With Kevin Durant on the mend and the Warriors having subsequently lost two games in a row, the sky is officially falling in Oak-town. The Warriors are going to go to the playoffs this year, get swept by a team below .500, and then disband. They’re never going to win another championship again, they’re never going to win another playoff series again, and they’re never going to win another game again. Hell, they may even cease to exist. They’re literally DONE. Finished. Finito.
That’s an absurd alternate reality. I wish it existed, but sadly, it doesn’t.
Now that I’m back in a realistic frame of mind I’d like to talk about some thoughts I had while watching the Warriors lose to the Bulls on Thursday night.
Joseph S. Lacob
Stand up if you know who Joe Lacob is! *The crowd of 7.5 billion remains seated* Let me tell you a little about him. Lacob is the Golden State Warriors majority owner, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, and the man who made one of the most arrogant statements of the 21st century.
Back in March of 2016 — when the Warriors were in the highest state of their invincibility — Mr. Lacob was feeling a little bold. In an interview with The New York Times, Lacob said, “We’re light-years ahead of probably every other team in structure, in planning, in how we’re going to go about things.”
When Lacob made the statement, it was arrogant, ignorant, and braggadocio. Fast-forward a year and it’s still arrogant, ignorant, and braggadocio!
I’ll go ahead and ignore all the arrogance the statement encompasses just for a minute to actually assess whether or not it has any credence.
Since the statement was made, the Warriors have blown a 3-1 lead, blown up a good portion of their roster for another superstar — a roster, I might add, that was “light years” ahead of the rest of the league, and watched said superstar go down at the hands of an injury that, in the past, has taken most athletes at least six weeks to heal — this is actually really unfortunate and I hope Durant gets better quickly.
The blown 3-1 lead speaks for itself. Would any team “light years ahead of the competition” pull off the biggest choke job in Finals history? I’m going to say no.
As for the roster revamp, I’d like to pose a question for Mr. Lacob: If your team was so far ahead of the competition and you and your staff are so much smarter than the rest of the peasants running NBA teams, why did you find it necessary to overhaul your entire roster this past offseason? *The GSW fanboys then run out of the woodwork and defend the overhaul by citing it as being excellent due to it bringing them Durant* Touché GSW fanboys, but riddle me this: How successful have super teams been in the past? The 2004 Lakers with Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Gary Payton, and Karl Malone won zero championships. The ‘Big 3’ Celtics with Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett won one championship in five years. The LeBron-Wade-Bosh led Heat of 2010-2014 won just two championships — still a high success rate, but more was initially expected. And, I almost forgot, does anyone remember the good old 2012 Los Angeles Lakers? They trotted out a Kobe-Dwight-Gasol-Nash lineup and they won………………..ZERO CHAMPIONSHIPS!
Super teams look great on paper, but they’re a bit overrated. And again, if Lacob & co. were so mind-blowingly smarter than everyone else, why did they overhaul their entire roster after all the success they had just had? Why didn’t Lacob just use his otherworldly wisdom and school his peers once or twice or thrice times more in the draft? Maybe he’s just so afraid of LeBron he felt he had to make a drastic change in order to beat him.
Lacob’s egocentrism aside, he did a great job building the Warriors through the draft, free agency, trades, etc. But, he may have compromised a large chunk of their future by going for the fancy Lamborghini instead of the old reliable Audi. What do I know, though? I’m just some peasant who knows nothing in comparison to the almighty Joe Lacob.
Now that venom is emanating from my body, I’m going to talk about another Warrior I’m not too fond of.
When Beyoncé came up with the title to her song “Irreplaceable,” I’ll tell you who she wasn’t thinking about: Klay Thompson.
Thompson is literally Mr. Replaceable. I cannot think of a better nickname for him except maybe Mr. 5/14 — in case you were wondering, Curry’s is Mr. 3-1.
I’ll give you the Klay Thompson cycle. What he does is this: he goes nine games in a row where he has a stat line that reads something like 15 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 on 5/14 shooting. Then in the 10th game, he does something ABSURD, like drop 60 in 3.1 seconds — pun intended — or hit 12 threes with his hands tied behind his back while fighting off fire-breathing dragons.
The 10th game then bumps his season averages and viola! He finishes the year averaging 21 points-per-game, 4 rebounds-per-game, and 3 assists-per-game on 45 percent shooting from the field and 42 percent from three. And then some idiot calls him the second best player in the league. Hey, Charles!
It’s Thompson’s inconsistency combined with his inability to do anything but shoot that makes him replaceable. Think about it: He literally can’t dribble, pass, or rebound. And, do you know what else? He really can’t defend! He’s pegged as this lockdown perimeter defender meanwhile he has a -2.2 defensive box plus/minus (DBPM) on the year.
If the Warriors traded Thompson right now, straight up, for Kyle Korver, would they be worse off? I say no. Korver’s smoking Thompson in terms of three-point percentage right now and he even has a better DBPM. Give Korver the looks that Thompson get’s due to the immense talent he’s surrounded with and it’s over.
Korver isn’t the only guy you could sub in for Thompson and still have the Warriors not miss a beat. There’s a bevy of shooters in the NBA who would love his role of stand there, shoot, run down the court, play half-ass defense, run back up the court, repeat.
Try replacing Draymond Green. Who the hell else in NBA history, never mind now, could get a triple-double without scoring 10 points? LeBron? Hakeem? I’m not sure, but it’s not a long list.
Try replacing Curry or Durant. Both make shots 9/10 nights as opposed to Thompson’s 1/10. Curry can pass and Durant can rebound and defend.
Everyone’s replaceable to some extent, but Thompson takes that extent to its boundaries and beyond.
I think that just about wraps it up. There’s turmoil in the Bay Area for the first time in light years, Joe Lacob is an egomaniac, and if I were to be traded from my intramural team to the Warriors for Klay Thompson right now, we’d still win 60+ games no problem.