While their competitors implode due to being thoroughly beat down or simply their own stupidity, the Golden State Warriors have enjoyed the best offseason in the NBA. And that means they're in excellent position to repeat as NBA champions.
In other words, we're in the midst of one of the most exciting periods — if not the most exciting period — in Warriors history.
So while it's easy to continue looking ahead at what could be, I asked our new writers to first look back at what has already been.
In hindsight, the most memorable moment was the start. I distinctly remember, two weeks into the 2014-15 season, looking at the standings: 5-2, top of the Pacific Division, 3rd place in the West. My mind wandered, as it does in these situations. It’s hard to watch Steph Curry score 10 points in the first six minutes and not think about 80 for the game; hard to watch the first batter retired and not think about how the pitcher’s on pace for a no-hitter. I did the math for the Warriors hot start: 5-2 after two weeks is 10-4 after a month, 20-6 after two . . . the heart ignites with these trends, even when the mind rushes for a fire extinguisher.
Of course, a week later they were on top of the conference, a month later they were tying the bow on a 16-game winning streak, and their final winning percentage far exceeded that of the 5-2 start. It turned out that the best-case scenario, which my heart tried so valiantly to justify as being realistic, was not just achieved, but only the very beginning of it all.
Gosh, it’s so hard to pick a single moment out of the past three amazing seasons. But if I was to narrow it down, it would have to be “The Shot” that Curry landed to take the win over a wide-eyed, would-be-cupcake-eating Oklahoma City Thunder team two seasons ago.
The game was such a roller coaster ride of emotions, whose peaks and valleys couldn’t be drawn any better than how it played out. We were fighting from behind all game long, Curry went down with what looked like a severe ankle roll only to return in full NBA jam “on-fire” mode, Iggy made a pagan ritual sacrifice before hitting two free throws to send the game into overtime. And all of this built up to the incredible crescendo that was heard ‘round the Twitter world. If you haven’t heard Tim Roye covering that game and shot, do yourself a favor and find the clip on Soundcloud.
In an ever-growing pantheon of epic Curry shots, that one still gives me shivers and it is the perfect depiction of how magical that regular season was.
Curry... way downtown! BANG! BANG!!
^This guy has it right… Curry equaling the single game 3-point record with a 38-foot game-winning pull-up in OVERTIME?? Not even a question, my favorite moment. The announcing is legendary too. “Bang! BANG! Oh, what a shot from Curry!” I'll never forget that call and that shot.
In three seasons of magical moments, this one stands head and shoulders above the rest.
I’d have to agree with J Mak. It was a freezing February night in the Midwest and I was staying at my parents’ house for the evening. My dad, jaded by the Jordan era in Chicago, settled in to watch the last few minutes of the game — he had watched minimal Warriors basketball through their ascendency. As the teams traded baskets, he’d let out quick yelps, shocked at the accuracy of the three-point shooting. When Steph pulled up about four feet further than Andre Roberson expected, my dad stood up. The shot went in, he looked at me, wide-eyed, and said, “HOLY S%&$!!.”
Sports are wonderful for those moments— times when people I care about internalize why I can spend so much time invested in teams, players, and games. Curry’s game winner was one of those moments.
I would say the most memorable moment of the last three years of Warriors dominance would be liberating Kevin Durant from the dusty prison yard that is the Oklahoma City Thunder. We had so many memorable wars with OKC, and we punctuated many of those games with historic clutch performances (also groin kicks). The way we took joy in repeatedly crushing their heart in high leverage situations, totally planted the seeds for Slim to abandon the ignominy of isoball and organizational ineptitude.
It feels great to completely destroy a young Western conference rival to the point that their best player was assimilated into our "collective" like the Borg. Obviously, we proved we could win a championship without him. Hell, we were a Kyrie Irving dagger away from going back-to-back!! But, omg, WITH the YouTube movie makin, LeBron daggerin, Twitter fingerin, F*ck A Hairbrush, "Indian Basketball Ambassador", Finals MVP KD?!? We are truly #GodsTeam.
The most memorable moment of the last three years? It’s so hard to pick from, feels like we’ve had a lifetime of memories during this three year stretch. But if I have to limit it to one game, it's Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals at OKC — the game where Klay Thompson threw the entire franchise on his back. Facing a thunderous crowd in enemy territory with a record season on the line…KLAY WASN’T GOING HOME. In the finals minutes, Westbrook drives left, goes up for the shot, stripped by Iguodala. Iguodala feeds a running Klay in transition. Klay stops and pops, hits a 3 over Durant to nail the dagger.
Sure, the Warriors ultimately ended up losing to the Cavs in the 2016 Finals later on, but this was a game for the ages.
There are some moments in basketball that die and are forgotten and some that are etched into basketball lore. Reggie Miller’s 8 points in 9 seconds vs the Knicks. Robert Horry’s game winning 3 vs the Kings. LeBron’s 28 straight points vs the Pistons. Sean Elliott's Memorial Day Miracle vs the Blazers.
Klay’s 11 3-point furious comeback vs the Thunder.
This was the kind of the drama that makes the NBA so great. Forever remembered as the Klay game.
For me, the most memorable moments were when the Warriors won the title this year and when Stephen torched the Blazers in last year’s playoffs. The Warriors winning this year was memorable because they have been taunted relentlessly the year before. How they internalized it all and destroyed Cleveland on and off the court was a thing of beauty.
Steph returning from MCL injury and torching Portland was great b/c Steph gets an underserved label of soft and for him to be out there, compromised and going off for 17 in a quarter was amazing.
The moment that stays with me, the one I think about the most, is a very specific and particular one. As Kevin Durant became overcome with emotion as he stood on the precipice of his first NBA championship with the Warriors up by 11 with less than 50 seconds to go in Game 5 of the 2017 NBA Finals, Steph Curry dribbled the ball on the wing with Kyrie Irving guarding him tightly — a perfect set up for putting up one of those impossible, arching three point shots that seem to hang in the air forever before coming down. One of those shots that you think no one could ever make, except of course Steph.
As the ball fell through basket, I remember watching the delirium that was set off in Oracle, the championship poised to return to the Bay. I felt all the jokes, all the slights and shots and digs that doubters would take at the Warriors, all the nasty comments, all the disrespect, I felt them all just vanish into thin air. After that, I felt myself get lifted away on a (metaphorical) cloud of pure basketball joy and I haven’t come back to Earth since.
What was your most memorable moment of the past three Warriors seasons?
This poll is closed
The Warriors’ start to the 2014-15 season
Steph Curry’s game-winner in OT in OKC
Signing Kevin Durant
Klay Thompson’s clutch performance in Game 6 of the 2016 WCF
Steph Curry’s "I’m Back!" game in Portland
Winning the 2017 title