Consider me like you would an old friend who has watched the Warriors since grade school. I was born and raised in the Bay Area, am based a couple of miles from Oracle Arena, and have followed the team long before Curry or Durant were even college players. Since I was born in 1987, I mostly experienced a turbulent—if not miserable—stretch of fandom. I was too young to follow Run TMC—which was a glimpse of glory for the team in the early 90s before falling into a 12-year slump—so never really experienced any success as a fan. My first season must’ve been around ‘95-96, when I convinced my dad to buy me a #32 Joe Smith jersey. I wore that thing for as long as it fit my growing 5th grade body. This was back when players like Jordan and Ewing were still in the league, but I was proudly rocking my Warriors gear. The next season, the team switched up to the navy blue thunder uniforms, Antawn Jamison was drafted, and a new era began. I remember this transition vividly, how refreshing the rebranding felt. I also remember when Latrell Sprewell choked PJ Carlisemo in the locker room.
I remember lots of things about my team. For example, without doing a Google search, I can rattle off close to a decade’s worth of Lottery Pick wash ups: guys like Todd Fuller, Chris Porter, Mike Dunleavy, Troy Murphy, Ike Diogu, Patrick O’ Bryant, Ekpe Udo; names that were supposed to signify a glorious shift in our team’s reputation from being perennial losers to playoff contenders. It never happened. I grew up literally watching those teams. I recall the years of Adonal Foyle, Vonteego Cummings, Bimbo Coles, Speedy Claxton. I remember Larry Hughes being our go-to scorer. Or, more recently, I can mope about that Monta Ellis trade (still hurts, I admit, even though things worked out for us). Continue reading