Bay Area sports fans have suddenly been blessed with a ton of amazing teams. Lately, you can’t turn on a major sport’s playoffs without a Bay Area team being in the mix or in the conversation to make the playoffs. Everyone’s attention in the NBA has turned to Oakland, where the Warriors are the odds-on favorite to take the league by storm. Warriors fans: are you ready to be the enemy?
After enjoying only one playoff appearance since 1994, the Warriors have suddenly become the 1% of the 1% of teams in NBA history. This team had 73 wins last season and added one of the best pure shooters of all time in Kevin Durant; they are set up to top the 73-win plateau they set last season and are accepting their role of the NBA villains. However, given the history of the franchise and their decades of mediocrity, it’s understandable that their fans aren’t quite ready to be there.
Realistically, most Golden State Warriors fans have spent most of their lives watching a terrible team of plucky underdogs and losers flounder to the seventh or eighth pick in the draft in an endless cycle. Endless cycles of mediocrity are my jam, which is why I am a fan of the perpetually terrible Sacramento Kings. Eventually, however, the team was sold to Joe Lacob who revamped everything to the hatred of Warriors fans (who booed him for trading Monta Ellis for Andrew Bogut). Once the team handed the keys over to Curry with that trade, everything changed and they started on a sudden upward trajectory.
No Warriors fan was ready for that success, and they are having trouble adjusting to the fact that they are no longer the lovable losers, or the plucky upstarts, or the fun-loving, three-draining contender to the ’96 Bulls crown as the best regular season team ever. Eventually, the love turns to hatred from the rest of the league, and with the addition of Kevin Durant, the honeymoon period is over. Love is a fickle mistress.
Eventually, the Warriors fans will come around to the fact that the league hates their team and stop being so humorless about it. All they have to do is look towards the fans of the Yankees and the Patriots, the two most hated teams in the other two big sports, to see their eventual future. Discussing the MLB or NFL with fans of these two franchises is tough, because they have a long history of success and the Warriors don’t have that. I know, it’s apples to oranges with the Yankees, but the Patriots were the plucky upstarts when Tom Brady took over, and now they’re the Evil Empire. Nobody wants to admit they’re the Evil Empire, and shy away from it.
The Warriors need to lean in and embrace their destiny as the new Patriots because their superstar core, head coach, and front office have them setup for a long future of success. However, it is also important to know that when you’re the king, people are going to come swinging for the crown. Everyone will want a piece of you, and every time you stumble, they’ll be there to laugh.
For the next half-decade or so, the Warriors will be the toast of the NBA, and their fans just need to accept that they’re hated. I know, it’s a tough thing to swallow, that nobody likes your team anymore, but this is the price of success. No, success is probably not a powerful enough word to use there. All of the NBA is going to come for you when you lose when you stumble because we fear the powerhouse you’ve created. Losses will become memes and sensationalized because there will be so few of them for us non-Warriors fans to enjoy. So you can get mad at us, but understand that the hatred comes from fear, and fear comes from respect, and respect is earned, and you’ve earned it… but if your head gets too big, come back and re-read this article, or at least the first letter of every sentence.