With Steph Curry and Klay Thompson wearing suits instead of sneakers last season, the Warriors heard all about how their dynasty had officially come to a close.
They spent all season taking notes, remembering their critics and waiting to prove them all wrong. Curry and Thompson will be fully healthy when the 2020-21 season tips-off and most expect that a healthy and motivated Warriors team, armed with Andrew Wiggins, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft and a few ring-chasing veterans, will be ready to take names next season.
Richard Jefferson, however, isn't so sure that next season will be the "Revenge Tour" the Warriors and their fans believe it will be.
"They are the best backcourt and they are going to be the best backcourt until they probably retire at this point," Jefferson said last week on ESPN's "The Jump." "But this is the issue about next season -- the Revenge Tour, quote-unquote. Steph hasn't played very much basketball in the last year. Klay has missed an entire season of basketball. You have to condition yourself -- I don't care -- they aren't even going to the minicamps. I know these guys are going to be in shape, I know these guys are going to be tough -- I'm not saying that. But there is something about being 30 years old and missing an entire season of basketball.
"So I don't think next season will be their quote-unquote. It will be the next season when they have their legs back under them, they kind of in more of a rhythm. That's when I think they can really start taking names and kicking butts."
Now, Jefferson might have a point about the rust that comes with not paying a competitive basketball game in eight months (Curry) to 17 months (Thompson). But Thompson, now fully healed from his torn ACL, did attend Warriors minicamp and, by all accounts, looked incredible. Curry was excused from the camp, but all reports suggest Curry will show up to next season in pristine condition.
No one is expecting the Warriors to open next season and automatically be the bully they were the last time they were on the national stage. It will take some time for Curry, Thompson, Wiggins and Green to learn to play together and with the role players the Warriors will surround them with. They also will be integrating a rookie, whether it be James Wiseman, Deni Avdija or someone else, into the fold.
It's going to take time for them to hit their stride. Of that, there is no doubt. But the Warriors can find their stride within the first 20 games, and if things start clicking, there's no reason to think they won't start eviscerating teams to show they aren't dead yet.
Now, that doesn't equal a title, and Jefferson is right in assuming the team should be even better during the 2021-22 season than it will be next year.
Bay Area fans are no doubt tired of hearing the phrase "Revenge Tour" after the 49ers' attempt crashed and burned. But the Warriors have their own version planned. One that should be more successful than the one in Santa Clara.