Warriors

Steve Kerr says 'The Last Dance' confirms his message to 2019 Warriors

Steve Kerr says 'The Last Dance' confirms his message to 2019 Warriors

From the very beginning of what was Kevin Durant's last season with the Warriors, Steve Kerr implored his team to enjoy the ride.

He was speaking from experience, as Kerr's final season with the Chicago Bulls in 1997-98 marked the end of their dynasty. Watching that season replayed each week during the airing of "The Last Dance," ESPN's 10-part documentary on those Bulls, demonstrates exactly why Kerr desperately wanted the Warriors to savor the moment.

"To be honest, [the documentary] is just confirmation of what I was saying to our team all of last year and 2018," Kerr told ESPN's Nick Friedell. "The whole messaging for the year was based on my experience with Chicago and feeling that level of fatigue [and] emotional toll that had been over the previous four years. ... And so watching this now is just a reminder of how difficult it is to sustain that kind of run."

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Unlike the Bulls' "Last Dance," the Warriors' dynasty didn't end with them lifting the Larry O'Brien Trophy. Golden State lost Durant (ruptured Achilles) and Klay Thompson (torn ACL) to injuries en route to losing the NBA Finals in six games to Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors.

That loss was the last of five consecutive trips to the NBA Finals. With Durant joining the Brooklyn Nets last summer, Thompson missed every game the Warriors played this season and Steph Curry (broken hand) was sidelined for all but five.

The Warriors (15-50) were, unsurprisingly, eliminated from playoff contention in the last game they played before the NBA suspended the season due to the coronavirus. They'll have a lottery pick for the first time since drafting Harrison Barnes No. 7 overall in 2012, but the Warriors fully expect to contend next season.

[RELATED: Myers sees similarities between MJ's Bulls, '17-18 Warriors]

Golden State will need a lot to go right in order to jumpstart a second dynasty. But by then, Curry, Thompson and Draymond Green won't need Kerr telling them to enjoy it while they can.

They'll know full well how fleeting greatness can be.

How Steph Curry, Warriors' brand continues to make huge global impact

How Steph Curry, Warriors' brand continues to make huge global impact

Despite the down season and not being one of the 22 teams invited to the Orlando restart, the Warriors still manage to be a global phenomenon.

In an interview with The Athletic, P.K. Ong, co-founder of the SG Basketball academy which has multiple venues in Singapore, said that’s apparent. It showed quickly with the pace of the way they sell out of a certain superstar’s jersey. 

“Whenever you go into a (sporting goods) store, Steph Curry jerseys are the first thing you see when you walk in," Ong said. "They’re everywhere,."

Ong also told The Athletic, the shift changed in who the kids he coached looked up to off the court as well. They went from being huge Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant fans to wanting to shoot three-pointers like Steph.

Don’t we all want that?

Back in 2018, a group of the campers joined Ong for a trip to the Bay Area. They went on a tour of the Warriors practice facility and ran drills with some of the coaching staff. It was a “dream come true,” for the kids.

The global influence doesn’t stop there. Klay Thompson, AKA #ChinaKlay made a persona for himself when with his popularity surging in the country and his shoe deal with the Chinese brand Anta.

And I mean, check out the turnout when he arrives:

[RELATED: Bronny James jokes Steph is his dad]

Steph made a trip to Japan last summer with hopes of growing the game of basketball across the world, and the moment he got off the plane, it was chaos, but in the best way.

He, along with the team, make an impact everywhere they go. 

Warriors' Rick Welts shares funny story of being mistaken for Joe Lacob

Warriors' Rick Welts shares funny story of being mistaken for Joe Lacob

Warriors team president Rick Welts went to Croatia for vacation in the summer of 2018.

Wearing a Warriors hat in a restaurant resulted in a waiter saying, "Curry, yeah!" Welts recently explained to Daniel Brown of The Athletic.

Soon thereafter, other employees began to believe they were in the presence of Warriors owner Joe Lacob.

“He just started screaming to his co-workers there, ‘Joe Lacob! Joe Lacob! Joe Jacob!' " Welts told Brown. “I was waving, ‘No, no, no!’ but I gave up.

"So, I impersonated Joe Lacob — and got really good service from this really tiny restaurant in Croatia.”

Now that is a savvy play from a seasoned veteran.

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Welts has helped turn the Warriors into a global brand, which is why the franchise elected not to change its name to the San Francisco Warriors when they relocated from Oakland to Chase Center.

"What's happened in the interim is the Warriors, with the success we've had on the floor, have now become the team that everyone knows around the world," Welts told Warriors radio voice Tim Roye in April 2017. "More Steph Curry jerseys are sold around the world than any other player in the NBA. More Warriors merchandise than any other team in the NBA.

"So now, I think we've done a 100 percent reversal, saying, 'You know, we have a lot of equity in this Golden State name and it really means something around the world.' "

And that includes Croatia.

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