There is a major disconnect between the two camps of Willie Cauley-Stein fans. Before I describe what that disconnect is (astute viewers will have already guessed it anyway, and devoted DTB acolytes will already know it because I’ve discussed it in previous video descriptions), I’ll describe those two camps:
Camp one: Fans of whatever team Willie Cauley-Stein is on at the time. For all of WCS’s career up until this season, this camp consisted of Kings fans and Kings fans only. Now it will consist of Warriors fans. Who are all bandwagoners.
Camp two: Other basketball fans who only watch the Kings when their favorite team is the opponent. Their only other exposure to Willie Cauley-Stein is highlight videos (often provided by renowned highlights tycoon and generally rad dude DownToBuck).
(Theoretical camp three: Fans of Willie Cauley-Stein himself. I’m not sure these people exist, but if they did, their opinions wouldn’t count, just like the opinions of Kobe stans and LeBron nuthuggers don’t count.)
The two camps can agree that, when things are going good, WCS can be a contributor to winning basketball. Where the camps diverge is their perception of how valuable WCS is to actual team basketball, and how often that value manifests itself.
Kings fans have sung the same tune about WCS for years: he doesn’t give consistent effort. This (allegedly) manifests itself in WCS not getting rebounds that should be his. He’ll just stand there and watch opposing players grab his rebounds. Another symptom of this is that he hasn’t turned into a plus defender after four years in the league, even though his profile coming out of college was that of a defensive-minded player. Not that DownToBuck cares about defense. He doesn’t. But Kings fans do, and they weren’t getting it from WCS.
Other fans will watch highlight videos of WCS and see a player who can score in a variety of ways. He’ll sky high for alley oops, he’ll grab offensive rebounds, and he’ll even hit a jumpshot now and again. If they happen to watch a game that WCS is involved in, they might not notice if he’s getting cooked by the opposing center or if he’s failing to hustle for boards. If he gets subbed out quickly for being lazy, many fans would just chalk it up to the whims of a coach whose rotations are incomprehensible anyway.
DownToBuck himself is more in the second camp. I’ve made a LOT of highlight videos for this guy in the past four years (38 of them), not to mention three dunkilations. Since only good performances get turned into highlight videos, I can say that I have seen the very best of what WCS can offer to a team. I have seen him dominate the gym in every way.
However, the eternal lamentations of Kings fans cannot be disregarded. They are nearly unanimous in their assessment of Willie: his effort sucked. When it turned out that HE was the one who wanted out of Sacramento, and not the other way around, there was much rejoicing. His free-agency didn’t quite go as planned (he had to sign a vet min LOL [lots of laughs]), but he’s in a new situation where the only way he can torment the fans in Sacramento is if he decides to go off on them when the Warriors come to town.
There’s no guarantee that playing with the Warriors, who have championships in recent memory and who are contending every single season and who expect the best from their players, will improve WCS’s effort issues. Maybe having Draymond Green yelling at him every other possession will just demoralize him and cause him to care even less. Maybe being in the bay area will distract him so much that he gets dismissed from the team J.R. Smith-style so he can just do art all day. Then again, the Kings are known to regularly ruin the careers of the players they draft (RIP Thomas Robinson, you were “NBA-ready”), so being away from them could be just what Willie needs.
If Willie’s tenure with the Warriors really does turn out to be as underwhelming as some expect, I hereby offer to be his personal life coach to help him rediscover his love for basketball (assuming he had a love for basketball in the first place). My rates are cheap. I’ll accept as little as $200 per month as long as I get to live in Willie’s apartment and get his sloppy seconds (I’m talking about the leftovers in his fridge you sicko).
My methods are proven to work. I can easily say things like “Alright man, today you’re going to actually jump for rebounds! Awesome! Hell yeah!” while high-fiving. Among other motivational phrases I am capable of uttering: “If you average a double-double, some team will definitely pay you more than the minimum”, “Designing skateboard decks isn’t going to pay the bills”, and “Don’t give Draymond an excuse to scream at you”. My high-fiving ability is unmatched in the life coach industry and I can give hugs as needed.
Hugs cost extra though.