Warriors inspired by eternal disrespect in their quest for a repeat appeared first on NBC Sports Bayarea
SAN FRANCISCO – There’s always someone, current or former NBA player, analyst with a microphone, who can’t resist pouring salt into the Warriors’ celebration. It has become, like barbecues and trips to the beach, a summer ritual.
Win chips, wait for the disrespect.
Boston Celtics forward Grant Williams fired the first blast of the summer, declaring that the Warriors were the inferior team in the NBA Finals despite winning in six games.
“I don’t follow that stuff,” coach Steve Kerr told NBC Sports Bay Area on Thursday. “I think every team that’s won a championship has had breaks along the way, so you can always say that. Should every champion have a star?
“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 Game 1 of the Finals that “the core guys of the Boston Celtics are going to fight the core guys of the Golden State Warriors. “
After losing Game 1, the Warriors won four of the next five to capture the trophy and host another parade.
Don’t these people know that such open contempt ignites the anger in these people? The core trio of Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson have spent their NBA careers selling slights and turning them into energy used to clap back at strangers. It is part of their identity.
In the summer of 2017, they heard a chorus of observers arguing that the Warriors, aka the “Super Villains” after adding Kevin Durant, took a break in the Western Conference finals when Kawhi Leonard was injured in Game 1 .Golden State went on to sweep the San Antonio Spurs, by an average margin of victory of 16 points, and posted an NBA-record 16-1 mark in the postseason.
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, Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers said the Warriors were “lucky” not to have to face his team or the Spurs en route to the Finals.
The Warriors put on a collective face and responded by reeling off 24 straight wins to open the 2015-16 season and roll to the NBA’s 73-game winning streak in the regular season.
Perhaps it was difficult to evaluate this group, led by a point guard with a wiry physique, part of the NBA elite at the time, but is not arguing against it five years later as a form of denial?
Have the Warriors really been so far down 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 missed the Finals or watched on TV?
That’s one explanation for the familiar reaction to Golden State’s 2022 NBA championship, and it’s the only one that makes sense.
It took the NFL’s New England Patriots more than a decade, 14 seasons to be exact, before the franchise ended its inglorious history and began bowing at the feet of coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady.
That fourth Super Bowl, after nine seasons without one, answered all the questions about his greatness.
The Heroes? They had four parades in a shorter period of time and still, skeptics inspect them with a microscope, hoping for signs of a flaw.
After two seasons away from the playoffs, they were underdogs last season. They should be, because there was good reason for the suspicion. The central trio opened the season as a duo. They took underdog status, were successful and earned another Larry O’Brien trophy.
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Sure yet? No.
“Draymond doesn’t mind back and forth,” president/general manager Bob Myers told NBC Sports Bay Area. “I think Curry would say it’s enough. ‘Just stop. Leave us alone.’ To him, it’s like, ‘What are you going to say now?’ And he has a point.
“But somebody will say something.”
Naturally. In an ESPN survey 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 place, with three votes the head.
The voting for the 2023 NBA champs went in this order: Clippers (five votes), Milwaukee Bucks and Celtics tied for second with four each, and the Warriors with two.
Debate, if you like, whether this is the latest volley of hatred or disrespect. There is little doubt that it is food as fuel.
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