While an entire basketball world looks envious at Golden State Warriors, others merely nod their heads in respect for a job well done.
"People were envious even before Durant came!"
The words came from a fellow reporter at the NBA All Star Game in Los Angeles this year. We were discussing the "Warriors-frustration", and his take on the "problem" didn’t arrive with Kevin Durant.
"A lot of people were already talking pre-Durant. Fans and owners were frustrated that the Warriors had three All Stars on their team. It was unreal!"
This reporter shared the same disbelief as I did. How can anybody be shocked or even angry with an organization, that has put so much effort into trading wisely and buying intelligently?
The Warriors grabbed Durant for two years and $54.5 million. At the same time, the Charlotte Hornets spend $120 million on Nicolas Batum. Whiteside was offered $98 million in Miami, Parsons $94 million in Memphis and Ryan Anderson $80 million in Houston – all four year deals.
The list of bad signings goes on, and secretly it tells us, that behind the "Golden State Warriors-rage" there’s a hidden disappointment in most of the franchises in the NBA.
How to build
To build a dynasty requires tremendous talent, some luck, and the willingness to work on team culture.
Talent – both on the court and in the organisation you need talent. You need the eye for talent when you’re drafting, and the Warriors sure knew how to spot them.
2009 Steph Curry – Round 1: 7th overall
2011 Klay Thompson – Round 1: 11th overall
2012 Draymond Green – Round 2: 35th overall
People complaining about the three All Stars are nothing but jealous of an organization who’s nailing it at the moment. The signing of Durant was brilliant, and if DeMarcus Cousins gets healthy it’s another huge achievement. But the secret behind these signings lies with the ability to draft intelligently.
Luck – no one could possibly know that Green would evolve to be DPOY, and no one could ever know that Curry and Thompson would end up as the best shooting team ever. Predicting a players full potential is impossible and therefore drafting also requires a bit of luck. Klay and Steph was expected to be contributors but the Draymond Green story is special. 2nd round and 35th pick is a bumpy road to the All Stars, but no one considered the mental strength of the Warriors own instigator.
Culture – to me this is the crucial point of being successful in modern NBA. If you’re able to teach your players, that team success leads to personal success – you got something going! You can’t buy success if you aren’t prepared to break down the minds of your players.
With an anti-alpha-male-approach LeBron James should have been the most succesful player in history according to his talent. But his dominance made people leave. Russell Westbrook lost it all, when first Harden and then Durant split. Modern NBA isn’t about following blindly. Players don’t need kings or ball hogs! Even Michael Jordan learned the lesson getting crushed by the Pistons – "I need my team"!
You have a long way ahead of you winning an NBA championship. The road is even longer trying to get several.
The Golden State Warriors have worked hard for their team culture. Durant walked into something that was already established…and that’s why he wanted to come. He liked the idea of sharing the ball (and perhaps winning titles).
The Warriors are a perfect example of a modern team taking turns individually. No one is above the team. Kerr, Thompson and Curry have been the frontrunners in this process. They have set the example to follow!
Continuity doesn’t come in a box wrapped in pretty paper. Building a dynasty takes a lot of sacrifice.
Every player must put away ego, personal dreams and thoughts of individual achievements. Not before you think as a team, play like a team and deliever as a team you will be able to build a dynasty.
Just ask in Oakland!