The Warriors' trio of Steph Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson helped define the dynastic run of the 2010s, winning three titles in five seasons and becoming one of the best teams in NBA history.
The run ended this past season, as the departure of Kevin Durant and significant injuries to Thompson and Curry turned the Warriors into one of the league's worst teams. But with Curry and Thompson expected to be fully healthy by the start of the 2020-21 season, Warriors assistant coach Jarron Collins believes the team will return to championship form.
"These guys have been tried and tested, battle-tested as they say," Collins said on the Runnin' Plays Podcast. "So I know that any motivation, any fuel that they can ... any naysayers out there, they're looking to prove everybody wrong again. So again, I love working with this group of guys and just seeing their development and the things that they do. It's absolutely amazing."
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Collins has good reason to believe in the triumvirate. Since 2012, the Warriors have won 68 percent of their games as Curry, Thompson and Green blossomed into stars. Curry won a pair of MVPs in 2015 and 2016, while Green won Defensive Player of the Year in 2017 and Thompson became one of the best two-way players in the league. Durant joined the group in 2017 and helped continue the dominance. But even with Durant gone, Collins says he knows what Curry, Green and Thompson will be when they're done playing.
"Hall of Famers," Collins said. "I think that all of them are on that path to be in the Hall of Fame, which says a lot. They're the most competitive people I've ever been around. I've been around John Stockton, Karl Malone, Steve Nash. I've known a lot of guys in this league, and they're right up there as far as just downright nasty competitiveness."
Collins' favorite game of the trio's reign came during the 2017 postseason when the Warriors beat the Portland Trail Blazers 128-103 in Game 4 of the Western Conference first-round series. The Warriors outscored the Blazers 45-22 in the first quarter, leading by as many as 33 points. Golden State would go on to win its first of back-to-back titles two months later.
"It was absolutely awesome, and I'm telling you, we were rolling on all cylinders," Collins said. "Andre and Pat McCaw jumping on the bench. Andre didn't even want to check-in, because it was just classic Andre. I'm not even going to go in, sort of thing. And, I think we scored 40 some odd points, and it was just complete shock and awe dominance. And, the best part about that game, why I love it so much, was Mistah F.A.B. was sitting behind our bench and he was like, "This is for Corey Maggette. This is for the Corey Maggette years."
To reach their goal of getting back to the Finals, Warriors coach Steve Kerr said he hopes to put on several organized team workouts at the team facility during the extended coronavirus offseason. But once they're back on the floor for game action, Collins says he isn't concerned about their edge.
"Those guys are some of the most competitive people I've ever been around.," Collins said. "They're always looking for an extra edge. I think a lot of people doubting them, us going forward would just add fuel to the fire for all those guys."