On July 4, 2016, the Golden State Warriors won the NBA’s Era of the Super Team.
Sorry, Boston Three Party. Sorry, Heatles. Sorry, Kobe and the Kobettes. Any amalgamation of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and another all-star – almost any other NBA all-star – is destined to dominate the NBA as it currently sets up.
Kevin Durant, who was on an Oklahoma City team that pushed the 73-9 Warriors to seven games in 2015-16, went for the rings. He joined the Warriors.
He completed the Warriors’ Death Star.
He was dragged across social-media platforms for choosing Golden State. Durant, like LeBron James in 2010, made a move that he felt best filled his needs. He wasn’t trying to jump into a Scrooge McDuck-style money bin. Durant wanted rings.
Rings that he felt he wasn’t going to get in Oklahoma City.
He’s got two of them. He also has a pair of NBA Finals MVP awards to accessorize with that jewelry.
Whether or not it was worth the messy breakup with the Thunder, is only known by Durant.
It’s a colossus of NBA talent that we’ve never seen outside of the All-Star Game or various levels of USA Basketball’s men’s teams.
It may even be better than some non-1992 USA men’s teams.
Whether or not you, the reader, believe that the Warriors – as they are assembled – are good for the NBA is irrelevant. The long-standing gripe is that whichever team was on top is somehow bad for the NBA.
The team has rampaged through the past two postseasons with a 32-6 record, going 8-1 in the past two NBA Finals meetings with the Cleveland Cavaliers. A Cavaliers team with the best basketball player alive on its roster … Well until LeBron James bolts for Philadelphia.
While it’s difficult to generate happiness when a team has won three championships in four seasons, it’s not difficult to appreciate what the Warriors have done in that span.
Durant, already a generational talent while in Oklahoma City, blended with the Warriors’ in-place star power so well that Golden State could be cast as the MonStars in SpaceJam 2 and it would be very realistic.
… Only if the MonStars get back that win over a LeBron-led TuneSquad.
Back to that 73-9 Warriors team. The one that blew a 3-1 lead against the Cavaliers. The rarely referenced 3-1 lead. The forgotten 3-1 lead.
So, what do the Warriors do? They LeBron-proofed things.
They made a move that made the team better.
They made the move that made the team too good.
Again, you don’t have to like the Warriors or what they’re doing, but they’re doing what’s needed to win championships. Even if the balance of power is so shifted that only four teams out of the 30 in the NBA have a legit championship chance.
Legit is a loosely-used adjective. One of those teams was swept with chilling malice in this year’s Finals.
Another may post a threat if it can keep its stars healthy and avoid a LeBron-led team in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
The other took the Warriors to seven games in the Western Conference finals but went down in flames when a cocktail of an injury to Chris Paul and 27 straight missed 3-pointers in Game 7 kept the Death Star chugging along.
The original Death Star met its demise when a fundamental flaw was exposed by a one-man starship.
The Warriors’ Death Star has fixed that messy loophole. The Warriors’ Death Star is fully operational.
We can only be so lucky that the Warriors’ Death Star is not destroying planets, though it has already conquered this one.