We always love to compare players and teams from different eras because it makes for interesting debates and conversations. Especially when you are talking about the cream of the crop. Usually, it's the MJ-LeBron debate, but when discussing the best teams in history, two squads almost unanimously get mentioned. The 1996 Chicago Bulls and the 2017 Golden State Warriors. Which team is better? Stephen Curry believes in his team.
Clash of styles
What more can be said about the 90's Bulls? By many, the most prominent dynasty in NBA history, led by the greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan, won six championships in that decade and by many reached their peak in 1996, when they achieved a 72-10 record, along with a ring.
On the other hand, you have the modern-day Golden State Warriors, which have won three championships so far while still contending to this day. Obviously, they are led by the Splash Bro's and Draymond, but they had Kevin Durant on their squad for a few years there, presenting an unstoppable machine. It's only natural to ask which is the better team of these two juggernauts.
Curry picks the Warriors
In a recent interview for GQ, Curry answered some interesting questions and touched on the topic of these two historic teams going at it. When asked if the 2017 Warriors could beat the 1996 Bulls in a seven-game Finals matchup, Steph had no doubt:
"Absolutely. Obviously, we'll never know, but you put us on paper with them… I like our chances. I'd say dubs in 6, too."
Stephen Curry, ">GQ
Uh, that would be a fun matchup that can easily go both ways. You can say it's a total contrast of styles, with the Bulls being much more rugged on the defensive end while trying to get to the rim and operate in the mid-range facing with the modern style of basketball, revolved around three-point shooting. The way the game is refereed would also impact the result, but I think a lot of fans would still take the Bulls.
Going by positons
Obviously, when you go position by position, the Warriors have an advantage at point guard with Stephen Curry. Still, Ron Harper is a good matchup for him, using his size and defensive ability to slow him down. Klay could hold his own at the shooting guard position, but realistically MJ would dominate him just like any player that tried previously.
At the small forward position, we have the most interesting battle. Kevin Durant is virtually unstoppable, but Scottie Pippen would give him hell and make him work on both ends of the floor. Despite KD being the better player, he wouldn't dominate that matchup. Then at the power forward position, we have two guys that are often compared. Rodman and Draymond are far from the most skilled players, but they are there to do the dirty work and bring energy. It would be entertaining to see, but I think Dennis would feast on Draymond.
In the end, we have the least exciting matchup at the center position between Luc Longley and Zaza Pachulia. Neither of these jumps off the board, but the Australian Longley would have the advantage in my book. When you go down the benches, both teams are deep. Guys like Toni Kukoč, Steve Kerr, and Bill Wennington are all solid pieces. The Warriors, on the other hand, primarily relied on Andre Igoudala, Shaun Livingston, and JaVale McGee to hold their second unit. I think there is a fair balance between the benches. And, of course, Phil Jackson is by many considered the greatest coaching mind in NBA history, while Steve Kerr is still building his pretty good legacy.
So, all in all, who would win? You can't say for sure, but I and most old-school fans would still take the Bulls, while a lot of younger fans would go with the Warriors. It's a matter of preference, and you really can't go wrong either way. It's only natural Curry believes in himself and his team. It's a shame this is the matchup we can only see happening on NBA2K. Well, at least it is still fun to talk about it.