Robert Frost wrote in his poem, “Nothing Gold Can Stay” that “nature’s first green is gold/her hardest hue to hold.”
The NBA is steeped in historic dynasties, from the Boston Celtics of the 1960s to the Chicago Bulls of the 1990s. Despite the dominance of those two franchises, each one toppled eventually. And while the Golden State Warriors haven’t fell yet, they have experienced some of the pressure that comes with maintaining success.
According to ESPN’s Nick Friedell, Warriors president and general manager Bob Myers said in his opinion, the team’s 2018 title wasn’t filled with elation. He compared the Warriors’ run to that of the ’90s Bulls, which won six championships in the decade.
“The second time with Kevin [in 2018] it felt like, ‘Well, we just did what we were supposed to do, and great job,’” Myers said, per Friedell. “It wasn’t joy.”
“I’m sure a lot of people felt differently. It wasn’t anybody’s fault. I think there’s just a weight to everything. And so I’m sure [the Bulls] felt that weight of everything, weight of relationships.”
The Warriors are the only team besides the Miami Heat to win back-to-back titles in the 2010s. Kevin Durant joining Golden State in 2016 took the franchise to unprecedented levels of scoring dominance.
According to NBA.com stats, the Warriors had the league’s third-best offensive rating of 112.8 during the 2017-18 campaign. During the 2016-17 season, Durant’s first season with the team, Golden State had a league-high offensive rating of 114.8.
The Warriors were second in the Western Conference during the 2017-18 season, right behind the Houston Rockets. The Rockets took the Warriors to seven games in the 2018 Western Conference Finals, nearly knocking them off.
As history has shown, it’s hard to stay successful for long in sports — even in the dynasty-filled NBA. The Celtics have the most consecutive titles in league history, as they earned eight straight from 1959-1966.
Durant leaving last summer for the Brooklyn Nets, along with injuries to Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, were the factors in the Warriors going from the top to the bottom in a snap.
Still, whenever next season begins, the Warriors are poised to climb right back into relevancy. With the experienced core of Curry, Thompson and Draymond Green, the Warriors have a good chance to regain their status as contenders out West.