Steven Birenbaum: Joy in Warriorville

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The Warriors have another championship and Steven Birenbaum has this tribute.

We in the Bay Area are spoiled. I’m not talking about the weather, the electric vehicles or the bespoke lettuces.

I’m talking about the Warriors who won their fourth title in eight years last week.

I must admit, the team’s move in 2019 felt like a wound. If the distance between Oracle Arena and the Chase Center is 20 miles, it felt much greater. And for the first three years, I was content with the City not being able to claim them as champs.

But like the line from Brokeback Mountain, I wish I knew how to quit the Warriors. I can’t.

That they managed to retain their core three, Steph, Draymond and Klay, and have been coached the entire time by the ever-wise Steve Kerr certainly helps. They even brought back Andre Iguodala and his Popeye arms.

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And unlike the Durant years, this year’s team, with Wiggins, Poole, GP2 and Bjelica… well, the sum was greater than its parts.

No matter how much stronger he becomes, Steph manages to look unassuming on the court. Curry is an artist who specializes in getting off shots in the tightest of spaces. I wouldn’t be surprised if he practiced shooting in a mineshaft.

Draymond, on the other hand, can be maddening, with his trash talking and lobbying of the refs. This year he seemed to relish that role a little too much. Still, has there ever been a more talented enforcer in the history of the NBA? The flip side of his histrionics is a will to win that could power a small city. You can’t have the one Draymond without the other.

Of the three legends, the one I admire most is Klay. His arduous journey back – he was out for 941 days with a torn ACL and then a ruptured Achilles – dovetailed with hard times for the Warriors. His candor about the struggles is as inspiring as his jumper is beautiful. It felt so good to see him hoist the championship trophy again and hear his “Holy Cannoli” reaction to being back on top.

So yes, the Warriors had a homecoming parade on the other side of the Bay. But there are bridges and BART and ferries that connect us.

With a Perspective, I’m Steven Birenbaum.

Steven Birenbaum watches the Warriors with his family in Berkeley.

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