Fourth Title in Eight Years Feels ‘Different’ For Golden State’s Championship Core
As the final seconds of the Golden State Warriors, 103-90 win over Boston ticked away, Stephen Curry, the greatest shooter of all time and the most outstanding player in franchise history, was crying tears of joy.
The rest of Golden State’s core, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green could be seen dapping up and hugging each other, and 2015 Finals MVP and the first critical free-agent acquisition of the dynasty Warriors era, Andre Iguodala, joined in on the festivities too.
“This one is definitely different because of the three years of baggage we carried coming out of that Game 6 in 2019,” Curry said per Kendra Andrews of ESPN. “I can say it now; I don’t know how many teams could carry that as long as we have with the expectations of comparing us now to teams of past and make it to the mountaintop again.”
A brotherhood forged in GOLD 🏆 pic.twitter.com/O65aUCMXHT— NBA (@NBA) June 17, 2022
For Curry, Green, and Thompson, their fourth title in eight years felt a little different. It’s mainly because Golden State’s developed quite the chip on their shoulder since their kingdom collapsed following their 2019 Finals loss to the Raptors. As he celebrated in his champagne-soaked jersey, Curry could be seen asking no one in particular, “what else are they gonna say?”
"What are they gon say now" -Stephen Curry— NBA (@NBA) June 17, 2022
Celebration Time #NBA75 🏆🍾 pic.twitter.com/Tg5Adi73tz
The 2022 Finals MVP and Thompson were on top of the championship dias, getting ready for an embrace, when Thompson blurted out, “All we do is shoot threes and win championships.”
Most importantly, the signature depth that led the Warriors to so much success since 2015 reemerged during this run to the 2022 title.
“This is a collective season,” Thompson said. “Strength in numbers is alive and well.”
“All we do is shoot threes and win championships… I love you brother!”@KlayThompson x @StephenCurry30 pic.twitter.com/bAKemr80kf— NBA (@NBA) June 17, 2022
Speaking of “Strength in Numbers,” Thompson perhaps had the biggest chip on his shoulder since he’s returned from not playing basketball for over 940 days. He took it personally when Jaren Jackson Jr. trolled the Warriors after the Grizzlies beat them in the regular season in March.
“I can’t wait; there is this one player on the Grizzlies who tweeted ‘strength in numbers’ after they beat us in the regular season, and it pissed me off so much,” Thompson angrily said. “I can’t wait to retweet that thing—frigging bum. I had to watch that, like this frigging — okay, okay. Sorry. Bad memory just popped up. Going to mock us? Like, you ain’t ever been there before, Bro. We been there. We know what it takes. Hold that. Twitter fingers, can you believe it? “I’ve got a memory like an elephant; I don’t forget.”
"I can't wait to retweet that thing. Freakin' bum."— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) June 17, 2022
Klay's been keeping receipts 🤣 pic.twitter.com/WJReCAVukK
That the Warriors were able to turn these perceived slights into fuel for a championship run isn’t unusual. The greatest NBA dynasties, players, and teams have been able to turn it on after the proverbial bear was poked. Curry, Thompson, and the Warriors are just the latest to join the likes of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant as the all-time champs of petty.
The basketball gods have certainly given the Warriors grace as their dynasty went through its ups and downs. Becoming the first team to go from the League’s worst record in 2020 to a championship in a three-year span speaks a lot to their resilience and championship DNA.
“You get goosebumps just thinking about, you know, all those snapshots and episodes that we went through to get back here, individually, collectively,” Curry said. “And that’s why I said I think this championship hits different. That’s why I have so many emotions, and still will, just because of what it took to get back here.”
After a grueling season, the Warriors can kick their feet up and appreciate what it means to be champs again. It’ll be a few months before the Warriors will likely have to find another collection of slights to help inspire them to another championship run.