After they lured Kevin Durant from Oklahoma City, after they were widely derided as “super villains,” after they endured 11 playoff games without their head coach, the Warriors stood on a podium Monday night as gold confetti fluttered from the rafters.
Exactly 358 days after they fell on the wrong end of the most stunning collapse in NBA Finals history, Golden State players took turns hoisting the Larry O’Brien Trophy before an exultant Oracle Arena crowd. It was a fitting cap to a gilded season.
The history books will read that the 2016-17 Golden State team won 31 of its final 33 outings, including 16 of 17 playoff games. They’ll show that the Warriors rebounded from a Game 4 drubbing in the Finals to outlast Cleveland 129-120 in Game 5. What they won’t tell is all that went into Golden State winning its second NBA title in three years.
“I wouldn’t call it revenge,” Andre Iguodala said. “It’s just making the most of the opportunity that was in front of us.”
The Champagne showers that unfolded inside the Warriors’ locker room Monday were preordained by many. This was a Golden State team that, after winning an NBA-record 73 regular-season games, signed an MVP away from one of its biggest Western Conference threats. But with such immense talent came an unprecedented burden — the unrelenting daily reminder that anything short of a championship would be failure.
The Warriors, a group that values fun as much as winning, mostly mocked the notion that they were suddenly bad guys after two seasons as the NBA’s…Read More & View Video