Just when we were done with the Golden State Warriors as a thing, look at what they did.
They grabbed us by our cardiacs, and made us remember.
For one net-splashed Friday night, the Warriors were the joyous, brilliant, basketbally basketball team we first flipped head over sneakers for five seasons ago. The Warriors sent the Rockets to their room without their participation trophy, 118-113, and we’re in love all over again.
They reached the NBA Western Conference finals for the fifth straight calendar. They did it without the greatest player in the game, and we mean you, Kevin Durant.
The Splash Brothers took back their pond, and we’d just as soon keep it this way.
Put another way, thanks for the past two years of filthy dominance, Lord Durant. We wish your strained calf the speediest of recoveries, and by speediest, we’re thinking sometime this summer.
Isn’t it easier to crush on these Warriors when they act the way they used to be?
For four quarters, there was no more Kevin Durant and the Four Accessories. The Warriors couldn’t use Durant as a safety net, there to save them when Klay Thompson and Steph Curry got cold and Draymond Green got hot headed.
We hate isolation basketball. We despise an offense that consists of passing the ball to the biggest and baddest guy on the team and watching him win a game of 1 on 5. We had nothing but contempt for what the Warriors became this season. Who did the Warriors think they were, LeBron’s Lakers?
Friday was more like it.
It’s Curry missing every last blasted shot in the first half, and still shooting anyways because this is his team. He dropped 33 points in the second half. Twenty-three came in the fourth quarter. Ten of those came after he re-banged up a dislocated finger on his banged-up left hand.
Did you see the way Curry smiled back-jogging his way down the court? Where has that been?
It’s Klay Thompson, popping out 3-pointers as if Golden State needed him again. It’s Draymond Green, being that annoying, complaining and harassing guy we only like when he’s on our team.
Did Kevon Looney really block James Harden’s last-minute shot? Did Andre Iguadola really just cash in five 3-pointers? Was the box scorekeeper falling-over drunk when he typed 11 points by Shaun Livingston’s name?
By losing Durant, the Warriors found themselves again. They are no longer the most talented team on the floor. But they sure are the best team going. It’s amazing what those aforementioned gents can do when they have no other convenience available.
So, let Durant walk as a free agent and go not win titles with the Knicks, Clippers or Washington Generals, for all we care. After all, Durant’s made a cottage industry out of not winning titles outside of Oakland.
He can even come back for this season’s final, and complete his championship trifecta. Durant has earned it, no doubt.
Until then, here’s to Golden State playing golden basketball again.
David White is a former Fresno Bee staff writer and NFL beat writer at the San Francisco Chronicle, now a pastor and Sunday sports columnist for The Bee: firstname.lastname@example.org, @bydavidwhite