48 Comments
Jan 8·edited Jan 8

Nm

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I would have loved to see Iguodala on Luka full time in this series, all of Doncic slow touring around the perimeter and leisurely drives to the basket would be a feast for a defender like Iguodala who plays man defense in a similar style lulling the ball handler into a false sense of security before striking, hopefully he’s healthy enough that we get to see at least some of that one last time

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Really fun and funny conversation! I was at the game where Joe Lacob was booed and was truly astonished that people were booing him. I was ecstatic about the trade since it freed Stephen Curry giving him the keys to the car, moved Klay Thompson into the starting lineup and got us Andrew Bogut. (I was one of those who saw the huge gap between Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis in plus minus and on court off court, despite the big empty calorie scoring numbers for Ellis.) In the worst take department, I was furious when they fired Mark Jackson and briefly considered giving up my season tickets which I had just gotten when they made the playoffs against Denver. Obviously a very wrong take in retrospect.

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Mar 10, 2020Liked by Eric Apricot, punk basketball, Daniel Hardee

With all these “Worst takes” it got me thinking, in light of our year long sabbatical, maybe we could offer a fan confessional. It has been weighing in me for years but my confession would be that even though I grew up sitting in the concrete rafter seats at the Oakland -Alameda County Coliseum with Nellie fish ties, Sarunas tye-dyed Lithuania jerseys and Warriors assistant coach Popovich, there was a time I strayed during college.

I was living in the city and commuting to Warriors games in San Jose. It was hard to watch.

Then came the opportunity to move to a cheaper school in a farm town to the north east. They had a basketball team worse than the one in Oakland, but they had just traded for a malcontent from Washington whose own dad had to convince him to report to the team, drafted a tattooed West Virginian redneck, and were about to receive a young kid from Serbia to pair with an older Serbian center.

This team once assembled would eventually prove to be the greatest show on court. I was smitten. I had always loved basketball, but being a Warriors fan it rarely loved me back. Now I got to watch a team with incredible passing and joy. It was too much. I cheated on the Warriors. It didn’t help that a family member gave me free season tickets in the 5th row. I saw Jordan up close, a young Kobe take over, I saw TMac halfass his way through games (that was incredible for a professional athlete of his caliber), plus I saw Lebron’s first NBA game. I watched good basketball for quite a few years.

But then I came home. The Warriors had traded for a point guard from New Orleans and they eventually became We Believe. I fell back in love.

Only to be heartbroken again soon after. I have never admitted my fling I had in my college years to my beloved Warriors, but the opportunity was too good to pass up.

When the Warriors drafted Steph I new we were different, when we got a legitimate center in Bogut I could see changes happening. I had faith, even though deep inside I knew I was unfaithful.

Even though my love for the team drifted for a few years, my love for the game never faltered. It only grew stronger. When I eventually saw Kerr’s system in place I saw true basketball in it’s purest sense again, only this time with better shooting and defense.

I have been true since then, but I had to get it off my chest.

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I too must confess to abandoning Oakland to Sactown for fast break, no look passes; Slavic sharpshooting and unabashed contempt for Kobe’s whistle

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I might have to write about the...ahh, open years...of my relationship with the Dubs.

Times when, as ill as our team was, it didn't feel like cheating to have a side-team (never LA; never, but never LA) as long as they played fun, good basketball, were as near as one could get outside of Warriors' land, and weren't the New Hotness, whatever team or player that might have been. And never LeBron, either.

Like you, I went to some Sac games because my Dad lived in the Central Valley. A certain team in Texas with a stoic center with the purest fundamentals in the game, a cranky coach, and a wild Argentinian savant became my refuge for a time because they played such a beautiful game and were exactly what I wanted the Warriors to be...I flirted with a few teams up in the sodden-but-beautiful Pacific Northwest, because I went to Uni with the Glove's little brother and even found Portland, at times, a sweet escape from the doldrums of the Bay.

Yeah, it was a whirlwind time of meaningless flings while my one true team was in the grips of a devastating illness we couldn't seem to shake, afflicted with malmanagementia cohanitis.

After the illness grew so bad that I could no longer Believe, I left my team and swore off the sport forever. I was a basketball fan who could no longer bear to watch.

Like you, since Steph and the coming of Coach Kerr, I came back and never have strayed since.

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I totally get it. There is nothing sexier than Tim Duncan and Coach Pop.

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Especially when you spice Pop-ball and the Big Fundamental up with that creative flair that only Manu "The Demon Blade" Ginobili could bring...

Some fan made two tribute videos to the Spurs' 2013-14 Finals victory. It's an amazing video showing amazing play.

And that's seriously his nickname in China. Steph's is better, of course, as are a couple other players' like Bill Russell's and Giannis', but Manu's is fitting and pretty cool.

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Freddy, I might write my own Team Affair confessions, and quote you

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I could only hope my past indiscretions would provide some solace to others who have suffered.

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*GASP*

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this is beautiful. Makes me wish we could move it to a fan post so much!

Thank you for sharing, and I'm glad you made it through those dark times and especially thankful that all that bad basketball in our past has forged our hearts and mind strong enough to handle one off year right now

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What's amazing about the Monta/Bogut trade is the Warriors offered Steph for Bogut, but the Bucks medical staff didn't think his ankles would hold up and asked for Monta instead. What would the team have looked like with a Monta/Klay/Draymond/Bogut lineup? And Steph with Giannis in Milwaukee...oh boy.

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By the way, Dubs people have denied that Steph was ever offered to MIL, and I believe them. I think the trade only makes sense in clearing the way for a Steph-PG Klay-SG lineup.

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Draymond didn’t become a starter until Kerr came. Kerr wouldn’t have come without Curry on the team. Also iguodala wouldn’t have come to the warriors if curry wasn’t on the team. Very stupid hypothetical by you.

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Be respectful.

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Kerr had a choice between the Warriors and Knicks. On one side, the Warriors would still have Klay and an ownership that wanted to win. On the other side, the Knicks had a GM in Phil Jackson that wanted his coach to instill the pure triangle offense and Dolan as the owner. I think Kerr would have still chosen the Warriors.

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Mar 9, 2020Liked by Eric Apricot, Daniel Hardee

Another good one in this series.

Personally, I probably haven't been paying attention to Warriors basketball long enough to have any bad takes on this level, but arguably that alone is worth sharing.

I was raised a football fan, with occasional peeks into other sports. Baseball is kind of boring, hockey is hard to follow. I played and refereed some soccer, but it never fully grabbed me. Basketball was cool once in a while; the Jordan Bulls were just unbelievable to watch; later on, Jason Kidd's ability to get baskets despite his size was amazing; and throughout it all our local Warriors team was a running joke. The extent of my paying attention to Warriors basketball was occasionally checking scores to see just how badly they had lost (without fail, pretty badly).

Then, suddenly, they were in the championship. Whaaaat? I mean, I guess Cleveland was injured and the playoffs had been close, but, wow, that's cool. Close games are exciting. But whatever, I had other things to care about.

The the new season started out with the Warriors winning a bunch of games in a row. And they kept winning. And winning. The games were on everywhere I went. And when I looked up, I saw something completely different. This wasn't the bland, gritty, free-throw-laden slog of the Shaq/Kobe-era NBA that I had been expecting to see. The ball positively sang around the court, whipping left and right like a chaotic dance that always seemed to end in a beautiful arc through the net. I couldn't take my eyes off it. I started watching seeking out more highlights, watching whole games when I had the chance, seeking out blogs to help me make sense of the wonderful madness that was Warriors basketball.

I found GSOM, and Explain One Play, and suddenly I was able to appreciate so much more of what was happening on the court. The triple loops, the elevator doors, and the brilliance of what the team was doing was all the more beautiful for understanding more of it. Since partway through that fateful 73-win season, I've missed barely a handful of games, and GSOM / LGW have been one of my top-visited sites since.

Thanks.

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thanks for sharing!

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They had me once they implemented the three-man weave - thought I was back at a HS BB practice.

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Mar 9, 2020Liked by punk basketball, Daniel Hardee

This was my worst take as well, with a bit more emphasis on being skeptical about the health of Steph's ankles at the time. I even once wrote a GSOM fanpost about how Curry could be part of a package for Dwight Howard (puke) that I'm really glad isn't searchable on my profile here haha

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Oh dear.

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Mar 9, 2020Liked by punk basketball, Daniel Hardee

First: Oh, Daniel...I think I'd been vaguely paying attention to the NBA again for about 6 weeks* when Monta was traded and even I was in favor of it.

I knew FA about Bogut, but I had a glimmer of what Steph, the Golden Child, the Baby-Faced Assassin, the Unanimous could be in his 2015 season (note: I did *not* foresee him becoming, well, Steph.)

But I forgive you. Your writing is just too entertaining.

Second, I appreciate your bravery in saying this to the world. It must be liberating.

Third, can we FF to next season?

*Basically, I rage-quit post We Believe. I had been so, *so hyped* about us grabbing the 8th-seed brthpz that I attended a game vs. the Mavericks when I truly couldn't afford it. I lived on ramen and Mexican-or-Chinese grocery discounted vegetables for a month afterward to pay for it.

My thinking: we needed defense and grit inside more than we needed a 25/0/0/0/0 3 PF 5 TO shooting guard who wouldn't put the team first.

I love Nellie, he could never, ever manage to instill defensive grit.

Nor could Cohan the Desotryer buy, draft, trade for, entice, steal, con, or otherwise sucker gritty defensive talent to come to GS...and if they did, the players would lose the grit and, I'm guessing, the will to live just by being in GS for a half-season.

So though I didn't know much about Bogut then, I was like...a defensive-minded 7'0" center who can pass, screen, and average ore assists than Monta!?! Hell. Yes. Steph just looked so much better in everything but athleticism and sturdiness than Monta.

Anyway, I have made many bad calls, too, but I hope my worst take will be screaming about Bob, Joe, and Peter throwing away a prime asset in D'Lo for *only* Ender Wiggins and Minnesot'a pick in the double-draft. I hope it's so bad I'll tell my Grandshildren about it with reverse pride, showing them Dynasty 2.0 and then 3.0 compilations that feature Wiggins.

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The deal with Bogut from a fan's point of view is that it seemed like he was injured a lot and, IIRC, he was injured at the time the Warriors traded for him. You can imagine the "you traded your best player for that?" attitude. As it turned out, he had the 3 best years of his career with the Warriors and averaged 68 games/year which is pretty good for a big man. Sometimes the guys in the front office really do know more than the fans, maybe not in Milwaukee though.

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And sorry for the typos. I wrote that on my phone in a bar after a very long day and three or four bourbons. Normally, I'm a bit of a stickler about making my posts grammatically-correct and, if not Shakespearian-quality verse, at least modestly skillful, entertaining prose.

I save the real thunder for other types of writing. ;)

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my pain = great content

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Mar 9, 2020Liked by punk basketball

My Worst Take: liking Thunder until he dissed me in full costume outside of UCSF. That was before he yelled “this is a stickup” in a bank.

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Ok. I have to say this is my favorite comment ever.

Janet, are you saying you were jumping up and down waving to our poor mascot just before he was to enter and rob a bank? Did he have a mask on over his costume and you were totally revealing his identity? I have so many important questions regarding this...

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Oh dear. My writing lacked that certain something. Your story is ever so much more entertaining. I may use it in the future. No, the events were separated by a few months. And by the way, I wasn’t some crazy fan being annoying. It was a work day for me and I was so happy for what I thought would be a pleasant break. My co-workers never let me live it down that Thunder wouldn’t say hi. And way after my encounter, he entered a bank with a toy gun and the rest is history.

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Wait whaaat! Howd he diss you?

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I was jumping up and down, waving, and saying Hi Thunder! I was really excited to see him. And he turned his head away and gestured for me to go away! All I wanted was a wave hello! Not even an autograph!

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woooow that's awful

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What a jerk. What's the point of wearing the suit if you can't acknowledge a fan?

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Yeeesh!

Maybe like there’s Evil Elmo, this was Evil Thunder

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I mean, wasn't the gun a giveaway?

Oh, wait, so he dissed you and then robbed a bank...?

:)

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That Steph episode of All the Smoke is fantastic

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It is fantastic but the Kevin Garnett episode was the best.

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Kobe one was painful. The guy had so much more to offer...

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Yeah true. Kobe episode is just sad at this point. Literally filmed a few weeks before the tragedy. Crazy.

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I've really been remiss. I'm slowly working my way through them all now. Just re-listened to the Steph one and am now just starting the Al Harrington ... will for sure check out KG next

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Mar 9, 2020Liked by punk basketball, Daniel Hardee

Monta Ellis have it all!

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Mar 9, 2020Liked by punk basketball, Daniel Hardee

Now there's a real worst take!

On a random note, I love listening to Don Nelson talk basketball. Dude is a basketball genius, and doesn't get his due because he never won a championship. But listen to him talk and it's easy to understand that he isn't a guy that ignores defense, that he gets what winning is...he just worked with what he had, and he never had a team that should have won a championship. Of course, he did screw up the Chris Webber thing pretty bad...

Back to Monta - to me Monta is a sad case of how player development can go wrong. Dude was a monster off the ball, but his ballhandling never got to the point where it needed to be for him to be a primary creator...but because of his size that was what he was asked to do post-We Believe for the rest of his career...and it just wasn't his strength. He could have been a much more effective offensive weapon in the right role, especially as his shot developed....but we never got to see it.

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I thought Nellie was basically ordered to take the fall re: Webber because MGMT didn't want to pay him or something?

And Monta was also a case of ego-development gone wrong. Being the best player and scoring 25ppg on a bad team doesn't make you Kobe.

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I never understood what happened there. Seemed like Nellie wanted Webber to play C in a small ball alignment, and Webb didn't want to do it. He would get beat up more down there against bigger, stronger guys. Understandable conflict so far. But then, they just had a major falling out over it, and that, I didn't understand.

Seemed like that Webber-Sprewell squad that had so much relative success without Hardaway and Mullin wasn't very coachable...

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Mar 9, 2020Liked by punk basketball, Daniel Hardee

Monta in a Lou Williams, Jamal Crawford, or Leandro Barbosa role where he can just provide instant offense off the bench would have been deadly.

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I don't really think so to be honest. That kind of role is again asking him to be a primary ballhandler - to come in and take over the role of #1 offensive option when the best offensive options are resting. In my view Monta's best role was as a complement to good players, obviously playing next to Steph was not a good fit on D, but it could have been an excellent fit on O, just like playing next to Baron was. At one point ball movement, cutting and pace were the things Monta thrived on.

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I would think that a "change of pace scorer off the bench" would have worked pretty well for Monta.

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Exactly!

I think that's probably the biggest knock against Monta. You can't change the t-rex arms or risky defensive instincts, but just embrace a more limited role if you aren't going to be willing to change!

It's like MB was saying above, given the limits of your ball handling and court awareness, it was really blind to just reject any adjustments to your role. Hell, by the end, Monta was doing the opposite, basically demanding that the team build their draft strategy around him

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