Friday, June 9, 2017

What You Can and Can't Say About the Golden State Warriors

Half way through our conversation on Sports and Spirituality, Brian, an athletic director in Buffalo, New York wanted me to know how much he loves the Golden State Warriors. I am willing to listen to his tune 24-7, 365. Allow me to follow up with every cliche in my arsenal. I am on board with this team and appreciate it when others recognize how special this super team really is. 

Brian and I were kitbitzing loud and proud until he said "Can we say sweep?" His question was answered with silence. You could hear the pin drop on the other end of the line. "Anne? You there?" he queried. I said, "Brian, every last part of me wants to say "sweep," but there are things you can and can't say as a Warriors fan." Here's my list
What you cannot say: #Sweep
The reverberations of Cleveland winning the 2016 NBA Finals after losing the first three games were felt all season. The collective memory of the players, coaches, owners and fans is not short. Warriors fan cannot and should not say "sweep."

As many of my sports buddies know, I detest the cheer "We believe that we will win." I never say it; I never will. Fans shout those six words over and over, louder and louder, but I don't. I never do. Not until the clock is precisely 0.00 do I believe anyone will win. Victory is never a given. Again, look to the 2016 NBA Finals.

I'm totally ok with not saying "sweep." I will not bring my broom. Once bitten, twice shy (one of the more interesting cliches out there).

What you can say: I've Got Your Back
This is my message for the man who has no enemies, the head coach of the Dubs, can you hear the cheer from Oracle right now? That's right, after he is introduced Warriors fans yell his name in unison: STEVE KERR. I wanted to print out shirt that says I heart Steve Kerr (please insert emoji for heart/love). I believe that shirt will win. Kerr is da man. 

When he returned to coach Game 2 of the NBA Finals after missing six weeks, a friend poignantly asked Why would Kerr coach now? He added, "Coach Kerr has everything to lose. IF the fate of the team changes, he is to blame. Regardless, he gets the credit. Why do it?" 

At first I was annoyed at his question. Puh-lease. Coach Kerr has to be out there! I realized, his question however was a good question—one that I shared this question with a coworker and friend, who is also a coach. My colleague said—with total sincerity—one simple answer "the magis. Isn't that why we do what we do?" I don't know that I have ever found a better definition of or for the magis. 
What You Can't Say: The Real MVP
Should the Warriors complete the sweep, I truly believe we can no longer say that Wanda Durant is the Real MVP (even if it is trademarked). Her second born son, Kevin, has given this wonderful woman a whole lot of credit. We have loved him for it, but given his performance throughout the 2017 postseason so far, he really could, should and would be the MVP. The real one.

What You Can Say: A House Made of Klay
In the parable "Two Foundations" Jesus preaches the importance of a solid foundation.

Matthew's Gospel, he says;
“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock. And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined.”When Jesus finished these words, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.
But when we apply this parable to "Strength in Numbers" the official motto of the Warriors, we must consider the house that has been built on Klay—that's right, the other original Splash Brother, Klay Thompson.

From time to time, Klay can go silent—but that does not mean he isn't working, hustling, and playing what has carried this team so far: DEFENSE. Klay Thompson is unflappable, one of my favorite qualities in an athlete. He is quite possibly the purest shooter in the game. He has played a critical role in this franchise that has played in the last three NBA Finals. And, I dare say he has done so with the cool factor like no other.

It is no stretch for me to say the house built on Klay is a solid one. 
Can't Say: What LeBron has thought about...
I heard someone on my local sports talk radio station say "deep in your heart, you know that LeBron has thought about what it would be like to play for the Warriors." Bold statements and ridiculous speculations such as these are why we love sports. Of course those of us in Warrior-land would think that is true, why wouldn't we? #Bias

Sports fans, we are in for a treat in but a few hours. Quicken Loan Arena will be bumping with all the title defense energy it can possibly muster. I can't wait for the game to begin. Play Ball! (Can I say that when it comes to basketball???)

Photo Credit
Heck Yeah Coach Kerr

Strength in Numbers

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