Golden State Continues to Shine

For decades, the Golden State Warriors were the laughingstock of the NBA. Perennial doormats. How many teams can say they were the “C” team in any state in a professional sport? Contenders? these guys were never even thought of, much less brought up in conversation.

All that’s changed. And they’ve done it in a spectacular crowd-pleasing way that has put them in the history books and may just save basketball from itself.

For years, the NBA has been faltering. From the faulty coronation of King James to the floundering of once-powerhouse teams in New York, Boston, and Los Angeles. Gone is the team model that defined the golden era of Magic and Bird. Now teams are being built around one-trick-pony superstars who never seem to deliver when the chips are down. Sure, the Spurs are still showing other franchises how to get it done, but everyone outside of Texas had a tough time getting behind a team that feels, well, old and boring in comparison to the superstar-driven franchises.

Meanwhile, out in California, torches were being passed. The Clippers were suddenly beating the Lakes and, not that far away, the Warriors were building a franchise for the long haul. And now, that team is more than ready for prime time.

Oakland-based Golden State has given fans in the bay area something to cheer about again. Already having a 70-win season, Golden State’s quest for 73 puts them on par with the best ever to play the game. The 1995-96 Chicago Bulls, a team some say is the best to ever play roundball, went 72-10 before killing it in the playoffs to win yet another NBA title.

If Golden State does make 73 – or even if they tie the Bulls – they have a claim on the best ever. After all, the two teams still on the Warriors schedule include number two ranked San Antonio and the playoff-bound Grizzlies. The Warriors believe they are up to the challenge.

Some will say the record will be tainted by a more lopsided team lineup. The NBA certainly has its share of haves and have-nots, but they don’t have much – if any – less parity than the league did in the Bulls’ heyday. So forget all that “back in the day” talk. These Warriors are very, very good.

The best make others around them better, and that’s been the case with Golden State all season. Their season rivalry with the Spurs looks to set up an epic battle in the playoffs. San Antonio is chasing a record of its own, hoping to win more at home than any other team since Bird’s Celtics.

And this is only one more exciting storyline featuring Golden State this season. Every generation has a dominant franchise that fits at the center of an ongoing NBA legacy. The Spurs are at the end of their run, and Golden State looks poised to take the baton. Is there anyone in the East that’s up for the challenge?


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