When a team dominates the NBA, there’s always talk of fatigue, and of championship hangovers. The Golden State Warriors are not immune to such talk, and how can they be?
While half of the league’s teams settle into hibernation in early-mid April, the Warriors have played deep into June in four consecutive years. And, for the fourth straight autumn, they begin the season as favorites to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy in roughly 100 games.
It can take a toll.
Draymond Green understands that, and, perhaps surprisingly, isn’t afraid to admit it. Green was remarkably candid on Monday at shootaround when asked about last season’s team, which sleep-walked to 58 wins, nine fewer than at any other point during the Steve Kerr era.
“This is going to sound bad, but there was like nothing for us to work on or make work,” Green admitted, as reported by Anthony Slater. “It was: ‘Oh, we know what we’re doing, we’ve played together, we know how good we are. Let’s just go play.’ There was really nothing to work toward. We knew the whole year we was just trying to get to May and June. There was nothing to kind of spark that fire.”
So will this year be any different, with the team coming off of consecutive titles? Green certainly thinks so, saying, “I think this year we got something to work on. We got a lot of young guys. Then even with DeMarcus coming in, making that work. JB, Damian, Loon will play a bigger role, making that work. I think we just got more to work on than we did last year.”
Green’s sentiments certainly reflect a lot of public perception, but it’s still refreshing and surprising to hear an athlete speak so honestly about it.