The Golden State Warriors are among the NBA’s elite franchises. The early part of the century was a rough patch for the Dubs, only making the playoffs once in the decade. Although, that one postseason is definitely a memorable one.
Since Joe Lacob and his group took over as owners in 2010, Golden State has been envied by most of the other teams in the league. The Warriors haven’t made many errors over the last 10 years, but Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz says the Dubs made their biggest mistake over the last 20 years leading up to the 2019 offseason.
Swartz came up with a list of the worst mistakes by every NBA team since 2000, and said the Warriors’ is ostracizing Kevin Durant:
“Whether it was Draymond Green calling Durant a “b---h” and daring him to leave in free agency or general manager Bob Myers awkwardly joking that he hadn’t earned whatever contract he wanted like Stephen Curry had, the Warriors continually shot themselves in the foot when it came to making Durant happy.
Durant later admitted that the altercation with Green factored into his leaving the Warriors for the Brooklyn Nets. “I mean, your teammate talks to you that way, you think about it a bit,” Durant said on ESPN’s First Take. “Like I said, we talked about it. But definitely, for sure [it was a factor]. I’m not going to lie about it.”
I didn’t agree with how Draymond Green reacted during their dust up early in the 2018-19 season, but Durant clearly wasn’t going to stay if this what pushed him over the edge.
No one can argue about how great the Warriors were on the court during Durant’s three-year run, making the NBA Finals each season, and winning two titles. But it didn’t seem like Durant ever felt really comfortable being a part of the group. He said this in a 2019 interview with the Wall Street Journal:
“But I’ll never be one of those guys. I didn’t get drafted there ... Steph Curry, obviously drafted there. Andre Iguodala, won the first Finals, first championship. Klay Thompson, drafted there. Draymond Green, drafted there. And the rest of the guys kind of rehabilitated their careers there. So me? Shit, how you going to rehabilitate me? What you going to teach me? How can you alter anything in my basketball life? I got an MVP already. I got scoring titles. As time went on, I started to realize I’m just different from the rest of the guys. It’s not a bad thing. Just my circumstances and how I came up in the league. And on top of that, the media always looked at it like KD and the Warriors. So it’s like nobody could [give] a full acceptance of me there.”
Maybe this reaction is a result of Durant’s sensitivity, or maybe it’s true, but either way, I don’t think the Warriors can be blamed for causing him to leave. He reiterated at the Brooklyn Nets’ media day that he felt that, “it was time for a change.”
Do you agree with Swartz that this is the biggest mistake the Dubs have made over the last 20 years? If not, which mistake do you think was the biggest the franchise has made since 2000?
On to some more links:
Yesterday was the anniversary of Klay Thompson’s awesome Game 6 performance in the 2016 Western Conference Finals. NBC Bay Area’s Drew Shiller put together a list of Thompson and Steph Curry’s 10 most clutch shots.
Curry and Kendrick Perkins had a fun exchange during the 2018 NBA Finals. Check out Warriors World’s Instagram page for a hilarious t-shirt based on the incident.
Andre Iguodala will have his jersey retired by the Dubs, but does he belong in the Hall of Fame? The Ringer’s Bill Simmons makes the case for Iggy to be inducted. (h/t Drew Shiller)
Michael Jordan has been at the forefront of the NBA world since ESPN aired “The Last Dance.” Former Warriors Chris Mullin, Tim Hardaway and Rod Higgins recalled the time MJ practiced with the team before returning to the NBA in 1995. (h/t The Sporting News’ Joe Rivera)