David West reveals Warriors survived meningitis scare during 2017-18 season
The Golden State Warriors managed to survive a slew of late-season injuries during the 2017-18 season and a seven-game series against the Houston Rockets to snag the NBA title. Yet the now-retired David West left a cryptic note before retiring, claiming it wasn’t all roses and rainbows for the back-to-back champions.
“We’re so tight, people don’t even know what we went through,” West said then, according to Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. “They trying to find out… Y’all got no clue. No clue. That tells you about this team that nothing came out.”
West’s comments had led to a lot of digging, as media tried to unearth the truth beyond his pre-parting words, calling it a career as he walked into the sunset with two championships on his belt and 15 seasons as a pro.
According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, the Warriors survived a team-wide meningitis scare in mid-March, which was the root of West’s infamous comments.
Only a month away from the start of the playoffs, an outside vendor that handled the team’s food on a daily basis contracted a contagious form of the disease, then managed to survive a life-threatening battle with this illness before returning to work with the team.
“It was just a serious health scare where, for me, it’s just something like, ‘Wow,’” said West. “That was in my mind at the time (of his post-Finals quotes).
“It was the entire team (who was affected). It was crazy. It was the heart of the season. It was something that, again, it showed the strength of the organization (that they got through it to win the title).”
While many thought the mid-November feud between Draymond Green and Kevin Durant could have put a Warriors dynasty in peril, nothing gets more real than facing actual death — as players saw how this vendor fought for his life.
The scare was bad enough that the majority of Warriors players and executives were forced to take vaccine shots in response to the medical threat. One of the team practices was relocated to Oracle Arena while the team’s practice facility in downtown Oakland was being sanitized.
The Warriors, who normally eat at the team facility, had to provide their own meals for a brief time, as coach Steve Kerr and general manager Bob Myers addressed the team’s concerns during it.
Golden State was also dealing with injuries to their All-Star cast, as all four of their prime starters went down to injury for several games at some point during the last month, including Stephen Curry, who didn’t return until the second round of the playoffs.
Seems like West, after all, did give a slight window of insight as to what this team overcame to crown itself champion once again.