Whether fans like it or not, the Golden State Warriors have dominated the NBA for three seasons now. They have totaled 207 regular season wins in 3 years. For some perspective, the Cavaliers’ 2017 regular season win total, if sustained, would take more than 4 seasons to reach 207.
Most of their dominance is here because four years ago, they signed future two-time MVP, Steph Curry, fresh off ankle surgery, to a 4-year, 48-million-dollar contract. If you need any perspective on that, LeBron James, in the 2016 offseason, signed a 3-year, 100-million-dollar deal. That’s 12 million a year vs. 33 million a year for guys who, two years ago, were both fully responsible for their team’s success.
Now, in the 2017 offseason, Curry looks to make up for being underpaid by signing a super-max deal, 5-years, 207-million-dollars, a length and amount only able to be offered by Golden State by retaining Curry’s Bird Rights. The average fan may look at this and think “There it is, Kevin Durant will decline his imminent player option and Golden State will not be able to offer him enough money after face-of-the-franchise Curry signs his huge deal.”
Well, that is what makes this early dynasty so capable of longevity and sustainability. The one word that easiest describes the Warriors is unselfish. They have led the league in assists for 3 seasons in a row, and in 2015-2016, set the highest mark of assists per game since the SuperSonics in the early 90’s. If thats not enough, never in that span had one Warriors player averaged more than 8 assists a game. The warriors played as a team, not just one player assist hunting all night.
KD didn’t want to be remembered as Charles Barkley, one truly great season, and one finals appearance. KD chose the route that gives him a true legacy, not a legacy easy to memorize when reading a list of accomplishments on Wikipedia.
The Warriors drafted themselves into a convenient spot where they had cheap, lengthy contracts on Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Steph Curry. They figured that they could legally sign KD and gave it a go. Their sales pitch landed, and so did their game plan.
Sustainability here is going to come in the fashion of decent length contracts for Livingston and Iguodala because of the 4 million KD will sacrifice to get this team more hardware. Sustainability and consistency have come from one thing for the Warriors the last three years, and it looks to continue. It is unselfishness.
Any NBA fan used to regular selfishness assumes stars leave cities just because they don’t get their max money, which is true in most cases. It is a breath of fresh air and good for the league to have a team that players’ problems lie within how others will stay, get paid, and help win, rather than how oneself can go wherever and get paid the most. It’s hard to argue against maintaining this Bay Area behemoth when their best players do not mind sacrificing fame and money to win games. It is just another example of why this team is a different breed, and why they’re ready to win multiple titles in a way that they are rarely done in the NBA, together.