With the end of the NBA regular season approaching, and the start of the playoffs upon us, the Golden State Warriors are poised to set the single season record for wins. The current record of 72-10, held by the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls is one that I hold in reverence and followed minute by minute 20 years ago. People that know me know that I have been a HUGE Bulls fan my entire life. My mother and siblings will attest that I had a Michael Jordan shrine in my room growing up. So for people to say that this Warriors team is the greatest team of all time is a tough pill for a die hard Michael Jordan fan like me to swallow. But let’s take a closer look at it and see if perhaps there is some credence to calling the 2016 Warriors, the greatest team of all time.
The Warriors are sitting idle tonight with a record of 68-7, and are set to take on the Boston Celtics tomorrow night in Oakland. They have a perfect record at home of 36-0 this season, and a streak of 54 regular season home wins, dating back to last season. Stephen Curry is the first player in league history to make 300 3 pointers (356) in a single season, and Klay Thompson is chasing Curry’s previous record of 286 3 pointers made, set last season. It is incredible to think that a player can, and most likely will finish a season having made 400 3 point FGs, and his teammate will finish with close to 300 made. This is also a the team who is the reigning NBA champions, and look to be unstoppable heading into the post season. When you list all of their accomplishments which I did not list in full, and step back to take a look at what we are witnessing, it’s hard to argue against this team being the best ever. But what does best ever mean?
Many people will tell you that the game being played today is watered down, and softer than the NBA I grew up watching in the 80’s and 90’s. There’s no doubt that the game played today is a much more finesse game, and the physicality that I loved watching with teams like the Bad Boys of the late 80’s, and those Knicks teams of the mid 90’s is a thing of the past. That isn’t the fault of the Warriors though. The Warriors can only play in the era they play in, the way the game was played and officiated in the past is not a fair comparison. A lot of people will tell you, Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen would mop the court up with the Splash Brothers, I will admit that I am one of those people. The reason I always say it is because I know they’ll never play against each other. In reality, could Jordan and the Bulls, or Magic and the Showtime Lakers, or Larry Bird and the 1986 Boston Celtics beat the 2016 Golden State Warriors? Nobody can ever answer that question, that’s the beauty of sports. That’s what makes sports debates so much fun, because it’s all opinion, and it’s comparing eras, and it’s questions that we can never answer with certainty, but we always back our arguments with stats and memorable performances.
So, sit back and enjoy these final handful of games this season. And while you watch and contemplate if the Warriors could beat team X, or if Steph could have hit all those 3 pointers with Pippen’s hand in his face. Just remember that what you are watching is something historic and has never been done by any team before this team.