It’s been the biggest talking point, the biggest question for people looking for a reason not to coronate the Warriors heading into next season:
Are they truly going to share the ball? Are they all willing to sacrifice touches and points — some, certainly more than others — to get those wins?
Over the course of Team USA’s camp in Las Vegas this week, the Warriors on hand have brushed off this question, basically dismissing the core idea they would be selfish. Here is what Klay Thompson said Wednesday, as reported by Ethan Sherwood Staus of ESPN.
“I know how good I am in this league. I’m not going to judge my performance off numbers or anything. If we get wins, it really doesn’t matter, man. It’s all good….
“I look at a guy like Manu Ginobili who came off the bench almost his entire career,” Thompson said. “Never averaged more than 20 points a game, but he’s a four-time champion, you know? He could have easily been on another team and averaged 25 a game, but he sacrificed to win, and that’s what I expect to do next year. I don’t care about averaging 25 or even 20. I just want to finish it out and get back to the Finals and enjoy that ride.”
While Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant are going to give up some touches and points, the real sacrifices — the Chris Bosh in Miami level sacrifices, as Straus pointed out — are going to fall on Thompson and Draymond Green. Both of whom have said they are willing to do it — and both of whom have the personalities to accept that role.
There is going to be an adjustment period the first half of the season as the Warriors figure out how to fit Durant into what they do — the Warriors will still be good, but there will be rough patches. But because guys will sacrifice, they will have it figured out by the All-Star break. Which is bad news for the rest of the league.