The Golden State Warriors' pursuit of the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls' record of 72 wins is becoming a more legitimate possibility with each passing game.
The defending champs are 61-6 and on Saturday, will collide with the San Antonio Spurs, who have won five NBA titles since 1999.
Point guard Tony Parker, who was at the helm for four of those titles, offered admiration to the Warriors’ remarkable run this year ahead of Saturday's showdown.
"I’ll say they’ve been having an unbelievable season,” Parker said, per Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News. "Being in the league for 15 years, it’s tough to try to get 70 wins, with all the back-to-backs and all the great teams you have in the league. So it’s pretty impressive."
But Parker was also quick to reserve judgment on placing the defending champs among the greatest teams of all time.
The six-time All-Star believes that it's continued success over a sustained period that fuels a team’s argument to be among the best ever, per McDonald.
The Bulls won their fourth championship in six years the season in which they set the 72-win record. Kobe Bryant led the Los Angeles Lakers to three straight titles from 2000-2002 and to back-to-back championships again in 2009 and 2010.
Parker’s Spurs have won five rings out of six NBA Finals appearances, the lone loss coming in a seven-game series in 2013 to LeBron James’ Miami Heat.
Parker believes Golden State has the chance to be among the all-time best, but he said he doesn't place them on that pedestal just yet.
"Compare them to the Bulls. They won six [titles] in eight years. So you have to give a little bit of time to that [Warriors] team to see how well they’re going to do over 10 years, the longevity," Parker said, per McDonald. "Like us, the Spurs, we won five titles since ’99. That’s how you judge teams."
Lost in the Warriors' incredible run has been the impressive pace San Antonio has kept just behind the defending champs.
The Spurs are 58-10 and just 3.5 games back in the Western Conference standings. Saturday’s showdown could certainly be a Conference Finals preview, but more chiefly, it could be a huge factor in the race for home-court advantage.
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