Kevin Durant feels the same way about these Warriors. Yes, the Warriors with four of the top 15 players in the NBA, the ones that won 67 games then rolled through the playoffs with a 16-1 record. The one with a seat at the table with the greatest single-season teams ever. KD says they are not a super team.
“First of all, if everybody wanted Steph, he would have been the No. 1 pick,” Durant said. “A lot of people passed on him. A lot of people doubted Steph, saying he wasn’t going to be this good. Klay Thompson, he was just supposed to be this OK shooter in the league, like that’s what you thought of Klay Thompson when he came in. Draymond, nobody wanted him. He was a 6-5 power forward. [They said] he couldn’t play in the league, he couldn’t start in the NBA. Shaun Livingston had a crazy knee injury.
“Nobody wanted him. Nobody thought that he would get back to being Shaun Livingston. Andre Iguodala, he got traded a couple of times. Nobody wanted him. A lot of people didn’t expect these guys to be where they are today. Superteam? No, we just work extremely well together. Coach puts us in position to maximize our strengths.”
Yes, the Warriors core — outside of Durant — were guys overlooked and underestimated by the league at points. However, that is different from not being a super team.
The Warriors are a super team. Players don’t like that term because it suggests winning was easy, that the thousands of hours of work to craft their games didn’t matter, that they team coasted to a title. It can imply they didn’t put in the work — and that’s not fair. Despite what your friendly neighborhood sports talk radio host (or bitter old newspaper columnist) might suggest, there are no easy titles. The Larry O’Brien trophy is no participation medal, it must be earned. Golden State had to figure out how to mesh all this talent, overcome injuries, and in the end handle a LeBron led Cavaliers team capable of hanging with them.
No doubt the Warriors are filled with players where the Warriors recognized and developed the talent that others missed. Credit them for that.
Doesn’t mean the Warriors are not a super team. They are. One that may ultimately be remembered along with the other dominant teams this league has seen.