By Martin Rogers
When the buzzer sounded and Golden State Warriors finally becoming champions again, the main trio of the franchise went their separate ways for a moment.
Steph Curry was lost in emotion, the heaviness of four titles in eight years – and the twist required to realize that title – brought tears that were unstoppable.
Klay Thompson was on the sidelines, nothing but smiles and laughter, a full comeback from a career-threatening injury, and another mark on the belt of a basketball journey that is somehow often underestimated.
And Draymond Green, whose life is about refusing to be silenced? Well, he went and found someone to talk to – caught young Boston Celtics forward Grant Williams and said a few words of comfort and encouragement.
Three different reactions from three men with different personalities and lives, who nevertheless stuck as a collective entity long enough to carve out their own niche in NBA history.
It takes a lot to build a championship team in any given season, but starting with a trio that’s always been together and can still coexist without selfishness or conflict throwing things off course is the biggest advantage you’ll find.
Warriors win fourth title in eight seasons
Nick Wright started the NBA Finals by choosing the Golden State Warriors to win, but then changed his choice to the Celtics after Game 2. He shows if he regrets his decision.
“We built this thing from the ground up,” Green told reporters after the Warriors clinched the title with a 103-90 win over the Celtics in Game 6 at TD Garden. “We all appreciate each other and understand what each of us brings to the game.
“This goes far beyond what we have achieved on the court. You talk about bonds, those bonds will last forever. We are connected and connected together. Forever and ever”.
They really are. Curry arrived in 2009, Thompson in 2011, and Greene, an unsung second round player, a year after that. Years have passed. A breakup never seriously looked likely.
In this episode, it seemed like the Celtics briefly had their number. The aftermath of Game 3, with the momentum in favor of the Greens and their rising head coach Ima Udoki, sparked speculation that Boston was too young, too fast, and too strong for Golden State. Theoretically they were. But the Warriors found a way.
There are many reasons behind Golden State’s success, and it’s impossible to single out one without highlighting the others.
The Warriors are winning because they have a great coach in Steve Kerr. And because the organization has been focusing on success for many years.
They won this year because Jordan Poole was the breakout star and because Andrew Wiggins showed all the ability that made him the former No. 1 pick.
In 2017 and 2018 they won because Kevin Durant was arguably the best player in basketball.
All this is true. Take away any of them, and in any particular year there will probably be no name. But take away the Curry-Thompson-Green team, and the championship won’t even be a consideration, and the Warriors certainly won’t be the most dominant force in today’s NBA.
After all that time, the Warriors are winning in part because their big three like each other. They sit next to each other on planes. They spend time with each other. They chat. They have enough common interests to connect, but they’re different enough characters not to get annoyed or annoy each other.
Everyone appreciates Thompson and his ease. Everyone understands that Green loves to talk and that his energy is sorely needed at key moments. And Curry is Curry, the wizard who reimagined the game, but who saw enough hardship early in his career to never take success for granted.
It was never a triumvirate that claimed to be capable of anything, but instead was built to be a solid platform that accommodates the gifts of others.
This time, Duran was not needed, as many thought. Wiggins, extremely talented but not successful in his career prior to joining the team, found things to his liking. He got into the Warriors with enough ego, but not too much. Enough seriousness, enough humor, enough anger and responsibility when things don’t work out.
The core has survived the dark years that have just passed – and they were really dark. Thompson was out of action for 941 days with severe injuries to his anterior cruciate ligament and Achilles tendon. Green has been written off many times, most recently about a week ago after a tough start in the final.
Curry played midway through the team last season when he truly felt the Warriors’ best days were over. And he has thrived this season amid some rather silly claims that something is missing in his career due to the lack of the Finals MVP award.
He has one now.
And the Warriors, again, got it all.
Martin Rogers is a columnist for FOX Sports and the author of the FOX Sports Insider Newsletter. You can subscribe to the newsletter here.
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