The groin is sacred. The Golden State Warriors have yet to receive the memo. There is an unwritten rule among every male for time immemorial that the testicles are off limits, bar none, no matter the circumstances. Of course this would not matter to the Warriors. This team has spent two seasons showered with the adoration that they have broken every rule -- three-point machines, unanimous MVP, an era that has supposedly changed everything and forever criticism free. If the constant celebration, bandwagon fan base and Charmin-soft play were not reasons enough to hate -- let Draymond Green's multiple groin violations against Steven Adams during the current NBA Western Conference Finals serve as the lightning rod.
The Warriors are so gosh darn lovable. Lovable to the point it hurts. They are ideal for a six-second Vine culture or video game junkies enamored more with spreadsheets and simulations than actual game action. That aligns perfectly with their superstar, Steph Curry, earning the first-ever unanimous MVP selection, because lord knows voters were not watching Westbrook or James. There is no need to watch when there are percentages and analytics for math wonks to base their decisions. Until now it was impossible to hate them.
Captain America: Civil War proved that the greatest heroes can be questioned. It's okay for heroes to have faults and to recognize their humanity. It makes them relatable. Tell this to the Warriors and their bandwagon. Comic book nerds can handle controversy better than today's NBA fans.
There is an acceptance that Iron Man and Captain America can death match, but for LeBron not to gush over Steph's MVP is somehow beyond the pale. Former NFL coach Denny Green once infamously ranted, "If you wanna crown 'em then crown their ass!" If Dubs are not crowned, prepare for blunt testicular trauma.
There's a vociferous subset of today's basketball culture that has a vested and desperate need for the Warriors to defy gravity. This is proof that analytics triumph over all historical reasoning. That D'Antoni's system and Don Nelson's all-guard vision have arrived, never to leave. They have created fiction on NBA Live and they badly need for it to be true in real life. They lambast anything to the contrary because in the back of their minds, they fear this era may not be as great as the past, and that revisionist history will make it all better.
These are the same people who will laughably point to MJ's three-point percentage as if they are holding exonerating evidence. People that will speak of GOATs with no historical point of reference. Pundits who have never seen Kareem rain any of his 38,387 points, but firmly preach that yesterday's player was some plodding, un-athletic mountain of jello.
These are people whose worldview cannot be shaken. They are far too fragile. To suggest that Westbrook is every bit as valuable as Curry, in a season where Westbrook tied Magic Johnson with a whopping 17 triple-doubles, rocks their foundations. They function by groupthink. It's the only explanation for Westbrook not to receive a single MVP vote, though to raise the question is blasphemy.
None of this is the Warriors' fault. Their duty is to play exceptional basketball, and they do indeed do it dutifully. On the other hand, their entitlement (yes, there's that word) is very much their fault.
The soft calls, the constant whining to the refs, the over-celebratory attitude, the crotch attacks -- all with no repercussion. It's no wonder. Cam Newton gets read the riot act for dabbing and smiling, the Dubs do not eat so much as a playoff foul for their antics, let alone hear any criticism. To watch Thunder-Warriors is to see Westbrook "fall down seven times, stand up eight", while the Dubs cannot own up to an uncalled for kick where the sun won't shine.
This is usually a prime spot for the idiotic debate of intention and flailing to enter. Make no mistake, the family jewels are always off limits. After jarring Steven Adams' "kiwis" in Game 1, Draymond Green went HAM with his kick-outs a second time in Game 3. Two times in the same series -- with impunity. The league has barely slapped him on the wrist. Of course this team feels entitled.
Those morons who wish to argue in favor of Green must take a shot to their own brass. Then and, only then, can they make their arguments. At the very least this will ensure they know exactly what they are talking about, and hopefully, silence their stupidity. Those who suggest Adams was flopping to oversell the call must take a second shot and then, and only then, are they free to opine on who is or is not malingering.
"... In one study, Buckley and McAninch reported that 46 percent of patients presenting with blunt scrotal trauma underwent surgical exploration and were found to have rupture of the tunica albuginea. Operative indications for blunt trauma include suspicion of rupture, expanding hematomas, dislocation refractory to manual reduction, avulsion, and scrotal degloving."
- from emedicine
Any conscionable human being would have been less inclined to make such extreme, targeted moves after the first infraction. Green did quite the opposite -- he doubled down. This is not the first time he has kicked out, but he certainly has not learned any lessons from this.
Following the first incident a touch of adjustment in play might be expected, but Green has made this style of play his thing. Whether or not he was aiming for them, he does not come off remotely remorseful. Rather, Green and team act as if this is par for the course. The reality is that this is the petulance of a team facing a healthy and equal matchup for the first time. Adversity has sunk them to the lows of cheap shots.
It's easy to point to their being down 2-1 against Memphis last year. Again, Memphis was not healthy. The Warriors have never faced true adversity. Every playoff matchup has been against teams playing without their full complement. Even their second-round Blazers matchup bears question marks as the Clippers disintegrated in the opening round.
The upshot of this moment -- kiwis, matchups and all -- is that it is finally okay to hate the Warriors. It's what basketball is all about. The rules of fan-dom. There is no such thing as a unanimous fan-wagon. Without rivalry there is no point in watching.
"And every single meeting with his so-called superior is a humiliating kick in the crotch." - "Synchronicity" by The Police - intentionally taken out of context
Win or lose, the Thunder have given fans a reason to root against the Warriors. Worry not, the Dubs bandwagon will roll on, but the outcome is finally in question. At last, lame-brained suggestions of a four-point line can finally be laid to rest. There is finally a diversity of styles and a reason for fans to engage in debate.
Universal agreement is flat out boring. At last fans can point to a real series in these playoffs. If the Warriors win the championship, there is a blueprint to challenge the "spot-up three league" that threatens to undo the sport. More importantly, whoever prevails in this series can boast the victory was truly earned -- gloves off, cups on, no suspensions.
If the "nut shot heard 'round the world" did anything, it awakened the beast within a talented Thunder team and ignited the anti-Dub nation. Yin finally has a yang.