No Matter How Hard You Try, You Can't Hate The Golden State Warriors

by John Flynn
Getty Images

The best teams in NBA history have always attracted their fair share of ire, and they deserved it for one reason or another.

Phil Jackson's Lakers employed a killer as shooting guard. Pop's Spurs have reduced the available playoff spots in the West to seven for the last 15 years.

LeBron's Heat assaulted free agency tradition, assembled a super squad and threw a championship parade before ever touching the court.

But the Warriors have skirted this hate because hating the Warriors is like hating the Taj Mahal or Yosemite or Beethoven.

They are an unparalleled feature of this planet.

They're like a humble Gaston — no one does what they do as well as they do, and has as much fun while they're doing it.

Draymond Green deserves an All-Star bid for giving the team adaptability and personality as a condor-winged, fleet-footed cinder block, but the Warriors are who they are because they built their team around a cheat code.

Getty Images

Steph Curry is literally off the charts.

He is shooting more shots than anyone in the league by far, and making them at an astonishing clip.

He effortlessly drains buckets from distances usually reserved for end-of-quarter heaves.

He shimmies through the teeth of defense to hit scoop lay-ups off the glass, at angles that would make Euclid weep.

He plays the game at a rhythm that no else has discovered, sliding through grooves and cracks only he can see, only he can squeeze through, and only he would be bold enough to even attempt to split.

He is a just-above-average sized human, wreaking havoc in a league full of physical freaks.

He is the MVP and the league's most improved player. He is the one-hunnid, laugh-cry and prayer hands emojis incarnate.

He shouldn't be able to uncork walk-up threes and sink them at the rate of Ray Allen alone in a gym on a Sunday morning.

He shouldn't be able to slalom through futilely swiping defenders like Indiana Jones in a boobytrapped labyrinth.

He shouldn't be able to make a slip n' slide, step-back three as casual as Guy Fieri stuffing a giant sandwich into his face.

And yet, he does, and he does, and then he does it again -- until all you can do is expend a roll of duct tape around your head to keep your jaw attached to your face.

I submit you cannot hate the Warriors, for they are built around Steph Curry. And while Steph Curry may be a boring (read: drama-free) person, he's a tremendous basketball player.

Sure, he plays golf with Obama, contributed half the genetics to an absurdly adorable toddler and scuba dives in State Farm commercials.

But he isn't the enigmatic Kobe, nor the unavoidably controversial Iverson, nor the prodigal LeBron.

Steph Curry exists as a blandly benevolent cherub off-the-court, and as a flame-breathing, quicksilver on it.

We only see any semblance of a dynamic personality during his I-Can-Barely-Believe-It-Too celebrations.

And we can't despise the little jigs down the court, or the premature high-fives before a soon-to-be-sunk shot because we're too busy speaking in tongues about his greatness.

Plus, it would take a monastic sense of self-discipline not to stunt a little after successfully pulling off everything every AAU coach benches their point guards for.

But beyond his unavoidable, mythic talent, you can't hate him because he doesn't let you.

He doesn't play in close games that rip your heart out.

Steph steamrolls you then sits draped with a towel during the formality of the fourth quarter, while you try to stop shaking from the excess endorphins that his play elicits.

Getty Images

You can't hate him because he doesn't exist anywhere hatable.

Before any game even starts, you know you're helpless against the Warriors.

The destination is preordained, but the journey is basketball heroin.

Honestly, I want to hate them, but it's like hating Apollo 11 for getting to the moon before you did.

They're magicians, but with none of the faux-hawked braggadocio.

The Warriors just love to explore the summits of basketball greatness that only they can reach, and dance around up there.

You can't hate them for they are doing something brand new, and joyously, and hinting that maybe this is what basketball can be like in the future.

We're in the honeymoon stage, delighted by every nuance and quirk of this transcendent squad. We can't hate what we can barely wrap our minds around.

We can't hate because they haven't given us anything to hate. It's just been a pure, beautiful vision of basketball as it should be played in the modern era.

We can't hate the Warriors, but especially Steph, because they have only let us see something that's like nothing we've ever seen before.