It appeared as if the Golden State Warriors were going through the worst period of their "charmed existence" when Draymond Green and Kevin Durant got into a spat last month. But, apparently, they've been through way worse.
According to a report in The Athletic, the team went through a meningitis scare last season after an outside vendor, who handled their food on a daily basis, contracted a contagious strain of the disease.
Said vendor went through a life-threatening ordeal before recovering and returning to work with the team. And you can imagine just how scary it was for the entire organization.
Of course, you would have never noticed based on the way the team played as they strode to another championship. But David West did leave a hint in the form of a cryptic comment in which he praised their bond.
“We’re so tight, people don’t even know what we went through,” he said in June. “They trying to find out. …Y’all got no clue. No clue. That tells you about this team that nothing came out.”
West, who has since retired, had a conversation with The Athletic recently and made a few revelations.
“Someone asked me, ‘Was this year easier than last year?’” he said. “And I’m like, ‘What do you mean? No NBA season is easy. What the hell kind of question is that?
“People were making this assumption that things were just easy, that things were just rolling along and this was some grand, old fantasy or whatever. And that just wasn’t the case. You know, there are challenges in every single NBA season.”
David West: “We’re so tight, people don’t even know what we went through. They trying to find out. We don’t have suckas on this team.”— Marcus Thompson (@ThompsonScribe) June 9, 2018
No one outside of the team knew what West meant when he uttered the remark earlier this year, but it's clear now that it was a huge worry.
"According to sources with knowledge of the situation, the Warriors dealt with a team-wide meningitis scare in mid-March that was the root of West’s infamous comments. An outside vendor who handled the team’s food on a daily basis contracted a contagious form of the disease, then survived a life-threatening challenge before eventually returning to work with the team."
- The Athletic
“It was just a serious health scare where, for me, it’s just something like, ‘Wow,’” he continued. “That was in my mind at the time (of his post-Finals quotes).
“It was the entire team (who was affected). It was crazy. It was the heart of the season. It was something that, again, it showed the strength of the organization (that they got through it to win the title).”
The publication also got in touch with former Warriors center Zaza Pachulia, now with the Detroit Pistons, via telephone.
“Of course in the beginning, everyone was freaked out,” he said. “But after hearing from professionals, (when) doctors talked to us and the team did all the necessary (things), they responded really well, and right away.
“It was an immediate response, and cleared everything out and changed everything, and they told us about the symptoms, told us how dangerous it was, and told us what we should be aware of. …They also told us that the (chances of contracting it were) minimal, where basically we wouldn’t get it unless we had physical contact with the (vendor), and we never did. So everything turned out fine. But initially, it was tough. It was kind of scary.”
That would have been quite the nightmare. Imagine one of the greatest basketball teams ever assembled contracting a potentially fatal disease. The fact that they were able to play (and win) through all of the worries, is incredible.
The Green/Durant affair is actually nothing compared.
“If we were able to get through that, then (they’ll) be able to get through this," West pointed out.
What This Means
The Warriors are good at keeping secrets, they're also great at playing through adversity. There's hardly any reason to doubt their ability to win another championship simply because two of their stars got into an argument.
But there's still the possibility that one of them leaves at the end of the season.