The Golden State Warriors 2015 championship run started off one of the greatest five-year stretches in the NBA history. The Dubs finished 67-15 in the regular season, yet some feel that edition of the Warriors wasn’t as good as the 2017 edition with Kevin Durant.
Dubs head coach Steve Kerr is one of those people. In an interview with Wes Golberg of The Mercury News, Kerr shares his thoughts on what the difference is between the two championship winning squads:
“I think the first championship just kind of came out of nowhere. Deep down, I think we weren’t really sure in 2015 that we could win it. We were trying to convince ourselves that we could, but we didn’t really know. And whereas in ’17 we knew we were the best team in the world, and we knew we were going to win the championship. We had the champion’s confidence for winning in ’15 and then we had Kevin Durant. So it’s like a totally different level of belief.”
You can sense the Warriors were ready to make their ascension to the top of the NBA going into the 2014-15 season, and they stamped their arrival with the title.
After the 2016 NBA Finals loss to Cleveland, which wouldn’t have happened if the league did not suspend Draymond Green for Game 5, the Warriors added superstar Kevin Durant.
Kerr also talked about what made the 2017 winning team so good:
“The combination of talent, two-way abilities with having so many players capable of playing both ends of the floor and the motivation that came with losing in the Finals the year before and the motivation for Kevin to win his first championship — it was all in the mix. It was brand new for him and so, as a group, we were so fresh and excited to be there. There were no distractions. It was just us playing basketball.”
He added that the 2017 team was the best he’s ever coached.
That Dubs squad went 16-1 in the playoffs, only losing in Game 4 of the NBA Finals to the Cavs.
I agree with Kerr that the 2017 team was ridiculously good, but the first championship in 2015 was a heck of a ride not only for the team, but fans alike.