Golden State Warrior fans — and count us as loyal followers — are hoping that the team can find a way to capture their fourth championship in eight years in Boston on Thursday or on their home floor on Father’s Day.
But win or lose, let’s celebrate the fact that these Warriors are one of the most entertaining teams in NBA history with compelling story lines up and down their roster.
It isn’t every day that you get to watch the best shooter in basketball history in the prime of his career. Star athletes who double as role models — both on and off the court — are in short supply these days, but Stephen Curry is just that. Game after game, overcoming injury after injury, Curry is driven to succeed and to help his team succeed.
Ditto for his Splash Brother, Klay Thompson, who was already in competition for most-beloved Warrior during the team’s championship runs of 2015, 2017 and 2018. But Thompson tore his ACL during the 2019 NBA finals against Toronto. And then he ruptured his Achilles tendon as he was about to come back for the 2020-21 season.
All told, it was 941 days from his initial injury until his Jan. 9 reentry. His return to form has been one of the most inspirational stories in Bay Area sports history and could seal his legacy as a Hall of Fame player.
If you wonder what to make of the mercurial Draymond Green, well, so do we, after 10 years of watching his defensive wizardry, intense competitiveness and non-stop trash-talking. Let’s leave it at Draymond is Draymond. It’s hard to see how the Warriors could sustain their championship drive without his fiery personality
One thing the Warrior players share is their willingness to set ego aside and do whatever is best for the team. This is a team that plays as a team — a model of collective effort for competitors of all ages in sports, business, education or life.
In Monday’s Game 5 victory over the Celtics, Curry had one of his worst games at what seemed the worst possible time. He was 0-for-9 from beyond the three-point line, snapping his NBA record 232-game streak of at least one three-pointer per game. But the Celtics’ focus on stopping Curry opened opportunities for others, and they made the most of it.
Especially Andrew Wiggins. When the Warriors picked him up in a trade in 2020, he was widely viewed as a poor fit for a team that was trying to get back in championship contention. NBA experts questioned his work ethic, willingness to play defense and ability to fit into a team concept.
Wiggins proved those experts wrong this season, and on Monday he played the best game of his career, scoring 26 points, snaring 13 rebounds and playing stout defense on Boston’s best player, Jason Tatum.
Teammates Kevin Looney, Gary Payton II, Jordan Poole, Andre Iguodala, Nemanja Bjelica and Otto Porter stepped up to give the Warriors a “Strength in Numbers” contribution reminiscent of their 2015 championship season.
The Warriors’ blend of veteran and young players carries the hope that they could remain championship contenders for years to come. But there are no guarantees in sports. Savor this success while it lasts.
Contributed by local news sources