Golden State’s second consecutive championship almost didn’t happen.
According to The Athletic, which cited sources with knowledge of the situation, the Warriors dealt with a team-wide meningitis scare in March before going on to defeat the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals in June.
The report noted the incident fueled David West’s comments hinting at behind-the-scenes drama that occurred earlier in the season.
“We’re so tight, people don’t even know what we went through,” West said after Game 4 of the series. “They trying to find out. …Y’all got no clue. No clue. That tells you about this team that nothing came out.”
Per The Athletic:
According to sources with knowledge of the situation, the Warriors dealt with a team-wide meningitis scare in mid-March that was the root of West’s infamous comments. An outside vendor who handled the team’s food on a daily basis contracted a contagious form of the disease, then survived a life-threatening challenge before eventually returning to work with the team.
Well, it was bad enough that the majority of Warriors players and some members of the basketball operations staff took vaccination shots in response to the medical threat. Worrisome enough that one team practice was relocated to nearby Oracle Arena while the team’s practice facility in downtown Oakland was, in essence, sanitized. Significant enough that the dining room at the practice facility that is only open to players, coaches, and basketball operations personnel was shut down for a short time for cleaning, with players eating elsewhere temporarily.
Meningitis, an infection that causes swelling in the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord, can be fatal.
Expect players and coaches to be questioned about their struggles with the illness and how they coped with it after they visit the Hawks at 7:30 p.m. ET Monday.