Everybody should hate the Golden State Warriors

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If you're a Cleveland Cavaliers fan, chances are pretty good that I'm about to put into written words what many of you have said to your friends over the past 365 days multiple times: "I Hate the Golden State Warriors."

Sure, I need to preface this piece by saying that as professional players of basketball, they are a skilled group who are the defending NBA Champions, have the two-time reigning NBA MVP, and are coming off a record 73-win season. As they head into Game 2 of their second straight NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, they have home court, are the clear favorites. And at the top of the NBA mountain.

And I hate them.

I hate everything about them.

You should too.

No, there's nothing sane about hating Golden State. If you are foreign to the NBA, you'd likely look at Steve Kerr's club and think to yourself, "this is a team that I should really like! Head coach Kerr puts the Apple Pie into America, and according to everyone, is an NBA nice guy. Stephen Curry isn't a prototypical dominant NBA player, and his slight frame and boyish personality has more the look as 'the geek next door,' as opposed to 'NBA MVP.' When you look like Urkel, but play like Mike, well, everyone should love you, right?"

I mean, you shouldn't act irrationally to a team that plays amazing team basketball, right? Isn't this the dream? Doesn't everyone want to play the game like the San Antonio Spurs, and this team doesn't have the annoying ass Gregg Popovich as their coach.

This is a likable basketball team (minus Draymond Green...c'mon, nobody likes that guy, probably not even his family) that plays game with aesthetic beauty. They play the game with the fluidity and synchronicity of a well choreographed dance troupe. In a game that often honors the singular playing skills of LeBron, Michael, Kobe and Magic, this is a prototypical team of players. Sure, they have their singular Seth Curry in the middle, but he's surrounded by a finely tuned group that truly seem to buy into 'group-think.' When the Warriors are clicking on all levels, they are a team that plays about five seconds faster than everyone else.

This is a basketball team that everyone likes, right? This is a basketball team that everyone SHOULD like, right? THEY PLAY TEAM BASKETBALL, AND LOOK LIKE UNDERDOGS! LONG LIVE THE...

I hate them.

I hate them all.

They irritate me. They infuriate me. They should you too.

Part of the problem is clearly ESPN, who has already anointed Golden State as the greatest team in the History of the EVER, and are mentioning Stephen Curry as one of the greats as well. I know, I know, they just won the NBA Title, passed the 72 game regular season win record, and are three games away from winning their second NBA Title in a row. Curry is already in rarefied air with two MVP's, and at 28 years old, is directly in his prime to do great things for years to come.

So maybe this is more of a 'me problem' than a 'real problem.' It's not like Steph Curry or Klay Thompson or Draymond Green call Bristol, Connecticut and force their hand. They've conquered the NBA Rubik's Cube of rules, and are whipped-cream and syrupy while doing it. You can't blame them for turning the heads of the self-proclaimed "Worldwide Leader in Sports," can you? Screw that, you can, for the same reason most people hate the "Worldwide Leader in Sports."

You see, the problem isn't really saying they are the best team ever. That story is yet to be told, and twenty years from now, it may pan out to be true. Most sane NBA fans can at least ponder these Warriors into the equation. The issue isn't how good they are, it's how ludicrous the "good" is. If Draymond Green gets a rebound, he's amazing. If Curry drives into the hole for a lay-up, he's unbelievable. If Golden State wins with Curry on the bench, it's clearly because of super-powers.

Yeah, this is a team of complete hyperbole, and I hate them for it. Perhaps my hate stems from the fact that the team that will likely be most associated with them in years to come are my Cleveland Cavaliers. Perhaps I'm just an envious bastard, wishing that just once...just freaking once, the team from Cleveland wouldn't have to climb some sort of hyperbolic Mount Everest to win a title.


You should just hate this team.

And then there's Steph Curry, and that damned mouthguard. I'm not sure it's even arguable that he isn't the greatest pure shooters to ever step foot on the court. Sure, the Ray Allens and the Larry Birds and the Mark Prices and the Reggie Millers are in the conversation, but I can honestly say that I've never seen anyone shoot the ball with the pure makeability than Curry. He's deadly from everywhere on the court.

Curry is a North Carolina kid who has always had a chip on his shoulder. Let's face facts. If you had never met him, and Steph Curry walked past you, you probably wouldn't blink twice. He doesn't look like Lebron James, who is about as physical an NBA freak as you can possibly think, and most college coaches felt the same way.

Ponder this for a moment. Curry is the son of an NBA player, former Cavs guard Dell Curry. Coming out of high school, he was rated as a three-out-of-five star recruit, and while he was listed at 6'2" and 160 pounds, he certainly didn't look much more than 6'0" and 150 pounds. His Dad's alma mater, Virginia Tech wouldn't even offer him a scholarship because of his slight frame, instead offering him a chance to walk-on.

He ended up at Davidson, and singularly pissed off.

In his three years in college, he only averaged 25.3 points, 4 1/2 boards per game, and 4 assists, and during his sophomore year, he took his team onto a magical run that ended when they lost in the Elite 8 to eventual champion Kansas by two points. Curry was magical in that run, scoring 30-plus points in upsets against national powers Gonzaga, Georgetown and Wisconsin, while scoring 30 and 25 second half points respectively in the comeback wins against the Bulldogs and the Hoyas.

In the 2009 NBA draft, Curry was the seventh player selected. The six players ahead of him were Blake Griffin, Hasheem Thabeet, James Harden, Tyreke Evans, Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn. While Thabeet and Flynn were complete busts, it was a pretty productive draft, as Griffin, Harden, Evans and Rubio are all good-to-great NBA players, but Curry is clearly the best of the bunch, and not-by-a-little.

He's the little-engine-that-could, right?

Not recruited. Not a top five draft pick. Slight of frame. Boy next door looks. HE'S THE BEST EVAH, RIGHT!

God do I hate him, and let's start with the mouth guard by saying that it isn't really the mouth guard, is it? The mouthguard is a metaphor, right? It's a metaphor for Curry just rubbing the noses of everyone he plays against with his greatness. If he buries a three pointer, out comes the mouthguard, along with a shimmy-and-a-shake. This is a guy who simply OOZES "I'm better than you." Most people have blood flowing through their bodies, but this guy has cockiness.

Oh sure, he should be cocky because of that chip on his shoulder. He has now mixed that damn slight into his greatness like a Chef Michael Symon mixing ingredients in his fantastic new Cleveland restaurant, Mabel's BBQ. Honestly, if you were to build a story of 'Why to like someone," wouldn't this be it?

Wouldn't it? Shouldn't it?

And don't think I don't get the irony here. I'm a LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers' fan. My own wife calls me a flip-flopper because of the passage I've taken with this current James/Cavs iteration. BUT THIS GOLDEN STATE TEAM HAS SOMEHOW MADE THIS JAMES-LED CAVS TEAM AN UNDERDOG. IN SOME NBA CIRCLES, IT'S AKIN TO MAKING SATAN THE GOOD GUY.

That's how much you should hate Curry. HE MADE LEBRON THE GOOD GUY, well, except to my wife.

Chances are that if you made it this far, you are thinking one-two-things, and are one-of-two types of people. You either are thinking, "He hasn't made one case for hating Golden State. They're a great team, with a gift from god as their leader," or you're thinking, "God do I hate them. I hate everything about them. Keep this going Jim." In other words, you're either a Golden State fan (or some oddly unbiased NBA fan), or you're everybody else in the world.

And I haven't even gotten to the best part yet.

What about Draymond Green? I've had multiple conversations with my friends about Green, who has turned himself into a damn fine NBA player, when you look at the numbers. In his fourth season in the NBA, he's improved his numbers every year to the point in which he's made himself into one of the best 10 or 20 NBA players in the league. This season, his 14 points, 9.5 boards and 7.7 assists a game make him some sorta poor man's Lebron, and as a former second round pick (made by the Warriors directly after two straight Cleveland Cavaliers picks), this makes him pretty damn valuable.

But he's a dick, and the irony of that statement after his flailing leg kicks hasn't gone over my head.

Once you look past his numbers, there truly doesn't appear to be anything to like about him. On the court, he's straight outta the Bad Boy mentality of the game. There isn't a thing he won't do to tilt the game in his advantage, whether it be a kick to the nether-regions or a finely placed hip or elbow. He never ceases to talk as though he's the greatest of all-time. What makes this irrepressible thug even worse is that he's not even the loud mouth in the background that doesn't really have much to do with the team winning.

He's in the mix, and often makes players pay himself, either with his ability, his mouth, his goonery, or his off-the-court bullshit. In other words, he backs it all up with his play. It's maddening. He's the very definition of the "guy you only like if he plays on your team." I'm not even sure that's true. While Golden State fans cheer him like a son, I can't fathom any of them go home, look in the mirror and say, "He's a good guy, I love him like a son." If they do...then they suck too, I guess.

Then there's Golden State's other players. Klay Thompson is just an extension of Steph Curry, to me. There's irony there on many levels. As his own player, he's about as good as it gets. The Warriors, a couple of years ago, were in the mix to trade for Kevin Love. The asking price from the Timberwolves?

Klay Thompson.

Apparently that was too much to ask, because the Warriors said no, and without too much more that needs to be said, I'm sure they are okay with that. With Curry hurt earlier in the playoffs, Thompson took over, and while he plays with a swagger, I only hate him because he's pretty damn good. Don't worry, there's plenty of other hate to go around.

There's Harrison Barnes, who was the seventh overall pick in the same draft of Draymond Green. He hasn't been a bust, but most thought he was the player that Green turned out to be. Instead, he's become a pretty deadly three-point marksman as a starter, who can board a little as well.

There's Andrew Bogut, who's just a big Australian thug, who doesn't play a lot of minutes, but is always pretty damn effective fighting for rebounds, and putting in junk.

There's Shaun Livingston, who had one of the most horrific knee injuries I ever saw, destroying the Cavaliers in the playoffs like it was what he was born to do. This is a guy that revitalized his career with the Cavaliers three years ago, and has become a key cog in the Warriors bench. I mean, he scored 20 points in Golden State's Game 1 win, overcoming a struggling Curry (11 points) and Thompson (9 points). He's like Klay Thompson to me though, but is tainted because of the jersey he currently wears.

There's Leo Barbosa and that stupid blue T-Shirt. The guy has been annoying NBA teams for what seems like 45 years. He's 33, going on 45, but always seems to hit big shots.

And then there's Andre Iguodala, who got in the grill of Matthew Dellavedova during game one after what may-or-may-not have been an intention groin hit. Again, keep in mind that Draymond Green likely vasectomized Stephen Adams in the Western Conference Finals.
"You got guys who got to get a little dirty and gotta get a little physical to make a life, and to feed their family..."
Cocky pun intended.

But here is Iguodala, decimating the Cavs off the bench with big shots and better defense, and strolling down the court like he was the second coming.

Cocky pun intended.

This Golden State Basketball team is just ungodly perfect, isn't it? They have a likely future player that will be put on a special pedestal with the All-Time greats. They have two other players that will likely be multiple-time All-Stars. They have starters and role players that fit together like a puzzle. They have a head coach that literally looks like he walked off the set of any halcyonic 1950's sitcome you can think of. They have another head coach that will be taking over for the Lakers after the playoffs, and may end up better than Kerr, when it's all said and done.

I just hate them to death, and I honestly don't care if it doesn't make any rational sense. I cheer Lebron James, for crying out loud, after he left Cleveland in a blaze of 23 jerseys and heartbreak. Let's be honest for  minute here. NBA basketball, on the screen we watch, isn't about the players real lives. They're characters, playing a sport for a couple of hours a night, and covered in a sensational way by a tabloid channel that masquerades these days as an actual source of sports news.

It's nothing more than a Super Hero movie, if you want to get right down to the nuts and the bolts of it. Sometimes you love the anti-hero, and hate the crap out of the boring, do-everything right asshat. This isn't real-life, is it?

It's sports?

When the hell are we rational about sports?

The Warriors are a brilliant team, that live this idiotically perfect NBA life in which it seems nothing freaking goes wrong, even when things go wrong. Curry gets hurt, they still win. Kerr is out, they still win. Curry and Thompson are shut down, they still win. Down 3-1 in a series with two of the top-five NBA players on the opposing team, and they still...freakin'


BAAAAHHHHHH. Screw perfection. Watching the Warriors makes me realize how much it sucks having so much imperfection. Have the perfect families and the perfect team and the perfect look and the perfect everything?


My Cleveland Cavaliers are supposed to be writing this story, aren't they? Lebron returns home after a four-year exodus to Miami, where he learned how to win titles. He comes back as the hated anti-hero in two cities, and across the NBA for being the best player in the league. He's married, with beautiful kids, and lives much of his "fake NBA life" on social media.

How did this damn Golden State thing happen?

As a Cavaliers' fan, it's not hard to think back to the late-80's and early-to-mid 90's, when that Cavaliers' team seemed destined to win a title, with a team that seemed in totality, a forerunner to today's Spurs and perhaps the Warriors. They ran into the Chicago Bulls, led by perhaps the true greatest player of all-time, Michael Jordan.

I likely don't need to go much further than that. Jordan led his Bulls to three straight titles, retired, then led them to three more titles with an even more complete team. Those Cavs teams were simply overmatched, first by a player that just wouldn't lose, and then by that same player with that same mentality, now on a team created by the Zen Master of assholiness, Phil Jackson, who just couldn't seem to lose.

I loved the Cavs then, but hated the Bulls more. Honestly, I loved watching their brilliance on a game-to-game basis and it's funny how similar that team was to the Warriors, perhaps not in play or style, but in make-up and destruction-factor. I hated Jordan, and 'enjoyed' every second I could in hating that team and that player. And on those few occasions THAT Cavs team beat the Bulls, I relished every second of it.

As I sit here, wondering how my home team got eviscerated in the fourth quarter of a game they were leading in the third quarter, WITH THEIR TWO BEST PLAYERS STRUGGLING OFFENSIVELY, I can't help but hate the Warriors a little bit more.

They have this way of anonymizing the best players. Seriously

I hate them. I want them to get pummeled. I want Draymond Green to get flailed into. I want Curry to average 10 points for the whole damn series. I want to see whiny faced Klay pinch up like a pissed-off grandma. I want that damned bench to play like a damned bench, and not an NBA finals team themselves.

Which leads to the rest of this NBA Finals for my Cleveland Cavaliers, and those sons of bitches from Golden State. I've seen it all with this Warriors' team. Draymond Green has turned himself into a pantheon of Triple Doubles, while equally looking like a hockey enforcing goon (wish someone would knock out his teeth, to complete the look). Klay Thompson has become some sorta Scottie Pippen, filling in all the cracks. And then there's Steph Curry, who seemingly hits everything from half-court in as though he were making a non-contested, pre-game lay-up.

This whole damn team plays like they're on a summer vacation together. Apparently they took notes from Lebron and Dwyane Wade, and somehow incorporated "The Brotherhood's" yearly vacation into their regular season play.

Supremacy sucks, especially when it's not my team doing it.

Can the Cavs win Game 2, let alone this series? I think they can.

Of course, blowing up the Death Star four times over the next six tries doesn't seem all that plausible does it? I still have this fissure in my mind that thinks my Cavaliers can do the impossible. Perhaps there's a little Luke Skywalker in there, right...I mean, if Luke Skywalker were Lebron James, that is. But like I said, the perfection of this Warriors team has made the Cavaliers "Big 3" look like nerfherders on Tatooine, trying to make their way into the galaxy like some wannabe actor in Space Jam 2.
These Cavs' nerfherders are already down 1-0 in the NBA Finals, after controlling their top two players offensively. This Warriors Empire of Perfection was down 3-1, had injury issues, and clearly controls the NBA to a point in which karate kicks to the groin equal smirky slaps on the wrist.

And seriously, has anyone noticed that Draymond Green is the spitting image of Bubba from Forrest Gump? That has to connect to Star Wars in some way, doesn't it?

I know, I know, thinking the Cavs can beat the Warriors is likely something akin to winning $500 million dollars in the lottery, dating an SI cover girl, or any other grotesque and outlandishly hyperbolic metaphor you can come up with. All that is good seems to rest on the theory that THIS Cavs team can somehow overcome perfection, and make all right in the world, or at least in Cleveland.

In the meantime, HATE GOLDEN STATE...because everyone needs a flailing kick to the balls every once in awhile, right?
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