BOSTON – Turns out the dynasty was just suspended.
The Golden State Warriors won the NBA championship again four seasons after the previous season. It was the franchise’s seventh championship and the fourth of its three superstars: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, who have grown up together over the past decade, together Winning, over the past three years, they’ve learned how fragile success can be.
On Thursday, they defeated the Boston Celtics 103-90 in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. They won the series 4-2 and celebrated their victory on the parquet floor of the TD Garden, beneath 17 championship flags, in front of a group of disappointed guerrillas.
Golden State celebrates after two seasons of subpar record that made it the worst team in the NBA Its players and coaches spent those seasons waiting for Thompson to heal from injury, Curry (less) The injury heals and their new or young part of the roster grows into a big role.
When they became one again, the trio spoke about cementing their legacy.
They were much younger when they started traveling together. The Golden State Warriors drafted Curry in 2009, Thompson in 2011 and Green in 2012.
Curry was 27 when they shared their first championship in 2015. Thompson and Green are both 25 years old.
That season was also the first time Steve Kerr was coaching the team.
Golden State comfortably advanced to the playoffs 67-15 to reach the NBA Finals, with no idea how hard it was to get there. The following year, the team set a league record with 73 regular-season victories, but lost the game on its return to the Finals. Kevin Durant joined the team in free agency that summer, and the Golden State Warriors won their next two championships and are hailed as one of the greatest teams in NBA history.
During this time, the champions have grown as people and players. Curry and Green added children to their family. They’re rock stars on the road, with hordes of fans waiting for them at their hotels. Three championships in four seasons made Golden State invincible.
Only injuries can stop them.
The dynasty ended in devastating fashion when it reached its fifth straight Finals in 2019. Durant has been battling a calf injury before tearing his right Achilles tendon in Game 5 of the final against Toronto. Thompson tore the ACL in his left knee the next game. The Raptors won the championship that day.
“This is the end of an era for Oracle,” Curry said, referring to the Golden State Warriors’ former arena in Oakland, Calif. The team moved to the Chase Center in San Francisco in 2019. “You’re preparing for the summer, trying to regroup and figure out what’s going to happen next year,” he added.
The next two futile seasons were tough for all of them, but even more so for Thompson, who also tore his right Achilles in the fall of 2020, sidelining him for another year.
In this year’s Finals, he often thought about that journey.
“I’m not going to change anything,” Thompson said. “I’m so grateful that everything I’ve done has led to this.”
Going into this season, the Golden State Warriors didn’t expect to be back at this stage so quickly. That’s especially true because heading into the season, Thompson’s return date is unclear.
But, hopefully. Golden State has won 18 of its first 20 games to start the 2021-22 season. The team found a gem in Gary Payton II, who was dumped by other teams because of his size or because he wasn’t a great 3-point shooter. Andrew Wiggins was acquired in a 2020 trade with Minnesota, Kevin Looney was drafted a few weeks after the 2015 championship, and Jordan Poole was a late first-round pick in 2019, suggesting the team is so Pay attention to their reasons.
Curry set a career record for 3-pointers and coached the team’s young players.
Once Thompson returns, who can say how good this team will be?
The answer comes in the playoffs.
Golden State beat the Denver Nuggets in five games and the Memphis Grizzlies in six games. Then Dallas got just one game against the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference finals.
Curry, Thompson and Green, the engines of five straight Finals games, went into this year’s Championship Series completely changed.
“The things I appreciate today, I didn’t necessarily appreciate those things back then,” Green said. “In 2015, I hated taking pictures, you know, I didn’t really put two and two together. Like, man, these memories are so important.”
They vowed not to take any part of the Finals experience for granted. Green and Curry make sure their kids have fun with them.
“It looked normal, but I just knew how special it was,” Thompson said before Game 4. Not even looking to tomorrow. “
They face a young Boston Celtics team like they were in 2015, led by 20-somethings Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart , led by elder statesman Al Horford. The Celtics have done almost all the hard work in their quest for an 18th championship for the storied franchise.
They swept the Nets in the first round but played seven games against the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat. They won when they had to, and made too many careless mistakes when they didn’t.
Boston was the younger, stronger, more athletic team in the finals. The Celtics aren’t afraid of the Golden State Warriors or the big stage, and they proved it by winning Game 1 on the road. The two teams are hitting each other, and Boston is confident in its ability to bounce back from almost any setback. The Celtics didn’t lose back-to-back in the playoffs until Game 5.
Curry overcame Boston’s defense in Game 4, scoring 43 points. Then in Game 5, the Celtics thwarted his efforts, only to have his teammates make up for what he lost.
During a Wednesday afternoon news conference, Green recalled the moment the Golden State Warriors flew from San Francisco to Boston between Games 5 and 6. When the team’s general manager and president of basketball, Bob Myers, spotted him, Thompson and Curry, they were sitting down and operating.
“He was like: ‘Guys, you’re all funny. You’re still sitting together. You don’t understand, 10 years. Like, this isn’t going to happen. Guys are still sitting at the same table,'” Green recalled road. “He said, ‘In 10 years, the guys weren’t even on the same team, let alone still sitting at the same table, enjoying each other’s conversations and being there.'”
Minutes later, at another news conference, Thompson was asked about the moment and why the three of them still enjoyed each other’s company. Curry stood against the wall, watching, waiting for his turn to speak.
“Well, I don’t know,” Thompson said. “I owe Draymond some dominoes, so I don’t want to see him too many times.”
Curry bent down, smiling quietly.
“I was half asleep,” Thompson continued. “Draymond and Bob talked for six hours on the plane. I just wanted to get some sleep.”
Curry later said, “All people’s personalities are so different. Everyone comes from a different background. But we all talk about how we do things around a collective unit, whether it’s in the locker room, on a plane, in a hotel, Whatever it is. We know how to have fun and jelly, keep it light, but also understand what we’re trying to do and why it’s important to win games.”