After another anti-climactic NBA finals, the Golden State Warriors have once again asserted themselves as the best team and greatest force in the NBA. Now that they have won their third title in four years, the team has officially been proclaimed a dynasty. They have also won 265 regular season games in the last four seasons.
It’s easy to see how the Warriors have won so much. These last two seasons they have had the second and third greatest players in the world, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry, and even before Durant joined they had the two best three-point shooters in the game, Curry and Klay Thompson, along with the reigning defensive player of the year (Draymond Green). That’s four of the twenty-five best players in the NBA! To top it all off, the team’s head coach, Steve Kerr, won three championships as a player and teammate of one Michael Jordan, and then won two more Championships playing for the San Antonio Spurs under Greg Popovich. Talk about getting experience.
I’d like to point out one thing everybody seems to be forgetting. The nucleus of the team that went to the first two finals (Curry, Thompson, and Green) were all drafted by the team! Sure, Durant and Andre Iguodala were free agent signings, but the Warriors were still skilled, or lucky, enough to draft a Super Team into existence. Not enough focus is being put on how that happened and how other NBA teams allowed it to happen.
Moving on to the second greatest force in the NBA today, LeBron James’ third anticipated free agency decision of his career will likely realign the power balance in the entire NBA. The Warriors will likely still be the best team, but James always goes to new teams with an established star and then brings in another star along with role players to completely recreate a team. That’s what happened with the Miami Heat when he joined Dwyane Wade and lured in Chris Bosh. The same thing happened when he returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers, joining Kyrie Irving and brining in Kevin Love.
The speculation has already begun into where The King will go. The Los Angeles Lakers are in a good market near some of James’ properties. If we’re talking markets, maybe the New York Knicks are attractive. He could be the final piece of The Process for the Philadelphia 76ers. Maybe he’ll return to South Beach and join Wade on the Heat again. He could rejoin another former star teammate if he joins the Boston Celtics. The Houston Rockets were able to compete with the Warriors this year and that’s attractive, especially if Chris Paul resigns. Heck, why not just join the Warriors? Everyone will be pushing their own argument until James actually decides what he wants to do. Get ready for a full summer of all things LeBron.
Honestly, that last line was partially a joke but also partially serious. James deserves all the praise he gets and it’s obvious why teams want to chase after him. After all, he has gone to the last eight NBA Championships. He’s the closest individual to being a walking, talking Championship contender in today’s game.
It’s reached the time of year where fans, media members, and former players alike complain about the lack of competition in the NBA because of the two aforementioned super powers (the Warriors and James). To them I have one thing to say: enjoy this. Some people hate James, but regardless of their opinions of him he is one of the greatest players of all-time. And the Warriors are greatest amalgamation of stars in a long, long time. If you blink, you might just miss it all. Basketball is about having fun and enjoying watching, playing, and coaching the game. There’s nothing better than getting to see great players and great teams battle each other for the highest honor in the sport. Don’t lose sight of what the game is supposed to be: fun. So cheer or boo the Warriors and love or hate LeBron, just make sure your heart is in it.
Just to clarify what this all was, I wanted to start a new semi-regular column on the NBA now that the offseason has started. I’ve decided to call it, The State of the Association just because it sounds cool and pretty official. In this new column I’ll be selecting a few topics to discuss each week and I’ll try to elaborate on them with as much information as possible while also adding in some of my own opinions. I’ve always loves basketball as a sport and I love the NBA and the many great players currently in the association.