Then and Now: Not Always So Golden

Anthony Faber and Nick Frigerio

Well the talk of the NBA of course is the Golden State Warriors. About 10 years ago, the Warriors were the joke of the league. The 2009 draft changed everything for this team. In 2009 the Warriors drafted Steph Curry from Davidson College. The kid who was too small to play for a big name college had just been drafted 7th overall in the NBA, but over the next 10 years this wouldn’t be his greatest accomplishment. He would lead a team that went from having a lottery pick every season to an NBA dynasty. Klay Thompson, the second person in the duo known as the Splash Brothers, was chosen 11th in 2011 by Golden State. Draymond Green is the third and final major draft selection made by the Warriors that led them down the path to a dynasty. He was the 35th selection in the second round in 2012 out of Michigan State.

Joseph Lacob became the Warriors owner on July 10th, 2010 with a goal of winning the NBA Finals and becoming a dominant dynasty. Before Lacob’s arrival, the the Warriors were a downtrodden franchise who had not won a championship since 1975. During the 2008-2009 season, they went 29-53 and disappointed many fans just one year after they made it to the second round of the playoffs. The next season, they dropped three more (going 26-56), but after this they continued to improve and in the 2012-13 the Warriors had finally clinched a playoff spot with a record of 47-35, making it to the second round. The next season they lost in a disappointing fashion, making an exit in the first round, but after this season everything for the Warriors would change. They made it to the NBA finals and beat the Cavaliers-led Lebron James. They won this series in six games and they did not stop rolling the next season, setting an all-time record for wins, going 73-9 and clinching the number one seed the Western Conference. They dominated anyone in their way until the conference finals when the Warriors found themselves down 3-1 to Kevin Durant and the Thunder, but a big game six by Klay Thompson helped the Warriors rally back to beat the Thunder in 7 games and make it to their second finals in two years. They faced the Cavaliers once again and were up 3-1 in the series with all momentum going their way, but Lebron James found a way to come back and defeat them in dramatic fashion, giving the Cavs their first NBA championship.

The Warriors have become a bit of a bandwagon team (when someone becomes a fan of the best team) that people love to follow, but one person hopped on their bandwagon and changed the landscape of the league. On July 4th, 2016 the Warriors signed Kevin Durant, considered by many to be the second best player in the league behind Lebron James. Some people say that this ruined the Warriors’ and Kevin Durant’s reputation. After all this, Kevin Durant and the new-look Warrors dominated the league, going 67-15, and made it to the NBA finals with losing a total of 0 games until game 4 of the finals when Lebron and the Cavaliers finally beat the juggernaut. However, Lebron’s efforts would not be enough; the Warriors closed the Cavs out in their home arena to win the series 4-1.

Although they are hated by many, the Golden State Warriors are one of the best teams the NBA has ever seen and it is led by ambitious owners and coaches and two of the best players this league has ever seen in Steph Curry and Kevin Durant, with a spectacular supporting cast that includes Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, among others. These people turned the Warriors around in a short time, not only making them a contender, but an NBA dynasty. 


* photo via Google Images under the Creative Commons license