A Golden State of mind

Any team that has had as much success as the Golden State Warriors generates a lot of buzz and is inevitably compared to the greats that have come and gone before them. In fact, the Warriors’ record-breaking season has created one of the biggest stir-ups in NBA history, not because of controversy, but because the record wasn’t supposed to be up for grabs in the first place.

If anybody were to claim that they were a Golden State fan before the team’s rise to prominence, they would be seen as a blatant band-wagon fan or someone dumb enough to cheer for a team that appeared to have nothing going for it. However, these ‘idiots’ are now the proud followers of the reigning champions and likely contenders for a second consecutive NBA Championship title. Nobody has been as good as the Warriors since Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls, and nobody expected anybody to ever be as good as the Bulls, which is why the Warriors’ record-breaking 73 wins is worth talking about. The Bulls’ 72 wins wasn’t supposed to be broken, because nobody was ever supposed to eclipse the success Jordan and his teammates achieved.

As anybody who is familiar with the critically-acclaimed film Space Jam knows, Jordan is hands down the greatest basketball player to ever grace this earth. Considering that Jordan holds many of the NBA’s individual records (along with the fact that he defeated an entire team of Looney Tunes aliens in “Space Jam”), any thought that another player and team might come along and dethrone him was the talk of crazy men and simpletons. Nonetheless, the unlikely has become reality and is spearheaded by the baby-faced killer Stephen Curry.

As much as I’d like to downplay Curry’s individual success by comparing him to Jordan, a comparison would do Curry’s career no justice. With an ability to break opponents’ ankles at will, along with the range of the beam from the First Order’s Starkiller Base, Curry is a force to be reckoned with. After claiming the title last season, Curry finished this year’s regular season with more than 400 three-pointers. No one else has ever even reached 300. This feat has put the Warriors in position to repeat as NBA champions.

Yes, Jordan has more titles, but considering that Curry is only 28 years old and the Warriors keep adding to their already stellar arsenal of big-name players, the Warriors definitely have the chance to close the title gap, much to the dismay of longtime Bulls fans. And as much as Bulls fans and other naysayers would like to argue that Jordan and his team would easily trounce the Warriors, it is ridiculous to try to compare teams that played in entirely different eras with different playstyles and different attitudes.

The important thing to take away from the Warriors’ record-breaking season is that, for the first time in decades, a team has come along that has a chance to go down as the best team in NBA history. For many, it is difficult to accept the fact that somebody has finally come along and done what many thought was impossible. But in the world of sports, there will always be somebody that will be better, and, against all hopes, records are meant to be broken. So instead of denying the success Golden State has worked to achieve, it is better to sit back and watch as history is made.

hatzky1@stolaf.edu

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