Tuesday, July 5, 2016


"KD is a b*tch or not? Dubs are choke artists or not? BDD is a scrotum-seeking missile? (yep), Lacob is a douche (probably). I get that this was an alignment of stars that might never come about again and I understand why KD did it and I understand why Myers did it.
But 3 honest questions:
1) do we believe that the Cavs are structurally and matchup-wise so much better than the dubs that a drastic move would be necessary? Didn't they just go to a seventh game in the finals?
2) is this the most reactive move in NBA history blowing up a historic team that fell 5 points short of winning another title (and basically ran out of gas towards the end) and
3) is blowing up this team worse than Krause/Reinsdorf basically pushing a team that three-peated out the door in '98?
Really curious as to whether people think that the Dubs as they were constructed on July 3rd didn't have just as good/better shot to kick some teeth in next year as they did this year. We all had a pretty good idea what the Dubs were going to be next year, and a pretty good idea that they would at least be in the WCF again. They were a known quantity. Now we don't know shit except what's on paper."

I admit when I titled this post I shouldn't have named it: Can we reflect for a moment on the fact that the Dubs just blew up a 73 win team? I should have more conservatively dubbed (heh, pun) it a 'retooling' since the core talents of the team remain intact.  The reddit responses were more or less predictably reactionary - focusing on the "blow-up" part rather than the other 225 words in the post.
But what I'm really curious about, and what interest me from a karate standpoint is: there is a strength that comes from being able to change.  And there is a strength that comes from just being patient.  No one would study for a test with a tutor, get an A, then study for the next test with the tutor, get a B and then fire the tutor and change classes.  A "B" is just a small setback - it doesn't spell doom.

The Warriors got a B in the NBA Finals this year, not an F.  They didn't get outclassed by a clearly superior basketball team, they came up short.  They did an unimaginable amount of things right compared to the twenty or so games where they deserved to lose.  What will be proved this season is: is the reward of a once-in-a-generation talent like Kevin Durant worth the risk of breaking something magical enough to do that which might never again be surpassed?

If they win three out of the next 4 season, then sure.  But lest we forget: The Warriors dominated this season.  They came up 5 points short but they dominated.  They didn't dominate in spite of having Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut in the starting lineup.  Those two men were part of the reason why.  If the Dubs had played any other team but the Cavs they probably would have won.   They did that with this group of guys: guys that had gotten better and better together, guys who came up together and liked each other, guys that knew their fellow players inside and out.  They were more than just the sum of the parts.

They won 88 games this year and if they would have won the 89th, how much would their roster have changed next year?  I dare say, probably not much.  But instead they lost their 18th game of the year and half the roster is gone.
This year will reveal whether this was an over-reaction.  I don't know why anyone would think that the Dubs wouldn't have been an even better basketball team next year, having played together and struggled and trusted one another, through the good and bad, as a team for three straight years.  Last year's team won the championship.  Then they came out with something to prove and punched the league in the mouth to the tune of 24 straight wins.  What would those guys have done after coming off three straight losses and losing the ring?  We'll never know. Because they aren't the same team.

At first glance, despite the shiny magnificence of 28-year-old height of his powers Kevin Durant, I feel like this is a mistake, not for the league but for the Warriors.  People love shiny things, people love theoretical things.  The Warriors were a known quantity.  A united team, out for revenge, would have been interesting to watch.  They were growing together.  Are they not, in a real way, starting from scratch again - having to accommodate the tendencies of their new, high usage, SF ?

And when you win 88 games in a season, how much can change be a good thing?  The replies on reddit seem to suggest the risk is worth the reward.  That breaking up the band because they won 15 not 16 games this playoffs is worth winning 16 playoff games the next 5, 6 seasons.  But that's not what they've retooled their team for.  They haven't broken up the band in the hopes of winning rings for the next 5 years.  They've broken it up in the hopes of winning precisely one more playoff game next year, because if they don't - if they win 14 games or 15 games - Kevin Durant is going to leave.  And then they would have broken up a historically good team for absolutely nothing. 

The whole organization prided itself from being built from the ground up.  They said that all their success flowed from that and from their faith in the process.  But the takeaway from the 2016 NBA Finals seems to be that that process is gone. Now they'll fly in mercenaries hoping to get a ring.  Now they'll play different, think different. They claimed they were doing everything the right way, that they planned to be a dynasty.  Yet it seems as though that plan has been abandoned wholesale, despite the fact that, save for maybe 20 games out of the last 200, they were the better of the two teams on the court.