Golden State Warriors: The Movie
Everything in the current NBA landscape comes back around to the Golden State Warriors. You see it everyday on Twitter.
Paul George and Carmelo Anthony teamed up with Russell Westbrook? “Have fun losing to the Warriors in five!”
James Harden is the clear front runner for MVP? “Lmaaaoooo Steph better.”
Obviously, it’s for good reason. The Warriors are coming off a three-year run where they went 204-39 in the regular season and came within five points of three consecutive championships. Every key player from last year’s postseason cakewalk is still around, and no amount of early season egg-layings could change the Dubs’ status as clear-cut favorites.
All of this Warriors-centric discussion of course revolves around one main question: how are you supposed to beat these guys?
Unless LeBron James changes teams or brings multiple top-30 players to Cleveland, you realistically aren’t going to assemble more talent than the Warriors have right now. But you don’t necessarily need to in order to beat them.
When James and the Cavs took down the Warriors in 2016, it was one of the greatest sports stories of all-time. The entire thing had a mythological vibe to it. Logic was thrown out of the window, and the incredible power of the sports narrative took control.
Now, with Kevin Durant in the mix, overthrowing this new juggernaut will have to look even more like a sports movie. Realistically, James crushing the Bay Area’s dreams once again is the most likely option. But we aren’t talking sports reality — we’re talking sports fiction. The King reclaiming his throne would be too predictable.
To take down the Warriors, you need something straight out of the imagination. So let’s write the story of the three characters who could star in “Nothing Gold Can Stay: the Impossible Defeat of the Golden State Warriors.”
HIS SUPPORTING CAST: The clumsy center whose career was threatened by injuries, the
NBA flameout who’s getting a second chance
THE STORY: Draymond Green goes full heel, intentionally injuring Thomas’ starting center in the first quarter of Game 7. Just when it looks like the Warriors have another title wrapped up, Thomas goes full Magic Johnson and starts the second half at center, hitting the sky hook over Green to seal the title.
Isaiah Thomas should not be a playable guy in the NBA. I’ve been taller than IT since i was in ninth grade.
He definitely should not be playable in a playoff series against Golden State. To hang with the champs, you need to be able to switch at least three positions defensively, and your offensive attack needs to be just as consistent and controlled as it is explosive.
That’s not IT. Forget three positions, Thomas struggles to guard one. His offensive brilliance is undeniable, but he doesn’t follow the LeBron James model of 28 points and nine assists nightly. Thomas is more 53 points one night, 13 the next. Unfathomable dominance on one possession, only to be swallowed alive by the defense next time down the floor.
But nothing about IT’s career has been logical. That’s what makes him the perfect protagonist of “Nothing Gold Can Stay.”
The Little Guy’s life is already the first two acts of a sports movie. He went 60th in the draft in 2011, the Sacramento Kings unceremoniously let him walk to the Phoenix Suns, who then traded him after less than 50 games. He became an MVP candidate in Boston, and followed the tragic death of his 22 year old sister with an epic 53 point playoff performance against the rival Washington Wizards while he was playing through MULTIPLE injuries.
Just months later, he was traded again.
That’s the most sports movie shit I’ve ever heard.
Everything is there. He’s the NBA’s most lovable figure. After everything he has been through, the entire world would rally around him as he faced off against the evil empire.
Every step of the way it would look like the Warriors were simply waiting to take the series over. Thomas doesn’t have the type of game that could ever logically dominate a series against the Warriors.
But that’s what would make it a story worthy of an Academy Award, not just an ESPY.
HIS SUPPORTING CAST: The grumpy old coach who basketball has left behind, the golden boy point guard who questions Boogie’s antics
THE STORY: Down 3-2 in the series, a fight with his coach at halftime causes Cousins to storm out of the arena, quitting on his team when they need him most. Cousins triumphantly returns with six minutes left in the fourth quarter and, at last, owns up to his mistakes. He dominates the Warriors on both ends for the next 54 minutes of gameplay and secures the Larry O’Brien trophy.
DeMarcus Cousins is antithetical to everything the Warriors stand for. His game is not precise, efficient, or calculated. In a sense he is an extremely modern big, but he has the physique of the exact type of player Steve Kerr and the Warriors have tried to make obsolete.
Most crucially, he doesn’t play the game with joy, the defining aspect of the Curry Warriors. Cousins is furious at all times. Since joining a real basketball team in New Orleans, his outbursts at refs, his ejections, and his tendency to take possessions off have all reduced significantly. But he’s just prickly by nature.
That makes him the perfect antagonist to bring down Golden State. Just imagine Boogie throwing Draymond Green into the post 30 times a game while hip checking Curry into the stands on the other end.
While the Warriors would try to control the pace of the game and run Cousins off the court, the Kentucky big man would be controlling the mood of the game. He would constantly keep the Warriors annoyed, shocked, and angry. Years and years of disappointment and disgust would, at last, result in Boogie’s ultimate victory.
HIS SUPPORTING CAST: A team of Giannis clones
THE STORY: The Greek Freak and an army of identical freaks dominate the Warriors with ruthless efficiency. They dunk the ball every time down the floor and give the Warriors zero room to breathe on offense, having Golden State waving the white flag by the end of Game 2.
When Giannis Antetokounmpo is on, it looks like he is not just the best basketball player, but the only basketball player. During his best games, it doesn’t make sense that anyone is ever able to stop him.
Antetokounmpo is the future; a Greek God with the body of a center, who passes like Stockton and scores like Malone.
He could easily be a cog in a system that attempts to beat the Warriors at their own game. But the way to go isn’t to put him into a system, but to make him the system. Take Antetokounmpo’s DNA and clone him 11 times, creating a basketball army straight out of Marvel.
The Greek Freak can only be held back by sharing the court with mere mortals. The only player who can lift Giannis up is Giannis himself. So you may as well flank him with 11 Giannises.