When I left the game at half-time, the Los Angeles Clippers were beating the “San Francisco” Warriors, the reigning NBA champions, by 60-47. The Clippers had opened the game with a roar and about 40 points in the first quarter. They were hitting all their shots. I thought the game was in the bag and got into my car and fumbled around with my radio controls to hear the end of the game, but decided instead to listen to satellite radio and updates on the situation in Paris on my drive home to Dana Point. Imagine my surprise this morning to read that the Warriors made a stunning reprise in the second half of the game and won it, 124-117, to maintain their undefeated status for the first dozen or so games of the season.
The Clippers were not actually at “full strength,” as starting shooting guard J.J. Redick was sidelined with back spasms. It is clear any NBA team that is going to take on the new Warriors will need to be on top of their game for all four quarters. But the resurrection of the Warriors as a team to be respected has been great to watch. For decades relegated to the lower rungs of the league and seemingly a team without a town behind it, winning has made all the difference for the Bay Area basketball team. After playing in locations all across the Bay, now a strong proposal for a permanent arena in San Francisco, backed by local politicians and undoubtedly well-heeled Silicon Valley fans and money that respond well to victories, are fueling this new era of great baseball and a basketball team finally to be re-anchored in San Francisco. Not to mention a football team that has a history of winning.