I find myself in the same position after every massive, crushing setback the Warriors face. Call it the “Homer Simpson and the flying pig” phenomenon. You know the one I’m talking about. Lisa manages to light Homer’s barbecue pig on fire, and send it flying through the atmosphere.
“It’s just a little dirty! It’s still good, it’s still good!
It’s just a little slimy! It’s still good, it’s still good!
It’s just a little airborne! It’s still good, it’s still good!” -Homer Simpson
That’s how I’ve been. The initial shock, followed by dismay, followed by “Well, mabe it’s not as bad as it looks.”
“Okay, they lost Baron Davis. But really. All this means is they can spend some money on a super-forward.”
“Okay, they only got Maggette, but still, they’ve got a ton of weaponry, all they need is one significant upgrade.”
“Okay, they’re not going to upgrade, but they could still be interesting.”
“Okay, they lost Monta Ellis for two months of the regular season, but now they can run Jackson-Azubuike-Randolph-Wright-Turiaf!”
The fact is, for a fanbase that has seen so much misery over the last two decades, they were rewarded with the briefest taste of redemtion, and then… back to the dungeons, whelps! Seriously. Losing your best player, getting a subpar aging shooter in replacement, nearly losing Azubuike, missing out on every major free agent forward, and you get through all that and have some hope, only to lose your $66 million dollar investment at point guard for four months?
How does that happen to one team?
The Warriors will still be interesting, though, if only for the athleticism and sheer unorthodoxy they’re forced into. It’s been clear from the start of the offseason that Mullin will not be moved from his path. He will not panic. He will not reach. He has a plan and he’s sticking to it. Lose Baron Davis? Keep the plan. Lose out on all the forwards? Keep the plan. Lose Ellis to injury? Keep. The. Plan. He’s meeting with Livingston, which was my first thought, but apparently the meeting had been pre-arranged and he’s not in any rush to find another point guard. He feels comfortable with what he’s got. The various lineups without a true, combo, or viable point could be interesting, though. Normally I’d warn that they would be turnover machines. But this is the Warriors. They’re a turnover machine all on their own. And all this means is they get bigger. Sure, we’ll miss Ellis’ unbelievable speed and the thought of him freelancing in NellieBall with no one to defer to, but he’ll be back. And until then, it means more exploration of the roster, and that only means potential released.
They are cursed, but they do not waver.
You can take the Monta out of the Dubs, but you can’t take the Dubs out of the plan.
One question, though? What’s that noise? That slow ticking getting louder and louder and louder, incessantly hammering at us?
Oh. It’s the clock running out until Stephen Jackson demands a trade and a fat new contract. That’s that is. I should have known. This will not end well. Enjoy your tapes of Dallas-Golden State ’07. It will never be the same again.