The Bulls did it twice, with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen leading the way. The Lakers accomplished it once, behind Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. In the 42 seasons since the NBA-ABA merger, those are the only franchises to win three consecutive NBA Finals.
When the Warriors come together for training camp on Sept. 25, their goal is to become the third.
Here is a look at those players with guaranteed roster spots.
THIRD IN A SERIES:
Player: DeMarcus Cousins
Height/weight: 6-11, 270.
Salary: $5.34M (one-year contract at the taxpayer midlevel exception)
NBA 2K19 Player Rating: 90
2017-18 in review: Before rupturing his left Achilles tendon on Jan. 26, Cousins was having perhaps his best season both statistically and -- no less important -- emotionally. He was headed for his fourth consecutive All-Star Game. It was as if he was somehow revivified after being traded from Sacramento to New Orleans.
Key stats: 48 games (48 starts), 25.2 points per game (47.0 percent FG, 35.4 percent 3p), 12.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.6 blocks, 1.6 steals.
Season highs: Points (44), rebounds (23), blocks (seven), steals (seven), minutes (52).
2018-19 outlook: Though Cousins has exhibited earnest dedication while rehabilitating an injury that historically affects the arc of one’s career, he is not expected to be cleared until December at the soonest. Whenever he is able to return, his body and attitude will immediately go on trial. The Warriors hope he can take the court around midseason, leaving plenty of time to bond with his teammates and become able to provide elite interior scoring and playmaking in the postseason, when both elements are at a premium. Unrestricted free agency beckons in July, so Cousins knows better than anyone that his career is at a crossroads.