You don't need to be a die-hard basketball fan to know that the Golden State Warriors are a great basketball team. They're flashy, fun to watch, and they have one of the most well-rounded teams in the NBA. Having a great mix of passers, record-breaking shooters, and fast-paced plays is a difficult formula for any team to beat.
The Golden State Warriors history is a mixed bag when you look at their development and achievements. There were a lot of failures along with some very big achievements. As they say: "the sweet just isn't as sweet without the sour." What you'll learn through examining their history is a tale of triumph when all the right pieces fit together and pure magic happens on the court.
There are a number of big names that deserve credit for this multi-championship team as they work towards their 3rd trophy in four years. Before we learn about them, we need to start from the beginning.
Let’s not sugar-coat the past for this amazing team's story. The Golden State Warriors share much in common with their Bay Area siblings, the San Francisco Giants. They went a long time without winning anything worth noting before things turned around. True Warrior fans know how long and hard those years were to bare.
When you were a Golden State Warriors fan, you were basically making a statement: "I don't care how dominant and beloved the Lakers are, I'm rooting for my home team." It would be easy to jump ship after decades of losing, nobody would blame you for choosing to go with LA's legendary teams.
The Warriors once went through an 18-season stretch where it made the postseason just one time. In the NBA, 16 of the 30 teams make the postseason, which means over half the teams make the playoffs. Not making it for that many years is really tough to accomplish. From 1978 through 2012, the Warriors made the playoffs just six times in 35 seasons.
Let’s not disrespect any of the other players that started the "We Believe" movement for the Golden State Warriors, who brought them out of that playoff drought. Baron Davis and company really raised the bar for this team to play with passion. It should go without saying though, the team's restructuring really took off when they drafted their #1 star: Stephen Curry.
He's only in his 9th season, as of this writing, but he has experienced so much growth and success, he could retire now and still be in the Hall of Fame. This is in addition to all of his own trials and tribulations to get where he is. Curry was scouted as small, slow, and having a lack of ball handling ability.
Yes, Curry was seen as a short guy who could shoot, but not NBA-material due to his athletic inabilities. Every step of the way, from high school to college, he had to prove naysayers wrong with his abilities. This underdog label is why he landed in Golden State and not Minnesota.
Instead, the Timberwolves picked up the promising Ricky Rubio, and then post-season standout Jonny Flynn right after, two players who play the same position as Curry. They had not one, but two chances to pick Curry. Instead, Golden State took a chance on him and the rest is history. Rubio never reached Curry-heights, and Flynn was a complete flop by today’s standards.
Curry has gone on to become the first unanimously voted MVP of the league, set multiple shooting records, become widely regarded by experts to be the best outside shooter in the league’s history, and transform the way the game is coached/played as we know it.
Another major piece of this championship Warriors puzzle is their coach. While Mark Jackson did play an important role in getting players together, he lacked offensive vision. Jackson misused a lot of the talent on the Warriors' bench, which as we know today, plays a pivotal role in their success.
After Jackson failed to produce growth during his last year, five-time NBA champion and record-holding three-point shooter, Steve Kerr, was hired. Kerr gained fame as a player as part of the Chicago Bulls’ dynasty, and with the San Antonio Spurs. However, after that Kerr found a dead-end as a GM and president of the Phoenix Suns, and became an NBA broadcaster for TNT. He had always wanted to coach but was waiting for the right opportunity.
Mark Jackson wasn't a bad coach, per-say, but you can tell that Golden State wanted some new blood. Steve Kerr seemed like the perfect fit, and not just due to his shared experience as a clutch shooter on the most dominant Bulls championship team in history. Kerr's demeanor and coaching approach garnered a much better reaction from the team.
Jackson being a conservative, old-school, hard-nosed coach didn't gain the level of trust with his team as Kerr has demonstrated since. In fact, it is not uncommon to see Steve Kerr field input, or hand the reigns over completely, to his players. This isn't cockiness or incompetence, this is having complete trust in your team.
Part of what makes the team's chemistry so great is their willingness to share. A superstar three-point shooter is typically a spot shooter who handles all the big shots on their own. In the case of Golden State Warriors history, this would have stunted their success.
Passing the ball to the open man, and creating space for each other, is what makes Curry and teammate Klay Thompson the infamous "Splash Brothers" duo. The Championship Warriors team of today features many important role-players. This deep bench of supporting teammates is how they keep the opposing teams guessing and scrambling to keep up.
It is also worth taking a look at how they managed to acquire Kevin Durant and make the best use of his talent. Kevin Durant is one of the superstars of the league and demands the ball quite a bit, which could have added complications to some teams with already big names. However, he bought into the Warriors’ pass-centric offense and allowed all their superstars to prosper. It was a big deal in sports news at the time because it reminded people of what happened with "the Big 3" in Miami, when LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined Dwayne Wade in an attempt to make a dynasty of their own.
This is a key point to understand how and why the Warriors are able to stay consistent and keep all their players happy. Egos can ruin a team filled with all-stars before they ever get off the ground. There are two big examples involving one superstar (who is famous for his ego) that failed in practice, but dominated on paper: the '92 Phoenix Suns and the '97 Houston Rockets with Charles Barkley.
That's right, he was part of two big rosters. With the Suns he had Kevin Johnson, Dan Majerle, and Tom Chambers, while with the Rockets he joined Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler. When Drexler retired, Scottie Pippen, another key member of the Bulls’ dynasty, joined the team. Barkley failed to earn a ring with either team.
The Warriors were the team to beat after their first championship in 2015, however, they would see a bump along the way to their second Finals victory. Their loss of a 3-1 series lead to LeBron and the Cavs left a bitter taste in their mouths and the mouths of the fans.
Rather than roll with the firepower that they had, they decided to go after one of their toughest opponents in the West: Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Keven Durant. The reason why they were able to even consider this match made in heaven was a major increase in the league's salary cap. This came from a newly minted $24 billion TV contract.
Even with the acquisition of Durant, fans and critics were a bit skeptical due to past super-team failures. Also, the Warriors had to get rid of some beloved players that helped them win their first title, such as Andrew Bogut, and Harrison Barnes. Thankfully, Durant sacrificed $6 million from his previous salary, which allowed GS to keep team veterans Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston.
Many speculate that if Golden State got rid of these two, the team would not have seen the same bond and success continue. Durant knows he will make more money in the future on a championship team, of course. Plus, it doesn't hurt that he is among the top paid playersin endorsement contract money.
Throughout this major transformation of success, there is a commonality of exceptional decision-making. Behind the trades and player drafts, there is one name that stands out in particular: Bob Myers. His great management has allowed the Warriors to continue to play as one of the deepest and talented rosters in history.
You can still see his handiwork today in the form of NBA underdog JaVale McGee. Before he came to the Warriors, McGee was seen as injury-ridden, old, and even a liability. In fact, TNT analyst, and basketball hall of famer, Shaquille O’Neal would regularly feature questionable highlights of McGee’s in his “Shaq’tin a Fool” segment.
All of these labels on McGee didn't keep experienced GM Bob Myers from signing him because of his talent and athleticism. It's unbiased and calculative moves like this that have propelled Myers to be recognized as one of the top GM’s in the league. Since his signing, JaVale McGee has provided important defensive and offensive minutes from the center position. This postseason, he has been a breakout star for the team.
Player talent is just one reason that the Golden State Warrior history has been prosperous and exciting. All the basketball sports memorabilia, such as the signed Stephen Curry merchandise, and autographed basketball jerseys out there cannot show how much Warrior culture has infiltrated the city. From the streets to the head offices, there's something different about this franchise.
The culture of the Golden State Warriors fosters a free, empathetic, and transparent climate among the players and coaches. From the liberal use of passing on the court, to the socially-conscious manner of the head coach, all major role-players in this team aren't your typical "numbers guys" that we all have gotten used to.
The fact that fans and management of the team have been through so much may also have something to do with the passion and tenacity on display. The arena where they play, nicknamed "The Roaracle," is named as the NBA's best home-court advantage. You can feel the rumbling of excitement, which pumps up their team and forces the visiting team to use sign-language on the court.
With the Golden State Warriors trying to capture their fourth title, many wonder how long they can sustain their legacy. Keven Durant is such a valuable player now, but he is also on superstar payroll. Some speculate that he would be willing to continue taking pay cuts to keep their core together.
This makes sense if they manage to keep winning rings. Stephen Curry won't be leaving in the foreseeable future, and the other Splash Brother, Thompson, has another season. Draymond Green, another fantastic role-player, has until 2020, while the rest of the cast is still young and will probably only be traded for better options.
Combine these factors with the management's proven ability to manage players and salary cap, and you could safely say this is a dynasty. Probably not the best news for those cheering for other teams in the West, or the rest of the NBA for that matter, but that's not the fault of the Warriors.
When you begin to analyze the who, what, when, where, and why, it is easy to see why the Golden State Warriors have become one of the best teams in NBA history. It's certainly not a common one, which is why basketball sports memorabilia has been on fire the past few years. People are recognizing that as more records are being set by this amazing team, the demand goes up with it.
If you're looking for a special piece of Golden State Warriors sports memorabilia, you can contact us any time. We will be happy to help you locate that special piece of history. Don't let the moment pass you by, the earlier you can acquire these pieces, the better the deals you will find.
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