October 5, 2022

Al Horford (L) cuts Draymond Green.

Al Horford (L) cuts Draymond Green.
Photo: Getty Images

Being a Warriors fan must be relatively easy, at least compared to most other teams in any other sport. You already have three championships in the bag. Best regular season ever. Quite possibly the best team ever, whichever iteration with Kevin Durant you choose. Back in the finals after only two years in the desert, very friendly coach, no obvious assholes on the list.

But as any fan knows, it’s never enough. You always want to see your team win, and that thirst is never completely quenched. No one ever ignores losses and only thinks about happy times. The work is never done.

I don’t know what percentage of Warriors fans are in the weeds, clean the glass, hardcore fans. I’m sure there was a time when that was most of them, and I’m sure that’s not the case now. They’re still there, they’re just surrounded by people who want to be part of the party. It is a natural phenomenon.

If you know your shit, then you know everything Draymond Green does that helps the Warriors win. We see the defensive rotations, the instincts, the passes, the effort. It’s not always on the cover of the magazine, but it’s right there in the middle if you’re looking for it.

But there must be times when it’s infuriating, right? I’m not a Warriors fan, although I support them on all things Boston, if only so I could write this to piss off my Bostonian friends. I’m also not really a hoops guy, although I’d like to be. So I miss a lot of the under-the-radar things Green does to help win a basketball game. Sometimes I see through the Matrix, sometimes not.

But it’s not life or death for me, it’s just entertainment for an evening. What if it really mattered to you? It must feel like a shot in the nuts anytime you see him getting up for a jumper from anywhere on the floor. He doesn’t come in, and you know that, and something had to go wrong for that to happen. You know he knows it, and it must be more upsetting to think he doesn’t. I guess Dubs fans can explain themselves by watching Al Horford or Robert Williams III grabbing rebounds on him because he’s only 6-foot-5 and NBA 6-5 but getting rebounds is kind of his work. It must get even more infuriating to see Draymond yelping at anyone around when he’s not doing the things that make that yelping tolerable. He doesn’t live up to his end of the trade, which is to say you’ll put up with the bullshit if he does all the little things. Without the little stuff, you’re just sifting through bullshit.

And then you come to the end of nights like this, which are… well, in one picture:

Maybe his teammates took lessons, or just through repetition, or maybe Steve Kerr instilled some kind of meditation where they tune out and/or accept Green’s rants against the officials as part of the game. ‘OK. But can every fan? Isn’t it the urge to shout: “Dude, shut the fuck up!” physically inflate his skull? There’s no way every Warriors fan can delete it. Sometimes you have to wonder if he’s really yelling at himself. Sometimes it probably is.

I guess most Dubs fans just believe others they assume know Draymond is so vital, which he is most nights. And his game was probably never going to age well, now that he’s firmly in his thirties. Maybe they all accepted that. It was a hell of a race. But there must be times, or nights, when even everything you know as a Warriors fan collides with how you feel. You watch Draymond’s highest total in one night being his fouls and his conversations with the refs and there must be heart palpitations. Where all that training you’ve put on yourself to be able to say you really understand how the warrior’s job is forgotten, and you’re just throwing things at the TV and wishing a teammate grabbed it by the neck and made it clear how tired everyone is. .

Maybe these are just passing nights. Maybe that feeling is still bubbling below the surface and erupting from time to time. Maybe that’s what makes the Golden State brigade unique. I know it’s a journey.

Although they fired Joe Maddon, the Angels apparently aren’t under his spell yet.

Hopefully they lose 46 in a row now.