The Golden State Warriors took care of the Boston Celtics in six games en route to the 2022 NBA Championship. Talks of dynasty took over the sport. Are the Warriors a dynasty or not?
My thoughts are that the Golden State Warriors franchise is a dynasty. I will admit that the dynasty tag was on life support in the aftermath of their loss to the Toronto Raptures in the 2019 NBA Finals. Prior to that setback, the Warriors had made five consecutive trips to the NBA Finals with three championship rings to show for it.
Misfortune is what slowed down the dynasty talk in recent years. Off the court, there was COVID that left the NBA playing a shortened season in the ‘bubble’. Kevin Durant left in free agency. Klay Thompson suffered a torn ACL that was set to wipe away his next 12 months. Team leader Stephen Curry missed most of season due to a hand injury.
The missing years were not a complete waste. The Warriors used the draft to add talent to the roster. The No. 28 overall pick in the 2019 Draft landed Michigan sophomore guard Jordan Poole. Durant’s departure led to the signing of Andrew Wiggins who is now an all-star.
Everything came back together this season as Thompson returned to the court. Still, Golden State was not looked at as a contender. Vegas predicted that there were eight teams who would win more games than the Warriors. Like I said, talks of a dynasty were just about over.
This title really does not surprise me. It does surprise me that oddsmakers did not see this coming. Curry can make a strong case as a top-10 player of all-time. Thompson was back on the floor. Draymond Green anchored the defense as always. Steve Kerr was still coaching and he won multiple championships as a coach and as a player. Wiggins gave the team a fourth all-star and the bench, led by Poole, was a strength.
Wiggins ended up being a difference-maker. The former No. 1 pick focused his talent first and foremost on the defensive end. Wiggins locked down both Luka Doncic and Jayson Tatum in the final two rounds. He clearly was Golden State’s second best player throughout this run.
Yes, the NBA still has a dynasty. And it still all comes back to Curry. Once known as the greatest shooter of all-time, he has to now be considered as one of the game’s all-time greats. Curry is still behind Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, LeBron James, Bill Russell, and Magic Johnson on the all-time list, I say he has an argument to be alongside or above Kobe Bryant, Shaq, and Tim Duncan as one of the very best to ever to play the game.
Those who deny the dynasty at least have to realize that Golden State is still the gold standard the rest of the NBA is chasing. Winning this title after losing Durant, and after going through so much other adversity, really is amazing.
I would not count them out next year. After all, we are in the midst of a dynasty.