What a year. As Bram outlined, it wasn’t exactly a good year. In fact, it was mostly a very not good at all year. I’m pretty happy to see it drifting away in the rearview mirror.
But if you ignore everything that happened in 2017 that wasn’t related to the Warriors, well, it was a darn good year. A great one, even! Like, let’s do that again, shall we?
So, with the new year starting, let’s look back on the Warriors’ 2017, and relive the best parts. With apologies to the many dynamic performances by Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, the amazing new jerseys, and Nick Wright’s gloriously incorrect predictions, here are my five favorite moments in 2017.
5. Draymond Green wins Defensive Player of the Year
After two years of finishing second behind Kawhi Leonard, Draymond Green finally was recognized for what he is: the best defensive player in the NBA.
Green will likely retire as one of the best defensive players in NBA history, and now he has some of the hardware to show it. Watching him play defense is a true joy, and since he so often is in the shadows of Curry and Durant, it was terrific to see him get his time in the spotlight.
4. Steph Curry and Kevin Durant re-sign
It was a foregone conclusion that the Dubs would re-sign their two superstars. Curry had already stated that he wanted to spend his whole career in the Bay, and Durant had elected to come to Golden State only one year prior.
And after winning a title in dominant fashion, it was all but guaranteed that the two free agents would re-sign. But assured awesomeness is still awesome. Curry signed for the max as soon as the offseason began, and Durant took a discount that allowed the team to re-sign Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguodala.
It may have flown under the radar, but in the big picture, this was the best moment of the year for the Warriors.
3. KD hits his signature shot
Kevin Durant was hearing none of it.
Years from now, KD will be inducted into the Hall of Fame, and this will be one of the main moments on the video montage.
2. Warriors buy a draft pick from Chicago and select Jordan Bell
When the Warriors bought a second-round pick from the Chicago Bulls during the 2017 NBA Draft, most people had the same sentiment. The rebuilding Bulls were silly to part with a young pick, and the Warriors were likely to find a quality role player, as they did the year prior when they purchased the pick that turned into Patrick McCaw.
It didn’t take long for the narrative to change: Golden State got a lot more than just a quality role player. Jordan Bell has already established himself as the top center in the Warriors’ rotation, and he’s still got a lot of growing to do. His potential is sky-high on both sides of the court.
It’s very possible that we look back on the second round of the 2017 draft as a critical moment in the Warriors’ ability to build a long-term dynasty.
1. We championship, baby
Leandro Barbosa may not have been on the team anymore, but the phrase remains. After a stellar regular season, and a historically great 16-1 run in the postseason, the Warriors were champions.
Curry was brilliant, Durant was unreal, and the Dubs celebrated on their home floor.
Nothing beats a championship. We’ll remember this moment for the rest of our lives.
Happy New Year, everyone. Here’s hoping that 2018 is much better for the world, and equally good for the Warriors.