In U.S. Open country, for a night it’s the Warriors not Tiger

CARMEL, Calif.—There will a U.S, Open, the 119th, starting Thursday, next door at Pebble Beach. So packed into Brophy’s.. a bar restaurant in the heart of this tourist town two hours south of the Bay Area, were he diverse segments of the golfing crowd, caddies in T-shirts, fans in all sorts of attire.

 Yet nobody was talking Tiger or Jordan Spieth. Nobody was talking at all. They we screaming and groaning at what was happening on the many TVs scattered about, watching the Warriors, suffering the Warriors, celebrating the Warriors.

  The Raptors are a nation’s team, but the Dubs are this region’s  team, stars from Oregon to Santa Barbara, basketball champions who everybody finds a reason to embrace.

  That game Monday night, Game 5 of the NBA finals, is one never to be forgotten.

   Maybe the Warriors won’t complete the task, might fall short in trying to win a third straight championship and fourth in vie years. Maybe in the end, the younger, quicker Raptors replace the Dubs as the leader of the pack. Eras only last so long.

  But that win Monday night, by a single point no less, 106-105. By a Warriors team without key players, without a chance, was one of great wins in their long history.

cc A win that proved nothing but also proved a great deal.

  Friday night, after a second straight home loss to Toronto, the Warriors were done. Or at least I believed that was the case. Maybe literally the season wasn’t over, but truth tell it was over. Consecutive defeats and emphati defeats.

   They would never play another game at Oracle.

   And so now they will. The season stays alive. Another terrible injury to Kevin Durant—the general manager, Bob Myers, was fighting back tears when he made the announcement of the apparently torn Achilles tendon. More questionable calls against Draymond Green. Another big game by the Raptors’ Kawahi Leronard.

  And yet, there were theWarriors walking away with the victory—you could say prancing away were it not for what happened to Durant— while the  Canadian crowd, certain this would be the night of history, left the building more bewildered than distraught.

    Fans carry their loyalty only so far. In the Warriors worst seaons, 17 wins,21 wins, the crowds felt a special kinship, sharing the pain, the agony if you will. Then came the boom years, the NBA record for victories, the titles. What had been appreciation turned into expectation and then disenchantment.,

  We know now, thanks to one of the more courageous and meaningful triumphs, in Warriors history, there will be one more game at Oracle where the team has played for some three  quarters of a Century.

  But no one knew Friday night. Yet in the closing minutes, a loss to Toronto assured, the possibilityexisted that this was the end of NBA basketball at Oracle (formerly Oakland Arena) too many fans fled,  not waiting to pay tribute to team or building.

  Now there’s a new opportunity. Now the Warriors come back to what has been their home since the ‘70s, Now they can close it out and sew it up with a win, which also would extend the playoffs to Sunday, where right here along Carmel Bay, on a colf course that opened 100years ago, the final round  of the Open will be played.

  Here, along the Pacificx, there in the province of Ontario

‘I ever gave up on the Warriors,” said the man across from me at Brophy’s after the commotion died down,

   He was wiser than most of us.


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