The hate is strong for the Golden State Warriors. It’s as potent as the love these guys get for boasting four Top 20 players in their starting lineup. The ones who said KD was wrong for leaving OKC to join a Super Team and there weren’t enough basketballs to go around to keep all of their gunslingers happy, probably want to see them fail.
Golden State is fighting wars on all fronts.
They have to fight off the teams who want nothing more than to take down the two-time defending Western Conference champions. They have to learn how to find a perfect chemistry and keep all players involved despite a drop in shots and props since KD’s arrival.
It was inevitable that Golden State would have some rough spots coming out of the shoot as they worked KD into the mix and the overall dynamics of their 73-win squad was flipped. Games would have to supressed for the good of the cause.
It was also inevitable that they would win way more games than they lost and in the process somebody wasn’t going to be totally happy about losing some shots as KD would ascend to -- at the very least -- Klay Thompson's former spot as the No.2 scoring option.
All things considered, Golden State and Steve Kerr have handled these situations well and are still clearly a Top 3 team in the league with a record of 8-2.
As R.Kelly once told us, “Haters gonna hate..ballers gonna ball.”
And media is always going to attack the weakest link and try to stir it up ATCQ style.
According to NBA.com, “At some point this past Friday, The Morning Ledger, an obscure website, posted an article titled ‘Boston Celtics trade with Golden State Warriors for Klay Thompson?’ In it, Justin Bautista, the writer, mused about a potential Thompson to Celtics swap for Avery Bradley and Amir Johnson.
There was no inside information. No rumblings from either front office. Nothing of credibility. Just a link to another obscure website, called Sportsrageous, and a bunch of uninformed speculation. Dozens of these pop up each week. They nearly all die without gaining any legitimate traction.
But at some point over the past 72 hours, Brian Scalabrine read it."
Then on Monday morning, the former Boston Celtics fan favorite and TV analyst went on Sirius XM without revealing exactly where he got the information from and gave the story credibility.
Other radio analysts took the rumor and ran with it, discussing trade packages that included Bradley, Jae Crowder and a draft pick for Thompson. One NBA GM called that potential trade a championship-clincher for Golden State if they could pull it off.
After the rumor hit the social media mill for a few rounds, Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr shot them down sniper style.
"I think our guys know that most of that stuff is almost always just BS,” Kerr said. “If that became a story, I would probably talk to Klay. But I didn’t know it was a story until just now. I’ll go home, get on the Internet and decide whether to call Klay or not. There’s a lot of fake news.”
Problem is, once anything is out in social media or aired as potential news, people take it seriously. What is Thompson thinking at this point though? Kerr says the rumors are BS, but where there is smoke, there is fire even if it is blown out of some phantom blogger’s snothole.
Break Up The Splash Brothers?
Laaawd help me process the thought. That would be a bit premature to say the least -- if their was any validity to it. We will see on Wednesday night if the wild weekend affected Klay at all. He might go for 60 tonight against Toronto at Air Canada Centre.
Golden State has actually worked out a nice scoring distribution pattern among its top four players. Durant and Curry are averaging over 27 points a game and Klay's scoring is down a bit, but he is still averaging a solid 18.8 ppg and rising. Draymond Green (10.9 ppg) has lost three points off his 2015-16 scoring average, but they don't need him to score like that. He's the glue juice.
Golden State actually seems to be headed in the right direction, but now they may have to address the absurd notion of a trade rumor that nobody within the organization was ever considering.
Unfortunately, in an age where everybody is looking for a quick bombshell to drop every 24 hours, rumors like this will persist. Just look at Scalabrine's source. A guy from a shaky news site who is responsible for forecasting both World War III and the end of the world.
Journalistic integrity is gone in sports coverage, so the players are open season for criticism, fake hype and unsubstantiated rumors. Golden State's slew of All-Stars are usually at the front line of this fan and media free-for-all. How the Warriors handle these attacks will be very important as they grow as a squad and try to develop a championship chemistry.