Life is complicated. Every event of every day is, if examined closely enough, shot through with contradiction and conflict. Every celebration is of something inherently past, ice cream is bad for you, that sort of thing. It's a bummer, but most of the time it's not that hard to ignore. Many thousands of people went to last night's Golden State Warriors game hoping to celebrate the jersey retirement of link to glory-days-by-Warriors-standards legend Chris Mullin. They didn't expect any sullying, beyond maybe what their recently gutted team would look like against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Then, though, in an otherwise nice little series of nostalgic moments—Rick Barry! Don Nelson! Greg Papa!—the team's newish owner, Joe Lacob, decided that no Warriors' party was complete without him. And so the rich guy grabbed the mic.
Oakland's fans, it is safe to say, weren't really trying to hear that. They weren't really trying to hear that for a minute and a half straight. They weren't trying to hear that to the point that Rick Barry—no-one's idea of a non-prick for more than four decades now—seized the opportunity to chide everybody with a flinty plea that the boo-birds "show some class."
Twitter, as it will do, kind of shit itself. The consensus on my timeline seemed roughly to be that, in fact, it be not cool to boo the owner. The owner who decided that a great player who never played for him (and a mediocre GM who never worked for him) couldn't have a ceremony without him. The owner who just a week ago sent the season to live on a nice farm upstate, banishing the infinitely fun-to-watch Monta Ellis in favor of another charisma-free mediocrity for David Lee to stand whitely next to... next year, when said charisma-free mediocrity will presumably be healthy enough to play basketball again. Even Stephen Jackson, the gonzo cap-equalizing throw-in from that deal, was flipped out of town with a quickness.
I confess genuine confusion about the position that it is somehow bad form to boo someone who is compromising the team's ability to win, and feel notably more sympathy for the hapless backup doing his hapless best than the clueless rich dude doing clueless rich dude things. So it makes essentially zero sense to me that so many people are saying some variation of that with regards to Lacob's rough night at Oracle.
At least Ray Ratto put those clowns on blast. (You can call him the "incandescent" Ray Ratto if you want; I tend to.) His litany—another year of playoff-free basketball, an owner who's openly desperate to bail on Oakland even while trotting out historical artifacts (Barry, St. Nellie) to solemnly intone "best fans in basketball" at the fans he's so keen to ditch—is nicely summarized here.
Given what we know about NBA owner types, maybe it's overkill to excoriate Joe "putting the 'duh' in 'Chris Cohan Part Deux'" Lacob for his stirring and not-at-all surprising peacock strut last night. And yet inescapably come to mind phrases like "Junior Prom grade clumsy insertion" and "When the revolution comes, the second motherfuckers up against the wall will be the sportswriting moronatariat lining up to applaud the tanking/rebuilding of teams they don't actually have to pay to see." Common phrases like that, and also like: "Attempting to bigfoot a night devoted to Chris Mullins' on-court legacy wasn't even the most clueless move of the dude's week" and "If you can't actually ascend to noblesse oblige, can you maybe just fuck off and take up fox hunting or something that would otherwise take off the table your inclination to grab the mic and demonstrate your infinite inability to comprehend anything outside the bloated orbit of your ego."
You know, phrases like that.
And so the people booed the new owner, who so recently rescued us from the terrible old owner, because it's clear now that the future of the Warriors is to be the post-charm Wizards. As foretold by prophecy: clownshoes raineth down like grace; let us banish all those with basketball competence and lash instead the twin horses of franchise stasis, whose names be Inept Management of Appearances and Maybe Next Year; for I have seen this team jettison all in favor of planless treading of water, I have heard their hosannas, but the skies contain no benevolence, Purvis Short isn't walking through that door, and Joe Barry Carroll's is the Warriors' way, their kingdom and light forever, amen. You'd boo that, too.