It was just like old times before the game. They huddled in the hallway outside the locker room, dancing and chanting. Like frat boys headed for a night on the town. Like they had done each game while amassing a 30-17 record.
"It's basketball. It's supposed to be fun," said rookie center Festus Ezeli, who loved the return of the ritual. "When we play fun and loose, we're this team you see."
The revival of the pregame clowning around session is emblematic of the Warriors' return to an old mindset. After losing back-to-back games at home over the weekend, Golden State had lost 12 of its past 17 games. Throughout most of that stretch, coach Mark Jackson and his players talked constantly about getting back to the team that was surprisingly successful the first two months.
It seemed Jackson's motivational speeches weren't working. Neither were his rotation tweaks. Neither was the much-anticipated presence of center Andrew Bogut.