The Golden State Warriors are back-to-back NBA champions and enter the 2018-19 season as the near unanimous favorites. Media, fans, and tweeters are quick to blame the Warriors for “ruining” the NBA. “Blaming” them for building the latest NBA “super team”. Those people are naive and wrong.
The Miami Heat in 2010? They were a real super team. They signed Lebron James and Chris Bosh to join up with homegrown star Dwayne Wade. The Boston Celtics acquired Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to team with homegrown star Paul Pierce. All the Warriors did was draft the players that no one else did. That’s how they built their super team, by being smarter than everyone else.
It’s convenient and an easy cop out to blame the Warriors and point the finger at them. But why don’t we point the blame at others for their success.
Blame David Kahn
NBA fans might remember Kahn as the embattled former of the Timberwolves. He had a reputation for being obsessed with point guards. That obsession came full force in 2009 when the Wolves drafted two PGs back-to-back. Unfortunately for the Wolves and Kahn, neither PG was named Steph Curry. They drafted Johnny Flynn and Ricky Rubio. And before them, James Harden and Tyreke Evans were the first two guards off the board. Also worth noting that Hasheem Thabeet was drafted #2. The Knicks were long rumored to want Curry and were planning to select him at 9, before the Warriors snatched him up at 8.
Blame the Kings
Two years after Curry was drafted, the Warriors chose Klay Thompson #11 overall in the 2011 draft. Only one pure shooting guard was drafted in the top ten. That guard? None other than Jimmer Fredette, drafting #10 by the Kings. If the Kings weren’t one of the worst run organizations in sports, maybe they would have chosen Thompson over Fredette.
Blame the Thunder
I don’t know the truth about what happened with Kevin Durant and the Thunder, but it’s easy to blame them for Durant’s departure. Maybe he didn’t like playing with Russell Westbrook, didn’t like the coaches, or the city or the culture. Whatever the reason be, blame the Thunder for not keeping Durant. Blame them for not building a better organization around him and a better supporting cast.
Blame the Jazz
In 2013, the Warriors traded Richard Jefferson, Andris Biedrins, and Brandon Rush to the Jazz, along with draft picks and cash to free up $24 million in cap space. That cap space was used to sign Andre Iguodala, acquired via a sign-and-trade with the Nuggets (so blame them too). If it wasn’t for the Jazz willingly giving the Warriors cap space, they never would have signed the 2015 NBA Finals MVP
Blame the Entire NBA
This is two-fold. One, you can blame the entire NBA for passing on Draymond Green when he was drafted 36th overall in the second round of the 2012 NBA draft. Every team had a chance to draft Green and some even had two chances to do so, yet no one did leaving the Warriors to benefit.
The second aspect of this is – well, beat them! Yes, the Warriors roster is loaded. But as I established, they lucked into some of these picks due to other teams’ stupidity. NBA is an equal playing field – everyone uses the same salary cap. Everyone participates in the same draft. Just because the Warriors managed the cap better, drafted better, doesn’t make them a super team, it makes them a smart team.
If you don’t like the way the Warriors have conducted business, it’s quite simple – draft better. Scout better. Sign better players. Don’t make dumb trades.