Not Your Father’s Warriors

By DeArbea Walker

A newfound confidence is the face of the Golden State Warriors as they look to defend their NBA championship. In other words, this team’s “Swag is on a Million.”

The Golden State Warriors set a standard for the next phase of the NBA by winning a championship playing “Small Ball.” Before their championship victory, this team was on a mission to prove their critics wrong. Many believed a team must have a dominant big man to win a championship. This season the make-up of the league is beginning to mirror the Warriors unique way of playing. The Indiana Pacers have traded and drafted personnel allowing their team to play more up-tempo changing the face of their franchise. The Warriors did more than just win a championship, they set a standard.

Since adding a NBA championship to their resume, the attitude and demeanor of the Golden State Warriors has changed. Following the team’s game six victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Draymond Green had some very presumptuous remarks.

“Klay Thompson, yep, Splash Brother, yah, Cavaliers, Nope, we won, yah, they suck, yah, we here, yah, they not, nope,” said Green.

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Green’s honest opinion about the Cavaliers was on full display after those remarks. His attitude seemed to spread to his teammates following the Championship festivities.

Klay Thompson had his remarks to add following the series-clinching game six.

“It just feels good to say, you know, we’re the best team in the world with the best player in the world – this man sitting to my right” Thompson said. (per game five press conference)

Many took the statement as a personal dig at LeBron James after his team lost game five and he expressed his mindset going into game six.

“I feel confident because I’m the best player in the world,” James said. “It’s that simple.”

Thompsons latest comments in response to Doc Rivers opinion “ You need Luck to win a championship” surfaced building to the teams’ arrogance.

“I wanted to play the Clippers last year, but they couldn’t handle their business,” Thompson told ESPN’s Ethan Sherwood Strauss. “If we got lucky, look at our record against them last year,” Thompson said. “I’m pretty sure we smacked them. Didn’t they lose to the Rockets? So, that just makes me laugh. That’s funny. Weren’t they up 3-1 too? Tell em I said that.”

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What does the quote “Weren’t they up 3-1 too? Tell em I said that” mean? That doesn’t sound like a team humble and respectful to their opponents. What happened to “sportsmanship”? The Clippers in comparison to the Warriors were given the short end of the stick during the 2014-2015 playoffs. While the Warriors played a young New Orleans Pelicans team, and a banged up Memphis Grizzlies and Houston Rockets teams, the Clippers faced the healthy 2014 world champion, San Antonio Spurs. Thompson’s remarks showed his true emotion when his hard work to win a championship was questioned.

Thompson’s thoughts toward Doc Rivers showed the cocky, defensive attitude of the Golden State Warriors. In the grand scheme of things, this team has reason to be defensive. Everyone told them they couldn’t win playing “Small Ball” and they proved everyone wrong.

This is now being used as another chip on their shoulder to prove critics wrong once again.

This team is now in a familiar position, ready to defend themselves against any criticism. During Tuesday’s media availability, Steph Curry was very sarcastic and “apologized” to all of the Golden State critiques questioning their perfect championship run.

“I apologize for us being healthy, I apologize for us playing who was in front of us. I apologize for all the accolades we received as a team and individually. I’m very, truly sorry, and we’ll rectify that situation this year.”

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The team sarcastic, arrogant, and swaged out demeanor has been on display following their championship win. Steph Curry’s remarks, Tuesday defending the team’s health during their championship run showed the team still has much to prove.

Winning a championship is not enough; you have to win when the odds are 100% against you. The bottom line is if this team can defend its title by playing all of the healthy and better teams in the Western Conference critics will be forced to respect this team.

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