I believe in the underdog and the possibility of beating the odds. I believe in David beating Goliath and especially in the Golden State Warriors. Last season they overcame countless obstacles and triumphed over all their naysayers on their improbable journey to making the playoffs and winning their first round series. They are the reason why the NBA slogan is “where amazing happens”.
When the 2006-2007 regular season began for the Golden State Warriors the team was considered a mere stepping stone in the eyes of the other powerhouse teams in the western conference with playoff or championship aspirations. The team had finished in 10th place the previous season and their second leading scorer started off the season on the injured list. The Warriors also had a very annoying monkey on their back, knowing that their team has not made the playoffs in 12 years. Then the season began with no spark and more importantly, few wins.
Watching this team struggle has been a staple in my basketball diet since I could remember but after the all-star break my world was flipped upside down. The Warriors were involved in a major 3 team trade that brought them Stephen Jackson and Al Harington; a move highly in our favor as far as talent, athleticism, and overall skill. With this new-look squad the Warriors started to string together a few wins but with 23 games remaining they needed an improbable streak to make the playoffs. But they did it! They went from a 26-35 record on March 4th to 42-40 and ended the season winning 18 of their last 23 games, becoming the 8th seed and advancing into the 2007 playoffs. The playoff drought had ended but one big obstacle still remained, the Dallas Mavericks.
The Dallas Mavericks, lead by the regular season MVP Dirk Nowvitski, had won 67 games, 3rd most in the history of the NBA. Another added bit of history is that no #8 seed had ever beaten a #1 seed in a 7 game series before. With all this on their plate the Warriors took a deep breath, and dug in. The series began in Dallas and the Warriors showed everyone they weren’t scared, winning one out of two games. Then the Warriors shocked the basketball world by winning their next two games at the Oracle Arena in Oakland. It was as if the Oakland crowd had been dormant for 12 years and suddenly erupted to life. The now famous “WE BELIEVE” t-shirts were worn by everyone in the arena which had brought the most people ever into any arena in California history. The Warriors went on to win the series 4-2 and proved to the world and to myself that miracles do happen.
Odds makers, gamblers, sports analysts, and the whole basketball community could not have been in more disbelief, but the Golden State Warriors have made a believer out of me. I learned through their experience to have faith, believe in myself, in the importance of home (Oracle Arena), and that anything can happen. I have used this as motivation to have harder aspirations and to always give something a shot because I am convinced that an improbability at least gives me a chance. Although the Warriors ended up losing the next series to the Utah Jazz, their experience made the impossible possible, this I believe.