Golden State Warriors Turning Skepticism Into Historical Optimism


The Golden State Warriors entered the 2015-16 NBA season with a championship sized chip on their shoulder. Not only did they have the task of defending their title but the authenticity of their championship run was being challenged. The validity of their historic season was being widely questioned in a number of NBA circles.

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From the “L” word (lucky) being thrown around by some coach in Los Angeles, to a disgruntled MVP runner-up clamoring for an internal investigation, the Warriors weren’t feeling the championship love that had been bestowed on previous title holders.

The skepticism surrounding the Warriors’ ability to repeat seemed to escalate even further, once it was announced that second year head coach, Steve Kerr, would miss an undisclosed amount of time dealing with complications from off-season back surgery.

There were already questions rising about how the departure of lead assistant Alvin Gentry — who departed for the New Orleans Pelicans — would affect the inner-workings of a coaching staff that led the Warriors to a 67-15 regular season last year.

Kerr was just in his second year and even though he won a championship in his first year in the lead chair, not having one of the most respected veteran coaches in the league by his side anymore had to be a concern.

So when it was announced the Warriors would start their title defense without two of their frontline coaches from last year, the table was set for early season struggles.

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The Warriors could have easily gotten off to a sluggish 6-6 or 7-5 record and blamed it on the adversity of not having their leader on the sidelines, or on having the bullseye placed directly on their backs after becoming champions. But instead of making excuses and giving validity to their naysayers, the Warriors have stood up and proclaimed, “You haven’t seen nothing yet.”

Golden State has come out the starting blocks with the speed and power of Usain Bolt. The Warriors’ 12-0 start is conjuring up comparisons to those historically great Chicago Bulls teams of the early and mid 1990’s. Those Bulls teams had it all. The iconic leader on the court, Michael Jordan, and the brilliant “Zen Master”, Phil Jackson, pushing all the right buttons.

The dynamic flare and brilliance of those Bulls teams was forever etched their place in the NBA history books when they compiled a 72-10 record in the 1995-96 season. The fact these Warriors whose credibility as NBA champions has been questioned all offseason, are now being quietly mentioned in the same breath as Michael Jordan’s epic Bulls teams is quite a turnaround.

To be honest 12 games is just that — 12 games. Championship parades aren’t planned in any NBA city a few weeks into a new season, but enough games have been played to see what teams entered the season focused and hungry — and which teams are still looking for answers to questions that should have been solved in training camp.

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The Warriors may not have had sufficient time yet to silence all of their doubters because you know there will always be something to pick at. However, they have sent a loud and clear warning to all their skeptics — the championship banner resides in Oracle Arena, and until further notice they don’t plan on relinquishing it.