Great teams - nay - the historic teams don't simply knock opposing franchises out but also entirely dismantle them from the bottom up. They either destroy their opponents so badly, it knocks them into a tailspin or they rip their hearts out in such a horror film way that the hangover lasts for years.
The Golden State Warriors are slicing the wound open, surgically carving out the heart, then pulling their best Hannibal Lecter comparison (if your imagination stretches that far). In their infancy, the Warriors wrecked the Denver Nuggets, knocking them out in the postseason. After running through last season's entire postseason, the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, and the Memphis Grizzlies are all still dazed and confused through the first quarter of this year. And the Cleveland Cavaliers? Busy whining about health issues or something.
On the night the Warriors set the record for the most games won in a row to start a campaign at 16, the Los Angeles Lakers flailed about, wandered aimlessly, chased their own tail, and altogether looked like they were just waiting to hit up some SF nightclub on a Tuesday night before heading back home.
After the game, Kobe Bryant spoke in depth on how the Golden State Warriors look compared to last season, "Last year in the Finals, they looked very jittery in the first three or four games, or whatever. They worked themselves through that, and what you see now is a team that's been through the wars."
As Kobe lavished praise on the Warriors, he also demeaned his own team, verbally stating what the Clippers, Grizzlies, and the Rockets are certainly feeling at the moment, "I'm not really worried about it, honestly. My shooting will be better. I couldn't scored 80 tonight. It wouldn't have made a damn difference. We just have bigger problems."
That is incredible.
The Warriors aren't simply beating teams, their submission choke-holds are becoming the stuff of legends -- akin to Ronda Rousey before whatever happened a couple weekends ago. And as we tune to the Warriors' locker room after this historic night? Just like when they clinched the Pacific Division last year. Just like when they wont the first round series, second round series, and the Western Conference Finals. The players were subdued, interviews remained the same, the atmosphere unchanged from the past season. Which is to say, the Golden State Warriors aren't acting like they've never been here before. These are uncharted waters, sure, but the Warriors seem comfortable coasting along to their own tune.
These Warriors won't admit it, but they want to go for the record, be it 33 wins in a row or the 72-win mark of the Chicago Bulls. Before the 16-0 start, they were muted on what it meant but as it came closer, they started to show the "Arrogant" side (as Twitter terms it), how they wanted to go for it and openly voiced their thoughts on their own greatness.
The uniqueness of the coaching staff and management of the Warriors will always remain how the lack of an ego and the cohesiveness of compromise has worked out to this range of success. Luke Walton deflects blame to Steve Kerr who does it to Bob Myers who hides behind Joe Lacob in praise. The players are just as unique in their love of basketball and each other. Andre Iguodala is shimmying after game-clinching passes, Draymond Green roaring with the crowd after a first possession three-pointer, Stephen Curry passing the ball up when wide open in transition to a streaking Iguodala who rubs his head furiously on the way back upcourt. The Warriors love basketball, and are focused like never before on reaching the annals of history, levels of which they're essentially creating for themselves at this point.
The Golden State Warriors are the greatest team in the world right now. They boast one of, if not the greatest, five-man lineups of all time.
And on their mind?
They can very well become immortal.