By: Jesse Taylor

I was born by the river

There’s a river by one of the Northern California Kaiser’s, right? If so, that’s the Kaiser where I was born.

When I look back on my time as a Warriors fan, I sometimes feel like Sam Cooke in his groundbreaking song, “A Change Is Gonna Come.” I’m not dumb enough to say the years of racism that beat down Cooke are the same as the years of losing that beat down Warriors fans. But listening to the song, it’s not hard to relate some of the lyrics to the feelings some may have felt cheering on the Warriors these past 20-plus years.

Hard times hoping for and just knowing that a change is gonna come. One playoff appearance in 18 years. Now two in 19.

It’s been a long, a long time coming 
But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will

There’s a foundation with today’s team that was non-existent with that 2007 “We Believe” team. The 2007 team was like Don Draper and his marriage to Megan. Everything was great for a moment, but it was only a matter of time before it all came crashing down.

And like Don sneaking off with the doctor’s wife, aka Velma/Lindsay Weir, it wasn’t long before Baron Davis left Oakland to sleep with the neighbor downstairs in LA.

And I say brother help me please 
But he winds up knockin’ me
Back down on my knees 

I have never experienced the Warriors making it out of the second round of the Western Conference Playoffs. I go back to the Sleepy days. Loved the excitement of the Run TMC era and was filled with hope during Chris Webber’s rookie season.

Like Theon Greyjoy conquering Winterfell, Warriors fans thought we had something awesome in our grasps for years to come. But then Chris Cohan and Bobby Rowell knocked us on the back of our heads, placed us in a dungeon for the next 12 years and tied us onto a giant “X” cross, twisting screws into our feet.

There been times that I thought I couldn’t last for long 
But now I think I’m able to carry on 

Despite his shaky beginning, Joe Lacob now appears to be the saving grace to one of the NBA’s most tortured fan bases. He’s built a basketball staff that has proven capable of structuring a team for both the present and the future.

Like past Warriors teams, this year’s squad doesn’t stand much of a chance to pull off a long playoff run.

Can they beat the Nuggets in Round 1? I predict they won’t, but like most, I wouldn’t find it shocking if they did. Can they beat the Spurs (or maybe even the Lakers) in Round 2? See Nuggets answer. Oklahoma City in the Western Conference Finals? No way. Memphis? No. Lucky enough to play the Clippers or Rockets instead? Sure. But even if that miracle happens, they aren’t beating the Heat.

Wow, did I just find a way into a Warriors-Heat NBA Finals? Let me retract this heroin needle from my vein. In reality, I’m hopeful, but also not expecting too much from the Warriors in the next few weeks.

Like one of my favorite Jay-Z lines, I’m not looking at these playoffs, I’m looking past ya.

Young fellas like Curry, Klay and Barnes are going to receive valuable playoff experience and come back stronger next season. Despite his faults, David Lee is in the prime of his career and is a solid NBA power forward. Andrew Bogut and his ailing body are question marks, but I have faith GM Bob Myers will lean on his training and coaching staff to make the right decision. If that means he’s healthy enough to be a top 5 center and help the team to multiple playoff runs, fine. If not, his contract expires at the end of next season and allows for options. Same with the hefty contracts of Richard Jefferson and Andris Biedrins.

Curry is now one of the NBA’s top players. Klay made a big leap in his second season and is going to keep getting better in key areas. Barnes has the chance to be great. The other three rookies can be strong role players for many years. Brandon Rush and whatever happens with Carl Landry and Jarrett Jack (keep them or bring in new players) will play key roles going forward as well.

So I’m not worried about the results of the playoffs this year. If we lose in the First Round, that’s okay. I’m looking at how the Warriors can build on this season and set themselves up for future playoff runs. And maybe even finally going beyond the Second Round.

I don’t know what’s up there beyond the sky 

It’s been a long time coming Warriors fans. But I can feel it. A change in gonna come. It may not be today. But it’s coming.