The Golden State Warriors have taken everything from the Oklahoma City Thunder. They stole the WCF then Durant then the cupcakes.
The Golden State Warriors reached new levels of petty. Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and the rest of the team knew exactly what last night meant. Kevin Durant’s return to Oklahoma City would be a big one.
The boos and the hate was expected. It was obvious that there were going to be angry fans holding signs. The only wild card was what the signs would actually say.
Almost immediately, it became clear what the collective rallying cry was. The hurt OKC fans ran with the “cupcake” theme. It was a reference to something Russell Westbrook posted back in July.
After Durant’s announcement, Westbrook took to Instagram and shared a photo of three plates with America themed cupcakes. Seemingly innocuous, a closer reading of the post revealed a much more scathing meaning. It wasn’t just frosting and sprinkles.
The cupcakes represented an inside joke, of sorts, between Durant and Westbrook. The two stars would call players they deemed to be soft “cupcake.” The fact that Westbrook posted it was no accident.
In October, Enes Kanter, who spends more time on Twitter than on the court, tweeted out a picture of a cupcake. Of course, Kanter hasn’t been shy about expressing his feelings about Durant. He decided to continue the theme.
On Saturday night, Thunder fans filled the Chesapeake Energy Arena with cupcake paraphernalia. They made signs, painted their bodies, and printed t-shirts. They chanted “cup-cake” at the top of their lungs.
The arena was packed and fans proudly wore the shirts. Until Durant and the Warriors blew the game open and sent the fans who cried about loyalty to the exits long before the final buzzer. Then it was Golden State wearing the cupcake shirts.
Draymond Green and Stephen Curry both did their postgame interviews in the cupcake shirts that fans by the floor were wearing. Curry said that he bartered with the fans. He told them if Golden State won, he wanted the shirt and, when they did, he exchanged one of their warmup shirts.
When Durant was told that his teammates were wearing the shirts, he responded “that’s pretty cool, I guess.” His new teammates had his back in ways that his old team didn’t. It was also the pettiest thing the Warriors could have done.
Golden State is petty and they’ll own it. Unlike their passive aggressive foe in East or, even, in that opposing locker room in OKC, the Warriors are comfortable with talking trash and being accountable for it. This was the final dagger in this whole Durant return saga.
The cupcake joke is all the Thunder had left. OKC isn’t going to go anywhere this year, even with Westbrook’s best efforts. He’s, most likely, not even going to win MVP.
This was the Thunder’s Super Bowl. This was the game that they had circled on their calendar. Last night was a must-win for them.
They tried to hide their pain behind the laughter and joy of their sweet joke. They tried to recreate some of that unadulterated fun that Golden State has; the fun that Durant chose. They needed it.
At the end of the day, the Warriors are on their way to the Finals and the Thunder aren’t. They have two players with MVP awards, a combined three trophies between them. Westbrook will be watching his two biggest foes start in the All-Star Game as he scowls on the bench.
After losing Durant to the Warriors, Oklahoma City had the cupcakes. That was theirs. It was a symbol of hope that allowed them to convince themselves that they were better off without him.
While Curry and Green’s move to wear the shirts just seems like silly pettiness, it’s a knockout blow. Just like Westbrook’s Instagram post, it means more than what it looks like at first glance. It was the most savage move they could have done.
The Thunder were one game away from the Finals and the Warriors took that away. After the loss, they still had Durant. But then Golden State took that away. After all that, trying to hold onto something, the cupcake motif emerged.
Then, after thoroughly embarrassing the Thunder on their home floor, the Warriors took the cupcakes. They finished off the night by taking everything from them. By wearing the shirts, they danced on the Thunder’s collective grave.
OKC could call Durant a coward and an inferior player to Westbrook. He silenced them when he drained a monstrous 30 foot three-pointer over his former running mate. Their angry jeers slowly became quieter and quieter until all that was left was the sound of Golden State crushing dreams again.
The Thunder held onto their 3-1 lead, Durant, and the cupcakes until Steph Curry and co. snatched it all away, reducing OKC to almost nothing. The Warriors, truly, have taken everything from the Thunder.