Warriors fans—rejoice! The NBA season has been salvaged. Hooray!
There are reports that affirm the good news that the NBA players union and the owners have tentatively agreed to a revised labor deal. As a result, the 148-day lockout is over, pending all of the concessions being confirmed by both parties. A shortened 66-game season will begin this Christmas Day.
Whew! What a relief, right? For a while there, we were all on the edges of our seats awaiting a judgment on the rich and the richer deciding on how much more rich both sides would become. Thank goodness they figured it all out.
While millions of basketball fans are thankful to hear that a resolution has been made and excited for the upcoming NBA season, some people are not so happy. Take Golden State Warriors fans, for example. Are we really amped that the lockout is over?
Being a Warriors fan has been a tortuous commitment for the better part of the past two decades. Appropriately, staying loyal to a team that has made the playoffs once in 17 seasons may require those fans to be committed. The Warriors have had two winning seasons since 1993. They are also working on their 11th head coach in the same time period, as well as one All-Star representative since the 1993 season—Latrell Sprewell.
Remind me exactly why Golden State fans should be happy to see their team play basketball again?
As with each incoming era of Warriors basketball, there is some buzz about the new coaching regime, and this era isn't any different.
New head coach Mark Jackson has been waiting for the past several months to implement his basketball philosophy on the perennially moribund Warriors franchise. His savvy knowledge both as a former point guard and television analyst have critics hailing the move by the Warriors’ front office. Jackson’s defensive-oriented approach and tough-mindedness are a welcome sight to the traditionally lackadaisical and soft Warriors squad.
But are fans really thrilled to see another attempt to revamp, remodel and reorganize such a horrible organization? What’s the point, right?
With the Bay Area all atwitter with the successes of their football teams—the San Francisco Niners, Oakland Raiders and even the Stanford Cardinal—there might not be any time left to cheer for a basketball team that is likely not playoff-bound. If Bay Area residents want to follow a team heading to postseason, they can root for the Niners, Cardinal and even the local hockey squad, the San Jose Sharks.
True, the Warriors have one of the more exciting backcourts in the game. Point guard Stephen Curry and shooting guard Monta Ellis are indeed the quickest, most electrifying and athletic tandem in the NBA. Curry, in his third season, has the potential to become one of the best passing/scoring point guards in the league. Ellis has proven he can put up buckets like he’s got some sort of scoring disease. Alone, the duo is reason enough to watch a Warriors game.
But that’s about it.
Year after year after year, Warriors fans have been clamoring for a big man in the front court. Since the departure of Chris Webber in 1994, the Warriors have had the most diminutive big men in the league.
As a result, they have continually been beat and out-toughed in the post. Most of the Warriors successful and dynamic scoring bursts are the result of the outside game of their hyper-offensive guards.
Unfortunately, it’s not offense that wins championships—at least according to the old saying in sports. Today’s current Golden State roster is no different than in years past. So it’s unlikely things will change anytime soon. Even with the infusion of a new coach and playing style.
That said, with no playoffs in their near future, what are Warriors fans supposed to be energized for with the lockout now closed? Watching "Play-Doh" David Lee and one-dimensional Andris Biedrins? Should they be jumping out of their seats when Ellis turns the ball over four times a game? A potential 10th-place finish in the stacked Western Conference? Yay.
Though the turnstiles will still turn during the abbreviated NBA season, there should be more apathy and foot-dragging in Oakland. With other local-area sports teams performing more admirably, who’s really eager to see the Warriors’ begin?