Klay Thompson Says Warriors 'Can Be One of the Greatest Dynasties—And It's Not Over'

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVDecember 23, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 3: Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors warms up before the game against the Phoenix Suns on December 3, 2021 at Chase Center in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/NBAE via Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/NBAE via Getty Images

Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson remains optimistic the franchise will continue to build its dynasty, which started with three NBA championships in a four-year span beginning in 2015.

"We can be one of the greatest dynasties—and it's not over," Thompson told Howard Beck of Sports Illustrated. "I truly believe that."

The Warriors nearly won five consecutive titles as they reached the NBA Finals in both 2016 and 2019 before falling short against the Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors, respectively.

Winning all five championships would have put Golden State in prime position to place itself among the league's greatest teams in history, but as of now there's still work to do if it's going to join the likes of the 1960s Boston Celtics and 1990s Chicago Bulls.

The Dubs' dominance has been on hold for the past two years as they weren't able to overcome injuries to Thompson, who missed both seasons, and Stephen Curry, who was limited to five appearances during the 2019-20 campaign.

They've returned in a major way this season, however, ranking second in the NBA with a 25-6 record.

Curry and Draymond Green have remained the stalwarts, and Thompson is aiming to return in January, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

That trio is far from alone. Andrew Wiggins, Andre Iguodala and Otto Porter Jr. are playing key depth roles, and the emergence of younger players like Jordan Poole, who's put together one of the NBA's top breakout seasons, and Kevon Looney have helped lengthen the rotation, as will James Wiseman when he returns from injury.

If Thompson can get back up to full speed by the playoffs after the extended absence, the Warriors should once again be a top title contender.

The organization's goals go beyond chasing the 2022 title, though. Head coach Steve Kerr told Beck the vision is laying a foundation where the next generation of Warriors keep the team among the NBA's elite.

"I can say this with sincerity: I want the Warriors to be great for the next 15 years," Kerr said. "And I'm not going to be the coach here for the next 15 years. ... So if that means that we grow the next core right now, over the next two years with this team, and they end up taking over the team, and the team is great for the next 10 years? That'd be awesome. I would love that."

That's what separates a great team from a true dynasty—the ability to contend for championships over a decade or more. A more recent example is the San Antonio Spurs, who were in the title mix from late in the David Robinson era through the Tim Duncan era and, for a brief period, the Kawhi Leonard era.

The Warriors are on their way to at least putting themselves in the conversation as the NBA's best dynasty, but it's going to take at least a few more titles in the years ahead to achieve that goal.