Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Pain, Misery, Boos, Trades, Peace

By Justin Taylor

Today is the inaugural entry in a blog that has been a lifetime in the making.  I have received a ton of encouragement to do this mostly from people who are tired of hearing me talking about the Warriors year in year out.  The title, Trapped in Golden State, stems from the fact that if you’ve been a Warriors fan as long as I have you’re definitely not doing it voluntarily.  At some point becomes something closer to a terminal disease an underwater mortgage payment, it always haunts you and never seems to go away.  If you’re like me being a fan involves as much bashing on the team as it does cheering it on.  Following this team will drive you to drinking or worse but I insist on watching every single game year after year no matter how crazy it makes me.

I think one of the driving forces in keeping me tuned in and ultimately starting a blog is because misery loves company.  So this is for the die hards and hopefully a few casuals who want to understand the masochist mentality of said die-hards.  It’s sort of like seeing a train wreck coming from a mile away or the way you watch the Bad Girls club or some other crappy reality tv show. It is amazing that a rabid fan base of intelligent fan base never seems to dwindle after decades of incompetence. 

So I’m trying something new this year. Until this season is over I think that writing (while the game is on of course) instead of watching intently is a much better use of time.  It’s over. And thank god.  The mediocrity that has been the status quo has been maddening.  Listening to Bob Fitzgerald tell me how great the shit that is being shoveled has me want to watch with the sound down anyway. 

I’ve been rooting for losses all year long.  No casual fan of the Warriors, the NBA or sports in general will get this so I’m going to break it down one time here.  Our beloved Chris Mullin made a stupid panic trade what feels like about ten years ago.  Coming off of the We Believe tidal wave everyone, including me, thought the team was finally turning a real corner. (What a bunch of dumbasses we were.) Within days of all of that building optimism reality set in.  This is Golden State Warriors Basketball!  Baron Davis came up limp (I was as shocked as anyone) and we needed a point guard to drive this Maserrati of an offense that only Don Nelson could coach and only a true stud point guard could control.  Mullin traded a future 2nd round pick for Marcus Williams (of laptop thieving fame) so we could keep this thing on the road back to the playoffs.  Mully forgot one thing though this is Warriors basketball.  Long story short we one more games than any non-playoff team in the history of the NBA (48) headed back to the lottery.  Thank god he was smart enough to put first round protection on that pick but you can only protect a pick so long.  So here we are, 5 years later and the only protection left on the pick is if we land in the top 7 of a fairly loaded draft.  Hence my rooting for losses…TANK, TANK, tank tank tank!

It was fun while it lasted wasn't it?

That led to Baron getting over paid elsewhere and the Warriors panic signing Corey Magette, the LL Cool J of the NBA.  I swear I expect to see him licking his lips and looking at himself in the mirror during bench stints but that’s beside the point.  I don’t think landing a post torn ACL Elton Brand would have been any better but that’s the type of crappy choices the Warriors seem to have year after year.  After that all we had to look forward to was watching Stephen Jackson and Al Harrington walk, talk think and act like all stars while playing like shit and Monta Ellis develop into Allen Iverson lite.

Back to the present day.  Dorell Wright is afraid to attack the basket and has the flattest 3 point shot in the league.  Andris Biedrins’ rotting corpse has gone full circle from project 18 year old to promising young center on a reasonable contract to a groundhog that just decided there is going to be a longer winter than expected, back in the hole.  David Lee is David Lee (Talented but limited, I like him a lot even though he's vastly overpaid but he works his butt off to earn that pay check), Steph Curry is being shut down for the season (hopefully) and Monta Ellis, the only reason to watch the team play, is gone.

The trade was a good one.  It hurts to say it but it was.  There is no bigger fan of Monta than me I promise you. (if you have an autographed framed Monta jersey on your wall and about 40 autographed Monta rookie cards please let me know, maybe we can get help together)  Monta was the catalyst in making sure we would be bad enough to miss the playoffs and just good enough to make sure we get another worthless late lottery selection that would help us be mediocre again next year.

I have to give the new ownership group credit they are trying.  Not trying to come up with a new marketing slogan, trying to make the team better.  We are probably lucky that we didn’t win the right to overpay Tyson Chandler or DeAndre Jordan (the way we won the right to overpay David Lee) but they did recognize that the way to make this team better was to add a solid big man defender/rebounder to our core of solid offensive non-defending/non-rebounding core.  They tried and tried to add without subtracting.  They didn’t take the mindset of many stupid pundits that trading our best player (Monta by a long shot) would be addition by subtraction.  Penciling in a very competent center in Andrew Bogut still leaves holes in your team but holes that are infinitely easier to plug.  Having a 5 that can rebound, defend, finish and shoot a goddamn free throw makes Lee and Curry better in ways that Monta never could.

It takes a certain amount of balls to trade away the guy that is selling all the tickets knowing that it gives a terrible product for the ret of the season.  They have really put their money where their mouth is and I respect that.  The old owner would have reminded us how much he spent to buy the team every year as a reason he’s not risking doing anything more than the bare minimum to make sure people have a reason to buy tickets.  This guy removed the fan favorite to give us chance to get tank-a-palooza really rolling, play a much less entertaining brand of basketball and then came out to let the nay-sayers boo the hell out of him. 

I was there on Mullin retirement night but I wasn’t booing Joe Lacob for the reasons above among others.  I also didn’t hold it against the people that did.  I thought it was hilarious.  I understand that it was Chris Mullin’s night but if that ceremony wasn’t happening at halftime I may have left already.  That was the worst half of basketball I’ve seen in a LONG time.  We had more fun watching the third graders play during the pre game show.  Between the terrible first half, the last five years I just outlined and more importantly the last 30 years of incompetence (outlined here point by excruciating point beautifully by Bill Simmons) there are only so many opportunities to voice your frustration to the face of it all whether he was responsible for it or not.  (I actually commend the boo birds for seizing the opportunity) When Lacob bought the team he paid for the history and our misery along with it.

I love Rick Barry but a world class jerk has no business calling anyone out for being jerks.

Going back to the finer points of the trade that was the lightning rod for the boo birds.  If Klay Thompson replaces 15 of Monta’s 25 points and Bogut replaces the other 10 his scoring is replaced already.  The bonus is that the upgrade over Biedrins is pure gravy.  We’ll have toughness in the middle instead of a 7 footer with less fight in him than my golden retriever.  Bogut will be adding things we haven’t had since Joe Barry Carrol or Joe Barely Cares for those that have been smoking the Golden State funny stuff as long as I have. 

One last round of props to the boo birds, Andris got hammered during the introductions.  We’ve been coddling his psyche for years hoping he’d come out of his shell and be the energy guy he was born to be.  No More.  We’ve got a real center now and the only thing he is good for now is to help us in the quest to be one of the seven worst teams in the league.  Let the final phase of the Biedrins deconstruction begin, I love it!

Now if Stephen Jackson was wearing a Warriors jersey tonight I might feel differently.  Watching him con that idiot Robert Rowell into drastically over paying him and then instantly turning around and try forcing his way out of town was the most despicable chain of events I can remember in our tortured history.  But he’s not, instead of paying him what’s left on that ridiculous contract we traded him for the right pay the rest of Richard Jefferson’s corpse and his ridiculous contract (which has an extra year of ridiculousness on it.)  The Spurs knew Jefferson’s contract was so ridiculous they knew they needed to trade a first round pick to it and eat a toxic dose of Stack Jack to get rid of it. 

More respect to Lacob for putting up the money to add assets especially when we risk not having a first round pick, even the #25 pick is better than nothing.  Losing Ekpe Udoh may suck but again, just like Monta Ellis, it’s a lot easier to replace a young tweener than it is to acquire a legitimate center.  At the end of the day the owner did what a good owner does, he spent money and made the team better.

So here we are, a crappy team, looking forward to next year just like we always are as we always are this time of year. We’re not making our patented run into the middle of the pack with this roster unless our amazing fans carry them there.( Focus for future Trapped in Golden State posts) We are trying to do something different for once and seem to have a clear road map back to competency if not the playoffs.  Cheers to the management group for thinking with their heads and their wallets in order to take us there.

25 comments:

  1. Good blog. I appreciated the read. It would be really great if you considered, as a blog entry, addressing the Warrior's chances of bringing back Brandon Rush and Dominic McGuire with the team's limited cap space for next season because along with tons of other fans, I would be devastated to see Rush and McGuire elsewhere next season.

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  2. Nice blog start, I have been contemplating the same for awhile but I'm happy to be able to argue/commiserate with you as well. You are right on about this trade, it had to happen. I think most people were booing Lacob because of the trade more than the years of misery. But that is the misguidedness that plagues Warrior fans to this day, we fall in love with our own players even as we lose more than we win with them. i loved Monta too but this team wasn't making the playoffs (maybe they had a small chance with Brown but the 8th spot is the best we would ever do with that group). we need fundamental change and this is it. if you add Bogut and Thompson to our team, you instantly have more size. If we can keep Mcguire and Rush and continue to develop Tyler, plus add a couple of draft prospects, all of a sudden we are on the right road. The big if Bogut and Curry are healthy we make the playoffs and now we start tinkering to keep improving our team. in the meantime, maybe we actually get lucky and a draft pick becomes a star. I always start the season with optimism, but next season i think I have reason for it.

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    1. Thanks for reading and moving the converstation along...cant argue with any of those points although the only surefire kid in the draft looks like he'll be going number one and the guy i'd want will be gone #2...that Kidd-Gilchrist is just a hard worker which is the type we need... The next column is coming tonight and I'd be interested in your views on our tanking efforts and after that i do plan on hitting the Rush/McGuire situation we'll be in next month...

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  3. I am in a fantasy baseball league with Bill Simmons and actually hung out with him on Saturday (3/31) at the palms for our baseball draft. I was chatting with him about how great his article was. I also told him that Lacob wasn't too happy about it (I am friends with Lacob's fiancee). Anyways, I am 100% behind this ownership group, yet I just want to know why they didn't use their amnesty on Biedrins? They were either cheap or stupid.

    Anyways, Bill is a fan of Lacob and he is a BIG fan of the Golden State fanbase. I was shocked that he was so knowledgable about the Warriors. He told me that there is a website where you can get all the trades throughout the years. He also mentioned that they are currently considering doing a 30 for 30 espn show on the Warriors. Bill is the executive producer of the 30 for 30 shows.

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  4. Your in the League of Dorks? If your serious I'm impressed in a major way...I have read, listened, watched every Simmons column, podcast and 30 for 30 for damn near ten years...when i wrote my tortured fan column all I could think about was how to get him to read it but then I thought he'd probably just think I was biting off his column since mine is the same thing from the inside looking out. Either way, thanks for reading.

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  5. Yes, I won the league of dorks last year. Simmon's wife named us that. I have known simmons since he was on digital city and have been to vegas a couple times with him, hopper, mikey, bish etc.

    We held our draft in Vegas and had it in the $25K/night hardwood suite at the Palm. Comped. Some of Simmon's grantland crew were there. Jacoby was there. We then met up with Simmon's crew to play blackjack afterwards.

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  6. Jacoby cracks me up...I don't even like reality TV but I still read his scorecard and listen to the podcasts (the Jalen Rose show is AWSOME if anyone is wondering.) I'd be super appreciative if you could forward the link to Simmons and/or anyone at Grantland, i'm an avid reader and fan. If they ever do regional Sport's Guy columns I'm all in...lol...thanks again for reading and weighing in...

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  7. Back to your original comment, they didn't amnesty Biedrins because they were going to need at least one center if they lost out on the FA's which they did...The logic was "He can't possibly get any worse! Can he?" that question has since been answered quite emphatically. My question is (and maybe someone here can answer) Did they really NEED the $4 million Charlie Bell money to make those offers? Depending on that answer you have to go back to your cheap or stupid comment.

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  8. I will forward a link to your site to Bill. He has become somewhat of a rockstar in the past 10 years, so I don't know if he will respond. Good to know on Biedrins. Yet, I still would have not burned the amnesty. Hopefully, we can lose enough to get into the top 7 picks. As Bill says, there is no in between in this league. You have to get star players and the only way is to get into the lottery and make wise decisions. You can follow the LOD at twitter kidmikey1 or my handle jacksonsf.

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  9. That's why I haven't bothered to send it myself, I'm sure he gets links to 5000 random blogs a day hoping for some sort of recognition or feedback. If you haven't read my other posts you've hit on all the topics of my columns so far. Bottom out so we can end the mediocrity make good decisions going forward with the money the draft and the dead weight like Biedrins. My next post is an Open Letter to Joe Lacob so I hope you'll come back to check that one out along with Joe Lacob himself. Like Bill, I like him and want to offer some words of encouragement (in my own tormented Warrior fan way) as he works to give us a reason to go to games other than the crowd itself...

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  10. Wow. Glad I made the trip over to you. Makes all sense to me. Have you ever thought of getting a job in the W's front office LOL? Lee has performed admirably all season with little assistance. Thompson needs to be locked up long term contract. Mc Guire, Rush as you state need also to be locked up for this team to advance forward. Enjoyable reading for true GS fans. How long has this site been in existence? I've missed a lot if it has been on the net for a while! So have the other true fans!! Thanks SRG.

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  11. Justin, Say we do loose the lottery pick to Utah. In your opinion who may be our choices with the 27th,37th,50th picks in the draft? Do you agree with NBA Draft Net's choices of Teague,Young ,Middleton? I'll check back later. Thanks.

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  12. SRG, I really appreciate you taking the time to catch up on ALL my posts...now i can say you haven't missed anything...I literally started the site 14 days ago! Already over 5000 hits?!?! For me it is so rewarding to know there are so many folks out there who are in the same boat as me, you see it at Oracle every game but it's different when people read your thoughts and take the time to formulate and post their own. I read EVERYTHING as my reading list will show...so I was in SHOCK when i saw the nice things you posted on SFgate, for that I am very grateful...I will continue writing until I can no longer offer a different approach to the same old shit, i think i've found my niche as the guy who's not gonna pull punches or suck up to management because i want free tickets or something...I started it for the real fans and i hope they call me out if ever get away from that...

    To your question, I need to start really doing my homework on the draft now but I do like Teague and I can only hope he'll be there later in the round (is that possible? there's 25 better prospects) that is going to be a topic i'll cover after the lottery results...I've made no secret about wanting a true point on the roster to facilitate, get guys going and allow steph/jenkins play off the ball and be scorers for 10 minutes a night at least... so i think Kendall Marshall fills that need if he's available in the middle of the round...he reminds me of Kidd (who you know i want) cant shoot but he lives to make other guys better...

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    1. People who give truthful, responsive ideas to our problems here is why I make these plea's to real fans who care about the W's to move over here. Just as I am attempting to steal allthewaywiYA over to here. He has value as a blogger with true W love. No nonsense fan. My job as a blogger is to gather entertaining people with sensible ideas to help land knowledgeable information which maybe Lacob & Co. will entertain. Many people have legitimate ideas which could help so get a brain trust of quality people at one site to help them. If they are smart they will observe your columns & ideas. Before I sold my business 10 years ago I made use of any/everything I could & was extremely successful(& retired now. 36 years was enough! LOL). So should the W's if they have any common sense. Free quality information is not readily found & GS needs to take advantage of all the opportunities they can!! Keep up the quality work you provide. Again being a GS fan is pleasure. That is if you are a real fan of the W's. I will be out there poking true sensible fans to make a quality move over to here! I appeal to the management of GS. They make the moves. We need to influence them!! Our future enjoyment lays in their hands!
      Teague impressed me with his youth & the ability to play mistake free basketball at a young age.Be a year or two to provide true help but has what it takes. I have to be careful to not invite ridiculous bloggers who would ruin a good thing. That's why I post at their early comments after the story has be in circulation for a while so not to attract these here. Rob enough bloggers away & start your own circulation? Of course! One of your best calls yet is Kidd. Could be had for penny's on the dollar. Have a coach on the floor when the clock is ticking? The quickest way to improvement! He would help immensely. Does Moss ring a bell? These same brainy ideas are the way of the new 49ers. Sure you don't work for the W's. Need a daily job? Will you be in the war room on draft day? LOL Things will get better if you believe it can/will. Golden writing on the walls at Oracle as I see it. Just keep writing, it ALL makes sense to me!! Thanks J. SRG

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    2. Would Kidd be open to come to his old stomping grounds? You bet he would! He will fulfill wishes of the season ticket holders. Would be nice to see him in the W's uniform to start next season! Fans here need to be interested in the future rather than hash over a dismal past most have seen with GS. At last maybe fans positive thoughts could help influence the W's future. Obviously you do get around. I have your site posted at other locations also. Always was a fan of Kidd's. Watched him when he played at St. Joe's. I'm old enough to be his father LOL.

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  13. Thanks again SRG...I couldn't agree more...one of the reason's i wanted to get my opinions out there (right or wrong) is to stoke the fire and passion of fans just like us to a point where management needs to take notice...I may plea to the brass but will never cater to them...That's what Fitz and Gary St. Jean are for...I believe in the fan base and think there are more intelligent knowledgeable fans than there has been diligent execs here over the years and that's why I will cater to them just by giving open honest opinions and encouraging others to agree/disagree...go ahead and invite anyone and everyone who has the attention span to read full columns (not 140 character twitter posts...lol) and do not worry about changing the tone and style over here, i know what my niche is and i know my team so i'm going to speak to that and leave everything else to the "professionals"

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  14. Yea.... If I was a little slower on the keyboard it would shorten things up. No problem. I will just get right to the chase. As most true professionals know "professionals is just a word". S.

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  15. Top of the morning to you J. GS makes one of their boldest moves of the season. They shelve Lee. Curry, Bogut, & Lee may have a opportunity to start next season together. With retention of McGuire, Rush, Thompson shows a nucleus to build on. What cap room possibilities do we have(or do you have a idea)? What do you feel is one of the deciding factors in bringing talent to the bay area? Can't be the city in general can it? Whats your take on this delicate subject? I'll check back. S Your best pickup, KIDD!!! Agreed. Put the coach on the court. S

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  16. Money and Winnning...or in Kidd's case, coming home...The biggest names are all going to want to know they can win, we don't need to worry about that though because we have no shot at any big names this summer. I haven't done much studying of the salary cap yet but you can pretty much guarantee that we are hitting the limit which means our only real options will be to sign Rush (restricted free agent so we can match whatever offer he gets elsewhere) then use the exception money (since we're at the cap) which is something like $5mil. That ought to get you McGuire and maybe one last bench piece...I'll be researching it soon but I'm not sure at the moment if the decision will come down to McGuire or Kidd or some other FA or if we can get two reasonably priced ones.

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  17. As usual, I receive a answer. Why people don't convert to your site is puzzling to me. Who could give you more than you J? I ask, I get real answers. Sure Comcast,others have the viewership. But answers to important questions is what it is all about.I have this here. Others write their column's. Then head out on the streets until the next day! What good does that do for me? Other sensible W's fans will soon find out as I say Real Worth! Could you imagine the response Kidd would receive when he steps on to the court in a W's uniform? Makes the hair on my arms stand up just thinking about it!!! Positive things will come our way. I believe, so should others. Thanks as usual S

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  18. It's gonna take time...I'm well aware of it...All i can do is put out the best content and most unique takes that i can and engage the people who take a genuine interest. If for every 5000 hits i get one guy like you this site is really going places, I couldn't be more excited about that...I'm planning on printing up some Trapped in Golden State Tshirts somewhere in the near future and when i finally get around to it i got one with your name on it for sure...I wanted to do it weeks ago but writing, promoting and maintaining the site while working full time has been more work than i anticipated..That said, I am enjoying every minute of having a forum for true fans with no regard for what the newspaper editor, the webmaster or the front office thinks about it...I wasn't sure in the beginning if i could be objective and talk shit where necessary without sounding like a bitchy whiney blogger...The goal is to be a straightforward No BS columnist. Call me out when i stray...

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  19. Say as you wish. Throw anyone under the bus who deserve it!!!!! Take no prisoners!! It's a business & this is why GS is where they are today! If this wasn't a sideshow to these conglomerates we would already be at the top. Just countless bad business decisions cloud our enjoyment.
    Let me know how much on the shirt. Surely any fan of the site should own one. Get me a nice Tee. I'll even pay the extra for the better shirt.Let me know how much. LOL Enjoy the bumpy ride! I laugh at work. Bring it on, it's fun if you make it that way. If the W's had this attitude we would probably be in the 6-7th seed! Back to you soon. S

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