Tuesday, May 01, 2007


one of the remnants of my many years of living in california is that i'm a huge golden state warriors basketball fan. those of you who follow the nba know that's been a pretty hard road for over a decade; they've been through coach after coach, franchise saviour after franchise saviour, and for their trouble, they haven't seen the playoffs since bill clinton was still in his first term as president.

until this year. after a big mid-season trade netted four new players, and a couple of key contributors finally got healthy, the warriors went on an incredible run at the end of the season and just squeaked into the playoffs. unfortunately (or so it seemed), that left them paired with the dallas mavericks, the team with the best record in the league this year. experts figured that it would be a quick ending for the warriors, a team that should just be happy to have gotten to the post-season.

but lo and behold, the warriors came to play. they took the first game of the series at dallas — a very hard thing to do, winning a playoff game on the road — and have since taken a commanding lead in the best-of-seven series at 3-1. if the warriors take the series, it'll be the first time in league history that a number 8 seed has beaten a number 1 seed in a seven game playoff.

bay area basketball fans are elated. the largest basketball crowds in california history cheered the team to victory at the oracle arena in oakland, and regionally, more people watched the most recent game than desperate housewives. the national media is suddenly covering the story in a big way.

i know — it's only sports. but i wonder if there's also something else at work here, some deeper part of us that resonates with the story of someone (especially a team of relative little guys) who overcomes incredible odds to be victorious…

when goliath the philistine looked and saw david,
he disdained him
for he was but a youth, and ruddy, with a handsome appearance.
the philistine said to david, “am i a dog, that you come to me with sticks?”
and the philistine cursed david by his gods…

then david said to the philistine,

“you come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin,

but i come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts,
the God of the armies of Israel,
whom you have taunted.

this day the LORD will deliver you up into my hands…
that all the earth may know that there is a God in israel,

and that all this assembly may know
that the LORD does not deliver by sword or by spear;

for the battle is the LORD’S

and He will give you into our hands.”
1 samuel 17:42-47

finally, be strong in the Lord
and in the strength of His might.
put on the full armor of God,
so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.
for our struggle is not against flesh and blood,
but against the rulers,
against the powers,

against the world forces of this darkness,
against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

therefore, take up the full armor of God,
so that you will be able to resist in the evil day,
and having done everything, to stand firm.
ephesians 6:10-13


Bora said...

Wes has been thinking of you all week...he's quite happy for you. As for me, I didn't even realize it was the NBA playoffs. But I'm still happy for you.

gr8god said...

wes has quite the memory — that was a few years ago, wasn't it? that spring i spent with you two was the last great year for the warriors, before everything very suddenly fell apart.

last night's game was a big disappointment. they went into dallas and fell behind by 18, then charged played catch up the whole game and forged ahead with 3 minutes to go — only to lose. didn't see it, but it must've been a heart breaker.

they'll be back in oakland for game 6 on thursday, at which time i'll be hoping for a more favourable result!

marguerite said...

hi barry -- i remember the warriors being really good back when i was in high school (the dark ages -- late 70s) -- glad to see them doing so well once again -- i read your blog entry out loud to reyna, she really enjoyed it!

Bora said...

what will you do if the warriors pull this off? will you take a picture of you dancing around your living room and post in on your blog? please?

gr8god said...

hi marguerite -- tell r i said 'hi!' has she ever gotten to go to a game at oracle?

bora -- i might be willing to do that. or maybe i'll celebrate by preaching a sermon series acrostically…

marguerite said...

congrats barry! you must be v. happy today. yes, reyna has seen one warriors game (with troy, a couple of years ago). she has a renewed interest in b-ball lately coz her gang at school has started playing it all the time (before school, recess, after school) -- recently, tho, she sprained 2 different fingers playing b-ball in the same week so we've banned her from it for the next week or so. go warriors! (are michele, briana and naomi also fans?)

gr8god said...

yes, i was very happy!

and no, m, n, and b are not really fans. but they are kind when i go on and on about it.

sorry to hear that r is on injured reserve. hope she heals up soon so that she can get back to dunking on her friends. :-)

finally, it was very late here when the warriors closed out the series, so there was no one to take the photo of me dancing in the living room…