The bell just rang. Paper clips were falling from the ceiling. The party can start. The Warriors are once again the champions of the Western Conference and we will find them next week in the NBA Finals. This phrase, very familiar, nevertheless has such a special flavor.
This is the Warriors’ sixth appearance in the NBA Finals in eight seasons. The first in 2015 stunned the entire league. The next four, from 2016 to 2019, were no-brainers. It was enough to see the smiles of Stephen Curry and Draymond Green, the excitement of Klay Thompson, and Steve Kerr’s emotion to understand that this sixth accession was unique for many reasons.
“It feels so unreal, it’s hard to find the right words” Klay Thompson said after the match. “At this time last year, I was just starting to run.”
“It wasn’t our first time but it was completely different looking at what our franchise has been like over the past two seasons”
“It wasn’t our first time but it was totally different looking at what our franchise has been like over the past two seasons,” Steve Kerr launched an animation.
Three years ago, the Golden State Dynasty fell from its base in a matter of days. Kevin Durant’s Achilles tendon was his first domino, followed three days later by Clay Thompson’s knee ligament in Game 6, and a valiant loss to the Raptors in the final at Oracle. From that night, we remember the ordeal of Stephen Curry, kneeling in a corner of the field opposite his Splash Brother.
This grief was the beginning of two years in Purgatory. Kevin Durant went to Brooklyn, Stephen Curry broke his hand, and the Warriors finished the 2020 season with the worst NBA record. Klay Thompson’s long-awaited recovery with the Achilles tendon disappeared before the start of last season. Two seasons white for the back, two seasons without playoffs, and the imposition of increasing question marks.
Will Stephen Curry and Draymond Green leave? Could Klay Thompson be able to become Klay Thompson again? Can Steve Kerr and Bob Myers rebuild a team worthy of the name?
“None of us has been afraid after the past two seasons,” Have fun with Stephen Curry.
“It’s not about winning games during the season, it doesn’t mean anything. Our aim has been to improve throughout the season to give us a chance to be in that position today.”
In the face of doubts, warriors resorted to certainty. Their culture, their philosophy, their collective foundation and altruism, their voracious appetite for heights, DNA, and the heart of heroes. At the time, Rudi Tomjanovic’s saying sounded cliched. History tells us we shouldn’t “Never underestimate the heart of a hero,” But how can you not doubt that Golden State can code this expression after two such complicated seasons.
“I am proud of them because they continued to work hard during the two seasons they spent both on the field and in the weight room, knowing that it was the only way to find the heights despite the complete lack of certainty of getting there,” Steve Kerr remembers.
“We had to go through a lot of adversity but we never lost our confidence and belief that we can get back to that level,” Stephen Curry added,
Comparisons with the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s are clear. After all, Michael Jordan’s team is the last team to play six finals in eight seasons. However, these Warriors have the San Antonio Spurs flavor of Greg Popovich. Another franchise qualifies as a breed, which has managed to reinvent itself over the generations. From “The Twin Towers” of David Robinson and Tim Duncan, to a dazzling game with the arrival of Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, and finally the hatching of Kawhi Leonard.
The Warriors are also in the third iteration under Steve Kerr. There were two seasons with Stephen Curry as the MVP and record 73-9, the three years with Kevin Durant, and the current season. But how can we hope that Kevin Looney, Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Paul, Otto Porter Jr., semi-retired Andre Iguodala and two other novices and adventurers can bring this release to the skies.
“We know what it takes to win the title,” Draymond Green explained. “It’s not about winning games during the season, it doesn’t mean anything. Our aim has been to improve throughout the season to give us a chance to be in that position today. With all the young players we have, it’s up to us to show them the way. If you do it right and with confidence, Other players will follow the same approach.”
Culture begins with us, but everyone benefits, and everyone can shine. That’s a wonderful thing”
It all always starts with the Stephen Curry-Draymond Green-Klay Thompson trio, led by the steady hand in Steve Kerr’s velvet glove. Each of the three leaders has missed between 18 and 50 games this season, but their impact on this group’s identity has gone beyond the rest of the workforce.
“It is all built on years and years of experience. The chemistry we have speaks for itself,” The commander explained. “The fact that we haven’t played together since the 2019 finals and I don’t know how many days and once we got together on the pitch it was like the old days.”
Their forced exile away from the peaks, and floors, gave them a new perspective. It’s not normal to go to the NBA Finals for five seasons in a row, but it has become for this trio.
“It gives you another perspective and you realize how fragile what we have achieved,” Draymond Green launched the philosophical. “You have to take advantage of the moments you have when you are healthy and fit, that’s all you can do.
Knowing that their time was limited, they put all their energy into serving this thirst for victory, and everyone else followed suit.
The system was the same, the recipe too. “Strength in Numbers”, all season and more in the playoffs. They would never be at the top of their convention again without the relentless inspiration of Jordan Paul, the shadow efforts of Kevin Looney and Andrew Wiggins, and the unexpected contributions of Moses Moody, Jonathan Kominga and many others.
Culture begins with us, but everyone benefits, and everyone can shine. And that’s a great thing.” Stephen Curry describes.
In the NBA where stars and coaches play on musical chairs, Golden State relies on continuity. They have not lost a playoff series in the West since the arrival of Steve Kerr. “I’ve always said that, no one has ever proven that they can beat us when we’re full and they still do,” Draymond Green dropped in reference to injuries to Andrew Bogut in 2016, and injuries to Clay Thompson and Kevin Durant in 2019.
However, the Celtics, in particular, and the Heat are presenting the toughest duel they will face in these playoffs, but Steve Kerr’s men didn’t want to think about it just yet.
Last night, on the same floor as in 2019, although on the other side of their bay, the Warriors returned to the success familiar to them, while being very special.
Interview in San Francisco.