Despite outside appearances, the Warriors didn’t have an easy time collecting their third NBA championship in four years, writes Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. Spears outlines injuries, complacency and other issues that affected Golden State during its title run and sheds more light on comments made by David West, who said after Game 4, “There were some things internally. … It’s a testament to the type of people these guys are, how tied we were as a group and then we were able to win it.”
Four key players, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Patrick McCaw and Andre Iguodala, had to overcome injuries at some point in the postseason, and Draymond Green said the team’s fragile physical condition provided incentive to sweep the Finals before anyone else got hurt. Spears notes that the team also had to deal with the distractions of a dispute with President Trump, a pre-season trip to China and focus issues that resulted in the league’s third-best record despite a wealth of talent.
“Maybe it looked easy to you, but it was hard,” GM Bob Myers said. “… We had never been a two seed. We had to win a Game 7 on the road. We had some injuries. Just the wear and tear of trying to do it four [straight] times in the Finals. But they stepped up at the end. The players got it done. It was a credit to them.”
There’s more Warriors news to pass along:
- This year’s championship was especially meaningful to McCaw and Quinn Cook, who were both in tears after Friday’s victory, Spears adds. There were concerns that McCaw might not walk again after a violent fall in a March 31 game that resulted in a lumbar spinal contusion. McCaw vowed to return and made it back for Game 6 of the conference semifinals. Cook, who was waived by the Hawks in training camp, signed a two-way contract with the Warriors and earned a full NBA deal just before the playoffs.
- Golden State isn’t concerned about keeping its core together, but the team would like to add some younger players during the offseason, relays Tim Kawakami of The Athletic. “We just have to be always moving forward to try to improve our team,” owner Joe Lacob said. “So I actually think this draft is a very important one for us. We need to get some youth on the team going forward. So we’re paying significant attention to it, and I am, too. Probably more than any other year.
- The Warriors were able to build an elite roster because players were willing to accept less than their market value, notes Scott Stinson of The National Post. Curry had a team-friendly contract for years before his latest extension, and Kevin Durant played for $25MM this season.