After their loss to the Lakers, Steph Curry talked about the pressure of playing for the Warriors despite the fact they've not been dominant for almost two years. Steph said he feels teams are still getting payback for all the beatdowns the Warriors handed out throughout the league during their historic run.
You don't need to look further than LeBron's record against Steph and the Warriors to see there's a lot of truth there. In their last four games versus each other, the Lakers have won three of them. But it's not just LeBron and the Lakers. A lot of teams make sure to get extra rest when they see the Warriors on the schedule.
“This is the realest talk I've heard in a long time. People took that dynasty run personally cause they were stomping on people and takin' names that entire time. Dancing and celebrating; winning championships. People don't forget that. Until they right this ship, people are going to try and beat the Warriors down every single night.”
Matt Barnes, The Jump
This is one of the major reasons why everyone who's ever repeated a championship says the 2nd, 3rd ring in a row gets exponentially more difficult. It's not just the fact you've played more games and had less rest than most of the league. While 29 other teams have easy games on the schedule, everyone brings their playoff game for you during the regular season.
Usually, when a dynasty is done, players either retire, or some of the core players move to different teams. It's different with the Warriors. Klay may be out, but he's still on the sidelines talking trash, and Steph and Draymond are right there. That's why despite the fact the Warriors are chasing the 8th seed, everyone is still bringing their A-game. Richard Jefferson explained there's another element adding fuel to the revenge fire.
“One thing that we gloss over because the game has changed. Remember all of the turning around and the high-fiving each other because Steph is that good of a shooter? 90s basketball players, early 2000s players - that would've been a fight. That would a 100% been a fight. They were doing some "historically disrespectful" stuff on the court and whooping you, and there was nothing [you could do about it.] So now you're down? Oh no, no, no, we're gonna put that gas pedal, I don't care how far you're down, we're gonna keep that gas pedal [down].”
Richard Jefferson, The Jump
RJ made clear he doesn't think the Warriors broke some sort of code by being so dominant and having fun doing so. But all the celebrations, dancing, and showing people up - players couldn't express their frustrations with elbows and fists, so they internalized it and waited. Well, the wait is over, and revenge is a dish best served cold. How long will this last? Matt Barnes has no doubt.
“As long as Steph has a Warrior jersey on, they're gonna be a target.”
Matt Barnes, The Jump
As difficult as it is for the Warriors, RJ and Barnes were right about the consequences in the 90s and 00s.