The wars are bad now. This is a fact and is not open to dispute. They are 2-9; 2-9 is a bad record. After traveling to Los Angeles tonight to go through Anthony Davis's Search, they will probably be 2-10; 2-10 is an even worse record than 2-9. They rank 30th in the Defense Performance League; having the worst defense in the NBA is a bad thing. They have star player Steph Curry whose left arm is broken; Steph Curry's hands are one of America's greatest treasures and it's bad when your American treasure breaks into your watch. They have another star player, Clay Thompson, who is out with a torn ACL; it is bad when the second best player in your basketball team is unable to play basketball for several months. They almost had a second star player with an Achilles injury, which would be very, very bad on their own, but Kevin Durant has left the team entirely and is now back with the nets. Losing Kevin Durant permanently on the nets is even worse than losing him temporarily to injury. Somehow the Warriors did both.
Over the past half decade, Golden State has made five NBA Finals, won three titles and reshaped the league in its image. Time is an even more ruthless watchmaker than Anthony Davis, and one of the things that disappeared is the kindness of the Golden State Warriors. The weather has made it so they are no longer good. They are bad.
It was a little surprising to see how calmly people accepted this. When the Warriors blasted the Cavs' 3-1
All this may be true, I suppose? Structurally, the warriors appear to be in solid, perhaps great, long-term form. And sometimes in the NBA, being in a big long-term structural form actually leads to championships. (Although, going back in time to the spring of 2012 and asking Sam Presti how reliable this is, it remains.) Despite the fact, the fact remains that the most revolutionary basketball team of the last decade is currently managing a serious crime while sitting. on the worst record of the league and praying on Draymond Green's finger does not fall. We went from "Can a Curry-Russell Player Win 50 Matches?" To "Warriors Don't Tank … But Maybe They Should Be Reserved?" In Two Weeks? The Supertemper Super Theater left Auckland for a lucrative new arena in San Francisco, and immediately began feeding its audience fasting baron blood from the use of a baron product made from warm cottage cheese and panic defenses. I don't know about you, but I could use a short window to scream and burn Facebook stocks before accepting this as a minor piece.
Of course, this may be the Warriors' status as a Silicon Valley team, which makes it difficult to see their bad faces. Faith in the technology economy goes deep in this country, and the War has always been a kind of technological product. If it is shiny, destructive and located in the Bay Area, we assume it cannot be stopped. In fact, great teams that break up to this extent do not return at least as often as they do. But the Warriors have a technocratic brilliance that makes them feel like organizational winners, not just a very skillful core of players.
If the War is lucky, the wave of injuries will blow away, Curry and Thompson will return strong, the young roster will quickly throw around Green, the new fair draw lottery will give them a good choice, Tim Cook will finally fix the keyboard MacBook and all things should be good. Everyone wants to compare this season on Golden State to this lost year in San Antonio that brought Tim Duncan to the Spurs, and that is certainly a possible outcome here. However, if the Warriors are less fortunate, then a more plausible comparison – and I'm really sorry about that; if you are one of the 97 percent of Warriors fans who I suppose is a solid English Premier League fan, please know that I am not happy about what I will do to you – a more plausible comparison is Arsenal.
You may not remember this now, but in the late 1990s and early 2000s Arsenal was one of the most horrific clubs in English football. Under his quiet, somewhat professorial director, Arsene Wenger, the gunners pioneered what in the era was a data-driven approach to the game. They used sophisticated scouting and player evaluation techniques to build their rosters, buying promising but underrated players that other clubs have overlooked. They invented a fast-paced and screamingly entertaining style of play that made other clubs look old-fashioned and cumbersome and made them a powerful powerhouse. Their star player Thierry Henry was one of the greatest clean hitter of all time. From an organizational point of view, they were managed with impeccable attention to detail, one of the first clubs to recognize the commercial realities of the new global era of football; they famously redesigned their old comb in 2002 to protect the design. They won three titles under Wenger. In 2006, as they finished the Champions League final but lost to Barcelona, they left their longtime home in North London, Highbury, for the Emirates' newest executive-star-studded apartment stadium, who had to provide them with a long-term financial base and ensure their continued success.
Remind you of someone? Like the Arsenal since the early 2000s, Golden State is a positive, tactically innovative point center with an unusually thoughtful and articulate coach. Like the Arsenal, the Warriors set records for dominance (Golden State won 73 games in 2015-16; Arsenal remained unbeaten in the 2003-04 league campaign). Like the Arsenal, the Warriors won titles behind a terribly gifted shooter before moving into a new arena after losing the biggest game of the previous season. Like the Arsenal, the Warriors made the move, though they left many of their longtime fans feeling abandoned; like the Arsenal, the Warriors see the new stadium as a necessary step toward modernization – one that will extend, rather than finish, their run to the top. However, like the Arsenal, the Warriors lost key players (Patrick Vieira, a brilliant midfielder who was also an emotional Arsenal leader, left the club in 2005; he is a terribly close equivalent to the Iguodala) and struggles with injuries to his stars ( Henry, like Curry, missed much of the post-transfer season). The gunners went years without winning another trophy. More than a decade later, they still did not win another league title.
The point is not that the two teams are magically identical or that the Warriors are doomed to repeat the fate of Arsenal. (Although if history repeats itself first as a tragedy and then as a farce, I am prepared to believe that neoliberalism repeats itself first as football and then as basketball.) The question, as almost always, is that you never know in sports. A team may seem to be at the top of the world, have made all the smart decisions, be structurally destined to succeed and still fail. Once the wheels begin to emerge from a great team, the world's most canny wheeling specialists cannot come up with a scheme that is guaranteed to bring them back, because there is time to make fun of people's plans. Golden State may be fine next year, but it is a desperately vulnerable moment for the NBA's most historically significant organization of this era. Warriors are bad! If the Basketball Hall of Fame actually existed to reward the winners, there would be no players inside. It will just be a wall of watches.