Warriors

How Warriors can get back to glory despite NBA Finals loss, injuries

How Warriors can get back to glory despite NBA Finals loss, injuries

For Dub Nation, it was surreal and heartbreaking to wake up this morning with the Warriors as non-champions for the first time in just over two years.  

Losing two future Hall of Famers to cataclysmic injuries in back-to-back Finals games was the equivalent of a meteor striking the basketball world twice in one week. (Except these meteors helped the dinosaurs.)  

But despair not, Warriors fans – there exists a potential path back to glory.  Here’s an eight-point plan for world domination.

1. Re-sign Kevin Durant for five years and $221M

OK, we know this has been considered unlikely, but it became more plausible after the Achilles tear that will likely force him to miss all of the 2019-20 season. The Warriors can offer KD $57 million more (including one extra year) than anyone else, and that may have suddenly become more attractive to him in light of an injury that will remove a year of his prime and could shorten his career on the back end.

2. Re-sign Klay Thompson for five years and $191M

This seemed highly likely already and feels like a lock after the ACL tear that could cost him all of 2019-20. Klay's father, Mychal, reportedly said Friday there's "no question" that his son will re-sign with Golden State. Klay loves it here, the management and fans love him, and he is a legendary shooter and healer whose game figures to age well despite the injury.

3. Both sit out next season entirely

4. The Warriors spend the 2019-20 season tanking

Now, that will be painful for the two all-world players they’ll still have active, Steph Curry and Draymond Green, two of the most talented and competitive athletes on the planet. But each could use a year to rest and recharge after playing more than a full season’s worth of postseason games over the past five years.

In the name of “load management,” the Warriors could withhold them from back-to-backs as the Raptors did this year with Kawhi Leonard, and leave the rest of the roster to marginal bench talent and prospects.  This would likely serve to miss the playoffs entirely, while also offering an opportunity to evaluate the long-term ceiling of young players like Damian Jones, Jacob Evans and next week's draft picks.

(Spoiler alert: this is not a new idea. It is similar to the blueprint used by the San Antonio Spurs to establish their dynasty. Thanks to key injuries, the talented Spurs plummeted all the way from 59 wins in 1995-96 to 20 in 1996-97. Their consolation prize was Tim Duncan, and two seasons later, they won the first of five NBA titles).

This strategy may not prove popular with fans who have shelled out big bucks for personal seat licenses and tickets in San Francisco and weren’t expecting to watch the Santa Cruz Warriors. But at least for one honeymoon year in the new arena, it is a captive audience, and on balance, fans should understand one year of pain for long-term gain.

5. Use the resulting lottery pick to obtain the next Warriors star

And hey, it doesn’t have to be with the first or second pick. The Warriors selected all-time greats Curry, Thompson and Green with the 7th, 11th and 35th picks in the draft, respectively. Kawhi was the 15th overall pick in 2011. This is about player evaluation, not ping-pong balls.

6. Keep the band together by re-signing Draymond Green in 2020

Draymond is the heart, soul and defensive engine of the team. Joe Lacob said back in May he hopes Draymond is a Warrior forever. Let's make that happen.

7. Come back healthy in the fall of 2020

With KD and Klay back, Steph and Draymond rejuvenated and a transcendent young talent (or two) in the fold, the Dubs will have countless motivation. Steph and KD will be 32 years old, Klay and Draymond will be 30 – still plenty of great basketball left.

8. CRUSH EVERYTHING IN YOUR PATH FOR THE NEXT SEVERAL YEARS!

This plan would weigh very heavily on Joe Lacob and friends' wallets. Given how far it would extend the Warriors into salary cap repeater taxes, it could saddle them with the largest payroll in sports history, well north of $300 million.

But hey, that’s what the new Chase Center is for, right? If you want to be Light Years Ahead, you have to pay the freight.

Let’s choose to dream.

Steph Curry respnds to Kevin Durant's belief Warriors didn't accept him

Steph Curry respnds to Kevin Durant's belief Warriors didn't accept him

Over the past three seasons, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and the Warriors enjoyed an unprecedented run of success.

The Warriors won two NBA titles and were injuries to Durant and Klay Thompson away from threepeating. The Dubs went 16-1in the 2017 NBA playoffs and there was no ceiling to what they could accomplish with a core of Durant, Curry, Thompson and Draymond Green.

But Durant chose to take his talents to Brooklyn this summer, signing with the Nets to play alongside his friend Kyrie Irving and hopefully lead a team that truly was his.

Durant later explained his decision to the Wall Street Journal, noting he never felt accepted as a member of the Warriors. Curry, Thompson and Green all are homegrown talents and he never felt he had the same cache as those three and Andre Iguodala.

For Curry, who counts Durant as one of his good friends, that was difficult to hear.

"I mean, that's tough," Curry told ESPN's Rachel Nichols about Durant's comments. "There's so many narratives that go on, especially when you're at the top of the league. No matter how, you know, the full transition happens to Brooklyn, him separating himself from the Warriors -- that's gonna happen. I think he knows, you know, what we were about as teammates, what we were about as friends on and off the court. And again, nobody is gonna take away the accomplishments we had. But at the end of the day, whatever he, you know, needed to do to make that decision and however he wants to explain that -- that's just what's gonna happen."

As for Durant's decision to leave, Curry holds no ill will toward the two-time NBA Finals MVP.

"At the end of the day, we live in an age where choice at the forefront, and K, you know, made a decision for himself and you can't argue that," Curry said. "I wish we could still play with K. He's an unbelievable talent, unbelievable person. We accomplished a lot together. But -- you know, things have changed a little bit. So you obviously wish him the best, obviously with his recovery first and foremost and things on and off the court. But we're gonna have to battle down the road. So this should be a fun, new experience on that front, too."

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Durant ruptured his Achilles in Game 5 of the NBA Finals and likely will miss the upcoming season. Warriors owner Joe Lacob already has stated he plans to retire Durant's No. 35 to honor the accomplishments and historic nature of the era of Warriors basketball.

Whenever KD makes his return to the Bay, he's sure to get a rousing ovation from the fans and some love from Curry, who always accepted him as co-star of the one of the most impressive runs in NBA history.

Watch Steph Curry try to freestyle rap at his charity golf tournament

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AP

Watch Steph Curry try to freestyle rap at his charity golf tournament

Steph Curry makes playing basketball look easy, but the same cannot be said about his rapping. 

The Warriors star grabbed the microphone at the Stephen Curry Charity Classic at TPC Harding Park on Monday, and freestyled ... well, something. 

"I don't know where this ball's going, and I'm sure not good at flowing," Curry rapped. 

The former line is self-deprecation, considering Curry's handicap. The latter? That's spot-on. 

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During his time at Davidson College, Curry and his friends rapped about a campus cafeteria in a parody set to the tune of Asher Roth's "I Love College." Much like Curry's magical NCAA tournament run foreshadowed his NBA success, his rapping on the decade-old video did the same for Monday's display. 

As far as NBA point guards with Oakland ties go, the rapping should only be left to Damian Lillard