How DNHQ returned to Chase Center and helped the Warriors crush the Kings in Game 3
GOLD BLOOD IN OUR VEINS, BABY!
Being a part of Dub Nation has its perks. The opportunity to join the often imitated but never duplicated DNHQ community is one example. Another sweet perk is heading to a must-win Game 3 with those same DNHQ members to watch the Sacramento Kings get completely destroyed.
I must share with the HQ what a splendid evening Thursday night was in Chase Center for myself, Duby Dub Dubs, and the blogfather Nate P.
“Biggest game of the year so far” vibes
On especially big GSW days, I’ve been known to bring out THE BELT. Yes, the very same belt I gave to Jacob Evans at the first Media Day ever in Chase Center.
Before Game 3 Thursday, I was in Downtown Oakland early that morning, sauntering down Broadway in broad day with that golden strap. Block after block, Dub Nation members would approach me with some variation of, “Cool belt! Hey do you think we’re gonna win tonight? I can’t believe they suspended Draymond!”.
I answered with jovially and indignant to each anxious query that OF COURSE the Warriors would indeed pull out the win. In the back of my mind, I was registering that this was the first time since the Boston Celtics took a 2-1 lead in the NBA Finals last year that I could remember random citizens of Oakland this nervous about a Warriors game. The Kings were playing well, and the league took Draymond Green out of the equation with the G3 suspension; even if the Dubs were playing at home, were they still they in trouble?
Buuut In the front of my mind I was like “this dynasty ain’t losing to the damn Kings”. And I’m not trying to be the garrulous supporter rambling on about how the champs’ resume: changed the game of basketball forever, drafted three future-hall-of-famers (four if you count Moses Moody), and have been personally responsible for destroying the league. I just knew ain’t no way Arvydas Sabonis’ flopping son was going to win on Warriors Ground.
And yet when the #3 seeded Sacramento Kings tussled the champs in California’s capitol and pulled out a 2-0 lead in acrimonious fashion, it felt a little disturbing to those of us not accustomed to seeing the Kings be relevant this time of year since the days of Chris Webber and Peja Stojakovic.
It was clear that these new Kings were dead serious and armed with:
Arguably the most efficient offense in NBA history
Along with the CLUTCHEST PLAYER ALIVE DE’AARON FOX
Annnd the Coach of the Year and former Steve Kerr confidant Mike Brown
Throw in the fact that they had besmirched the Ballatician E-40 IN Game 1 and got Draymond Green ejected in Game 2 FOR TRYING TO WALK WHILE HIS LEG WAS BEING JIUJITSUED!
With Green suspended for Game 3, there was suddenly a palpable concern rippling through the Bay that maybe the champs were being undone by an unsavory cocktail of old age and inconsistency. And a heaping spoonful of what felt to many as vindictive officiating.
Dub Nation on the water
Later on that that day, deep in the warm afternoon with the sun giving its last graces to a clear blue sky, I grabbed a beer and an outdoor chair to wait for Duby Dub Dubs to pull up. As I scrolled through the social feed, my eyes locked in on HILARIOUS postings from Kings’ supporters.
I quietly smirked to myself, wondering if my condescending appreciation for Sacramento fans finally getting some shine is what Spurs fans must have felt when I stormed their old Pounding the Rock blog to call their team washed. “Good for Kings fans to be relevant,” I mused as my eyes drifted my phone and locked in on my brew. “Let’s see if they can beat us in Chase though.”
I chuckled to myself and took a sip. The calm before the storm, baby.
Duby Dub Dubs slid through for a beer before we headed over to the Ferry. We took turns simultaneously griping over the missed opportunities and reassuring each other that the Kings were about to get mollywhopped. As we took our places in line for our public yacht in the East Bay, Duby started getting major love for his old school Andris Biedrins jersey. That love continued onto the boat, where as we rode across the gorgeous bay we reminisced with other fans on the old days when the team was terrible but we all still faithfully took BART to Oracle Arena.
The news started filtering through that Gary Payton II would miss the contest, which meant Golden State’s best two defenders would be out against the #1 offense in the league. Not great to hear right as we were arriving to San Francisco.
When the boat docked and it was time to get off, one of the gents we were chatting with blurted out, “Hey, if we lose this game, does that mean this is the last time the Core 3 gets a chance?”. A pregnant pause ensued, broken by the legend Duby Dub Dubs boisterously chiming in, “We’re blowing them the hell out tonight guys!”. That sent a jolt of gold blooded swag through the passengers, and we marched on resolutely towards the Chase Center. CHAMP MODE.
A couple quick notes from being inside Chase during the beatdown. But first, I’m 99% sure the Warriors did zero pregame introductions for the Kings. I know it was 4/20 and both Duby Dub Dubs and I were lit like a Christmas tree… but as best as we can remember it, when the national anthem ended a slick Golden State video package hit the jumbrotron, and then it was your champs getting their name called out as the crowd went into feverish exhortation. Nothing about the Kings lineup whatsover!
I’ve never seen that before in an NBA game, and it made me feel like the Warriors were so disgusted with the shenanigans the Kings pulled out on E-40 and Draymond that they were just fast forwarding to the point where they just blew Sacramento out by 20. #contempt
Nate P. joined us in our seats and immediately we began bemoaning some of the contested threes the Warriors were taking, until suddenly they champs arrogantly swished in a few of them in a row. That led us to clap it up and scream, “TAKE MORE BAD THREES! THE KANGZ CAN’T SCOUT FOR IT! LIGHT YEARS!”.
The all gold playoff tees they handed out are my favorite color for the arena to wear in unison. There’s something about seeing all that gold that adds a real warmth to the viewing experience in the arena.
Kevon Looney is Golden State’s security blanket. Shot a horrendous three-pointer that would make any coach pull their hair out? Don’t worry, Loon will snatch it over three people and kick it out to the open man. He had 20 freakin’ rebounds and 9 assists in Game 3, and each time he touched the ball, a sense of relief flooded throughout the arena.
I’ve heard mixed reviews about how the crowd noise was coming through over the TV, but let me tell you inside Chase it was rocking pretty hard. Sabonis was booed vociferously every time he even thought of being involved in the action.
E40 got shouted out on the Jumbotron and they kept pumping his music through the PA system nonstop. He’s got a new video called “Front Row 40” that dropped before Game 3, check it out!
Moses Moody, Golden State’s #14 pick in that 2021 draft, showed so much confidence in the biggest game of the season, despite playing sparingly over the regular season. He showed himself to be a dead-eye sniper and an athletic wing who can play defense and run in transition. Nate P. was particularly beside himself in appreciation after advocating for Moody to be a part of the rotation all season long.
There was a healthy sprinkling of Kings fans throughout the arena. When the Warriors took their halftime lead and it was time for the bathroom/beers dash, I bellowed out “EASY MONEY”. Apparently an indignant Kings fan was in our section, and he had the temerity to raise his voice and shout back to “2-0!”. I sneered, gripping the belt like a man who is used to supporting championship basketball, and like Klay Thompson taught me I snapped back “4 titles howboutdat!”. The section started chuckling and the Kings fan grinned at me with the hollow eyes of a man desperately starving for basketball glory.
Golden State’s #7 pick in the 2021 draft Jonathan Kuminga looked a bit lost for much of the game, especially for rebounding purposes. But that missed dunk attempt he tried over the 7-footer Alex Len was PREPOSTEROUS, and seeing it live was one of the most heartstopping moments I’ve ever been apart of on a basketball court.
Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, and Donte DiVincenzo are absolute hoopers. That is all.
Game 4 is at Chase, will you be there?
What a beatdown. Dub Nation showed up and showed out to fuel Golden State’s dominating win, but the job isn’t done yet. If you’re going to Game 4 this Sunday, headed to a watch party at a bar, or just sitting at home on your laptop in another country, wear your colors and get wild!
This is the time of year where we get to enjoy the most intense basketball with some of the greatest players to ever do it wearing gold for YOUR rooting pleasure. And we get to do it together; what more could you ask for?