There’s something to be said for people who are, almost by default, happy. They enliven our days even if we can’t understand why they’re so ebullient. For the moody among us, that joy can be grating, especially if it directly conflicts with those of us who share a dour, Schopenhauer-heavy view of existence. But, the Warriors as a team can be like that — the antidote to any sort of pessimistic thinking. Never was this more apparent than when Draymond Green found out the news Steph Curry had only suffered a grade 1 MCL sprain and wouldn’t need surgery.
Before we share this anecdote, we want to underline just how big a blow Steph’s injury is for the Warriors. Curry’s going to win the MVP award, again. And he might even be a unanimous selection, the first one in NBA history. So to lose him, even for a playoff series that might be easier than first expected, could be devastating. But, it’s like Dray is inoculated against that way of thinking.
“I actually found out the Steph news after I went to the practice facility to get a massage,” Green says in part four of his ongoing playoff diary for ESPN’s The Undefeated.
“He was there for treatment time after my massage, and I said, ‘What you got for me.’ He said, ‘Good news.’ I’m like, ‘Good news, huh?’ He said, ‘Real good news.’ So I ask what is it. That’s when he told me what it was. Great news. Hopefully, he can return sooner rather than later. Until then, we have to hold the fort down.”
That might not seem like much, but it’s a continuation of something we’ve been seeing all season with these Warriors: an almost supernatural aversion to negativity.
That glass half-full mentality is the only way you win 73 games in an 82-game regular season grind that lasts six months; that’s the only way you become the first NBA team in history without back-to-back losses in the regular season. Yes, they lost a pair of games at home — losing out on tying or besting the ’86 Celtics or ’16 Spurs for the best home record in NBA history — during their ever-so-slight slide in the penultimate week before the playoffs. But they never lost two in a row, and that plays into Dray’s optimism after hearing Steph’s diagnosis.
The twisted knee could have meant surgery for Steph and no return to the playoffs at all, and you’d be right in saying that’s part of why the two All-Stars were so happy. But it’s also their makeup and it extends beyond the two of them.
Rather than whine about losing their best player, the Warriors have so far responded with some of their best team basketball over the last month. They blew out the Rockets in the second half of Game 4 and manhandled them for the majority of Game 5’s clinching win in Oakland. Now they sit and wait as Steph recovers and the Blazers and Clippers battle it out to face them.
In the interim, Steph can recuperate for a couple days without worrying about what his absence will mean to his squad. Even if he’s not given the clear to play when he’s re-evaluated in two weeks, we’re pretty sure Dray and Curry and the rest of the Warriors will find a away to put a positive spin on it. It’s an entire team of guys who do that. An entire franchise that’s just beaming with joy and filled with guys who aren’t prone to self-pity; a group of guys who already have some championship hardware and now just want to add to their collection regardless of the obstacles put in their path.