Dub Nation has always stood poised and tall. The everlasting journey to the pinnacle of the NBA has been filled with devastating losses and rewarding victories. Despite the humble beginnings, loyal Bay Area fans have bled blue and yellow from the start.
We have witnessed heroes ascend and have dreadfully watched some turn into backstabbing rivals. We have watched Mark Jackson preach to the team that triumphed after many failed attempts. Even while facing incessant defeats, we still savored Stephen Curry’s artful shake and bake coupled with Monta Ellis’ notorious 360 layup. The years leading up to the team’s historic battle to finally claim its fourth championship have been filled with moments that should never be forgotten.
With the newfound success, Dub Nation had a wave of new fans: those who did not see the ongoing battles or the history that has decorated Oracle Arena. These “fans” can name only one or two players on the team because of a casual watching of the game. They will buy new jerseys to show off and emphasize their acquaintance with the team. Rather than show their support, they show their affiliation with a fad.
For the “fans” who cheered on Steve Kerr, Curry and Andre Iguodala, it wasn’t always this way. Curry was a hidden gem, until he started receiving hype from NBA analysts. But to us, he has always been our hero. We suffered losses with the team and celebrated minor victories as if they were monumental. As true fans, we endured the many hardships that peppered the road to success.
What separates plastic fans from real supporters is the durability of the support. I don’t just tune in to ESPN on the eve of the finals. Although the finals are the most exhilarating part of the year, there must be due dilligence before the series comes. The true test of support is watching one’s team get snubbed and still remaining loyal.
Disregarding this recent surge of new die-hard fans, Oracle Arena has the best home crowd in the whole league. With booming chants and the Bay Area spirit, we crush all our foes. The gradual climb to the top is not completed without support, whether losing to the Utah Jazz in 2007 or beating the Cleveland Cavaliers during this year’s NBA Finals.
It is true that every fan needs to start somewhere, but being a supporter is not easy. Watching Ellis leave Golden State was as heart wrenching as giving up my future first-born child would be. More than just a team, it was like my family. Watching Mark Jackson leave felt like my my first heartbreak. I had grown to love the team as more than just a team. The members of the Warriors all have a special place in my heart, and it has been hard to let some go.
In 2011, I attended a Warriors game against the Atlanta Hawks. Although the Warriors were not very well matched to take on the Hawks, the arena was packed with fans livening up the atmosphere. Sporting jerseys of their favorite players, the fans stayed to the very end of the game. No one looked down at his or her phone. No one went to get garlic fries. The crowd was as involved as the players, following every move with intensity and devotion. The game went into overtime. People were anxiously at the tip of their seats. The chance of a comeback was minimal, but to the fans, anything was possible. Although the Warriors failed to win that game, the fans looked ahead optimistically. The team had potential, and we knew it.
Now they are the defending NBA champions. We were proven right. I believe that with the fighting spirit of the fans, the team can reach that level once again. Regardless of whether it goes on to bless the Bay Area with more championships or not, we will always support it.
Arjun Sahdev is a sports reporter. Contact him at [email protected]