For the entirety of the 21st century, the only dynasty that has survived the test of time in professional sports has been the New England Patriots, who have won five Super Bowl championships in the past 18 years, and look like they have no plans of stopping.
In college sports, women’s basketball has been dominated by the University of Connecticut, who have won 10 out of the last 18 championships. Football is controlled by the University of Alabama, who tie the Patriots with five championships in the last two decades.
However now in the National Basketball Association (NBA), a new dynasty has been developing. The Golden State Warriors have won the last two NBA finals, along with the championship in 2015 for three in the past four years. With a newly acquired Demarcus “Boogie” Cousins joining the team at some point in the season, the Warriors look like the sure favorite again for the Western Conference championship in 2019.
But how long will this run last, and what is it about this team that makes them so special? After Tuesday night’s fiasco between Draymond Green and Kevin Durant, the super team of the 2010s looks like it has some cracks in its armor after all.
Most problems in professional sports come down to one thing: money. For Golden State, this seemed to never be an issue at all. Cousins took a pay-cut to join the Warriors this off-season, and players like Klay Thompson, Durant and Green know they are worth much more elsewhere, but have stayed with the team anyways, with no complaints. For the past four years, everyone has fit into a role, and on any given night, a new name could step up to lead Golden State to victory.
Tuesday night’s fight between the two teammates shows the chemistry that has caused three dominating championship runs has been faltered in some way.
Earlier this season, Durant openly expressed that he’s only thinking about the money going into free-agency after this year, and rightfully so. He has never received a massive deal in his career, and as a two-time NBA Finals MVP, he should receive a ton of offers from different teams offering boat-loads of money this summer.
Thompson will also be a free agent in 2019, while Green’s contract runs up in 2020. With Stephen Curry under the league’s first ever $200 million contract, it’s obvious the Warriors will never be able to afford all of their key pieces as their contracts run up in the upcoming years.
Each year that passes, also means another year older each star on Golden State is. Injuries have kept Durant and Curry out for large chunks of time in the past, and could be a factor in the coming months and years.
I’m sure the Warriors will be fine this season: with so much of the NBA’s best talent on one team, it’s hard to see why they wouldn’t. But what happened to the win first, ask later attitude?
Only time will tell if head coach Steve Kerr and Curry can get their team out of this mess, and if they can finish strong again to continue the historical run.