From the talent perspective, it was obvious – the Warriors were loaded. And in terms of NBA accolades, that was the difference-maker. But in terms of organizational image, it’s their culture that separates them from others.
They’re getting guys that fit in. They’re not getting guys just because they can play well, but because they’re good people. People want to be surrounded with good people, especially if you got two franchise players that are the best people you’re ever going to meet.Dorell Wright
It’s the underrated part of building a dynasty. Basketball skills are important, but who is the guy embodying them is crucial. And when building the pieces of the NBA puzzle, there’s no team that does it better than Golden State.
Think of it this way: try describing your typical Golden State player. He’s versatile, team-oriented, humble, can stretch the floor, is willing to submit to the collective. Now try doing it with any other team in the NBA. Perhaps you can do it with the Spurs, although basketball-wise, describing an archetype player in San Antonio at this moment is tough. I guess you can do it with the Celtics, although they’re also pretty heterogeneous when it comes to basketball fit. You can for sure do it with the Miami Heat, and that’s why they’re in the NBA Finals. But you can’t do it with any other team.
This is where Golden State thrives, both in terms of building the roster, and the organization as a whole. Their foundations lay on hard work, team-first approach, sacrificing for one another, and being humble. If you don’t fit as a person, you’ll have a hard time fitting in as a basketball player.
I’m not sure Kevin Durant is the perfect example for it, as his all-time great basketball abilities overshadowed the lack of personality fit. But you could see, from their time together on NBA hardwoods, as well as from KD’s post-Warriors era, that he was the one disrupting the homogeneity of the collective. And this isn’t a shot at Durant; it’s simply a fact of the matter. If it was otherwise, he probably still would’ve been with Golden State.
The way the former Warrior in Dorell Wright describes it, the Splash Brothers are the culture setters within the organization. The only core member who, looking at it from the outside, isn’t a seamless fit, is Draymond Green. But even he, according to Wright, is the prototypical Warrior, despite what his on-court antics are saying.
As long as the team keeps the original core of Curry–Thompson–Green, the culture will stay the same, remaining the standard against every other organization is measured. So far, the Heat are the only one that stand a chance. Everyone else, well, keep trying.