A lot of fans around the NBA seem to imagine a “good old days” of Association when everyone had a chance. I’ve been watching the NBA since the 80s, and it was never like that. Back then it was Lakers/Celtics all day everyday whether you liked it or not.
Because I was a huge Lakers and Magic Johnson fan back as a kid then just like these kids all over the country today are huge Warriors and Steph Curry fans.
Teams have more of a chance than ever before. Free agency actually gives other teams hope if they plan properly.
Think about it. The Lakers, Celtics, Bulls, Sixers, and Knicks — traditionally the winningest biggest market teams — suck or have sucked for several years recently. Yes, the Celtics and Sixers got out of that and maybe the Lakers with Lebron will too, but two PERENNIAL DOORMATS have made the Finals for FOUR years in a row!
We demand so much in the short-term and we all live in this outrage culture where someone else’s success makes us bitter and angry. Even the Warriors who were so awful from the 90s to the 00s, but that’s because of awful front office decisions. We blame Chris Cohan, Robert Rowell, Don Nelson during his first stint.
I’m preaching to the choir here, but we all know that after decades of making terrible, inept, short-sighted, profit-focused, egocentric decisions, the Warriors finally made some right moves, such as:
1) Drafting Stephen Curry #7 when he wouldn’t even work out for the Warriors — that’s how BAD the team’s reputation was!
2) Drafting Klay Thompson #11. He was supposed to be the next Trajan Langdon (who was actually Cleveland’s #11 pick in the 1999 draft).
3) Trading Monta Ellis for Andrew Bogut (I’m still bummed fans booed Joe Lacob. This trade from a basketball perspective was almost a no-brainer. The Warriors had never in my tenure had a legitimate center, and we had two 6’3″ guards. Steph had greater potential and Monta’s shooting and playing style kept regressing. The only question mark was Curry’s ankles.)
4) Drafting Draymond Green #35. No one outside of Michigan State had heard of him before.
These guys were all massive UNDERDOGS!
The 2016 cap spike was due to the NBA Players Association not wanting to smooth out the cap increase over a few years as the NBA wanted. The opportunity was there, so Kevin Durant and the Warriors took it.
I can see other teams and their fans being annoyed by that, but hey, I’m sure if it were them, they wouldn’t mind.
It was all within the rules.
Basically, although it may have taken almost a perfect storm to create today’s Warriors, teams not named the Lakers or Celtics have proven it can be done. It started with two transcendental stars in Steph and Lebron to do it, but you have to be lucky and good.
Fans are too myopic, too quick to get upset. The Warriors and Cavs have given other teams hope. They just don’t see it yet.