The Warriors winning the 2014-15 NBA Finals sparked a dynasty that would surge through the Bay Area, and the nation, for years to come.
But that fateful title almost didn't happen, thanks to an epic showdown between Golden State and the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2015 Western Conference semifinals. It's something that Mike Conley Jr. thinks about quite often.
Conley, a key player on the Grizzlies at the time and now a guard for the Utah Jazz, joined JJ Redick and Tommy Alter on "The Old Man and The Three" podcast, where he explained how that series still haunts him at times.
"That series is our ‘what if’ more than anything," Conley said. "If we win that series, who knows if the Warriors are the Warriors dynasty that everyone knows?"
Memphis was up in the series two-games-to-one heading into Game 4 and needed just two more wins to stun Golden State. But, according to Conley, the Grizzlies just couldn't match first-year coach Steve Kerr.
"Steve Kerr started making huge adjustments," Conley said. "He put Andrew Bogut on Tony Allen, he cross-matched us and threw us all for a loop. We were running in mud at that point, trying to figure out what we were going to do."
The Warriors would surge past the Grizzlies, 101-84, with Steph Curry putting up a game-high 33 points. They never looked back after that either. Golden State picked up the next two wins and advanced to the NBA Finals for the first time since the 1974-75 season.
"At the end of the day, you look back at it like man, if one or two things were different, if we win the Game 4, if I was 100 percent healthy ... there’s so many thoughts that go through our head," Conley said.
"We did a lot of great things, but not enough to win."
Suffice to say, Golden State didn't have that problem.
Curry, Klay Thompson and NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala charged the Warriors past LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in six games and took home Golden State first title in 40 years.
As for what happened after that? Well, that's history. And there are no "what ifs" about it.