Warriors

With KD eliminated, here's who Warriors fans should root for

Warriors
Kevin Durant sad

The Brooklyn Nets presented a conundrum for Warriors fans.

On one hand, they have Kevin Durant, an icon in the Bay Area and someone who is easy to root for even though he left. On the other hand, they have James Harden, Kyrie Irving and Blake Griffin, three villains in these parts.

Warriors fans definitely didn't (and don't) want Harden, the former Houston Rockets star, to win an NBA title, but rooting for Durant, a two-time NBA Finals MVP during his time with the Warriors, made the idea palatable.

Fortunately for any Warriors fans with mixed feelings about the Nets, they don't have to fret anymore as Brooklyn saw their 2020-21 season come to an end Saturday with a crushing overtime loss to the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference second-round series.

Three tickets -- Milwaukee, the Phoenix Suns and the LA Clippers -- have been punched to the conference finals, with the Philadelphia 76ers and Atlanta Hawks battling in a Game 7 of their own on Sunday to determine the fourth and final conference finalist.

So, now that Durant isn't an option anymore, who should Dub Nation be rooting for?

The answer appears pretty obvious: The winner of the 76ers-Hawks series.

Philadelphia, the No. 1 seed in the East, has Seth Curry, the younger brother of Steph, on the roster. We know Steph has one rooting interest here, so it seems easy for Warriors fans to align with the greatest player in franchise history. Seth was in the building rooting for Steph in the early years of the Warriors' dynasty, so it only seems right to return the favor and root for the younger brother.

 

The Hawks are run by former Warriors exec Travis Schlenk and model themselves after Golden State, hoping that Trae Young and Kevin Huerter would be their version of the Splash Brothers.

While the duo hasn't lived up to that high billing, Young's shooting is reminiscent of Steph, so if the Hawks pull off the upset of the 76ers on Sunday, Atlanta should have Dub Nation's support.

As for the Bucks, Suns and Clippers, Warriors fans have good reasons to root against all three.

Phoenix has all-time Warriors nemesis Chris Paul, and there's no way Warriors fans want to see him get to his first NBA Finals.

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The Warriors' history with the Clippers is well-documented. There is no love lost between the two rivals. There's not a single member of Dub Nation that wants to see Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Rajon Rondo and Patrick Beverley get to the NBA Finals.

As for the Bucks, Warriors fans spent a few years trying to woe Giannis Antetokounmpo to the Bay Area as the replacement for Durant. It never happened and the Greek Freak signed a max contract extension to stay in Milwaukee.

Dub Nation should have a vested interest in Sunday's 76ers-Hawks game. The winner of that game should have the undivided support of Warriors fans in the conference finals and possibly the NBA Finals, if either advances.

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