Sunday, January 25, 2015

Top-of-the-world Warriors fans happy to eat crow after that Monte Ellis Trade wasn't so bad afterall

The three-year anniversary of the Monte Ellis Trade by the Golden State Warriors is approaching and with the Boston Celtics making their annual appearance in Oakland it is as good as time as any to remind Warriors fans how good, so good, times have become.
This turnaround is the equivalent of a pumpkin becoming Cinderella’s uber.
Lest we forget that Warriors fans immediately following that trade royally booed team owner Joe Lacob during an unforgettable and unfortunate on-court ceremony to retire Chris Mullins’ number. That led Rick Barry to be, of all people, the voice of reason and criticize Warriors fans that eventually did a “disservice” to the team and left the arena in droves after the Dubs suffered a bad home loss to the sub .500 Minnesota Timberwolves.
At the same time the Celtics, with a winning record, were making a final push at the playoffs with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, trying one last time to bring success and dignity to a proud and historic franchise.
Well since that MET it’s been a tale of two franchises. Only four of the 20 players on the Celtics’ 2011-12 roster are still with the team and general manager Danny Ainge has collected enough future draft picks to fill my garage. The Celtics are as close to getting to the playoffs as we are to getting to Mars. Their fans are deflated worse than Patriots balls.
The Warriors, meanwhile, now have the best record in the NBA. They recorded their 104th consecutive Oracle Arena sellout crowd with the Celtics in town Sunday night and defeated Boston for a franchise record 19-game home court winning streak, tying the 1996-99 49ers for the second longest home winning in Bay Area professional sports history, one behind the Oakland A’s “Moneyball” 20-game streak.
“This is a team that is playing as well as any team I have coached against,” said Celtics coach Brad Stevens who has coached against the world champion San Antonio Spurs, LeBron James’ Miami Heat and Duke Blue Devils to name a few championship teams.
That wasn’t the case on March 13, 2012, the Warriors’ first game after the MET. That night Golden State head coach Mark Jackson played Draymond Green for only 4:32 off the bench and he had a line of one rebound and everything else zeroes.
Green is now starting for the Warriors and averaging 31.8 minutes along with 11.6 points, 7.9 rebounds and 3.6 assists while generally defending the opposing team’s best player.
However , the biggest change with the Warriors is the change in attitude by Warriors fans toward center Andrew Bogut, the man the Dubs acquired in the MET. Fans, at first skeptical that they had acquired a virtual Humpty Dumpty in the injury-prone Bogut, now have arrived at a consensus that the Warriors cannot possibly win an NBA championship this year without him.
The last professional athlete to make such a dramatic switch from villain to hero was Hulk Hogan.

Hence, the same fans who saw the MET as the RIP death knell of the franchise are reveling in a record-breaking season. They should have listened to Rick Barry.
The Warriors –with Splash Brothers Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson riding a tidal wave excitement -- have become the most entertaining, fun team to watch in the NBA.
“We have a special thing going,” says Warriors coach Steve Kerr.
Ya think?


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home