Savor every second of the Warriors’ Indian summer

Clay Kallam

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(Clay Kallam)

Enjoy.

That’s the word for fans of the 2022-23 Golden State Warriors.

Enjoy all 82 regular season games. Savor whatever happens in postseason. Take time to remember just how special this dynasty – and yes, it’s a dynasty – has been.

Enjoy …

Steph Curry: He’s magical, plain and simple. Yes, he’s 34. Yes, he’ll be hurt, or rested, for 20 games. Or 40. But when he’s on the floor, you never know when the greatest shooter the game has ever seen will go off.

We all have Steph moments we treasure, shots (and shimmies) we’ll never forget, and at any time, the marvelous Curry may make another deposit to the memory bank.

So enjoy Steph Curry, for we all know he’s in the fourth quarter of his transcendent career. And regardless of whether this season ends with a play-in game or a trophy ceremony, we need to relish every second of Steph magic the basketball gods grant us.

Jordan Poole: This is a different kind of narrative, and first, let’s quickly dismiss the notion that Poole is destined to step into Curry’s shoes. He’s not – no one is.

But Poole might become a legit all-star, as his Gumby-like moves around the rim and exquisite long-range touch need only average defense to make him worth every penny of that new contract. At the same time, though, he just got paid and it will be interesting to see how he reacts. Will he continue to hone his craft, or sit back and settle for 20 empty points a night? If the latter happens, it wouldn’t be the first time a young star has taken that path, and should the Warriors struggle, his interest in defending might decrease to Trae Young levels.

And of course, there’s the whole Draymond Green thing, but I have a feeling that Green’s ugly outburst will be a long-forgotten prolog once the season gets under way in earnest.

The young guns: Poole, at 23, is a grizzled vet compared to Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody and James Wiseman, so watching this trio take on more minutes and more responsibility – while still properly deferring to their elders – will be another fascinating story.

It would be great if the three all developed in lockstep, but as Kuminga’s up-and-down rookie season shows, “smooth” is not something to expect. Wiseman especially, who has almost zero experience in actual games at any level, will go through ups and downs, and as long as fans don’t get too mired in the down half of that equation, Wiseman’s development should be an entertaining thread is the Warriors’ story.

Moody is most likely the steadiest of the three, and probably has the lowest upside. But he still could be really good, and he’s the likeliest to blend in with the vets as the season progresses.

And finally, a note about Patrick Baldwin, Jr., who might turn out to be just as big a steal in the 28th draft slot as Poole was. Injuries have dogged his career, but he’s a coach’s son and has impressed so far. He’s another story line to enjoy this season.

Draymond Green: OK, maybe not a storyline to enjoy, really, but Draymond’s drama is part and parcel of the Warrior mystique. His inability to control his emotions is always an issue, and his outburst with Poole may have cost him a long-term deal – but Draymond Green will always play hard and will always play to win.

Like Curry, he’ll probably be hurt quite a bit, but like Curry, when he’s out there, purists will marvel at his defensive chops and casual fans will simply await the next popcorn-worthy outburst.

A healthy, all-in Green during the playoffs is a necessity for the Warriors to do more than make a token postseason appearance, so keeping a close eye on Draymond will be part of the fun as well.

Klay Thompson: He’ll still have a few 30-point nights, and when the feeling is flowing, he’s as good as shooter as anyone not named Curry. He’s a little more emotional now, which makes for a more interesting supporting role, but like Green, what’s really important is that he’s healthy for the playoffs.

Andrew Wiggins and Kevon Looney: OK, they’re not that interesting. They just quietly go about their business, defending, rebounding and playing an elite mental game. Wiggins, of course, has the physical package one would expect from a No. 1-overall pick, but even his spectacular plays seem to be devoid of the flair that makes almost every Curry three seem like a unique moment.

And yes, there’s that name again. Steph Curry is the heart and soul of the Warriors, and he has graced our TV screens with his presence since 2009. We can hope he plays until he’s 40, but we know all too well how cruel sports can be, and how quickly it can all evaporate.

So what we need to do this season is, simply, enjoy it. After all, this might be the last chapter of the Warriors’ golden age, and really, 40 wins or 60, you don’t want to miss a single page.

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Clay Kallam is a lifelong East Bay resident who spent several decades in local journalism -- and still writes for Diablo Magazine (among others). Over the years, he has covered just about every aspect of life in the Bay Area, from rock-and-roll to the arts to political coverage to food to sports. On the food front, he does not claim to be a critic, but rather someone who enjoys a good meal, a well-made drink and a nice red wine. As for sports, he has written for national publications (including Sports Illustrated and Slam) and covers girls' basketball across the nation for MaxPreps. He is a high school coach and a serious fan of the local teams -- and savored every minute of the Giants' and Warriors' championships. He graduated from Acalanes, UC Santa Barbara (ancient history) and Cal (philosophy). He lives in Walnut Creek with his wife Maggi, who takes many of the food photos. He appreciates his readers and is always happy to talk about anything he's written. His food experiences can be found at #dishdining on Instagram, and emails can be sent to claykallam@gmail.com.

Walnut Creek, CA
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