How Warriors Fell So Far in 60 Steps

How Warriors Fell So Far in 60 Steps

You might not know this, you might not believe it … but once upon a time, the Golden State Warriors won the NBA championship.

The big day happened in the spring of 1975, well before things like cable TV, DirecTV, computers, video games, iPads, iPods, CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays, e-mails and the Internet. They swept Washington in the Finals thanks to a transcendent effort from Rick Barry, one of the best 25 players of all time and the finest passing forward of his generation. The following spring, the heavily favored Warriors blew their chance to repeat because Barry fought Phoenix's Ricky Sobers in the first half of Game 7 of the Western Finals, bristled when his teammates didn't defend him, then refused to shoot for the next hour.

And so it began. Three and a half decades later, the Golden State Warriors have morphed into the most tortured franchise in professional basketball. Unlike the Clippers (a perennial laughingstock until recently), the Suns (a classic came-oh-so-close team), the Cavaliers (not even the second-most tortured franchise in their own city) and Kings (historical nomads), the Warriors lack an identity beyond the whole "they suck every year, they always screw up, but at least they have great fans" tag. Doesn't that really mean that their fans are just loyal saps? What keeps them coming back? At what point do you just throw your hands up and scream, "ENOUGH"?

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