Since I am from Philadelphia, I had one goal for the 2014-15 Basketball Season: I had to pick a new favorite team. Now, I am not a fair weather fan. But my team had become so bad, and had pursued last place with such steadfastness, that the Sports Gods granted me a unique opportunity: I had one year, and I could pick one new team. No consequences. No questions asked.
I picked the Golden State Warriors, and it wasn’t even close.
My 76ers had spent a draft pick on a player with a broken leg, and another pick on a player under contract in Europe. Sam Hinkie, the Philadelphia GM, used to have a defensive stud and a Rookie-Of-The-Year, but traded them away like BOGOs at a flea market.
Venture capitalists bought the 76ers, and hired Sam Hinkie to flip the assets. Fans were not a priority, but an opportunity cost.
The Warriors have everything you want in a Favorite Team: a sharp-shooting MVP with a cool nickname (The Baby-Faced Assassin), a dynamic Batman and Robin Duo (The Splash Brothers), at least four redemption stories of players who couldn’t or wouldn’t or weren’t good enough that now contribute huge minutes, and just enough self-deprecating humor to stay humble throughout one of the best seasons in NBA history.
The Warriors have your dad’s favorite player, which is nice considering they could clinch the championship on Father’s Day weekend.
The Warriors have a Team Mom who brings pop psychology instead of orange slices.
A college graduate who reminds us that Doc Rivers doesn't have an MD and his first name is actually Glenn.
They even gave The Internet some good fodder for conversations regarding racial inequality: Joe Lacob, the owner, fired a black head coach who had taken a 23-43 team to the playoffs in three years. Lacob replaced Marc Jackson with a white coach who had never coached before, Steve Kerr. Chris Rock uses humor to help us understand the racial undertones in the hirings and firings in the Warriors organization.
And, Lacob would love to move the Warriors out of Oakland, and into the significantly more affluent (and whiter) San Francisco.
(Good thing I don't have to root for Lacob's team forever - - just this year #InHinkieWeTrust #TogetherWeBuild #GoSixers)
Just this week, Steve Kerr gave a shout-out to 28 year-old Nick U’Ren (one of the lowest ranking members of the coaching staff) for prompting a change in the starting lineup. The logistics of the lineup change are even more impressive: U’Ren convinced another assistant coach (Luke Walton) to suggest the change. Walton subsequently sent a 3 AM text message to Kerr. Who says nothing good ever happens after 2 AM?
Andre Iguodala and Steve Kerr have an incredible relationship.
Iguodala allows Kerr to keep him on the bench to start games, and Kerr allows Iguodala to publicly threaten to kick his ass pending the outcome of the NBA Finals.
Don’t you want to play for this team? Don’t you want to fill water bottles for this team?
Wouldn’t you want Steve Kerr to captain your Kickball team? You’d definitely slot Draymond Green and Steph Curry into your slow-pitch softball roster, right? And, wouldn’t you throw the ball to Iggy on every flag football play ever?
Let’s go Warriors! Because next year, the 76ers will win all of the games.