Power Rankings for the Week of December 14

(Previous week’s Power Rankings can be found here)

One of my favorite things about being a fan of a team for so long is that with the rare exception of organizations like the San Antonio Spurs that cheat and bribe their way to being good forever is living through the valleys and enjoying the peaks.  I became a bigger Lakers fan after living through the immediate seasons after Shaquille O’Neal.  It makes you appreciate “the process” [now a phrase ruined by Sam Hinkie] of team-building.  It also can be painfully frustrating if you’re losing AND not really building towards something as the Lakers had been early on this season, most notably with the benching of D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle.  Remarkably, that turned around in the Lakers loss to Minnesota on December 9th with Kobe sitting in the 4th of a close game to let the kids do their thing.  Now, even though they lost every game this week, it has been SO much more enjoyable to watch.  Wins and losses aren’t the only thing that matter, it’s why I hate the “championship or failure” (#RINGZ) mentality of the way we evaluate some careers, it’s also about enjoying the journey to get there.

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Power Rankings for the week of December 7th

I love this Warriors team.  I know that’s obvious, who wouldn’t love a 22-0 team? But there’s a purity to watching them play and rooting for them that I don’t think I’ve ever really had as a sports fan only because the circumstances have aligned so well.  As a Lakers fan, if my team had any expectations, I would still be excited about the Warriors but I would also kind of dislike the fact that I knew my team wasn’t good enough to beat them (nobody is, this year).  It’s been a joy to watch a transcendent superstar in Steph Curry exceed expectations somehow after winning the MVP.  It’s been amazing to watch the strength of an organization that was able to withstand the absence of Steve Kerr, the architect of the championship squad last season.  As the league gets more competitive, teams get smarter, differentiating yourself as an organization becomes more difficult.  The Warriors are being run like a Fortune 500 company, with a strong culture of accountability and selflessness, they truly stand for something.

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