July 2, 2018. I was sitting in my friend’s living room, watching Marlon! on Netflix (funny stuff, by the way). I was minding my own business, merely being entertained by the hilarity and/or stupidity of Marlon Wayans. Suddenly, my phone vibrated.
“It’s Bleacher Report,” I think to myself.
“BREAKING NEWS: DeMarcus Cousins has agreed to a 1-year, $5.3-million deal with the Golden State Warriors.”
Now it might not be the same for everyone, but this seems like the average setting an NBA fan would have been in when receiving the shocking news. Thus, I can safely assume that nearly every fan had the similar reactions. The same can be said for NBA players; Jae Crowder questioned the point of the 2018/19 season, Jared Dudley hinted at another lockout, and I think Jusuf Nurkic put it best, tweeting “GameOfZones Will be dope."
NBA Players React to Boogie's Move
“I’m Upset!” — the title of Drake’s 2018 hit song (well, one of them, at least), and a description of how I felt in the moment. Just a few weeks prior, I had seen an already loaded Warriors team sweep LeBron and a joke-band-of-players called the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals, marking the second year in a row the Dubs had gotten the better of the Cavs. Now let me be clear: I AM A LEBRON JAMES FAN, NOT A CAVS FAN (don’t at me) and I genuinely felt bad for the guy. He pulled out every trick in his arsenal to comeback from a 3-1 deficit to win the 2016 Finals, only to see the second best player in basketball in Kevin Durant join the 73-9 team he choked a 3-1 series lead to. Toss in that LeBron lost his sidekick in Kyrie Irving via trade and got some hot garbage in return, and J.R. Smith colossal breakdown in the final seconds of Game 1 of this year’s Finals (though why don’t more people get on George Hill for missing the free-throw in the first place?), he’s been through a lot. So naturally, I was happy for him to move to the Los Angeles Lakers, and riding the wave of intrigue and excitement, the Cousins move totally blindsided me. Talk about the rich getting richer.
The following morning, I watched ESPN’s First Take to see what Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman had to say on the move and I was surprised as to what Smith had to say. He called out NBA players for their ridiculous reactions to the move and essentially giving up, when they’re the only people on the planet that can derail Boogie and the Warriors on the route to three-peating. It seemed a tad hypocritical of Smith, as not long after the news broke, he posted a video on a plane expressing his initial shock about the move.
Stephen A. Smith Calls Out NBA Players for Their Reactions to Cousins' Signing
There’s a keyword in that last sentence: initial. And while it’s taken a month, mine has finally worn off. Yes, I’m still mind-boggled that I witnessed a team with two former MVPs in Durant and Stephen Curry, former Defensive Player of the Year Draymond Green, and the ultimate 3 & D specialist in Klay Thompson add another All-Star to their roster. But all things considered, is it really that bad? I mean, we can legitimately call the Warriors a dynasty now, so what makes them hated by all—save bandwagoners—while all other dynasties were praised and loved?
Russell’s Celtics, Magic’s Lakers, Bird’s Celtics, Jordan’s Bulls, Shaq and Kobe’s Lakers (I hope you’re noticing a trend with the league’s two most storied franchises), plus the quietly dominant Spurs, are all dynasties people love to love.
“11 rings in 13 years?!?”
“Bird vs. Magic saved the league!”
For one reason or another, there’s something about each of the aforementioned dynasties that draws in fans. Be it an older generation advocating for basketball in their decade or newer fans who came in admiring one team or player, we all have our excuses. But the true reason we hate the Warriors is jealousy. We wish our team’s management would draft the right players. We wish the players we drafted would reach their full potential and play their roles. We wish that the combination of talent and winning culture would cause free agents to sign join our squads. The Warriors have done all of that; from Bob Myers to Stephen Curry to Steve Kerr, the organization is top-notch. Without any one piece of that team, there’s no way they get DeMarcus Cousins, or even Kevin Durant.
So yes, some will still hate the Dubs for boasting an All-Star starting five once Boogie returns from injury. But be honest with yourselves: don’t you wish your team had that?