Warriors, Come Out to Play…!

It was only a week ago that something amazing happened to the Golden State Warriors. I have watched most sports with a distance. It’s a sport for them, not me. But partially, it’s because I couldn’t play much of any sport myself and the moves of an athlete do not inspire me.

But then there’s basketball. It might be because my dad enjoyed watching basketball at home. He, the only male in a household of females found solace in the ball flying across the court to be shot into the baskets. I grew up seeing that. The TV show that would take precedence over the TV that I wanted to watch. The shouts of fans echoed so differently than at a football game and baseball game. It really echoed. So basketball, especially the Golden State Warriors, is nostalgia for me.

But maybe that’s also why I ended up with someone who loves watching sports.

What’s strange to me always is that I have only attended one Golden State Warriors game in Oakland in my life. There was once when i saw them play the Knicks at Madison Square Garden. But that was it. My dad, a fan, was still fairweather to the core, he would watch them on the TV, but to watch them in person, that wasn’t him. So it wasn’t me.

But as the finals approached, I suggested that I buy tickets for my dad. A Father’s Day present, I thought. But then when I brought up the idea, it was the why you waste money! argument. When he could be comfortably sitting at home watching the TV spending no money at all beyond the money he paid for cable and electricity. And after seeing that I would be spending a fortune, I backed down, dismayed.

But it was right before the finals that my dad finally got a texting plan for his cellphone. After every game, he would text me, “What a game!” It was always a rush. A satisfaction in his own fatherhood in reaching out to his daughter whose boyfriend love sports. I would respond, “Yes! What a game!”

During Game 6, I watched it at one of the strangest places—a pho restaurant paired with a boba shop. A small crowd of Asians gathered in front of the TV and I engulfed a noodle salad and an overly sweet boba drink watching the game. It’s one of the few games that I actually understand the rules. The fouls. The reason for passes. Traveling. Dribble once and shoot. For a moment, I felt sorry for the Cavs. “Look Lebron is tired,” Chris said. “He’s dribbling to the net, but not setting up after he passes.”

I saw. At a book reading (of people who don’t watch much sports like me), a writer who grew up in the Cleveland metro asked the audience what people know about Cleveland.

Someone in the front row shouted, “Drew Carey!”

After a pause, Chris yelled, “Sad sports teams!”

The writer paused and smiled. “What else?” she asked.

After a few more responses, she answered, “Bridges.”

Is that Cleveland? Is that the land where sports team have not won for decades? Isn’t it the land of the Cleveland Clinic? Close to Cedar Point?

But I think of the Golden State. My hometown. My place. My childhood. And my dad.

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