The 2016-17 Golden State Warriors will go down as one of the best teams in NBA history. Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green lead arguably the most potent offense fans have ever seen. They average 118.9 points per game, which is a number that not many teams reach during the season. It goes to show just how dominating they are. To go along with that level of greatness is the vast amount of dislike from fans and former players.
Many say that this Warriors team could not beat past teams that were considered great, which include the Los Angeles Lakers of the early 2000’s and the Chicago Bulls of the 1990’s, but that topic is up for debate another time.
Former Laker, Robert Horry, recently appeared on ESPN’s The Jump and compared his experience on being on a team with multiple All-Stars and discussed the current construction of the Warriors.
“You had a lot of young guns, and they were all trying to take their top as king of the Lakers, and it just didn’t happen for us,” Horry said of his old Lakers squad. “I look at they way the Warriors are playing and they play so well together, they hang out together. The thing about the Lakers at the time, they had Shaq just getting to the Lakers, Kobe trying to announce his throne and it was just so bad that we got swept by the Utah Jazz.
“Magic [Johnson] literally came out on TV and talked so bad about us that the next year we got rid of Eddie [Jones], got rid of Nick [Van Exel], we tried to do some different ways to get rid of all those kings in the castle. What the Warriors are doing now is incredible to have that many dominant players, MVP players, great defensive players, play that well together and like each other and look out for each other. That is a recipe for greatness.”
The 1997-98 Lakers team Horry is referring to featured Nick Van Exel, Eddie Jones, a newly acquired Shaquille O’Neal, and a young Kobe Bryant. All of these players were All-Stars in 1998 much like the Warriors big four this year.
That team was expected to make a deep run in the playoffs but eventually got swept in the Western Conference Finals by the Karl Malone led Utah Jazz. That prompted a team overhaul, which resulted in three straight championships in the early 2000’s.
This Warriors team is without question extremely talented. It features a Hall of Famer in Durant and possibly the greatest shooter in league history in Curry. They have fascinated the basketball world with their play, and if they can finish off the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals and perhaps finish a near perfect record in the postseason, there will be a strong debate on whether they should be considered the greatest team in history.