Something New with a Full Tank

It is time to try something new. Screw it, while I’m here, it is time to try a couple of things…new. Believe it or not, I have a favorite NBA team. While they have never raked up there with the Sharks, Red Sox, Broncos (they of blue turf, not mile high), or Cowboys, I am indeed, a Golden State Warriors fan. You could have read this blog since its inception, and still have little or no idea that I have ever even seen a Warriors game, and the reason is simple. There are only so many hours in the day, and I have just never cared to follow the NBA like I follow the NHL, MLB, NFL or college football.

That isn’t to say I ignore the NBA. I will catch highlights from SportsCenter. I watch the occasional game when channel surfing, particularly if Golden State is playing. I even have opinions on a few teams and players. So I am going to embrace a couple of things I normally don’t really care for, and the first is the NBA. I am going to follow the Warriors for the rest of the 2010 season. It may seem odd to pick up a 19-48 NBA team in mid-March, but that actually brings me to the second thing I am going to give a try to.

While I don’t hate, but rather could take or leave the NBA, there is something else in sports that I am vehemently against. Losing. Sure, as revelations go, this is on par with coming out as “anti-cancer” or “pro-world peace,” but like everyone else, I have never been a fan of losing. Luckily, if you look at the list above, I have been lucky enough to not have to put up with a whole lot of it lately. By taking on the Warriors as team number five in my fan arsenal, I am going to take on a whole lot more of it. This seems like a bad thing, unless you read the first part of the column and have an idea where I am going with this.

Not only am I going to put up with the dismal ways of the Golden State Warriors, I’m going to embrace them. Obviously, I don’t have a choice as long as I am picking up a team that’s offensive game plan consists of “giving the ball to Monte or Steph and having him hoist a contested three,” and at the same time gives up 111 points a game (at least they lead the league in something!). There has never been a situation where I have rooted for a team to lose before. I have expected it, even accepted it, bit as mad as I may have gotten at the Sharks, Red Sox or Cowboys, I always hope they can pull the game out. Not so, in this experimental venture in to the NBA. I am going to pick up the Warriors and follow them, but rather than rooting for them, I will hope for them to lose.

Of course, I have rooted for teams to fail before. A baseball season isn’t successful if the Red Sox don’t win the pennant, but only a year like last year, in which the Yankees win it all can be considered a complete failure. I wouldn’t mind if the Ducks, as currently assembled with Cory “euro-fighter” Perry and James “scull cruncher” Wisniewski go 0-for- the next three years. This is completely different from that, as I hate those teams. The Warriors, on the other hand, I like. They are still my favorite team.

Nor is this masochistic. Rather, there is reason for my hoping for futility.

In a related story, it is bracket season. Despite an opening round filled with carnage on my bracket (which now contains more red than a Flames playoff game—I’ll be here all week), I am still in contention good with my Kentucky over Ohio State title game, with Baylor and Syracuse filling out the final four. There is one thing that leads me to the Ohio State-Kentucky final, and it is my hard and fast rule when it comes to filling out brackets. When it comes to talent versus experience, I’ll take talent, and I am not picking against the best guards. This year, the best guards, Evan Turner and John Wall are good. Really good. And I want one of them.

Wall is a rare talent, one that I have been somewhat enamored with when I started to check out his highlight real on YouTube 6 months before he even reported to Lexington. Evan Turner is a 6’7” guard who can run the point effectively, is quick enough to guard NBA point guards, and can score almost at will. He is also ‘the villain’ of Club Trillion fame. Wall and Turner are both special guards, but what makes them special isn’t their game along the perimeter. Watch the take on Wall, and you can see that he has the size, hops and physicality to play in the lane. Turner, for his part, routinely pulls down 8-10 boards in a game. Guards who can run, shoot and even distribute are a dime a dozen. The versatility that these two bring makes them rare prospects.

So yeah, I want them. Both of them. Obviously, that isn’t going to happen, but we could get one. Sure, there is a lottery, but if the Warriors can just make up just 4 games in the loss column, that would put us in the Wall/Turner range. I know we have guards as it is in Oakland but please, with Wall, you make it work. Right now, all we have is an uninteresting, bad team that isn’t even going to get the chance to be smoked out of the playoffs by a 1 seed.

Is tanking wrong? Maybe, but I’m not really much of a Warriors fan yet, and I want to be. A guy like Wall or Turner, put with Monte Ellis, Steph Curry and…actually, never mind, they would probably still be a few years away. At least we could watch an elite talent, and I might be able to get interested earlier next year.

(In case you don’t believe me, watch this, and tell me the embarrassment of finishing in the cellar wouldn’t be worth it this year. That’s the kid in freaking high school.)