him to just let it go) when my brother rushed down with big news. Naturally curious, I paused the movie, set my gigantic bowl of popcorn aside, and listened in.
His friend, who works for FOX Sports, had just sent him a text. In the text, Billy (not his real name—I wish to protect his anonymity) basically told my brother that the Warriors were looking to trade G Stephen Curry by the deadline.
My jaw dropped. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I checked the calendar to make sure it wasn't April 1—nope, Jan. 21. How could they do this? Don't they know what they are doing to the fans of this organization? Don't they know what they are doing to the organization itself?
Then it hit me. The issue isn't that they don't know, it's that they simply don't care. Sports is business, and in business you have to make tough, somewhat controversial decisions. This was one of them.
Before I go any further, I would like to inform you that I am writing this in part on an emotional whim. Notice how I said in part, not on whole. Aside from the fact that Curry is young, talented and could be the face of this franchise for years to come, I happened to purchase his jersey at the NBA Store in New York last summer for $80 flat, which to me is actually quite a lot of money.
Therefore, it would be unreasonable to say that my reaction would be quite the same if it were, say, Willis being shipped from San Francisco, or the Sharks waving goodbye to Little Joe. I will make this clear right now—my attachment to Curry is based largely on the blue and orange XL jersey I have hanging in my closet.
Notice how I said largely, not completely.
After the debacle which became of my Harbaugh article, I wish not to spend my time attacking a player who may not actually be leaving, but point out exactly what it is (aside from the jersey) that makes me want him to stay so bad.
When a team has two young, immensely talented players at the same position, it can be tempting to trade one in exchange for filling a need. Such is the case with the Warriors now.
Ellis is averaging more points per game than the so-called "King" of the NBA, and Curry turned so many heads his rookie season that ESPN The Magazine basically tabbed him as their only strong shooter in their NBA preview this season. I could go on longer, but I don't feel that is healthy nor necessary.
Instead, I will bring up an example that I feel is fairly relevant. It exists right across that steel bridge which runs high over gleaming waters and costs an arm and a leg to cross, and it is currently reveling in not a mere playoff appearance, but a championship which brought an entire city to tears in a style all too reminiscent of New Orleans nine months prior.
This example, of course, is the San Francisco Giants.
In 2007, the Giants were a sad bunch. Their entire franchise rested on the shoulders of an aging 42-year-old washed-up slugger, of whom was the only one capable of drawing crowds by the fact that he was chasing the most beloved record in all of sports which the majority of sports fans did not want to see him break.
Although the ball park hosted the All-Star game that year, the team was far from All-Star (or even Star) quality as they finished 20 games under .500 and in last place.
However, it didn't take a baseball genius to see that they had reason to be hopeful of the future.
The Giants had two young arms. One went by Cain and posted a blank ERA in last year's postseason. The other went by Lincecum and has since gone on to lead all Senior Circuiters in whiffs for three years running, winning the honor of the National League's best pitcher in two of them.
However, the Giants didn't know this back then, when offers to trade one of the two for hitting probably seemed more enticing than a visit to the Playboy mansion.
Could you imagine where the Giants would be if, say, something had gone through? Not hoisting a World Series trophy, that's for sure. Cain and Lincecum were the anchors of a pitching staff that, before Lee's reunion with the Phillies, was widely heralded as the best in baseball. Remember the old saying of "Lincecum and Cain and pray for rain?" Well, it used to be true.
It is clear that the Giants would be nowhere without both arms, and they certainly wouldn't be anywhere near the trophy they currently own, except maybe to congratulate the team that won it instead.
Am I suggesting that the Warriors will be capable of winning an NBA title come 2013-14? Absolutely not. Such a suggestion would be ludicrous and would make me deserving of being kicked off of this site and shunned by the world of sportswriters.
If you were in charge of the Warriors, what would you do with Ellis and Curry?
Yes, it happened to the Giants, but it is much harder to turn around a franchise in the NBA than it is in the MLB, unless you have the type of money the Celtics had the year they signed KG, Pierce and Allen.
Aside from all the extra egos and FA drama, basketball is just a faster game than baseball, both literally and figuratively. In the fast paced world that NBA markets have become, it is nearly impossible for a struggling team with no money to keep up pace, even more so than it is in the MLB.
While the Dubs may not be looking at an NBA title anytime soon, that is still no reason to trade away their youth just because they have another guy who plays the same position. Although the current squad is far from playoff, let alone title worthy, Curry and Ellis could prove to be the backbone of it's improvement and development for years to come.
And yes, maybe someday that will mean a championship.
Just ask the Giants.