The Warriors have been one of the most dominant teams in recent history. Some could even argue that they are the greatest team to ever walk on a basketball court.
A great coach, an amazing front office and a collection of players that operate so well together that watching them play is like watching an artwork develop in front of your eyes.
But why are they accused of ruining the NBA?
Fans and media members alike love to spew hate regarding the Warriors. I will admit, as soon as the news broke that KD signed with Golden State I was as angry as anyone. But after watching their first few games of that season, I had completely changed my mind.
As mentioned in one of Jeremy Witter’s articles for the Jumper Network previously, the Warriors were the pioneers for the new playstyle that has swept the NBA, and it is no accident.
In the 2011-12 season, the Warriors drafted Draymond Green with the 35 th pick in the draft.
They signed Stephen Curry to one of the best contracts the NBA has ever seen, a 4-year contract extension worth $44 million. Klay had a 4-year $9.7 million contract at the time.
This was the birth of one of the most dominant team of the 2010s.
As you can see, the core of the Warriors was built through the draft. Great scouting and fantastic development saw all three of these players turn into All-NBA players with Steph being the pick of the litter.
Adding Steve Kerr as Mark Jackson’s replacement as head coach was one of the most underrated moves that Bob Myers has made. A lights out shooter when he was in the league, Steve was part of multiple championship teams with the Bulls and the Spurs.
This was the start of something special. In that season, the Warriors won 67 games. Led by an MVP season from Steph, they won their first title.
By now, the Warriors had built a healthy, cohesive environment for their players to develop and succeed. Surrounding their three best players with great complimentary pieces and a fantastic coaching staff brought out the full potential of the team and culminated in the first of their 3 modern championships. They had revamped their playstyle and raised the
benchmark of the NBA.
They had become an NBA goliath.
Dynasties are good for the NBA. They raise the standard of play. The Warriors had reset the benchmark that is required to win a championship to their level, they had become the team to beat if you wanted to win.
Subsequently, they held every team accountable for their errors. Oklahoma had failed time and time again in the playoffs, only reaching the finals once despite the superstar talent they had on their roster.
Eventually, Durant had had enough and decided to leave for greener pastures.
After seeing just how incredible they had become simply through the genius of Bob Myers, and through the planning of the Golden State front office for that free agency, Durant headed for Oakland.
Is it Golden State’s fault they had become the best run organisation in the league? Is it their fault that no team even came close to how well they developed their players? Did the Warriors ruin the NBA, or had they improved it?
Right after Durant had signed with the Warriors, people from around the globe cried about how the league was no longer competitive, that no player was willing to build a team themselves. I disagree. I think after the Durant signed with Golden State he put the league on notice.
Fans crave good basketball. The intensity, threes, blocks, dunks and great passes.
The Warriors level of play is almost unheralded, they are incredible to watch, practically perfect in almost every facet of their playstyle. Golden State is the epitome of what fans crave, it has just masqueraded as the villain that they despise at the same time.
Fans love to hate one common enemy. Golden State is the league wide villain, they are the team that fans always root against. The Thanos to the Raptors’ Captain America (ironic, I know). The bandwagon fans, the impossible to like players (Draymond and KD), the Warriors are the perfect storm.
Golden State may have conquered the NBA for the moment, but their legacy has been a net positive on the league.
If (or rather when) Durant leaves this free agency, it will leave Golden State in a similar position they were in before Durant arrived. The only difference is back then they were the consensus best team in the league, now the league is so competitive that it opens up the championship window for any contending team.