Wednesday, October 17, 2018

What if the Warriors celebrated like the Caps?

This is how you do it.

The Washington Capitals have been partying for five days now. Partying hard.

It started right after they won the Stanley Cup last Thursday night when they took Stanley out to the party capital of the world: the Las Vegas Strip.

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That was just a warmup.

The party continued on the charter flight back to Washington. When they got back to D.C., that's when the party got down to real business.

Since then, they've gone to bars all over town, turning the Stanley Cup into a keg stand and singing countless versions of We Are The Champions.

They went to a Washington Nationals game, the Cup in tow, and drank like a thousand beers.

They got tattoos. They went down to Georgetown and jumped in a public fountain.

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Team captain and party leader Alex Ovechkin has gone crazy. The only time he isn't eating, drinking or singing, he's sleeping … with the Stanley Cup. It's true. Ovechkin took the Cup to bed with him. He put photos of it on social media.

It was awesome.

On Tuesday, the Caps will have a parade and, one would expect, another night of revelry in what figures to be a summer of boozing and carousing.

So three things popped into head as I watched all of this.

First off, this is how you party with the Cup. The Caps have waited 44 years to win the NHL's championship trophy. Ovechkin has waited his entire career, a career in which he was constantly reminded how he had never won it all. Now that they've won, they are celebrating like it means something.

Good for them. They've earned it. They deserve it.

Secondly, in their over-the-top jubilee, the Caps (and especially Ovechkin) look so completely satisfied that I would be shocked if this group ever wins another Cup. They look like a bunch that finally accomplished their life-long mission and will now live high on the hog from now on. Just judging by how they are behaving, they look like they have nothing left to play for, nothing left to prove. This hangover might last the rest of their careers.

And, finally, this thought has dominated my thinking:

What if the Golden State Warriors behaved the exact same way celebrating their NBA championship?

Seriously, how would you feel about that? And be honest.

Would we think it's funny if Kevin Durant jumped into the public fountain? Or would we be offended by it?

Would we think it's cute if Draymond Green went to an A's game and we could barely see him because of all the Bud Lite empties stacked up in front of him? Or would we call him irresponsible?

I bring this up because I remember back in 2016 and the reaction when the Cavs won the NBA Finals. Cavs player J.R. Smith took his shirt off for like a week and people acted as if he was running naked through Times Square.

Old tweets called him names, talked about how he had zero class. He was supposed to "act like you've been there before,'' even though he had never been there before. Just like Ovechkin.

I know it's just Twitter and Twitter brings out its fair share of haters, no matter who we are talking about. Still, while many applaud Ovechkin and the Caps' celebration for being refreshing, and proving how much it all means to them, we had far too many ripping Smith for behavior that was no different than what the Caps have been doing.

Hmm, wonder why?

It's interesting. When players win the Stanley Cup, crazy partying is not only tolerated, it's expected. It's even celebrated.

Mario Lemieux has taken the Cup swimming. Mark Messier took it a strip club. Kris Draper put his naked baby inside the Cup and the baby used the Cup as a diaper. Those stories are legendary, and we eat them up.

And those guys all won multiple Cups, proving that just because the Warriors have won multiple NBA titles doesn't mean they don't have the right to celebrate however they want as long as no one gets hurt.

But, imagine the reaction if Curry's kid pooped on the NBA trophy. Or if Klay Thompson took the trophy to a strip club. Or if KD turned the trophy into something to hold Jell-O shots.

Would we be cool with that?

Just asking.

Contact Tom Jones at [email protected] Follow @tomwjones

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