Preseason basketball is simultaneously the greatest and worst part of the prelude to the NBA season. The dust will settle on the offseason’s trades, retirements, signings, and international competitions (think the Olympics and FIBA tournaments). Then, the early-fall warmup games will offer hoops fans their first chance since the finals to see honest-to-goodness pro basketball players competing against each other. Emotionally invested supporters eagerly project a season’s worth of hopes, dreams, and aspirations on 48 minutes of, let’s be honest, garbage time.
Got a favorite rookie? One game can convince you that the lopsided draft-day trade was eminently justified. Your favorite bench player will finally break out this year. This will be the season that your team makes it out of the first round, and so on. Emotion laps logic and the fanatical root of fandom is in full effect.
So the stage was set for their opening season blowout: a brutal loss against Kawhi Leonard’s San Antonio Spurs that saw the team struggling to look like a shadow of the squad that nearly repeated as NBA Champions. And the Internet, predictably, melted down. Going 0-1 felt like going 0-82 to fans as well as some more easily swayed analysts. And that’s is why the Golden State Warriors will ‘suck’ — even as they (probably) come out on top of their conference, win 60-plus games, have players in serious contention for league MVP, and make a deep playoff run in the not-so-lonesome, definitely-crowded West.