From 2015 till 2019, the Golden State Warriors dominated the entire NBA and became a staple for winning. Five consecutive Finals appearances, three championships, the best regular-season record in history (73-9), and a complete revolution of how the game is being played, destroying the NBA with their shooting ability. The Warriors were running through the league and letting everybody know about it. Curry was shimmying on a nightly basis, while Draymond trash-talked everyone and raved about himself along the way.
But that time is gone, and Warriors are a shell of what they used to be only a few years ago. KD is long gone, Klay has been injured for the past two years, Draymond has gotten older, and the “strength in numbers” rotational guys that played significant roles are mostly all gone. Only Curry has managed to get somehow better, and all while the Warriors have a couple of nice pieces like Wiggins, Wiseman, and Poole, it does not compare to the classic Warriors teams.
Failing from top to bottom is a hard pill to swallow, as certain players have had trouble adjusting to the new reality. Warriors backbone and emotional leader Draymond Green used to be one of the loudest mouths in the NBA, but he has really toned down over the past few years as the Warriors fell out of the championship picture. During an interview with The Ringer, Draymond admitted how he wasn’t even interested in the game during the 2019-2020 season because he knew they would lose most of the time:
“I wasn’t interested in the game… You’re walking in these arenas and four years you’ve been like, ‘We’re going to go win,’ and now you’re walking in and there’s actually no chance we win this game. Not only do you know you’re going to get your ass kicked, but the other team knows they’re going to kick your ass and they’re not even taking you seriously…I wouldn’t necessarily say it killed my pride because at the end of the day I knew that there was only one person in this league that can talk anything to me about anything basketball. And that’s LeBron. That was the only guy who could really talk shit about accomplishments or the game of basketball in this league.”Draymond Green, The Ringer
For someone as competitive and emotional as Draymond, it’s hard to imagine how it felt playing in games he had no chance of winning. Especially after dominating for so long. The Warriors finished that shortened season with a 15-50 record, and Draymond had some of his worst numbers ever, averaging 8.0 ppg, 6.2 rpg, and 6.2 apg on 38.9% from the floor. It didn’t help that Steph played in only five games while Klay missed the whole season.
A real punch in the gut for Warriors fans who got spoiled with their team. But now hope is on the horizon again. Curry is playing his best basketball ever, Draymond is ready to return to his old form, Klay is coming back, and with guys like Wiggins, Poole, Wiseman, Iguodala, and more complementing the three veterans, the Warriors could be a real dark horse of the 2021/2022 season.