When Golden State Warriors guard Leandro Barbosa said those words on TV on March 21, I cringed a little. Mainly because I'm pretty superstitious, and I, in no way, wanted that to jinx the Warriors in winning their first championship in 40 years.
Three months later, here we are. "WE ARE CHAMPIONSHIP." WHO KNEW? Who knew that THIS season would play out like it did? I mean, I was fairly certain and was hopeful that we would do better than previous seasons. As the season started, I thought it was nice to be on the top half of the seeding for once - not battling in the bottom, hoping for that final playoff spot. Then, these wins kept happening, with a bunch of blow-outs here and there. Next thing you know, the Warriors were the running away with the top seed of the conference, and then before you know it, they won home court advantage for the entire playoffs.
Admittedly, I was a little afraid. I mean, you can be at the top, but all it takes is losing one game too many, and that's it -- you have to start all over the next season. Like many fans, I was worried when they were down two against Memphis Grizzlies in the semi-conference finals. It was even scarier when they were down two games against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the finals, especially when they were all nail-biters to begin with.
I was in LA during the game six, so we decided to go to Yard House in downtown to watch it. There were ups and downs throughout the game, mainly ups. The last few minutes though? I could not even handle it. JR Smith kept making those three's, and I was thinking, can they really do this? Can the Cavs really steal this game and force a game seven? THANKFULLY, they didn't. As clock was winding down and the final buzzer finally went off, I'll admit that there were some tears. I just couldn't be prouder of these guys. It has been such a wild ride, and I truly love this team and everyone in it. It was magical.
Originally, I had planned on staying in LA until Friday or Saturday, but I knew I had to cut the trip short for the parade. I attended all three San Francisco Giants parades. How could I miss THIS one? There was just no way. And we didn't only sacrifice our trip, but we sacrificed our sleep. We barely got 2-3 hours sleep the day before, right after driving back from LA. We left around 5am, and waited until they finally appeared on stage a little past noon. Of all the speeches by non-players/coach, I enjoyed general manager Bob Myers' the best. What he said was very relevant, and made him extremely likable.
I think part of why this season was so magical and special, aside from winning it all, was who was on the team that won it all. Each one of them have their own personalities and I think #DubNation fell in love with that. I'm sure many non-Warriors fans despise Draymond Green like how I despise some players on other teams, but us Warriors fans LOVE him for his heart and passion. And of course, we can't forget the royal NBA family that the Currys have become. So when we saw them on stage giving their speeches, we couldn't help but be filled with joy that we get to get a happy farewell to this magical season in the way we know and love this team, and with so many fellow fans.
Back to being how superstitious I can be -- every mention of possibly winning, or needing to win, I had to knock on wood. And I didn't dare to wash the "Strength in Numbers" shirt. We watched three games together in San Francisco, and they lost them all, which meant we couldn't watch them together there. And hey, as they say, it's only weird if it doesn't work.
There was no doubt that we were going to go to at least one of the playoff games, especially because we went to one for each of the last two seasons. What I didn't expect was to go to four games. The first one was a no-brainer. The second one, we HAD to go and experience and be part of the crazy because New Orleans Pelicans coach Monty Williams made a comment about the Oracle and how loud it was. I knew right away that the #DubNation could've been way louder, so I just had to go.
After that, we figured that was it for the season -- I mean, these tickets aren't cheap if you didn't get them for free or weren't a season ticket holder and I was in neither of those categories. The day before game one in the Grizzlies series, I was just looking at tickets, just curious how much they were going for. Then it happened. I found tickets that were actually very reasonable, especially for the location of the seats. That became the third game of these playoffs for us. Just. Can't. Help. It.
We decided to skip the Houston Rockets series because we wanted to save up for the finals. And I mean, really, were we really going to let THAT one beat us into going to the finals? Nope. Game one came, and my oh my, the prices were STEEP. We decided to skip out on it because we just couldn't afford it and it didn't make sense to spend that much.
Then the next game, I looked again, hoping and hoping. When I finally saw tickets that were as close to my limit as it was going to get, I was like OK, if this order goes through, it was meant to be. And, well, I guess it was meant to be. Sadly, that was the game we lost. But since we won it all, it was awesome knowing that I experienced part of the run. I distinctly remember this Cavs fan yelled out to one of the Warriors fans buying merchandise outside the arena after the game, "DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY. YOU WON'T NEED THOSE THIS YEAR!" And to that fan? I say, HA. :)
Now that it's all over, and as much as I love basketball and the Warriors, it is going to be nice to take a break from all this intensity endured during the last two months. And to that, I end this blog post with: #WEEARECHAMPIONS. We ARE Championship. No matter how you say it -- the Golden State Warriors are the 2015 NBA champions. #LETSGOWARRIORS