So I’m driving home last night from Oracle with a rain beating on my wind shield, killing time with sports talk radio when it hits me. How great is it that the Warriors are doin’ what they are doin?
Our TV station hasn’t done this many live shots in Oakland since the days before security guards were standard operating procedure. The Warriors are more than a sports story. They are a national story. This is reality TV; a phenomenon.
The record-setting 16th win against the Lakers Wednesday night was like watching the Globetrotters slaughter the Washington Generals. Draymond Green was Meadowlark Lemon and Step Curry was Curly Neal. Seriously, the passing was so slick and seemingly easy that the only thing missing was Sweet Georgia Brown.
As the rain pelted my 15-year old BMW, (hey, at least it’s a 5-series) I couldn’t help but think about the organization as a whole; top-to-bottom. I’ve covered somewhere around 11 championship teams in the Bay Area and I’ve never encountered a group quite like these Warriors.
Last February, I hopped inside the ropes at the AT&T Pro-Am and walked the first hole with Joe Lacob. The jeers had turned into cheers, and not for his irons, believe me. Lacob had redeemed himself through the win column and his team was on a roll. It was the day before the NBA All-Star game and Lacob was telling me his strategy of how he planned to get to Madison Square Garden to see his All-Stars. I left him at the first green and was not surprised to learn he’d missed the cut and was boarding a private plane on his way to New York. Lacob is approachable, available, and accountable. Enough said.
I don’t really know Bob Myers, other than what I hear from his interviews. I saw him sign autographs at the Coliseum and later ask a radio interviewer if he should sign them at all. Think about that; the best GM in hoops asking some radio dude if he was worthy? That’s so rich.
Then there’s Raymond Ridder. Longtime Warriors media conduit that is simply better than anyone else in the business. I’m doing live shots late into the night and there’s good ‘ol Raymond, walking by and asking me if I need anything. “Hey, Dennis, you good? Can I get you anything?” He points to Luke Walton to see if I want him “live.” But since I don’t get enough time in my sportscast, I respectfully decline.
But most of all it’s about the team, the team, the team.
Steve Kerr has this coaching thing put into better perspective than anyone I’ve ever covered. Bruce Bochy might be just as comfortable in his skin, but Kerr’s difficult family history allows him to put his job into a very unique life order. His dad was assassinated and his siblings work in world affairs. He once told me, “my family does all these important things and I coach basketball.”
Steve Kerr’s attitude permeates the entire locker room. Luke gets it, totally. If you mixed the players’ personalities into a blender you’d get a cocktail so cool they’d call it “The City.” They answer questions with sincerity and without condescension. They are unique in their perspective, humor and demeanor. The Warriors locker room is one of the rare venues I don’t mind the elbows crowding me out to hold my microphone. Hell, even the reporters are courteous.
As I settled into my seat last night I took a moment to relish the moment. I’ve been covering sports in the Bay Area for 34 years but have never covered a team like this.
Here’s to the fans that have endured decades of mediocrity only to remain as passionate as the day Joe Barry Carroll was drafted. Here’s to the video producers that produce such a helluva show leading up to tip off. Here’s to the security guards who claim “I watch you every night,” and ask me if I have a seat to sit in.” If there is an organization more dialed in that the Golden State Warriors, I want to see it.
Keep doin’what you’re doin’
See you on TV.