For the third straight year, the Cleveland Cavaliers will face the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, and for the third straight year, I will be rooting for the Cavs. As a Celtics fan, it is hard to root for LeBron James, but I cannot bring myself to want the Warriors to win it all. What happened to the Warriors? A few years ago they used to be the team that everybody was pulling for. They play a fast-paced and intriguing style of basketball consisting of many three-point shots and many high scoring games. They had flashy players to get behind such as sharp shooting point guard Steph Curry and his fellow “Splash Brother”, shooting guard Klay Thompson. And most of all, they were the underdog looking to dethrone the best and most widely despised player in the NBA, LeBron James. Everything was set up perfectly for the Warriors to be America’s newfound favorite team. Two years later, the majority of America can’t stand them. Why is that though?
Let’s start off with the players. What were once a group of hard-working and exciting players, are now egotistical, loud-mouthed crybabies. I won’t even mention bench players like two-time Shaqtin’ a Fool champion JaVale McGee or Matt Barnes, who is trolled by every NBA fan base due to his arrogant and pathetic attitude. Curry and Thompson have proven themselves to be bigger whining babies than Curry’s four year old toddler, Riley. During game 6 of last year’s NBA Finals, Curry fouled out. After complaining about the refs throughout the entire series and the entire playoffs, he finally broke down and threw a temper tantrum, throwing his mouthpiece at a fan. After the game, he continued to whine and complain about the refereeing, but he wasn’t the only one. His wife Ayesha got in on the act posting a string of tweets calling the NBA “rigged.” This led LeBron to call them both “sore losers,” something that should only have to be said to ten year olds. Klay Thompson may even be worse. He was very vocal about Cavaliers’ center Timofey Mozgov’s picks calling them illegal screens and dirty plays. He also complained about trash talking before the 2016 Finals, saying it is too aggressive and hurtful. That however didn’t stop him from telling LeBron to man up after LeBron’s trash talking confrontation with Warriors forward Draymond Green.
This year, after losing Andrew Bogut in free agency, the Warriors signed Zaza Pachulia to a veteran’s minimum contract as a replacement starting center. Even he gained hatred over the course of the year and rightfully so. He first was criticized after hitting a routine jumper in a blowout against the Celtics and doing a stupid dance after. He then bricked his next free throw prompting ESPN commentator Jeff Van Gundy to angrily say, “Dance to that.” Then came the all-star game fiasco which saw him get more votes than Anthony Davis and Kawhi Leonard despite being a washed-up NBA bum. He even had the nerve to take credit for the votes. If he was voted in, that would’ve taken a spot away from a player who actually deserved it. Finally, the last straw for Zaza happened in this year’s Western Conference Finals. For years he has been known as one of the dirtiest players in the league. Previously he had taken down Kawhi Leonard by the arm in an MMA move, elbowing Nikola Mirotic and Patty Mills, and slapping Luke Babbitt in the face for no visible reason among others. Down by over twenty to the Spurs in Game 1, Zaza performed an illegal double step close out and undercut Kawhi Leonard’s jump shot and spraining his ankle. Without their star player, the Spurs lost Game 1 and were swept. Zaza showed no remorse for his role in Leonard’s injury as well.
Now, it’s time to finally talk about the two forwards, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green. I can’t even decide which one of these players I hate more. Durant had been widely respected throughout the NBA while playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Fans admired his loyalty, perseverance, strong work ethic, and quiet personality. Well, they did until he threw that all away by ditching his team to join the Warriors who were already regarded as a super team. This move made Durant even more pathetic considering his Thunder were up 3-1 on the Warriors in last year’s playoffs but choked and were eliminated. In earlier years, Durant was known to be a competitor. He even expressed his displeasure of super teams saying that star players should want to fight and compete with them and try to take these teams down rather than joining them. 2010 Kevin Durant would hate himself today. KD continued to receive hate throughout the entire season for his cowardly actions and was branded a traitor and weak. He has continued to stand by his spineless decision claiming he did the right thing, and he couldn’t make every team in the east better. It is tough to see Durant turning more pompous and arrogant by the day, especially because it came out of nowhere.
After much consideration, I have considered Draymond Green to be worse than Durant and the most hated player in the NBA by far. Green has been involved with a lot of controversy in the last couple of years. From sexual harassment, assault, and antics on the court, the media has always seemed to be talking about Draymond Green. In the 2016 NBA playoffs, he kicked Thunder center Steven Adams in the groin, not once, but twice. In the finals that same season, Green went after LeBron’s groin which resulted in him accumulating too many flagrant fouls and getting suspended for game 5. He continued his kicking spree into this year too targeting Allen Crabbe and Kyrie Irving. There is no doubt that Draymond Green is the dirtiest player in the NBA. That enough would be enough to hate him, but he goes beyond playing dirty. After Kelly Olynyk’s illegal screen on Wizards forward Kelly Oubre in this year’s Eastern Conference Semifinals and Oubre’s aggressive retaliation, Green had the nerve to call Olynyk dirty. Even though the screen was hard and not illegal, Green had to run his mouth. The dirtiest player in the league has no place to call other players dirty. Also, Green has attacked other NBA stars verbally. This season he attacked Paul Pierce who was in his last year of his illustrious NBA career. First Draymond was quoted saying to Pierce, “Nobody cares what you did.” Then, during a midseason game between the Warriors and the Clippers, Green yelled at the legend telling him that he isn’t Kobe Bryant and that he isn’t good enough for a “farewell tour.” At this point, Green is better off shutting his mouth. Prima donnas who think they are better than they are should shut up, play, and respect the legends.
If the Warriors players somehow didn’t make you hate them anymore, their fans certainly will. Oracle Arena is the national breeding ground for bandwagon fans. People who have never watched a game of basketball in their lives become Warriors fans and talk crap when the Warriors win. Thousands of people with no attachment to the Bay Area whatsoever sport Warriors jerseys and say they are Warriors fans. Even when they play away, there is still a large amount of Warriors fans present that have probably never set foot in California in their lives. This may just be me, but you root for the team where you are from, not the teams that are the best. Bandwagon Warriors fans who know absolutely nothing about basketball should take my advice for Draymond Green and shut up.
And how could I possibly forget ESPN and the NBA, the two biggest contributors to why everybody hates the Warriors so much. One cannot turn on ESPN without hearing Curry or Durant’s name and talking about how good the Golden State Warriors are. A little note to ESPN: people get bored hearing the same things over and over again. After a while, people start to lose interest and become irritated when they are subject to the same commentary day in and day out. The sad thing about this though is that ESPN builds off of the NBAs previous actions. Knowing that the Warriors play an attractive brand of basketball, NBA executives seethe team as a gold mine. Constantly publicizing the Warriors will give them more ratings. It is evident that the Warriors get the benefit of most questionable calls by referees. The NBA and ESPN want them to win because it will give them higher viewings and a lot more money. People dislike the Warriors in the same way they disliked LeBron James. In the past, LeBron would be talked about all the time on TV. LeBron would get all of the calls. It was clear that LeBron was the desired winner for the NBA and major sports networks. Now, however, LeBron is the underdog trying to beat the “evil” Warriors. The Warriors get the calls and the coverage. The Warriors are the one’s always crying and complaining, not LeBron. The time is here for people to realize that they are sick of the Warriors. And it shows.