By: Luke Johnson
Even if you forget about the ’15 and ’17 titles, being a Warriors fan is a true joy.
When I was just six years old and living in New England, I developed an odd love for the Golden State Warriors. I say “odd” because I was living across the country, had no family members who were Dubs fans, and the team I fell in love with was the 1999-2000 Warriors who went just 19-63. This was a team starring Donyell Marshall and Mookie Baylock. Mookie Blaylock was my first favorite player ever. I don’t know if I could have picked a more irrelevant player (no disrespect to Mookie of course, it’s just that you only average like 11.5 points per game and missed approximately a billion threes). They weren’t good but I loved them.
My first encounter with them came in 2000 when I played NBA 2000 on the original PlayStation as them. I wrecked the league with that team. To this day I challenge anyone to try to beat me. But, I digress. For years I could hardly watch them play, on account of the fact that I was super young and had little internet or television access, but I did my best. I was able to watch them regularly around 2005, when Baron Davis and Jason Richardson were at the helm. Those teams were fun and all, but the real fun came in two years. In the 2006-2007 season the Warriors brought coach Don Nelson back to Oakland, he then lead them on a magical run. That team is now known as the ‘We Believe’ team. With Baron, JRich, Monta Ellis, Antawn Jamison, Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes the Warriors were able to make the playoffs as the 8-seed and then knock off the 67-win Mavericks in the first round of the playoffs. It was incredible. It wasn’t just the shocking upset that made that team amazing, but it was the way they played. That Warriors team played with heart and fun and really drew the fans in. It was in 2007 that I realized being a Warriors fan was great.
Every year after that, I would tell my best friend “next year is the Dubs year.” Thank god I was finally right. The few years after the 06-07 team would be filled with disappointment, but fun. With guys like Baron Davis, Monta Ellis, and Stephen Jackson the Warriors would struggle to play defense under Don Nelson. Bad defense didn’t make them hard to watch though. The Warriors would play with an incredibly fun pace and score at high rates on those teams.
Everyone knows the rest of the story by now, though. Steph Curry gets drafted in 09. The Warriors hire Mark Jackson, who leads them to the playoffs. They then hire Steve Kerr and in 2015 they were finally champions.
Winning was just the icing on the cake. As Warriors fans, we love our team no matter what. They play with heart, grit, and fun. Even when we were struggling in the early and late 00s, the team was fun to watch. Being a Warriors fan is the best.
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