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Golden State Warriors in uncharted territory

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Something big is going on in the San Francisco Bay Area.  It is not the San Francisco 49ers; they are rebuilding. It is not the Oakland Raiders; they are always rebuilding (but doing better).

The biggest story in the world of professional sports is headquartered in the Oracle Arena, just a few hundred yards from the Raiders’ home facility of O.co Coliseum. Oracle’s tenant is the Golden State Warriors and they have done what no other professional sports team has done beforeL win their first 22 games to start the season.

Golden State’s winning streak stretches to 24 dating back to last season. The Warriors have not left the court a loser since the Cleveland Cavaliers beat them in Game 4 of the NBA finals on June 11.

Reigning Most Valuable Player Stephen (pronounced Steffen) Curry is on another planet. He leads the league in scoring at 32.4 points per game, while averaging nearly 6 assists.

Curry shoots 53 percent from the field and 47 percent from 3-point range. He has made 116 three-pointers, nearly twice as many as second place Paul George of Indiana with 64.

Curry has a strong supporting cast of Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes, and Draymond Green along with several quality players off the bench. Former Florida Gator Mareese Speights averages 5 points per game off the bench. But it is Curry the visiting fans and the curious come to see.

The Warriors’ streak is remarkable for at least two reasons. First, they keep winning despite taking the opponent’s best shot – especially on the road – every night. In November, they overcame a 22-point deficit in Los Angeles against the Clippers.

Second, their head coach, Steve Kerr, has missed every game due to an ongoing spinal fluid leak. No timetable has been set for his return.

His fill-in, assistant coach Luke Walton, is either the greatest unknown basketball mind, or the Warriors are on cruise control. It is, of course, something in between. It means this group of players is something special, something not seen in anyone’s recent memory.

Many sports fans are not up-to-date on the magical season developing. Warrior games normally begin at 10:30 p.m. in the Eastern time zone, but they are on an extended road trip in the Eastern Conference with earlier starting times.

As they look to break the 1996 Chicago Bulls’ all-time record of 72 wins and only 10 losses, people are tuning in to see who will be the first to take them down. Perhaps the best chance of that happening, so far, comes tomorrow night when they are in Indianapolis to take on the vastly improved and high scoring Indiana Pacers.

The NBA Channel has the coverage at 7 p.m. It might be worth a look to see living sports history.

Bob Sparks is President of Ramos and Sparks Group, a Tallahassee-based business and political consulting firm. During his career, he has directed media relations and managed events for professional baseball, served as chief spokesperson for the Republican Party of Florida as well as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Attorney General of Florida. After serving as Executive Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Charlie Crist, he returned to the private sector working with clients including the Republican National Committee and political candidates in Japan. He lives in Tallahassee with his wife, Sue and can be reached at Bob@ramos-sparks.com.

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