In spite of the fact that the Golden State Warriors were one of the NBA’s original franchises. they’ve had their fair share of lean years which at times has made them forgotten. From 1995-2012, the Warriors were only able to put together one playoff appearance with only two winning seasons. But now the Warriors have become the envy of the rest of the NBA.
The Warriors have made the playoffs in each of the last six years which is the first time that this occurred since they were still in Philadelphia. But more importantly the Warriors have won three of the last four NBA Championships, and in the process they’ve been able to double their overall titles from three to six. In 2016, the Warriors also become the first team in NBA history to go 73-9 for an 82-game regular season, and after being a lovable team in 2015, they are now jeered outside of the Bay Area which is the price that you pay for consistently winning. However it doesn’t bother the Warriors as they continue to find way to get stronger and better.
Following the Warriors loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2016 NBA Finals, they didn’t cry over spilled milk as they instead focused on improving. And that improvement occurred by signing former NBA MVP Kevin Durant. The Warriors already had three All-Stars in point guard Steph Curry, shooting guard Klay Thompson, and power forward Draymond Green, but they knew that adding Durant could make them better. Durant was truly the X-factor as in the NBA Finals rematch with the Cavaliers, he averaged 35.2 points and 8.4 rebounds to lead Golden State to the title, while he was named as MVP of the finals.
The Warriors would cruise to another NBA Title last month as this time around they swept the Cavs, and when you’re winning as often as they are, the skeptics are chomping at the bit in order to predict your demise.
However these Warriors are not only showing the winning is contagious, but they will do anything possible to keep their position as the kings of the mountains. And as soon as free agency in the NBA began last week, the Warriors pulled off a shocker when they signed All-Star center DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins. The move came on the heels of small forward LeBron James announcing that he was leaving the Cavaliers in order to suit up for the Los Angeles Lakers, but the Cousins signing would trump that power move as it all but solidified the Warriors chance of claiming another NBA Title next season.
The Cousins deal is only for a one year at $5.3 million due to the fact that he’s recovering from a ruptured Achilles tendon. But if Cousins is healthy by the time that playoffs roll around next spring, good luck to any team that will face the Warriors as he gives them a legit scoring threat in the post.
So now the Cousins signing has some people complaining that the Warriors who they already felt had an unfair advantage are going to be unstoppable. But instead of being mad at the Warriors, those people should break out a pen and a pad in order to take notes and study them.
Multiple teams passed on Curry in the 2009 NBA Draft, while Thompson was taken 11th overall in 2011. In spite of being the Big Ten Conference’s Player of the Year in 2012, Green was a second round pick that year as this trio represents a group of players that other teams didn’t want. The Warriors had already won a title without Durant, and in adding him they found a way to get better which is the same thing that they’ve done by adding Cousins.
This winning culture for the Warriors starts with co-owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber who purchased the team in 2010, and in that time has focused on removing the culture of losing which had plagued this franchise for decades.
If you build it they will come which is what Golden State has done as their winning culture in the envy of the league. The Warriors “core four” has shown that they are unselfish on the court as well as of it due to the fact they’ve taken less money in order to keep this together as long as possible. I doubt that the Warriors will be able to re-sign Cousins next summer because he will be seeking a huge payday that he missed out on this year due to his injury. However Cousins is along for the ride, and if he does leave next summer, there will be other All-Star caliber players who won’t have a problem taking less money to come to Oakland as winning is indeed contagious.