The NBA has long been a league of conspiracies and controversies. Just think about it. There’s the Cold Envelope Theory, in which a frozen envelope in the NBA draft gifted Patrick Ewing to the New York Knicks. There’s Tim Donaghy, the former referee who was shaving points and fixing games. Then, of course, there’s the theory about Jordan’s little trip to baseball: that he was actually caught gambling on games by David Stern and the NBA, so instead of suspending their marquee, face-of-the-league player, they told him to go f*ck around in the minor leagues for a bit.
Well, ladies and gents, last night, the opening night of the 2016 season, the Warriors opened a whole new pandora’s box of conspiracy. And this is because I believe the Warriors lost on purpose last night. Daft? Maybe. Crazy? Sure. Woke AF? Definitely. Let me break it down for you.
What did the Warriors have to gain from winning last night? The Golden State Warriors, at the VERY LEAST, will be the number two seed in the West. In all likelihood, they’re going finish as the West’s top seed, but worst comes to worst, they finish top two. After they’re in the playoffs, they’re all but a lock to make it to the finals. They’ve made it to the finals the last two years, and just added the second-best basketball player in the world. Point being, barring a catastrophic injury, the Warriors path to the finals is a good a bet as there is in sports, and a win on the first night of the season would not change that. A win on opening night brings them nothing.
However, LOSING opening night offered far more benefits. First — you don’t show the Spurs your cards. The last thing you want to do is give Gregg Popovich a blue-print to beating you. Second — it immediately ratchets down the already astronomical expectations. People are expecting them to revolutionize the sport, so a loss on opening night immediately brings them back down to Earth and relieves some of the immense pressure that has already been placed on them. The Warriors went 36-0 last year before losing, and you’re going to tell me on opening night, in their own building, with the best starting five in basketball, that they’re going to get systematically ethered in a 29-point blowout? Not buying it.
So stay woke on this one folks, because the Warriors are scheming on all of us. They’re going to lull us to sleep with a relatively middling first half, then start blowing the doors off people after the All-Star break. After all, the Warriors learned last year how important it is to manage expectations.
The Warriors lost the opening game on purpose. NBA conspiracy theory of the year.