The streak is over, the Golden State Warriors are human after all and will not win 33 straight games. So now they settle in for the grind of the regular season, getting healthy, working on building good habits, and focusing on the postseason, right?
Not if you ask Harrison Barnes — he wants 72 wins this season.
Barnes was at a charity event Tuesday — a “Sports Matter” holiday shopping event Tuesday working with Dick’s Sporting Goods — and told Adi Joseph of the Sporting News he wants to chase Jordan and the 1996 Bulls.
“I don’t know how other guys feel, but to me, being able to win 67 games last year, that just meant so much,” Barnes said. “A year ago, we thought 50 games was a lot. The fact that we hit 50 wins was so big! Then to hit 67, it’s like, ‘Man, we got to 67 games, and think about the games we let slip away? Could we have gotten to 72?’ Seventy-two is like that magical number, so if you can get to that point, it’d be special. And it’s a little competition, too, because Coach Kerr was on that team.”
I don’t think they ultimately get there, only because they will rest Stephen Curry and other key players to have them peaking for the playoffs.
No doubt 72 wins would be huge for a team trying to establish a legacy as one of the great teams of all time — and make no mistake, that is the goal of the Warriors. But here is the key thing about the 1996 Bulls — they won the title. As much as a team’s legacy should be more than rings, that remains a baseline and the Warriors know that to reach the heights they want, they need more than one. That will be Steve Kerr’s focus, not 72 wins during the season.
But if they get close, they may well chase it.