The Warriors Are Going to be Just as Good in the Future
I think after the Big 3 leave, the Golden State Warriors will still be contenders.
The San Antonio Spurs were one of the best teams in the early to mid-90s.
Led by David Robinson and Sean Elliot, the Spurs made the playoffs every season for 6 years. They even had a 62-win season in 1994-95, where they were the top dog in the NBA.
(I will add, however, that they couldn’t make it past the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference Finals so that you guys don’t bring it up and call me out.)
They were winning and enjoying all the glories that came with being victorious (in the regular season that is).
But seven games into the 1996-97 campaign, Robinson fell to an injury and had to sit out the entire season. Then a few months after that incident, Elliot got hurt and had to sit out as well.
Gregg Popovich, then the GM of the team, decided to tank because they really had no chance of winning in the post-season (P.S. this is how you’re supposed to tank -I’m looking at you OKC Thunder).
The Spurs ended the season with 20 wins.
Their plan worked as they got lucky and received the first overall pick in the 1997 NBA draft.
And in that draft class was a young, calm and humble lad by the name of Tim Duncan, who they obviously selected.
With Duncan, this Spurs roster went on to win the 2003 NBA championship.
Duncan also helped the Spurs win multiple titles after the 90s roster retired as well (which I’m sure you’ve heard about somewhere).
The Golden State Warriors are in a similar situation.
They currently have veteran stars in Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green who are leading the team right now.
But they also have really good young players with tons of potential in Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole, James Wiseman, and Jonathan Kuminga who can all lead the team to title contention in the future.
And all of this came to fruition because their star players, for many of the games, had to be in street clothes in 2019-20 and in 2020-21.
This forced the youth of the team to mature and develop quicker than they would have had to because they had to play. And with every minute that they spent competing on the hardwood, they gained experience.
Poole had to step up and be a go-to scorer for the Warriors. Wiggins, when he came over, had to step up and be the team’s go-to two-way player.
Warriors GM Bob Meyers had this to say about Poole’s progression:
Via Slam Online:
“We saw the potential. But when we Draft players [late in the first round], realistically, it’s really hard to know where it’s going to go. We thought it was possible, but we didn’t know he would reach it. But credit to him and the coaching staff that put the time in to perfect his craft. I’m happy for him that he’s showcasing this on a big stage, showing his skillset and fitting in with guys that are leading him.”
However, what makes them unique is that the Warriors’ young players have veteran teammates guiding them (unlike many rebuilding teams). They have superstars who are teaching them during practice and during games.
And this is why I think the Warriors will be one scary team in the future (as long as their future stars stay with the team. We all know what happened to the Spurs once Kawhi Leonard bounced).
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