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Do the Warriors deserve this championship?

Some people have questioned whether the Warriors deserve a championship. We go back in time to find the last NBA Champ to deserve the title.

We Be Championship.
We Be Championship.
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports


The Golden State Warriors were the best team over the whole year and had a historically great regular season and then, when all is said and done, got through the playoffs pretty quickly against four teams each led by a healthy member of the All-NBA First Team.  Were there some hypothetical matchups that were bad for them? Yes — Spurs, Clippers, full strength Cavaliers. But EVERY championship team has luck, even those Michael Jordan Bulls teams had bad matchups.

But let's say you think the W's don't 'deserve' a championship because each team the W's beat this year had injuries, or because they got a beneficial playoff bracket. So actually the Cavs were the deserving champs, right?  Well, hold on — the Cavs played a Hawks team destroyed by injuries from Matthew Dellavadova and NYPD, a Bulls team with a gimpy Derrick Rose, and a scrappy bad Celtics team.

And none of the other 2015 teams beat anyone worthwhile. So NOBODY this year deserves the title.

So, let's give it to last year's champions, the Spurs!  But hang on, the Spurs caught the Heat with an ailing Wade and a roster generally exhausted from three long Finals runs.

So let's keep looking back. Here is a list for why all previous champions don't really deserve their title. (By the way, I don't agree with a lot of what comes, but these are arguments that many real humans make.)

  • 2014. Spurs beat a burned-out Heat with an ailing Dwayne Wade, a cramping LeBron James, and a team generally exhausted from three long Finals runs. Spurs also get a very lucky draw and miss playing all the best West teams with star big men, the Grizzlies and Clippers, who might have challenged them. The ancient Spurs also get a break from the scheduling, three times giving them a 3-day break before a game in San Antonio, including a long break before the Finals start.
  • 2013. Heat lucked out with the luckiest offensive rebound and corner three in history to beat Spurs. Plus the health decline of Celtics Big 3 eased the already very weak Eastern path to Finals.
  • 2012. Heat miss playing their kryptonite, the Spurs, instead getting the much better matchup, the Thunder, while a young Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were still figuring things out. James Harden helps the Heat by being awful. Plus note the decline of Big 3 Celtics made the East especially weak.
  • 2011. The Mavs caught LBJ Heat while they were gelling in their first year of Big Three-ness. Mavs also benefited from the disintegration of the Kobe Bryant Lakers dynasty.
  • 2010. The Kobe Lakers faced a beat up Big 3 Celtics missing their starting center for Game 7.
  • 2009. The Kobe Lakers blew away a one dimensional Magic instead of facing the Big 3 Celtics, who had crushed them the year before but who were upset due to a Kevin Garnett injury.
  • 2008. The Big 3 Celtics caught the Kobe Lakers during Pau Gasol’s first half year before the Lakers could gel. Also Big 3 only occurred when old Celtic Kevin McHale traded Garnett to old teammate Danny Ainge, instead of for a better Warriors (or Lakers or other team's) package.
  • 2007. Spurs lucked out when LeBron's Cavs 1.0 took out the Pistons, We Believe took out #1 seed Dallas, and most importantly, the best Mike D'Antoni Suns team famously got derailed when Amare Stoudamire and Boris Diaw were suspended for getting off the bench due to Robert Horry's dirty smash of Steve Nash, Nash's face getting smashed in Game 1, and later-disgraced ref Donaghy calling many fouls for Spurs in Game 3.
  • 2006. Heat won Games 3 through 6 via Wade's getting absurd, insane numbers of foul calls, many from later-disgraced ref Tim Donaghy.
  • 2005. Spurs took advantage of the implosion of their kryptonite, the Shaquille O'Neal Lakers, to barely squeak out a win over the Pistons who were hungover from their title the previous year and who still beat out a weak East field.
  • 2004. Detroit beat a dysfunctional Lakers team who lose key man Karl Malone early in the Finals, have Kobe Bryant flying to trial every few days when not threatening to leave via free agency, have an out of shape Shaq screaming for a raise, and have management determined to boot out Phil Jackson due to his being a jerk and a complex King Lear family drama.
  • 2003. Spurs sneak in a title in a down year, by finally beating the Shaq-Kobe Lakers as the Lakers wear down after three years of Finals runs and the Kobe-Shaq feud going into overdrive. Spurs then beat a Nets team with Jason Kidd and coach Byron Scott at each others throats. Not to mention the intense unfairness of the Spurs tanking during a Robinson-less year to win the Tim Duncan lottery.
  • 2002. Lakers beat the Kings via the ultra-lucky Robert Horry 3 and the massive tide of foul calls in infamous Game 6. Then they crushed the sacrificial Eastern foe.
  • 2001. The Lakers' best competition, the Kings, hadn't had time to gel yet, and wouldn't until the following year. Also, Shaq was only called for 10% of the offensive fouls he committed, so there's that.
  • 2000. Lakers should have lost to the Jail Blazers before the Finals if not for the epic choke job in Game 7.
  • 1999. This whole season has an asterisk due to the lockout and the Bulls dynasty disbanding. The Spurs beat a Cinderella 8 seed Knicks team which barely upset the far stronger Heat and Pacers.
  • 1998. The Bulls avoid road Finals Game 7 when Michael Jordan obviously pushes off Bryon Russell with no foul call, and hits an illegitimate championship jumper before (temporarily) retiring.  Also, recent expansion made the league weak.
  • 1997. The Bulls miss their kryptonite, the Houston Rockets, when Utah takes them out, and then avoid Finals Game 7 when Steve Kerr bails out Jordan AGAIN. Also, recent expansion made the league weak.
  • 1996. Bulls had a pretty good team but benefited from the diluted NBA talent after expansion.
  • 1995. The Rockets win in the second year between Jordan reigns, beating a Shaquille O'Neal-Penny Hardaway Magic team before that dynamic duo can gel, the Spurs with David Robinson but no Tim Duncan yet, and missing the Bulls who couldn't re-integrate Jordan quickly enough to beat the Magic.
  • 1994. The Rockets win in year 1 after Jordan, and miss the powerhouse Sonics who are upset by the Dikembe Mutumbo Nuggets, and miss the Scottie Pippen Bulls who were robbed by ref Hue Hollins against the Knicks. Rockets then squeak out Game 7 over the Knicks as John Starks misses dozens of shots and personally sets fire to Patrick Ewing's legacy.
  • 1993. Bulls squeak one out against the Charles Barkley-Kevin Johnson Suns, who took out the Bulls' kryptonite, the Sonics, in a controversially reffed Game 7. The Bulls avoid Game 7 on the road when John Paxson hits his game winner and KJ just misses winning the game. Also, recent expansion made the league weak.
  • 1992. Bulls miss a rematch with a loaded Lakers team when Magic Johnson retires due to HIV. Also, recent expansion made the league weak.
  • 1991. Bulls had a pretty good team, but recent expansion made the league weak, and their archrival Larry Bird Celtics had declined.
  • 1990. Bad Boy Pistons beat Jordan Bulls before the Triangle is mastered and while the Pistons were still allowed to injure opponents before the Flagrant Fouls rules were established. The Pistons also enjoy the decline of their chief rival, the Bird Celtics. Also, recent expansion made the league weak.
  • 1989. Detroit beats a Lakers team that had smoked everyone else 11-0 until Magic Johnson and Byron Scott were injured. Also, recent expansion made the league weak.
  • 1988. Lakers squeak out a victory against the Bad Boy Pistons who had not yet refined their injurious approach. They also miss playing their chief rivals, the Bird Celtics who are starting to decline due to the physical ailments of Bird/Robert Parish/Mchale.
  • 1987. Magic Lakers beat Bird Celtics, who were the injured version of the amazing 1986 Celtics who crushed the league the previous year.
  • 1986. Bird Celtics miss the Magic Lakers -- who had beaten them the year before -- due to an upset by the Rockets.
  • 1985. Magic Lakers beat Celtics who had injuries to Bird (from the infamous bar fight!), former Finals MVP Cedric Maxwell, and had Parish sprain an ankle in Game 2, allowing eventual MVP Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to go wild. Plus Lakers, lacking home court advantage, benefit from the debut of the 2-3-2 Finals format.
  • 1984. Bird Celtics barely edge out the Magic Lakers when Magic had an inexplicably bad series, earning the nickname "Tragic Johnson".
  • 1983. 76ers sneak through playoffs without meeting their archrival Celtics when Bird's dislocated finger, terrible series from Parish, and bad coaching from Bill Fitch (fired right after) let to a Bucks upset.
  • 1982. Lakers cruise through a weak West to beat the 76ers who had barely beat their rivals, the defending champs Boston in seven, after the Celtics lose Nate Archibald in Game 3. Also, general unfairness from Lakers drafting Worthy with draft pick ripped off from owner Stepien (who famously inspired the Stepien Rule forbidding teams stupidly trading all their picks).
  • 1981. Celtics take 6 games to beat a weak Houston squad that had finished under .500 and had barely upset the defending champion Lakers in a best of 3 opening round, costing coach Westhead his job.
  • 1980. Lakers miss playing the top seeded Celtics who were still jelling with new rookie Larry Bird and were upset by the 76ers.
  • 1979. Seattle wins in a down time for the cocaine-plagued NBA in the years right before Magic v Bird began.
  • 1978. Washington wins, missing the defending champion Blazers when they lose All-World and All-Space Case Bill Walton in the playoffs.
  • 1977. Portland upsets the 76ers who had just gotten Dr. Julius Erving in the ABA draft and hadn't had time to gel.
  • 1976. Celtics win without having to face defending champs Warriors when Rick Barry pouts his way through Game 7 vs the Suns.
  • 1975. Warriors win legitimately.

So, actually, when you go through the record, the last legitimate champion was the 1975 Warriors. So, let's award the championship to them, and have the 2015 Warriors accept the trophy as their representatives.

Anyway, to be honest, who cares whether people think the Warriors got lucky. When the Warriors have multiple modern NBA championships, we can mope about how some of them were too easy. Until then,


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