Prior to the 2021-22 season injuries had marred the Golden State Warriors the previous two seasons. That, along with superstar Kevin Durant leaving via free agency in 2019, changed the course of the Warriors as we once knew them.
Having given up all their wing assets to acquire KD during the summer of 2016, GM Bob Myers and head coach Steve Kerr were stuck with trying to rebuild that aspect of the team on the fly. With Klay Thompson on the mend and unproven players trying to fill the void, it looked as if the championship window was closing fast.
And while Curry vowed that the league wouldn’t want to see them this season following their play-in loss to the Grizzlies last season, the growing sentiment was the Warriors weren’t championship contenders without a healthy Klay and some other quality wings outside of Andrew Wiggins. Rumors of a potential trade for Bradley Beal and Damian Lillard spread like wildfire but never came to fruition.
NBA Rumors: Blazers Could Send Damian Lillard To Warriors For Jordan Poole, Andrew Wiggins & 2022 1st-Round Pickhttps://t.co/yht0FiZ9aK
— The Inquisitr (@theinquisitr) May 26, 2022
In an interview on the Zach Lowe podcast “The Lowe Post,” The Athletic’s Marcus Thompson talked about that very subject.
“They, Curry, Thompson, Green wanted somebody who was ready right now to help win right now; the doubt was there, the skepticism was there.
“They were trying to convince Bradley Beal to jump ship, they were trying to kick the tires on Damian Lillard, see if they could get somebody to come. The skepticism was no doubt there.”
A trio for the ages.
Steph Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson fulfill the pact they made with each other to get back to the level they belong.
— Marcus Thompson (@ThompsonScribe) May 27, 2022
“No question it was there all offseason, it was there during contract negotiations when you’re wondering what’s the direction of the Warriors? What are they trying to do?
“Are they trying to win? Are they trying to build for the future? The skepticism was definitely there before the season began.”
Skepticism Leads To A Championship Contender
The Warriors always believed with their “Big Three” that they could get back to the NBA Finals, but they needed other pieces to make it happen. That’s where Andrew Wiggins comes into play. The trade for him, solidified their starting lineup and gave them the wing scoring and defense they sorely lacked since KD left. Two below-average seasons and some savvy trades by GM Bob Myers netted them the supremely athletic Jonathan Kuminga, who’s the first G-League alum to play in an NBA Finals. Golden State also landed former Arkansas Razorback bucket getter Moses Moody, a rangy, smooth scoring wing, in the first round of the 2021 NBA draft.
The signing of Gary Payton II was the final piece of their perimeter defense that they desperately needed. Add in the maturation of Jordan Poole and the rise of Kevin Looney, and the Warriors are right back in the NBA Finals. And to think they also have an athletic 7-footer in James Wiseman who’s been out the entire season.
Scary what they’ve done this season.
Leadership Of Steve Kerr And Steph Curry Is Unparalleled
Leadership is vital in anything, but in sports its essential, and the Warriors have two of the best at it. Head coach Steve Kerr is savvy at the X’s and O’s and is also a hands-on leader that players want to play for. He stands up for his guys and will go to bat for them in any instance.
& we back. pic.twitter.com/mw889zi8ez
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) May 27, 2022
That, along with the unselfish leadership displayed by Steph Curry, are two huge reasons this dynasty is back like it never left and sitting just four wins away from their fourth NBA title in eight seasons.