Posts Tagged ‘NBA’

The Art of Fair Weather Fandom

December 12, 2012

imageI know what you’re thinking: Jeremy, how would you know? You are the most hardcore, dedicated, handsome Dodgers and 49ers fan this side of Matt Kemp!

First of all, thank you. I agree. And yes – believe it or not, Dodgers star center fielder is a diehard 49ers fan.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t know a thing or two about fair weather fandom. Take, for example, the fact that I “root” for the Seattle Sounders because my ex-girlfriend’s dad got me hammered drunk at the only game I’ve attended.

As far as I know, that’s the coolest soccer team in the country because of one very hazy experience I had.

Or let’s talk about the Indiana Pacers; Reggie Miller was my favorite NBA player growing up, so naturally, I rooted for the Pacers. It was weird, unique, different. And like a good little Jew, I loved three-pointers (It’s the SAME thing, for one more point! Why doesn’t everyone just shoot threes?).

We all know Reggie was the three-point master. And don’t mistake “fair weather” for “frontrunner.” Those are vastly different labels. I liked the Pacers, good or bad, because I thought they were cool.

I like the Sounders because the beer at their stadium does very interesting things to my body when taken in large quantities. Honestly, I have no idea if they are any good and I don’t care.

Being a “frontrunner” means you live near the Bay Area and didn’t know what a baseball looked like until 2010 when the local San Francisco Giants won their first World Series title. If you now root for them, wear their gear, and try to tell me why they are the best team around – you are a frontrunner. Once they regress, so does your fandom. And that year’s World Series champion will grace your clothing.

On the contrary, being a fair weather fan means you root for a team for whatever reason, but only pay attention when you feel like it. That’s how it goes for me with basketball. It’s a sport I mostly understand, but never really played and definitely can’t objectively analyze.

I’ve been a fair weather Warriors fan for years (very obvious example of not rooting for a first-place team), but luckily I don’t have to put my heart and soul into rooting for them. So all those tortured fans out there probably both hate and envy me.

Tonight, the Warriors beat the defending-champion Miami Heat and reigning-MVP LeBron James. I turned it on for the sheer idea of a distraction and because my alma mater’s pride and joy, Klay Thompson, now graces the Warriors’ front court.

Twenty seven points for Klay later, the Warriors were jumping up and down on the Miami home floor, celebrating a two-point victory and the continuation of a gritty, undefeated (so far) road trip.

I found myself leaping out of my seat when the final buzzer sounded – emotions usually reserved for a Vernon Davis touchdown or Clayton Kershaw anything.

And that is the art of fair weather fandom. If you can watch a team play a game and feel no personal connection to them, but still become emotionally moved by their performance, you can root for them.

Just admit that you are fair weather, and nobody will get hurt. Tonight, I admit to being a fair weather Warriors fan. For the rest of this season, I am officially declared as a supporter of the Dubs (see, I even have the lingo down!).

I mean, why not? Technically my favorite basketball team is 1-0 this year when I watch them play and as their biggest fan, I couldn’t be happier.

If you are a fair weather blogger, follow Jeremy on Twitter @Jamblinman!

Advertisements

Monday, July 9th, 2012: The 2nd Worst Day of the Year

July 10, 2012

The worst part of the first worst day of the year is that it comes two days after the second worst day of the year. So today is technically worse than Monday in my world. But we’re talking about number two. I don’t think I can handle number one.

No, I didn’t get fired or dumped. No, the Dodgers didn’t lose (in fact, the National League won the All-Star Game…so THERE!). No, my pets’ heads aren’t falling off.

But Monday was one of two calendar days the entire year that no MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL games were scheduled. None. Zero. I…nearly cried.

I don’t even really watch hockey. But if it was on, I would have made an exception. Instead, I was stuck with the always-entertaining Home Run Derby that had as much significance to the 2012 baseball season as the Pro Bowl has on…life. And stuff.

Tonight, I had the ESPY’s as an option. Thankfully, it was my father’s 87th 57th birthday…so I got out of the house instead of watching a glammed-up popularity contest.

But do you know how I felt turning on MLB Network only to see fluff and replays of ancient All-Star Games? Or turning on Sportscenter to find cricket as the lead story?

Like this.

That was about apocolyptic as it gets for someone like me. Taking sports away from me is like stealing a rattle from a baby. A bone from a dog. A joint from Tim Lincecum. The sports gods took away the thing I’ve loved my whole life and left me hopeless, cold and alone.

Have you ever watched one of those awful documentaries about drug addicts having withdrawals and recovering in rehab? That was me. Scratching at myself, shivering, foaming at the mouth. It was really uncomfortable.

Technically there was ONE game tonight. Real athletes in real uniforms playing a real sport in a real stadium in front of real fans. But it was the MLS and it was two Canadian teams.

So, my sickness remained.

Luckily, I have great friends and family to pull me through rough days like this. My girlfriend and one of our close friends (through the MLB Fan Cave process, naturally) had a perfect remedy for my illness.

No baseball, football, basketball, hockey, curling, darts, poker, Bolivian shuffleboard or even NASCAR on TV? No problem.

Because I went to a Minor League baseball game. Thanks for pretending you’re surprised.

Why We Do It

June 24, 2012

I use the term “we” loosely. As much as I hate to admit, I’m no longer an athlete. Unless throwing a dog toy in a game of fetch qualifies as a professional sport these days.

That being said, I do still have the mentality of an athlete when I watch my favorite teams play. So I can understand what’s going through most of their heads, just on a much smaller scale.

And this blog is therefore dedicated to the people that can’t understand. The people who never cared for sports. The ones who don’t realize what winning a championship actually means.

So why do we do it? Why do athletes dedicate days and months and years to becoming the most physically fit, knowledgeable, intimidating players in their respective sports, just for the chance to hold a shiny trophy amid a sea of confetti?

I wish I could tell you it was simply the desire to be the best. To conquer all, and stand on top as a member of the best team at (insert sport here) in the world. But there’s much more to it.

At every level of sport, your body and mind go through amazing transformations as you exhaust them all day, only to be put to rest at night and yanked awake in the morning for the same grueling routine.

And imagine being Ernie Banks. Or Charles Barkley. Barry Sanders. Guys who did it at the highest level, yet never had that ultimate glory of victory. Was it a lifetime of preparation and practice wasted?

Not even a little bit. While never winning the big one would surely be bittersweet, athletes thirst for the competition. They compete because they love playing their sport.

Being an athlete is essentially the same as being a singer, actor, writer, lawyer, executive – you strive to be great every day, oftentimes in competition with others. Monetary reward is fantastic, but in the end, in typical heartwarming fashion, everyone competes for the thrill and the self-fulfillment of a job well done.

Nothing exemplifies the way athletes feel about that pursuit of victory better than this slow-motion screen shot of LeBron James hugging the NBA Finals trophy for the first time. Finally. I don’t think anything will ever portray the feeling better.

For people dismissing LeBron and that “just one championship” don’t understand how much is put into winning that shiny golden ball. Everything described above, plus pitting himself against the best athletes in the world both mentally and physically, on the largest stage imaginable…and winning?

That is the epitome of victory, and it’s exactly why we play sports.

When Haircuts Go Bad

May 17, 2012

Honestly, I could use a trim myself. I can’t decide between going full Bryce Harper or half-Manny, half-Coco Crisp. What do you think? Personally, I’m fond of the latter combo (commonly known as the Afred…Afro Dreads).

No matter which janky SuperCuts I go to though, I guarantee they can’t pull off the artistic magic that someone in San Antonio did for this middle schooler.

First of all, let’s just take a second to stare in wonder and amazement at the ridiculous carvery in that young boy’s hair. The resemblance is uncanny. Secondly, I don’t know much about basketball, but I DO know that Matt Bonner is NOT a big deal. So it’s hilarious that this kid worships a role player.

But hey. To each his own. I worship Alex Smith and I think we all know I’m in the minority there.

Now let’s get to the real issue here. Aside from jealousy over this mystery hair stylist’s marvelous skills, why in the world would school officials at this kid’s middle school be considering an in-school suspension for him (which, funny enough, is even worse than a normal suspension…as the article mentions, who doesn’t want to be sent home from school at that age?)?

It’s not gang-affiliated, nor offensive in any way. Well, maybe to fans of other teams in the Western Conference, who are tired of getting smashed by the Spurs. Is there something menacing about a red-headed, soft-spoken back-up NBA player whose only previous claim to fame is that his last name nearly resembles a word that makes me giggle?

I don’t see it. If schools are going to restrict the type of clothes students wear, I understand. But mandating what kind of haircut is legal is ridiculous. The only thing Matt Bonner is guilty of is being too boring. There is nothing associated with a picture of Bonner that should make school officials offended or squeamish. Hah. Bonner.

By all means, administrators…go ahead and continue to let kids bring switch blades to school, text test answers to each other and smoke pot under the bleachers. But God forbid you allow anyone to shave a picture of their role model into the back of their heads. Riots might ensue!

Lastly, I just want to point out that while school officials everywhere are certainly flexing in the mirror, they are overlooking something rather important.

Bonner is boring, yes. But he was also a straight-A student his entire academic career until he received one “B” in college. If anyone should be a role model for your young students, it’s a public figure such as an NBA athlete who actually has a college degree and good study habits.

Long live the Bonner cut. I dig it.

Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Jamblinman!

Hatin’ on Haters (Again)

March 20, 2012

If you’ve forgotten already, one of my favorite pastimes is hating on haters. I wrote a scathing blog about people who hated on LeBron James for riding his bike to an NBA game. And I’m about to hate on the second most hated man’s haters this time around.

This is actually more of a statement on Journalism in general, but here goes:

Who would EVER want to work for a tabloid newspaper? I understand that if you are a Journalist in New York you are either into tabloids, politics, money or unemployed. But the mere fact that Alex Rodriguez brought his 20-year-old niece on a birthday shopping spree is not fodder for news.

Today is a bad news day. On Yahoo! mail earlier, there were two news stories. The lead story: Beyonce Flaunts Postbaby Look. Buried below it: Search for Missing Teen. Excuse me while I go punch humanity in the face.

My point is, why are people so enamored with what celebrities are and are not doing? Unless Beyonce is naked or has some kind of Cloverfield-style deformity that will just blow my mind, I don’t really give a hoot about that story.

Similarly, if Alex Rodriguez had laid a forearm shiver to the Easter Bunny in the middle of Central Park while cracked out on hard drugs, I’ll read. Because that would be hilarious no matter who it was. But if A-Rod was trying to give his niece a gift, but accidentally mis-read the return policy, this isn’t news.

If A-Rod had gone back with a baseball bat and shredded the register with a few big cuts, it’s news. Even if the tabloids had taken an angle like how did he afford all that?, it would have been stupid but at least relevant to the situation. It seems to me that Rodriguez and his sister need to have a little chat, because what people are forgetting is that the $17,000 he reportedly spent is literally one at-bat over the course of a season.

You know what I want to see? A story on A-Rod where the journalist sits him down, and says “What do you love about baseball?” Or something to that effect. Because I’m tired of seeing him share popcorn with a girlfriend (wow, what a unique experience!) or bring his own food to restaurants in order to cater to the public’s hypocritical demands that he constantly be in shape and performing on the field to justify the millions of dollars he makes from our own grabby, nacho and beer-buying hands.

Give the guy a break. He did something nice for a family member. Then he ran into a normal, human, every day problem that just happened to have a much bigger price tag attached to it. One that he can afford. He’s human, these things happen.

Not only am I boycotting Yahoo! mail, but I’m done living here. I’m taking my talents to South Beach. And I’m picking up Alex on the way. Me, him and LeBron are gonna go chill. Give us a ring if you want to kick it (especially LeBron, he could really use a ring…ZING!).

Warriors Trade Monta Ellis to Bucks – Let’s Talk Hoops

March 14, 2012

I’m not going to pretend I’m a basketball expert. It’s my fourth favorite sport, followed closely by beer pong and curling, so you can imagine my knowledge level of the actual intricacies of the sport. But, I still watch it, follow it and enjoy it.

For example, I was one of the guys camping in the snow for hours days before Washington State basketball games in college. NCAA hoops are a little different, because you feel a certain loyalty to your team. But I don’t think being infused with school spirit is all that different from being full of Golden State Warrior pride.

Again, I’m a fair-weather fan. I like watching the Dubs play, but I mostly root for them because I live nearby. When they drafted Klay Thompson out of Washington State this year, things changed. My interest spiked and the losses started to hurt a little more, especially when Klay played poorly.

For the most part this season, Thompson has been studly. You could almost argue that he was the driving force behind a couple Warrior wins so far. Forget that he’s just a year younger than me; it’s like watching your first-born child having success – Klay was the pride and joy of Washington State basketball while I was there.

With that said, the only reason I love the trade Golden State made with Milwaukee last night is because Thompson should be getting more playing time. But for the life of me, I can’t figure out how the trade benefits the Warriors, other than dumping Kwame Brown on another poor, unlucky, gullible team.

Can someone please explain why Warriors fans should be excited about getting a talented center who spends more time limping than breathing? Or why taking Stephen Jackson off the Bucks’ hands as a favor for the small price of $10 million makes any financial sense?

Is there anybody out there with a better knowledge of basketball who can comfort me on the fact that we won’t be seeing superstar Monta Ellis or up-and-comer Ekpe Udoh in a Dubs uni again? What exactly are the Warriors left with for this season’s frantic playoff push or to look forward to next season?

If Golden State doesn’t get one of the first seven picks in next year’s draft, they don’t HAVE a first-round pick. And at three games out of the eighth spot in the Western Conference, dealing with a significant roster downgrade, what is there to smile about? Somebody please answer these questions for me. I’m lost and confused.

Well, at least Klay will get some more play. He might hit a trey. Win the day. For Crimson and Gray. Oh, that was college. Nevermind. Fancy rhyme though, huh? See! I told you I was confused.

But now our best player is David Lee. And Steph Curry’s got game for days but can he even walk? We know Bogut is out for the rest of this season. And I’d imagine all Stephen Jackson will bring is a little toughness and a lot of divatude to a team that doesn’t tolerate such things.

So much for Mark Jackson’s playoff guarantee. It seems like this season is now headed for the shitter. Let’s just hope the shitter has one of those lucky seven picks involved in it.

I’ll stick with March Madness until the next NBA season. Oh. What? Washington State isn’t in? Damn it.

Oh, and I have a question for you NBA fans. Is THIS normal? How in the world are the Magic, or any team for that matter, willing to give a star player complete managerial control of an entire franchise, essentially? Sports are OUT OF CONTROL if that is the case.

And speaking of Dwight Howard, wasn’t the whole point of trading Monta to get D12? Desperation, folks. That’s how you end up sleeping with the chick with the missing teeth (Bogut) instead of the super hot bartender (Howard).

This is why I stick to baseball and football. Give me some roided up outfielders and head-hunting DBs any day. Because I have to, Go Warriors. Go Klay. Screw the NBA.

Please comment below – tell me why I should never talk basketball again. And if so inclined, teach me something. I’m ready to learn. I need clarity. Someone enlighten me!

Follow me on Twitter @Jamblinman and feel free to smack-tweet about sports all day. I have nothing better to do. Clearly. Until tomorrow, enjoy a panda attacking a pumpkin.

 

No Wonder

February 28, 2012

No wonder the economy stinks. Terrell Owens is having two Dallas-area condos auctioned off soon. Because he blew all $80 million he made playing in the NFL. Eighty million dollars? How? I can make $80 last a month, and this dude blew $80 million in a decade. Or just under a million a month. He deserves to be bankrupt. Sorry I’m not sorry.

Athletes and former athletes blowing their big fortunes has been a problem in sports (especially the NFL and NBA) for years now. With greater fortune, comes greater risk and responsibility. Unfortunately, according to the radio this morning, over half of former NFL and NBA players are now out of money. I don’t know where it’s all going, but I assume to mansions, cars and diamond-encrusted watches.

I can understand the desire to own such things. I’d like a fancy car someday. I even have my house plans already sketched out (and it ain’t gonna be cheap). And I also know what it’s like to spend my money stupidly. You know what you’re doing as you do it. Sometimes you stop, most of the time you go ahead, justifying it with the assertion that you have another paycheck coming next week, or that you’ll be able to pay if off a few months later.

Well, it doesn’t work like that. If you make $80 million, you factor in losing some to taxes. You factor in the cost of living, whether that be extravagantly or otherwise. You factor in bills and rent and gas money. You factor in paying for food and services and education for your family. That leaves a multi-millionaire with…oh, I don’t know. Multiple millions of dollars.

So, how did T.O. blow such a huge chunk of change in ten years? I don’t know and I don’t care, it just frustrates me beyond belief. Balancing a checkbook takes 10 seconds and is a very simple skill to learn. Hell, hire an accountant to take care of it for you. You have the money.

But instead, players like Owens are turning their ridiculous contracts into ridiculous debts. And I really don’t feel bad. Not because I’m jealous that they are professional athletes making millions of dollars. I am, that’s for sure, but that’s not why I don’t sympathize. It’s because besides the physical commitment that goes with being a celebrity/athlete, there are three things you need to be able to balance: your relationship with teammates, your relationship with the media, and a damn checkbook.

Which of the three sounds most difficult? If you answered option C, you’ve won a prize! Oh wait…Owens was sponsoring this blog and now can’t afford to give you a prize. Sucks to be you.

It’s hard for me to justify being upset that Roger Goodell makes so much money anymore. Because I hear about things like this, where it’s so fiscally irresponsible that I just want to run around screaming and punching walls, and I just can’t comprehend. Most of us sit in a cubicle and type e-mails for 40+ hours a week. And these guys who are blessed with the physical tools to compete at the highest level of sport in the world, are taking it completely for granted.

Tell ya what, T.O. I know you’re looking for a job. So, let’s trade. You take my job and I’ll audition for NFL scouts. I’ll tell you one thing for sure. If I make a roster and get a fat paycheck for catching a freakin’ football and running away from scary-looking dudes, I won’t treat it like Monopoly money.

Rant, end.

And the Oscar Goes to…

February 27, 2012

…Angelina Jolie for her skeleton-in-a-dress outfit! Yay for jokes that are already old. But seriously, when did she go from being super hot to just kinda creepy-looking? Way to go, Brad.

I hate Mondays. We all do. While I was laying in bed this morning after being woken up by this glorious song (daily routine – try it, you’ll love it…money-back guarantee), I was brainstorming what to write for Jam Shots today. And by brainstorming, I mean my brain was starting like a car in the snow. Enough to keep me breathing, basically. And after I valiantly wrestled (and lost) with the idea of calling in sick to work due to exhaustion/Monday morning blues/nomotivation-itis, it dawned on me.

I can write an entertaining, sports-related blog that is timely because it is formatted after an awards show. And it will be fun and easy. Like I need Mondays to be. So, here goes:

Best Supporting Actor – LeBron James: I love the guy, and he’s the best athlete in the NBA, but let’s be real here. He’s not the go-to guy. Every player, coach and fan in the Miami Heat organization wants the ball in Dwyane Wade’s hands with the game on the line. I didn’t watch the NBA All-Star Game this weekend (nor the dunk contest…I was watching water boil instead. I found it much more exhilarating), but even Amish folk must have heard that LeBron passed up a game-winning shot with Kobe prodding him on.

Best Director – Davey Johnson: Okay, this is a completely unjustified selection. But so was Nick Nolte not winning best supporting actor for Warrior at the real Academy Awards. I don’t care that I haven’t seen the performances of the other four actors in that category. Good for that old dude for winning, but Nolte is old too. And he made me cry multiple times in that damn movie. Oh, right…Johnson. He’s the manager of the Washington Nationals. So this selection is based on my prediction that the Nats take home the N.L. East title this year. That’s an accomplishment that will undoubtedly win Johnson a Manager…er Director, of the Year award.

Best Actor – Kevin Durant: I’m just using simple logic here. The All-Star Game pits the best players in the game against each other. The MVP is the best player in a given league. If A + B = C, and B + C = A, then…oh, hell. I don’t know. But Durant took home the MVP honors in yesterday’s All-Star Game, therefore making him the best player in the NBA. It doesn’t exactly work like that, but he may be on track to lead the league’s best team to the NBA Finals. He’s going to be a front-runner for MVP and deservedly so. The Durantula is super fun to watch, and has an awesome nickname.

Best Picture – Moneyball Baseball: Yes, baseball in general. We’re fully into Spring Training. Which means we don’t have to pretend to care about the shortened NBA season or the Sharks lookin’ like a bunch of bums out on the ice. With the brief exception of March Madness, the next 8 months is all about the diamond. Fresh grass, sunflower seeds, incredibly uncomfortable jock protection, and fuzzy, green mascots. If we’re really talking films, take this into consideration. Some dude on Twitter last night during the Oscars had the balls to Tweet to Jermaine Dye that Moneyball was the best baseball movie ever made. I about fell out of my chair. I’m going to hunt that Tweeter down and shove a copy of The Natural (or The Sandlot. Or A League of Their Own. Or Field of Dreams. Or Bull Durham. Or The Rookie. Or Hardball, even. Get the point?) up his ass.

My version of the Oscars has four awards. Sorry I’m not sorry. And sorry it’s only men. I don’t know enough about women’s sports. But I presume Meryl Streep would be nominated in every category and I hope Octavia Spencer would win one of them, because her speech was awesome. Okay, bye now.

Thunderstruck

February 20, 2012

As much as I want to just go on and on about my MLB Fan Cave campaign and how it’s now down to the final two days before they cut us to 30, there’s one story in the NBA I just can’t ignore. And that is the Oklahoma City Thunder’s dismantling of the Denver Nuggets the other night. Wait, dismantling? They won by six and it took overtime to get the dubya. That confuses me greatly considering the information immediately following this paragraph. But that’s a blopic for a different day.

What I want to discuss is the insanity that the big three on the Thunder brought to the floor. Holy. Smokes. Everyone knows Kevin Durant is a scorer, but 51? Everyone know Russell Westbrook can ball, but 40? And Serge Ibaka (er…Iblocka) has tons of potential, but a triple-double that included 11 blocks? That’s just absolutely ridiculous.

It was only a matter of time before the Durantula dropped a half-century on us. But the same night that his P.I.C. threw down 40? Which just so happened to coincide with their young big man coming through with a rare, exceptionally dominant triple-double? I don’t know what the odds are of the planets aligning like that, but it’s pretty awesome. Hopefully it isn’t forgotten by the casual fan, like the Dodgers’ back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-walk-off home runs were.

The fans who attended this Thunder/Nuggets game must have been going absolutely bonkers. That would have been a hell of a game to watch if it just went to OT. Or if one of those players had just had a big night. Instead, all of the above occurred and one of the best regular season games we’ve seen in a long time ensued. Okay, so I wasn’t watching. But I wish I had been.

Instead, I was busy campaigning my butt off all weekend for the MLB Fan Cave. Hah, I almost made it an entire blog without a plug. Sorry I’m not sorry. The newest news is this: I stayed up late e-mailing every journalist, sports reporter and radio host known to man in hopes of landing one last big-name interview before Wednesday to get some last-minute exposure. I also finished my second promo video (Sh*t Rivals Say: Giants vs. Dodgers), and contributed to a group one that will be an absolute GEM.

Lastly, I set up one more Facebook event. This one I called 30-for-3o (fingers crossed that ESPN doesn’t sue me for infringement). Meaning, PLEASE vote for me 30 times each today and tomorrow, to get me to the final 30. It takes three minutes to vote 30 times, and if everyone I’ve ever met does it whole-heartedly, I will be running up that vote ladder.

So, I hope you enjoyed KD, Russ West (I immediately regret this awful nickname) and Serge “Iblocka” Ibaka. But I truly hope you enjoy helping a friend out even more.

How About a Little Cougar Lovin’?

February 13, 2012

Yes, I am hoping that title attracts the bulk of 18-24 year old men to this blog. And it should. But for a different reason. I’m talking about my alma mater, Washington State University and our proudest sports product, Klay Thompson. The 11th overall pick in the NBA draft last year is having himself quite a rookie season. And people are finally starting to take notice.

Don’t ask me how this kid didn’t make the rookie-sophomore all-star game, or how he’s relatively unknown outside Pullman, WA and Oakland, CA. And definitely don’t ask Warriors coach Mark Jackson. After a slow start this season, all Thompson is doing in February is averaging 10 points per game off the bench. Not just any 10 though. He discovered his long-range stroke and is hitting treys like Chris Brown hits…nevermind. He’s on fire, is what I’m trying to say.

Thompson was arguably the biggest recruiting coup in Washington State basketball history. Hearing we would have the son of a former first overall pick suiting up got things buzzin’ in Pullman. And Klaymania got off to an early start, when He’s a freshmannnnnn became regular in Beasley Coliseum as Klay’s sweet stroke started enveloping the student section.

By his sophomore year, he was far and away the best player in crimson and gray on the court every single night. And by his junior year, he was dropping 40+ points in pre-season tournaments, averaging over 20 a game during conference play and on a short list of candidates to even get consideration for National Player of the Year awards. Yet he stayed relatively anonymous, staying away from the spotlight, patiently awaiting his name to eventually be called in last year’s June draft.

The day Thompson announced he was foregoing his senior season at WSU to jump to the NBA, it was honestly like a natural disaster had hit the campus. Our snowy little town of 30,000 people (22,000 students to give you a better idea…) might as well have just been hit by a deadly, contagious disease. Oh, wait that happened too. Anyway, nobody took the news of Thompson leaving harder than me. Sure, I was graduating but I still was looking forward to him leading my Cougs on a final NCAA run.

Then, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean in June, I received an e-mail. Then another. And another. And finally one from my Mom with the press release attached: Warriors select Klay Thompson 11th overall in draft. As in the Golden State Warriors. As in the team that plays 25 minutes from my house. I was giddy. I ran down the halls of the ship looking for my fellow Cougs. I found them. And we celebrated this little stroke of luck.

Now that little stroke of luck is coasting on the big stroke of Thompson’s right arm. He’s quickly becoming one of the best overall rookies of the 2011 draft. He’s helping the Dubs stay afloat in their quest to return to the postseason. He’s trying to be a savior for a franchise which, save for 2006, has been a league doormat for years because of bad coaching, a lack of star power, and failed drafts.

But as Thompson continues to sink three’s and make pinpoint passes and play suffocating defense, Pullman and Oakland won’t be the only places noticing the gold mine the Warriors stumbled upon. Forget former Warrior Jeremy Lin and all his hype. Thompson is the real deal and he’s here to stay. I assure you, if his clutch, late-game heroics continue, the Warriors will find a way in eventually. And you’ll have a young, silent assassin to thank. Go Klay Thompson. And as always, Go Cougs.


%d bloggers like this: