As I was leaving the Warriors’ game on Monday night — after another of their head-scratching victories, this one a 130-121 overtime delight against San Antonio — I thought to myself: It’s good to live in Oakland.
Then again, it’s good to live in San Francisco, too, or San Jose or Santa Rosa and all points in between.
Especially if you’re a basketball fan.
If you haven’t noticed yet, the Warriors have it going on. I’m not just talking about their 20-15 start, which follows up nicely on their historic 2006-07 season. I’m talking about having it going on way more than that.
Like having it going on more than every other team in the league — or just about.
If you’re fortunate enough to be a Warriors fan (which, by the way, feels strange to even write), you find yourself today among the most satisfied, entertained and, yes, envied fans in all of the NBA.
Think about it. The Phoenix Suns might be better than the Warriors, but they’re not any more scintillating. The Boston Celtics are heading toward 70 wins but they fall way short of the Warriors on the oohs-and-aahs meter.
LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Yao Ming might be capable of selling out the house, but it is the Warriors who are morelikely to bring the house down. It’s not just the Warriors’ up-and-down, caution-to-the-wind, high-flying, fundamentals-be-damned style that is unique. So is their personnel.
Baron Davis is one of the NBA’s most influential players and owns a flair all his own. Stephen Jackson is a one-man drama, comedy and thriller all rolled into one. Third-year pro Monta Ellis is as dynamic as any guard in the league.
And the coach? Well, he’s among the biggest pieces of work roaming the sideline for any team these days.
Point is, how would you like to be living in Milwaukee, Philly, Minneapolis, Charlotte, New York or (insert another dozen teams or so here), watching your home team walk it up and lose 91-86? Teams on their way to the lottery, no less?
Heck, the Warriors are so much fun they can even turn the plain-old boring Spurs into a virtual three-ring circus. San Antonio has scored 121 points or more four times in the past two years. Three of those games were against the Warriors.
At this moment, the Warriors are at the forefront of a movement in the NBA, one that emphasizes skill over size, fast over slow and, quite frankly, exciting over dull. The Suns and the Warriors are the only ones completely in on this whole thing, but any team with a clue is working their way there.
Maybe the past year or so hasn’t quite made up for those previous 12 playoff-less seasons. But it is a heck of a start.
Matt Steinmetz is the NBA insider for Warriors telecasts on Fox Sports Net.