By Daryl LimAs a Bay Area kid in the early 90’s, it was easy to root for the home teams. The Giants had Barry Bonds, a superstar outfielder who would go on to hit *the most home runs in a single season*. The 49ers were perennial contenders for the playoffs, winning 5 titles, the last one being in 1994. The Warriors? Different story.
In 1993, we traded Penny Hardaway for Chris Webber. As a kid who watched the Final Four, I was excited to see the best college player who never won the Wooden Award go to my home team. CWebb certainly didn’t disappoint. The guy won Rookie of the Year, was a great compliment to Latrell Sprewell, Chris Mullin, and Tim Hardaway, but, then again, nothing really lasts forever.
Because he couldn’t get along with his young stud, Don Nelson traded Webber away after his rookie season. Management also felt like parting ways with Mr. UTEP Two Step, and the team drafted extremely poorly under the ownership of Chris Cohan.
It was tough. Imagine not seeing your team not being in the playoffs from 1995 until 2006. Could you imagine Vince Carter in the old navy blue and orange, lightning bolt Warriors uniform, or a young Amare Stoudemire and Tony Parker in it? It should’ve happened, but it didn’t.
2006 was a renaissance of sorts, the year we shocked the world by knocking off Dirk’s one foot turnaround jumpshot with B. Diddy, Monta Ellis, Al Harrington, J-Rich, Captain Jack, and Andres Biedrins. We wanted to be happy. We deserved to be happy but, again, Cohen sucks.
Management broke that team up after not making the playoffs again the season after. It was tough to be a Warriors fan. There was nothing to be proud of until Joe Lacob came in to buy the team.
Lacob brought about the mentality of proper drafting, as evidenced by the past draft acquisitions Harrison Barnes, Festus Ezeli, and Draymond Green, 3 important members of the current rotation, all in one draft class. Letting go of moneyball in order to create a winning nucleus, he gave Bob Myers the go ahead to sign David Lee and Andre Iguodala, traded away a defensive sieve in Monta Ellis, and flipped it for our man in the middle, Andrew Bogut.
The core was set. Mark Jackson was let go in favor of a Lenny Wilkens/Phil Jackson/Gregg Poppovich disciple in Steve Kerr. It’s a good time to be a Warriors fan all over again, it just feels bad to have so many bandwagon fans nowadays.
I’ve always taken an issue with bandwagon fans. Like in any aspect of my life, I see loyalty as an important thing to have, and through the losing seasons, I stayed faithful to the Dubs. I still bumped Tha Luniz’s “I Got Five On It” whenever I was prepping for a ball game because that always blared on speakers for Warriors games. I rooted for them in losing seasons, being content with wins against the teams who were perennial playoff contenders. I was ecstatic when we drafted Harrison Barnes.
Those are the little things you can’t buy with money, the things that fans truly appreciate. I just feel sick to my stomach seeing people suddenly root for them out of nowhere, claiming they’ve been rooting for Steph Curry for a long time. I got frustrated when “the fans” were calling for Klay getting traded for Kevin Love. Like 98 percent of the Miami Heat fan base, I just can’t seem to respect people who act this way.
Don’t get me wrong, the support is awesome, but please don’t claim to be a lifer when you haven’t shared in the tears we shed, the sleepless nights, the lonely springs of not seeing our team in the playoffs. Please don’t claim to be a fan if you’re going to leave when times will get rough again.
End of it all, if you’re only in it for the good run, don’t even bother saying you love the Dubs. Love stays loyal through every hardship, heartbreak, and tough times. True Warrior fans know, just because we’ve stayed on fighting for our team through adversity and beyond. Can you say the same for yourself?