Weaponized Joy: Reborn

LGW team member Daniel Hardee reflects on Vox's decision and new beginnings

What do you do when you’re forced to leave the place you consider home?

Dub Nation wrestled with this issue when the Golden State Warriors closed out Oracle Arena in the summer of 2019 and moved to San Francisco. Stephen Curry, the fanbase’s adopted son, shared the people’s anxious mourning and tenderly voiced his grief via handwritten letter.

“It’s been my pleasure to represent the town the last 10 years. Through the ups and downs, the city always had my back… The passion was unmatched….I will always be grateful for you… The arena might be moving, but a huge part of my heart will always stay in Oakland.”

Excerpt from “Thank You, Oakland” by Marc J. Spears for The Undefeated

At the time, with me being a kid from “The Town”, it was impossible to deny my sadness about the Dubs departing for the traffic-infested glitz of “The City”. It was benevolent of “Unanimous” to bear the grief of the move with that proud community, and his sincerity helped to soften the blow of the transition.

I was reminded of that after I found out (via Twitter) that my blogging home of the last three years, Vox Media/SB Nation, was effectively laying off the majority of their California sports coverage to comply with AB5 legislation.

“Wait, I’m tagged in this?? What the hell is going on? AM I FIRED???”

- Me, December 2019, after seeing that tweet from a Wizards’ blogger I met at Summer League.

As someone who was blessed to turn a few slanderous fanposts on SB Nation’s Warriors blog “Golden State of Mind” into a decently paying gig, it was a disorienting turn of events. I had spent countless late nights and early mornings on game recaps, podcasts, and YouTube videos for GSoM. My view of the game was refined by the love (and criticism) of the GSoM fan community; a vibrant network of maddeningly passionate Dubs fans.

Soon I had a podcast (along with my good friend “Dr. Tom”) that allowed me to chat with big-time sports personalities like The Athletic’s Marcus Thompson II or infamous #basketballtwitter member Bryan Oringher.

It opened the door for NBC and Southwest Airlines to have a camera crew follow me and my buddy Shawnanthony to Dallas for a Warriors game. That night, we proudly stood in emotional solidarity as the shorthanded Warriors were buried alive by the impish whirlwind Luka Doncic.

So you can probably imagine the abrupt shock of learning via a sudden flurry of Tweet searches that my landlords at my Vox home were giving my co-bloggers and I a delayed eviction notice. Damn.

As the sad story picked up steam over the interwebs, we GSoM contributors were humbled and encouraged by the outpouring of love we received from sports media and worldwide fans. The people’s frustration with our situation was bolstered by a genuine appreciation for the content we created. It was amazing to witness, despite our new status as shipwrecked bloggers.

And that process led some of that old GSoM blog to move here, to our new home. We have teamed up with the esteemed GSW-focused social media champion, LetsGoWarriors. Shout out to @PoorMansCommish for being eager to bring us vagabonds inside this house he built with his sweat and ingenuity. And another shout out to our wonderful partners at Substack for their enthusiasm in this venture; they provided us the new tools we needed to chase our dreams.

Much as Curry’s letter encouraged a depressed Warriors fan base during their transition, the support of the GSoM community and Dub Nation lifted us up during ours. We’re going to pay those good vibes forward: it’s the personalities that you enjoy giving you the coverage you love!

Or hate, depending on whether or not you think the Rockets woulda won the 2018 WCF if only CP3 didn’t get hurt lolol #insanity.