I’m an Oakland Warriors fan. Not a basketball fan, just a Warriors fan.
There’s a lot of debate about whether they’re an arrogant team or a humble team; the best team ever, or just today’s badass best. I don’t care about any of that. What moves me about the Warriors is a feminist sensibility.
From time out of mind, “cooperative” play has been considered, culturally, “feminine” play—and has been denigrated and undervalued because of it. In the world I grew up in, little girls didn’t have voices, wives were subordinate to husbands, and “female” cooperative play was not in the same league as “male” solitary, competitive play, which prepared little boys to be men in a man’s world.
With cooperative play, the Warriors have remade how modern basketball is played. With cooperative play, they create drives towards the basket so dazzling and mystical I can only shout out in amazement, and sit back in respect, and laugh as they pass the ball so fast I can’t see it and some guy I didn’t even know was in play makes another field goal.
More importantly, the Warriors have taken cooperative play, and not only taken a championship with it, but have gone up against Le Bron James, arguably the best player in the world at solitary, competitive, one-man juggernaut-style basketball, to win that championship. Twice.*
To me, that’s a feminist statement about the power of cooperative play and values.
So Chunk Marvelle n’me are knittin’ me a Warriors sweater.
*The stats that Le Bron James and teammate Kyrie Irving put up in this year’s championship games are staggering—and yet the Cavaliers still lost four out of five games to the Warriors.