Stephen Curry: Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Warriors Know 'We're Not Done'May 12, 2020
Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry believes the team's abysmal 2019-20 season was merely a bump in the road, rather than an indication the franchise's run as a title contender is over.
Curry offered his thoughts in an Instagram Live chat with six-time All-Star Jermaine O'Neal (via NBC Sports Bay Area's Josh Schrock:
"For us, big picture, we know we're not done. Myself, Klay, Draymond we know we're not done. The core that's been here since Day 1, we're going to do everything that we got in our power -- it's going to look different, it's going to have a new cast of characters that are going to contribute at a high level. But the DNA, just the chemistry that us three have, we're going to be in good shape coming out of this no matter how basketball looks."
With the current season on pause, the Warriors own the NBA's worst record (15-50) and they're the only team mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.
It's a steep fall for a team coming off five straight NBA Finals appearances but not unprecedented. The Cleveland Cavaliers won 61 games in 2009-10 and then notched 64 combined victories in their first three seasons after LeBron James signed with the Miami Heat.
Kevin Durant signed with the Brooklyn Nets and would've been lost for the year anyway if he had stayed with the Warriors. Klay Thompson's torn ACL ruled him out for the entirety of 2019-20 as well, while Curry has been limited to five games. Add in the departures of Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston, and the Warriors are a completely different team from the one that lost to the Toronto Raptors in the 2019 Finals.
And yet, nobody will be too surprised if Golden State is once again the dominant force in the Western Conference once Thompson returns.
Then there's the notion general manager Bob Myers has at least one more ace up his sleeve in the vein of the signing Durant in 2016.
The San Francisco Chronicle's Connor Letourneau reported Tuesday the Warriors have been "preparing for years" to pursue Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo when he's a free agent in 2021:
"Though all indications are that he's on good terms with team management, league sources believe that Antetokounmpo would want out of Milwaukee if he loses confidence in the franchise's ability to win championships. This is why the NBA shutdown could buoy the Warriors' chances of landing their long-coveted Greek."
Phil Jackson, Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan were three constants during the Chicago Bulls' run of six titles in eight years. Fans tend to forget how much roster turnover the Bulls otherwise had during Jordan's year-plus hiatus.
Horace Grant, B.J. Armstrong, Bill Cartwright, Scott Williams and John Paxson ranked third through seventh in average minutes on the 1992-93 squad.
None of those players was still around when Chicago reeled off 72 wins and won its fourth championship in 1995-96. In their place came Dennis Rodman, Ron Harper, Steve Kerr, Toni Kukoc and Luc Longley.
The onus will be on Myers to assemble the kind of supporting cast around Curry, Thompson and Green that will extend their championship window.