Darío Vázquez, Resident Sports Expert
If we had to pick the most “hated” or “disliked” player in recent memory, you could make an argument for LeBron James. If we ask the same question about a team, it might be the Golden State Warriors. I’m a die hard Yankees fan as well as my partner here so we are used to seeing our team being hated on a daily basis. But when I see all the hate the Warriors get I can’t help but wonder why. At least with the Yankees I get some reasoning ,as illogical as it can be sometimes, for the hate. I’m going to try and come to a conclusion as to why the Dubs are so disliked.
The first thing that comes to my mind is them signing Kevin Durant. Yes, that move adds to the disparity of the league as we mentioned in our last post. Yes, that move was frowned upon by many fans and perceived as a weak move from Durant but let’s be honest here for a second, every team and not just in the NBA but in any professional sports league will sign one of the three best players in the league if given the chance. It doesn’t matter who is on your team, if a talent like Kevin Durant knocks at your door you better greet, wine, dine and sign him. If anybody is to be hated it’s Durant for going to GS, not the team for signing him.
I thought maybe this is the only reason but then I remembered this team has been under fire for over three years and Durant was going to play in Oklahoma City his whole career or so we all thought. So what else can it be? Is it maybe because they pose a threat to LeBron’s legacy? As hated as he is, you can make an argument that LeBron is the most loved and hated player in the league, if that makes any sense. The Warriors are the biggest catapult as well as the biggest roadblock in LeBron’s journey to be the greatest of all time. Beat this all-time great team in consecutive finals and it’s probably the biggest accomplishment that LeBron can add to his resume. Lose two out of three and you keep drifting away from Michael Jordan’s unblemished record.
Last but not least, although I haven’t heard this as much, some people believe that both Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson had everything delivered to them in silver platter. Both being sons of former NBA players, some people believe that these All-Star players are actually good because their pops played in the league. Now let me tell you why this is as ridiculous argument as you can make. There is absolutely no guarantee that a former NBA player’s kid will be good. If you don’t believe me, go watch Michael Jordan’s sons play. Granted, neither Dell Curry nor Mychal Thompson were superstars yet alone being near Jordan’s level, but for every Kobe Bryant there are 20 former player’s kids who never make it in the league. Neither Steph or Klay were number one picks in the draft or were highly coveted out of college. As a matter of fact, they didn’t even play in any of the country’s top programs. They had to ball their way to the draft where players like Jimmer Fredette and Johnny Flynn who are no longer in the league were picked before them. Once drafted, Steph had to endure a shaky start to his career due to ankle problems and many of us were wondering if he could ever develop his potential or he would finish in the long list of injury prone what ifs the NBA has. Even through all of this, both were able to develop into the deadliest shooting back court the league has ever seen and I guess people might just hate on them because they managed to be successful on their own.
I believe a combination of the three aforementioned points might be the reason people hate on the team. Maybe the haters know this deep inside and they try to cover it coming up with nonsense like they are just over hyped, cocky, lucky shooter. It would be much better if next time someone asks you why you hate on the Warriors you say “Hey, I’m a Spurs fan and I know we can’t beat them” than come up with illogical arguments.
Christian Fuentes, Sports Journalist for Metro Puerto Rico
NBA Finals time is less than a week away and it’s never too early to start talking about it. This post will be dedicated to the Golden State Warriors and why people seem to “hate them”. I, personally, have been puzzled in the past after hearing and reading comments from many people saying how much they “despise” the Warriors. Now I ask: Why? Winning does draw apathy, because fans these days want parity and for all teams to have a chance. That’s fair. I’m not saying people should root for them. But HATE? Come on.
“All they do is shoot 3s”: Aren’t all the top teams efficient at the three point line? Cavs, Celtics, Warriors, Spurs, Rockets, and Wizards, the top three seeds in each conference, are quite three-point savvy.
“Curry isn’t a true point guard”: Who is? It’s 2017. Other than Chris Paul and playoff Rajon Rondo, there are no vintage point guards anymore. Russell Westbrook, Isaiah Thomas, John Wall, James Harden (who played PG this season), Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard, Kemba Walker, Kyle Lowry, and Mike Conley among others…all SCORE FIRST point guards.
“They’re cocky”: Well, in order to win, a team has to have some sense of bravado, at least. Other than Draymond Green giving someone bulletin board material and giving his rendition of The Nutcracker, the Warriors don’t really do anything to warrant the kind of negative reaction they get from many fans. Maybe there’s a little Steph Curry shimmy here and there, but nothing out of the ordinary.
“They are overhyped/overrated”: Have you paid attention in the past three seasons? What they’re doing is unprecedented. They are the winningest team in a three season period in NBA history. They are also the only team to win 67 or more games for three straight seasons (207-39 during that span). Is the media supposed to ignore that? Are basketball fans required to not “hype up” a team when they’re winning like crazy? They went 73-9 in 2015-16 to break the 1995-96 Bulls best season record. Now, it doesn’t mean a thing without…well, you know (see “choked a 3-1 Finals lead).
“They are the rich and they got richer with Durant”: I can’t think of any NBA team, with the resources, that wouldn’t have even tried to get Kevin Durant in free agency. It just so happens he went to the Warriors. Is it questionable, given he joined the team that beat his OKC Thunder? Affirmative. But he was a free agent, and earned the right to go wherever he
“Curry doesn’t deserve to be mentioned with LeBron”: There is a serious separation anxiety with NBA fans and LeBron James. There is no doubt that James is the exalted ruler of the NBA, so any threat to that (Curry won the 2015 and 2016 MVP) is welcomed with resistance. Then there’s this asinine “hierarchy” thing where Durant, Westbrook, Paul, Harden and others had their turn skipped by Curry and Klay Thompson. Hey, when they play well and improve, players succeed. There is absolutely no turns taken.
If you’re a simple basketball fan, who enjoys the game, you can see that this is a fun team to watch. They play great defense, have superb ball movement, make a lot of threes, and just plain win. This team came up the old-fashioned way: Drafting, developing, creating cap space, signing key free agents, and now, signing the big free agent to attain success for years to come. They’re not really different than some darling teams from the past, like the 2000-2003 Sacramento Kings, the 2004-2008 Phoenix Suns, or the 2001-2004 Dallas Mavericks. The only difference is their defensive execution, engraved in them by former head coach Mark Jackson (who should get more credit for this team’s success) before Steve Kerr took over. If you’re not a Cavs fan upset they beat them in 2015, or a fan of a division rival, there shouldn’t be any reason to “hate” on them.