There was a Warriors game, in 2004 or so, when Nikoloz Tskitishvili played garbage minutes, and he fascinated me. If you don't remember him, he was basically the Eugenio Velez of basketball, but stretched out like taffy. He was long and tall and young and ... different, though. Maybe, yeah, just maybe, he could turn into something. The Warriors had just traded for Baron Davis, and they had a young core around him, and suddenly it was okay to dream a little. It was okay to fantasize about crazy scenarios. Maybe, just maybe.
Maybe the Warriors could win that eighth seed one of these years, I thought.
I don't remember the Joe Barry Carroll trade, and I don't remember the great-not-great-enough years of Run TMC, but I remember the Zarko Cabarkapa Era. I remember people arguing about Mike Dunleavy as if it meant a damn. I remember wondering if Danny Fortson was really the missing piece to those eighth seed dreams. I'm not name-checking to prove I'm not a bandwagoner. I'm name-checking because good lord, Danny Fortson.
When you watch your team win a championship, all of the bad sports you watched shoot out of your eyeballs and ears and fly like bats into the sky, and then you get to scream a lot and none of the bad sports come back for a very long time. Warriors fans have watched a lot of bad sports. Now they have perhaps the most entertaining basketball player on the planet. Now they have a championship.
Congratulations, Warriors. Congratulations, Warriors fans.
(This has been a very, very good eight months of sports-balling.)