Since the start of their record-setting 2015-2016 campaign, the Golden State Warriors have occupied the same annoying space in my mind as Donald Trump.That’s not to say the Warriors are a bunch of racist, sexist morons (far from it, they actually seem pretty normal and down to Earth in interviews). No, for me, the comparison begins and ends with just two striking similarities: Trump and Golden State’s respective stubborn refusals to go away (or lose), and the endless media coverage surrounding each.Let’s start with all the winning. Whether it’s Trump’s propensity to offend, champion fascism, or just show himself to be uninformed on a whole range of issues, no gaffe’s been able to topple him. Even when confronted by savvier politicians who could serve up a platter of smooth-sounding bullshit, The Donald doubled down: he blamed Bush for 9/11 and romped to an easy primary win in South Carolina!
Likewise, no matter how often this season the Warriors have dug themselves a hole and fell behind credibly capable teams who they could be excused for losing to (such as the Thunder), they never have. Sure, they’ve laid some eggs like Games 3 and 4 of the Western Conference Final, but they’ve always followed those up with preposterous runs where they resemble something out of a video game, nailing half-court shots, in-his-prime Dwayne Wade-style layups, and a boatload of three-pointers along the way.
Which brings me to the bigger issue — all that media attention. While Trump’s rise has given way to a certain growing dismay, the Warriors’ wins shouldn’t have. But the real irritation stems from the media itself and how it’s handled Trump’s and Golden State’s modern dynasty. You know all those thinkpieces about whether or not the media should be blamed for “creating” Trump? Well, the numbers don’t lie — and even if journalists didn’t birth this monster, they’ve constantly breathed life into him in the pursuit of YUGE ratings.
Likewise, the Warriors have to have been a bit of a salve for networks like ESPN, who in response to a massive decline in viewership have pushed the Warriors and their show — Steph Curry in particular — for all it’s worth. And remaining viewers like me have borne the brunt of that. While there’s nothing inherently unlikable about the Warriors, I don’t love having so much of SportsCenter devoted to Curry’s pregame warmup, Steve Kerr’s painfully transparent dad jokes, or who Draymond Green’s latest beef is with.
Watching Oklahoma City nearly finish Golden State this week brought me far more satisfaction than it should have. In less than two years, a saturation of coverage has turned a fun, young team into a tiresome behemoth, which is why I — a Spurs fan — went all in for the Thunder.
Damn you, ESPN. You’ve forced me to root for LeBron.