SAN FRANCISCO – There’s always someone, current or former NBA player, analyst with a microphone, who can’t resist pouring salt in the Warriors’ festive champagne. It has become, like barbecues and trips to the beach, a summer ritual.
Win a chip, wait for disrespect.
Boston Celtics striker Grant Williams fired his first mid-summer blast, declaring the Warriors the NBA Finals’ underdog despite winning six games.
“I don’t follow these things,” coach Steve Kerr told NBC Sports Bay Area on Thursday. “I think every team that won a championship got their breaks along the way, so that can always be said. Should every champion have an asterisk?
“It doesn’t really matter,” Kerr added. “We have the banners.”
Williams’ comments came after former NBA star Tracy McGrady, who didn’t wait until the summer, said before the first game of the Finals that “the Boston Celtics’ key players will outperform the Golden State Warriors’ key players.”
After losing the first game, the Warriors won four of the next five to grab the trophy and host another show.
Don’t these people know that such outright disdain ignites the rage within these men? The core trio of Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson have spent their NBA careers digesting dross and turning it into energy used to applaud at the naysayers. It is part of their identity.
In the summer of 2017, they heard a chorus of observers insist that the Warriors, also known as “Super Villains” after Kevin Durant was added, had a break in the Western Conference Finals when Kowhi Leonard was injured in the first game. The San Antonio Spurs swept, with an average winning margin of 16 points, and set a post-season NBA record 16-1.
The 2017-18 Warriors faced San Antonio in the first round of the playoffs, taking the series in five games, winning by an average of 14.2 points.
In the summer of 2015, then-Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers said the Warriors were “lucky” not to have to face his team or Tottenham en route to the Finals.
The Warriors raised their collective brow and responded by racking up 24 consecutive victories to open the 2015-16 season and move up to an NBA record 73 regular season game win.
It might have been hard to consider this group, led by a fit goalkeeper, part of the NBA elite at the time, but don’t argue against it five years later as a form of denial?
Have the Warriors really been so far at the bottom of the NBA food chain for the better part of 40 years that winning four championships in eight seasons isn’t enough to silence people who have lost finals or watched them on TV?
This is one explanation for the familiar reaction to the Golden State 2022 NBA Championship, and it’s the only explanation that makes little sense.
It took the New England Patriots in the NFL more than a decade, 14 seasons to be exact, before the league finally sinks its storied history and begins kneeling at the feet of coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady.
This fourth Super Bowl, after nine seasons without one, answered all questions about their greatness.
the Warriors? They’ve fought four walks in a shorter amount of time and skeptics are still examining them with a microscope, anticipating signs of malfunction.
After two seasons of playoffs, they were underdogs last season. They should have been, because there was good reason to be suspicious. The primary trio opened the season as a duo. They embraced the status of the underdog, thrived within it and earned another Larry O’Brien trophy.
RELATED: Warriors Expect Totally Healthy Boot Camp, Pre-Season List
Convinced yet? number.
“Draymond doesn’t mind coming and going,” President/General Manager Bob Myers told NBC Sports Bay Area. “Carrie, I think, might say it was enough. ‘Stop. Leave us alone.'” To him, it’s like, “What are you going to say now?” And he’s got a point.
“But someone will say something.”
Naturally. In an ESPN poll of 15 general managers, coaches, and scouts, the Clippers received the most votes (eight) to represent the Western Conference in the 2023 NBA Finals. The Warriors and Phoenix Suns tied for second with three votes each.
The 2023 NBA champions were voted in this order: Clippers (five votes), Milwaukee Bucks and Celtics tied for second with four each, and Warriors with two.
Discuss, if you will, whether this is the latest barrage of hate or disrespect. There is no doubt that it is food for fuel.
Download and follow Dubs Talk Podcast