Short blog posts, journal entries, and random thoughts. Topics include a mix of personal and the world at large. 

Last one at the Oracle

Tomorrow evening will be the final Golden State Warriors basketball game to be played at Oracle Arena. Next season the team will move to their gleaming billion-dollar palace across the bay in downtown San Francisco. Moving on up, as the song goes, but the old childhood home has still got one night of magic left yet. We certainly hope so, anyways.

I don’t have quite nearly as much personal connection/memories to Oracle Arena as other more ardent Warrior fans; I’ve only ever attended one game: a playoff game back in 2016 against the Portland Trail Blazers. It was a game in which Steph Curry didn’t even suit up due to a foot injury, which selfishly spoiled my opportunity to see him play in person. Despite his absence on the floor, the Warriors won the game easily, marking my record as a good luck charm in attendance as perfect.

That record remains the same to this day; Oracle Arena may be up there in the years, but it doesn’t stop the team from charging contemporary prices worthy of a three-time champion. The hefty ticket price just to get into the building for nose-bleed seats, coupled with the fact it’s all the way in Oakland, stopped me from attending games. Which is fine, because not paying to watch lives sports is one of many reasons how I manage to afford a Porsche 911.

With the new state-of-art arena in San Francisco, tickets are sure to be even dearer in price, though from a transportation perspective it’s significantly easier. A half-hour ride on the T line light-rail train will take me to the Chase Center front steps from my house. I reckon I’ll wait a few years until the initial demand for the new arena experience dies down, and I can get upper level seats at a semi reasonable price, before I attend a Warriors home game in San Francisco.

Before that, there’s one more game left in Oakland; a game 6 to even the Finals series and send it back to Toronto for a decisive game 7. I am super excited; this one is for Oracle. Let’s go.

The one time I made it inside Oracle Arena for a game.

Warriors signing Cousins is a psychological coup

Just when the basketball world is abuzz about LeBron James signing with the Lakers and all its implications, the Warriors sneaks in the following day (yesterday) and drops a bomb by announcing they’ve signed DeMarcus Cousins to a one-year deal at the taxpayer’s exception. 

The same DeMarcus Cousins who before a torn achilles back in January was an All-Star top-10 level player that perennially averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds. He’ll be joining a team that just wrapped up a third championship in four years. The one position found lacking on the Warriors is the center spot and now they’ve finally acquired their long-coveted dynamic scoring big-man.

A team with four All-Stars in the starting lineup just added a fifth (when healthy). LeBron’s move to the Los Angeles is but a blip in a radar. 

I highly appreciate the Cousins move from a psychological perspective. When a team have won consecutive championships, complacency can easily set in. Human nature craves newness and fresh challenges, and the Cousins signing provides just that for the defending champs. The goal of winning it all remains the same but the novelty of fitting and succeeding with Cousins should invigorate the team and prevent the coasting mentality that occurred often this past season.    

The rest of the league - the competition - is psychologically deflated. The Golden State dynasty was already supremely formidable with Curry, Thompson, Durant, Green, and Iguodala on the squad but now they’ve added Cousins? That just might be the mental coup de grace. Players on other teams are tweeting out despair and “why bother”; analysts are facetiously calling for the season to be cancelled. Once again, advantage to the Warriors.

Signing Cousins is a shrewd move that I and many NBA fans did not see coming; the particular circumstances came together perfectly and unexpectedly. indeed there’s an argument against it on the basis of competitive balance, but I think the onus is on the other teams to catch up (Lakers have got to get Kawhi Leonard after this, right?) - even with the recent success the Warriors aren’t going to stand still. 

As well they shouldn’t. 

Photo mode in GT Sport is highly triggering to my wanderlust tendencies. 

Photo mode in GT Sport is highly triggering to my wanderlust tendencies. 

Stop if you've seen this before

So for the fourth straight year, it's the Golden State Warriors versus the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals for all the marbles. 

How did we (fans of the Warriors) get so lucky? I can still remember the decade plus of futility that hung over the franchise from the late 90s to the early aughts, where a mere non-losing record would be considered a great season. 

Now, four consecutive trips to the Finals with the chance for a third championship. Ridiculous,. We'd do well to treasure every moment of this because success like this is once in a generation. There's way to many variables in sports to win on simply having the the better team on specs (see 2016 Finals). 

Likewise I'll always cherish the the three SF Giants championships earlier this decade, because It's likely we will never see such a run ever again. 

You have to admire the might of LeBron James, age 33, singlehandedly powering this ragtag Cavaliers team of paperclips and bandaids out of the Eastern Conference. He is the undisputed  best player of this generation, and with regards to the never-ending comparison to MJ... I'll take LeBron's physical body with MJ's mental instincts. 

Even if such a player were to exist and you substitute LeBron with him, there's still zero chance Cleveland will beat the Golden State. In less than a fortnight's time the basketball world will be crowning its newest dynasty. 

Red cafe. 

Red cafe.