Gold Blooded playoff musings; Warriors the only West team with 2-0 lead
Not a bad start to the postseason, eh?
Recently it’s dawned on me how much playoff basketball has shaped the relationships of my life.
I vividly remember sitting next to my parents and sisters in our living room in East Oakland as Reggie Miller pushed off on Michael Jordan to hit a dagger three. When I nearly had a nervous breakdown because Jordan was my hero and I thought he was supposed to win every single close game, my dad transitioned into a beautiful sermon on the highs and lows of competition.
When I got my haircut before the 8th grade dance at Lucky’s barbershop off 9th street in downtown Oakland, I was enamored by how the OG’s barked at each other over who was the better of Allen Iverson and Kobe Bryant after A.I.’s Sixers stole Game One of the NBA Finals. I’d quietly observe for any lulls in the conversation, my anxious heart bouncing in place as I hunted for the gaps in between their speech patterns like the snapping ropes of a double-dutch game.
And when I was in art school in Georgia, I commandeered my roommate’s TV and told all the dudes I hooped with after classes to come kick it in my dorm and watch the Warriors take on the Mavericks. When they snickered to themselves and asked where the hell “Golden State” was, I’d bark back “Oakland, California”. Those cats got an education on the true power of the Golden State Warriors after they witnessed Dub Nation take over Roaracle in its golden glory to break Dirk Nowitzki’s will with “We Believe”.
Now, the playoffs are here again. My phone is buzzing off the hook daily with constant notifications from family and friends sharing highlights, emojis, and paragraphs on the most recent playoff updates. People I haven’t spoken to in a solid year are back in my life, wondering if we should trade for Brandon Ingram.
And at my day job I’m suddenly having conversations with people who formerly were on polite head-nods-in-passing status. The security guard spent 30 minutes chatting with me about Jayson Tatum cooking Kevin Durant. The coffee dude held up the line at the cafe to laugh with me about how Ja Morant and Karl-Anthony Towns’ fathers are must see TV.
Yesterday one of my clients who I’ve only known on fist bump status casually confessed that he was a Houston Rockets fan and followed me out to my car after work to warn me about how dangerous the Phoenix Suns are.
It’s always fun chatting with folks who have no idea that by night I’m the Gold Blooded King, adopted son of GSOM who rose to be defender of Dub Nation HQ. So when he sang the praises of playoff Chris Paul, I had to be careful not to be triggered into guffawing directly in his face.
There’s something about this Phoenix Suns team and the hype around them that is credible enough to start a conversation: reigning West champs, best record in the NBA this season, with a star-studded backcourt led by CP3 and Devin Booker. I’m absolutely saving the receipts from Warriors fans whose knees buckled with fear because the Suns had a nice regular season, please feel free to share some with me if you have them.
There’s also something about this Phoenix Suns team that makes me want to pump the brakes on any fear mongering: THEY HAVEN’T WON ANYTHING. Hell, they haven’t won anything in my entire lifetime. They couldn’t even get the job done up 2-0 on a one-legged Giannis Antetokounmpo!
And they struggled mightily with a very shorthanded Warriors squad during this season.
And this was BEFORE All-Star guard Booker went down with a hamstring injury last night after putting on a scoring masterclass in the first half of his team’s loss to the Pelicans in Game 2.
Shams Charania @ShamsCharaniaSuns' Devin Booker has right hamstring tightness and is out for remainder of Game 2 vs. Pelicans.
That’s awful. You gotta feel for Phoenix fans. National pundits weren’t giving the 8th seed Pellies a shot to be competitive this series, especially after getting waxed in Game 1.
But like so many CP3-led teams of the past, it’s amazing how quickly Phoenix’s fortunes have shifted. If Booker can’t be the stud they need him to be, it’s gonna be hard for them to be that mighty juggernaut we saw from the regular season. Just awful!
As I said before on the recent DNHQ Vidcast, the Warriors may not be as good as the imaginary roster that Dub Nation erects in their mind replete with an extra big man on the bench (and trading all of their assets for Bradley Beal).
But Golden State’s job isn’t to be as good as that imaginary team, they just have to be better than the rest of the NBA who have plenty of their own issues as well. DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON THE UTAH JAZZ.
And that’s the fun of postseason basketball baby, figuring out what’s gonna happen next as a long season of drama culminate with the best versus the best. I’m enthused amnd grateful to be watching it all unfold next my family, my friends, and with you Dub Nation.
STAY LOCKED IN HERE AT THE HQ, BABY!