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California Love is gone, Juan wins: MFMTM (moments from morning til midnight) from Grizzlies-Warriors
Wiggs/suburbia, Steph’s pregame absence, Ja up close
Here’s another mega-behind-the-scenes recap of the loss to the Memphis Grizzlies — moments from morning til midnight (aka “MFMTM”). I tried my first one at this with the home opener vs the Los Angeles Clippers, then really didn’t have one for the wins at the Sacramento Kings (no morning shootaround) or the OKC Thunder (didn’t make the trek) — my bad on the latter two, although I’ve still been posting a ton on our private Discord which is accessible to you with a subscription:
I have decided to make these free articles because when I use Substack’s paywall demarcation line feature, it seems like people who aren’t paid subscribers aren’t getting the emails even though 90% of the article is free.
Morning shootaround got off to a good start with the presence of Draymond Green, Jr. aka “DJ”, who is now almost five years old. He had made his first appearance at a media availability accompanying his dad at the podium after the home opener win vs the Clippers. The entire morning shootaround music was Jay-Z and DJ danced to the tracks, dribbled around, but mostly stayed out of his dad’s way as Draymond Green, Sr. practiced post-up moves and three-pointers. Staff and a coach or two were around to keep an eye on DJ, too, but DJ seemed to know to stay in the vicinity of the bench.
I also noticed Steve Kerr and Moses Moody discussing something together (Moody ended up not playing later in the night vs the Grizzlies). Later, Stephen Curry was practicing downhill threes, meaning dribbling up past the half-court line and firing away from deep:m, as if in transition:
Towards the end of our observation of morning shootaround, Draymond had his son sprint to the sideline and back in ten seconds, and DJ barely made it in time, although his dad’s counting off of each of the ten seconds was a little generous.
Speaking of countdowns, right after that, as the buzzer for morning shootaround went off (I didn’t notice there was a timer for it until the buzzer blared) and the LEDs surrounding the backboard lit up, Andrew Wiggins, Damion Lee and Juan Toscano-Anderson were locked up in a close battle for the last splash. Juan, well, won:
I wanted to use JTA’s run-off as a lead-in on Instagram to hype up that night’s game, but never got around to it as I took too long writing the previous Draymond/Nike article. I’ll have to save it for something else, especially with the night ending in a joyless loss.
And, no, I did not catch Klay Thompson in the No. 77 jersey (more on this, later), which apparently had Jackie Moon’s last name on the back, in reference of course to the movie “Semi Pro” starring Will Ferrell. Ergo, I believe this official Golden State Warriors clip was before I arrived, as I do not recall seeing Klay around:
I wanted to stay for the Grizzlies’ shootaround because, I mean, you know, Ja Morant is a freak of nature (more on that below), but was told they did not have one due to being on the second night of a back-to-back.
Media availability with Wiggins
After that I headed into the Bill King Interview Room only to find just one other reporter already there with Wiggins. So I knew I probably had to come up with a question and, with Wiggs, he gives short answers so no matter what the other reporter was going to ask, I better be ready, if not just to extend the experience for our YouTube audience another couple minutes.
Wiggs’ and his wife, Mychal Johnson, sometimes post Instagram Stories from their home on the Peninsula. From what I can gather it’s on a hill and has a view of the San Mateo Bridge. So I asked about how he’s fitting into Bay Area lifestyle. He said he definitely prefers the suburbs (Draymond, for example, lives in a tower in downtown), which is consistent with his residence outside of Minneapolis back when he played for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
As I mentioned before, Morant is a freak of nature and so I made it a point to film his pregame routine. Luckily he was one of the last guys after Curry. It’s a bit of a circus when Steph is out there because his routine has so many parts and the Warriors ticket sales teams always invite folks to watch from the first few rows. Meanwhile DJ D Sharp is spinning on his two turntables right there courtside, so there are a million distractions. It’s bustling with activity.
We got lucky with Ja and him finishing his routine with a reverse dunk that he seems to do with such ease:
Tunnel run, layup lines, and anthem
First thing I noticed when the Warriors ran out to the court was Steph wasn’t there. He’s usually leading the pack and doing his little cha-cha layup to “I Like To Cha Cha” by DRAM. This time it was Toscano-Anderson leading the group. Curry didn’t come out til well into the warmups, so late that he never did his super-scoop layup that has become part of the pregame tradition. Later, he missed the national anthem, too. It could have been a myriad of reasons so I don’t know if we can attribute it to their on-court performance, which was a bit off, especially the turnovers.
Intros: No more California Love! 😱
I usually don’t get the chance to watch my own videos, and someone on YouTube commented that from the home opener, there was no California Love Remix that has been a staple of the Warriors’ intros since the 2008-09 season, the year after #WeBelieve.
Sure enough and if the second home game of the season is any confirmation, our intros have been stripped of this iconic song and intro. It’s also just not the same without Kevon Looney skipping around the squad’s circle to the beats.
I’ve been in touch with some insiders on this development, or rather extermination, so I’ll have more to post at a later time, but say it ain’t so: R.I.P. California Love Remix.
Recap and postgame, or rather none of it
You all know what happened and the negativity that a segment of DubNation had, the reactions and the targeted criticisms specifically towards Steve Kerr, when it was Steph and Draymond throwing the ball away carelessly for three quarters, leaving them in a predicament where Ja could do his thing and change the game, leaves me with more crystallization as to what I’d like to do going forward with the LetsGoWarriors brand. More on this later, but suffice it to say: PVO! (Positive Vibes Only and as Dr. Harry Edwards has preached ever since he invented the study of Sports Sociology, sports is a reflection of society — so if I don’t want to hang out with negative people in real life, why would I want to hang around with negative Warriors fans?)
One final observation of Ja
I made my way near the Warriors tunnel for the end of the game and got to see the final plays up close. So I saw the final inbound go to Morant. Gary Payton II was tasked with fouling him, And btw our Discord server people found out that his famous dad, Oakland native and Seattle SuperSonics great Gary Payton, Sr. is “basketball’s George Foreman”, meaning he’s named all his sons after him. Bottom line, our “GP2” is actually not Gary Payton, Jr., who is a different son of Gary, Sr.
Anyways, Ja gave GP2 a couple jukes and toasted him. End of game. Did I mention Ja is a freak of nature?
The postgame tunnel was kinda cool as we got to see E-40 close up and Draymond hug his kids for an extended period of time. See? Green was already over that loss. All of DubNation should be, too. I also noticed that James Wiseman and Jonathan Kuminga stood behind the Warriors bench for a long time. Not sure if they did that all game.
I guess I’ll try to do something like a MFMTM for tonight’s OKC Thunder game, although with the early tipoff there was no morning shootaround. As I posted on the YouTube channel, Moody will play if Lee (questionable, shoulder) is out and it’s very, very likely that JK will make his NBA debut: