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sport / / NBCSBA (Poole): Warriors dynasty has been long over: Here's when and why

o NBCSBA (Poole): Warriors dynasty has been long over: Here's when and whyRobin Miller

NBCSBA (Poole): Warriors dynasty has been long over: Here's when and why


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From: robin.mi...@invalid.invalid (Robin Miller)
Subject: NBCSBA (Poole): Warriors dynasty has been long over: Here's when and
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 by: Robin Miller - Sun, 21 Apr 2024 01:37 UTC

Warriors dynasty has been long over: Here's when and why

By Monte Poole

• Published April 19, 2024

SAN FRANCISCO – Steve Kerr sat at the podium for 46 minutes Thursday,
answering roughly 30 questions, only one of which gave him extended
pause. He took a full seven seconds to respond.

The Warriors’ coach was asked, in short, if there can be such a thing as
a good ending to a dynasty.

“Rarely is it storybook,” he said.

Kerr elaborated, mentioning the end of the Chicago Bulls’ reign in 1998
and the documentary that spilled their dirty laundry onto the viewing
public, all of which he was a first-hand witness as a member of the
team. He talked about the value of having decorated veterans Stephen
Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson finishing their careers with
Golden State.

In the middle of Kerr’s response, which lasted 85 seconds, was the
kernel of harsh truth.

“It's impossible for this stuff to end perfectly,” he said.

There can be storybook endings to a career, to a season, to a neglected
or damaged relationship. There cannot be a storybook ending to a sports
dynasty. That word, “dynasty,” has been tossed around all week after
Golden State was run out of the NBA Play-In Tournament Tuesday by the
Sacramento Kings. As if that loss should be considered the official
cause of death for the dynasty.

There have since been a series of global eulogies. The neighborhoods of
Dub Nation initially were heavy with the natural responses to loss:
Grief, elements of fury and considerable weeping.

But when the tears dry and the eyes clear, honesty will ring through the
minds of all: Golden State’s dynasty ended almost five years ago, on the
night of June 13, 2019.

The dynasty died when Thompson sustained a torn ACL in his left knee in
Game 6 of the NBA Finals – which was the Warriors’ final game at Oracle
Arena. He has since been good but not quite been the same, and the same
applies to the Warriors.

The dynasty might have survived Kevin Durant’s ruptured right Achilles’
tendon, sustained in Game 5 three days earlier, but there was no coming
back once Klay joined KD on the sideline.

The Warriors missed the postseason the next two years before returning
to the playoffs in 2022 and navigating their way to and through the NBA
Finals. That championship was less a matter of extending a dynasty than
a season of euphoric discovery that resulted in a surprising revival.

That trip to the Finals is separate from the five consecutive runs from
2015 through 2019 – and that championship does not exist without Jordan
Poole’s fleeting dance with stardom, Andrew Wiggins bottling the wind
and the answered prayer that was luck landing on the fragile left foot
of Otto Porter Jr. Rarely does a calculated gamble pay off so splendidly.

Poole, once considered a potential successor to Curry, was traded a year
later. Porter became a free agent and signed with the Toronto Raptors,
for whom he played only 23 games in two seasons before retiring last
month. Wiggins has since been mostly ordinary with occasional flashes of
his best form.

The 2022 championship was richly deserved, and it also proved the
Warriors, with Curry leading the quest, still had enough to reach the
top of the NBA mountain.

But Golden State since its last title is 6-8 in two postseasons,
including the 2024 play-in tournament. It is 22-16 in the postseason
(including play-in games) since losing the Finals in 2019.

Its 77-28 record in the postseason from 2015 through 2019 is, well,
dynastic. Recall it for the greatness on display.

The Warriors in the five seasons since ’19 have endured the gamut of the
NBA experience. They have been, due to injuries, the worst team in the
league. They have, with a dollop of serendipity, won an NBA Finals. They
have, for the most part, been the middling squad, as indicated by their
197-186 regular-season record.

Dynasties don’t wrap four cumulative sub-.500 seasons around one
championship, even if it might have been more fulfilling than the other

Dynasties don’t win it all every season, but they are a factor,
generally the team that must be beaten by the eventual winner. Dynasties
target the No. 1 overall seed for the playoffs and either earn it or
come close. They are, assuming good health, displeased with anything
less than the conference finals and unsatisfied with anything less than
The Finals.

The Warriors have not been the NBA’s indomitable force since Thompson’s
knee, and a ruptured right Achilles’ tendon 17 months later, kept him
off the court for roughly two-and-a-half seasons.

Five consecutive trips to the Finals constitutes a dynasty. When a team
misses the playoffs three times in five seasons, the dynasty was gone
long before that fifth season. How can a dynasty last 10 seasons if
three of the last five ended without playoffs?

“People can be disappointed, we're all disappointed,” Kerr said about
the ending to this season. “But I loved the turn in Klay and Draymond's
seasons. So, for those three (including Curry), I really want to see all
of them finish their careers here.

“But also finish, finish out their careers with a sense of pride and
dignity in what they're doing and the way they're going about their

All three veterans, as well as Kerr, have much for which to be proud.
There is dignity in being four-time champions bound for the Hall of
Fame. They were massive contributors to something beautiful and rare.

The dynastic years are long gone, but they remade the existence of the
Golden State Warriors. A franchise that spent most of its existence as
plebeians is now officially NBA royalty.

sport / / NBCSBA (Poole): Warriors dynasty has been long over: Here's when and why


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