When I was a kid, the Vancouver Grizzlies were my favorite team in all of sports. When the Golden State Warriors appeared on the Grizzlies schedule, it was a welcoming sight.
During the organization’s last four years, the Grizzlies stayed in Canada. Vancouver finished above Golden State in three of those years. It wasn’t an indicator of how good the Grizzlies were, in fact, it was the opposite. It was an indicator of how bad the Warriors were.
Now, fast forward fifteen years and things have changed considerably. The Grizzlies are in Memphis and are very quietly going to be appearing in their sixth consecutive playoff appearance, while the Warriors are the defending NBA Champions and possibly on the verge of a dynasty.
The Warriors are the most exciting team in the NBA. Anyone who thinks otherwise should be deemed the Mayer of Wrongville.
The best thing about Golden State is that they have built their team the right way. Before drafting the league’s most prolific 3-point shooter Stephen Curry, the Warriors had made the playoffs just once since 1995. Furthermore, Curry wasn’t a Top 3 pick like most franchise players, in other words, it would have been easy to pass on him at seventh overall in the 2008 Draft. Actually, a total of five teams passed on him including the Timberwolves, who passed on him twice.
This is an amazing way to build a team because it rewards good scouting. The Warriors didn’t tank it in 2009 just to get a good player. The Warriors repeated this formula in 2011 when they drafted Klay Thompson. The sharp shooter from Washington State has turned out to be the perfect decoy when teams decide to focus on Curry on a nightly basis.
Players like Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green have completed this team and made this a perfect example of how a bad team becomes a dynasty. Not one of those four picks were a Top 3 pick where they needed a lot help from the lottery system.
Despite being a Grizzlies fan, I want Golden State to win tonight. Having a bunch of young players that I remember watching at the college players has made the NBA fun again after I ignored it for so many years. In a few years, maybe even this summer, we can categorize Golden State as a dynasty, and for the first time in a long time, a team that would have done it the hardest way possibly, by building up. The Warriors built their team that way, and now they’re one win away from surpassing the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls with the best win mark in an entire NBA regular season. Their fans have waited for this moment, all 40+ years of it. And it’s almost time for their name to be etched in the history books.