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Whicker: Yesterday’s gone, so let’s appreciate the Warriors as they are

By in Press Enterprise on June 17, 2017

By Mark Whicker

They have won 207 regular season games in the past three regular seasons.

They have played in three consecutive NBA Finals and won two. They have won 11 playoff series, and their flamboyantly communal style has put NBA TV ratings into new orbits.

But it isn’t enough to ask the Golden State Warriors to beat all their contemporaries again and again. Now we ask them to face ghosts.

We say they wouldn’t beat the 1996 Bulls, the 1985 Lakers, the 1967 Sixers, any number of editions of Celtics. We hear they are creatures of a different NBA environment, as if everybody isn’t.

We ask LeBron James to meet the same impossible standard. He’s 3-5 in the Finals and Michael Jordan was 6-0. Therefore James has somehow failed. (Last we checked, eight conference titles is better than six.)

It sounds so much like Bill Swerski’s Super Fans show on “Saturday Night Live.” Who would win between a hurricane and Ditka? Yeah, but what if the hurricane was named Ditka?

This is great barbershop talk but, once upon a time, the media gave the barbershop its information. Now the media is the barbershop itself. Opinion, the more baseless the better, is bellowed through the airwaves at high volume. Why do the Warriors have to compete with AARP members? You would think they have done enough.

Fortunately, hockey fans don’t share that mindset. The Penguins just became the first team in the hard-cap era to win consecutive Stanley Cups, and Sidney Crosby solidified his place atop the game. Yet you don’t hear hockey fans, at least not south of the border, maintain that Crosby isn’t Gordie Howe, or that the Penguins couldn’t hold a candle to the 1977 Canadiens. They have too much respect for the greats, today and yesterday.

NBA fans idealize their teams to the point that nobody […]    

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