Three championships in four seasons is good enough to be called a dynasty. That’s what the Golden State Warriors built from 2015-18 with possibly the greatest starting five in the history of basketball. However, it wasn’t all glamour and praise behind the scenes, at least according to one former player on that dynasty.
David West played power forward for the Warriors from 2016-18, winning two rings in the process. During an interview with The Ringer's 'Real Ones’ podcast, West detailed that there was a lot of ego in that Golden State locker room, especially after they acquired Kevin Durant. It was Steph Curry’s team before (and arguably while) Durant was a Warrior, but West said that the two-time MVP point guard had to make a lot of sacrifices to accommodate the new talent.
“So Steph was the one making the most sacrifices and I’m like, ‘Yo, the [expletive] you doing? You gotta do what you know, man.’ I would say that to him some nights and he’d look at me [funny]. Because I don’t think anybody would tell him, like, ‘Yo, you trippin’. You can’t pass that one, dog,’” West said.
Perhaps it was Curry’s sacrifices that enabled that Warriors team to be so successful after KD’s arrival. After all, it was Durant who won the Finals MVP in both of Golden State’s championships in 2017 and 2018.
“It’s hard when you’re dealing with those super-talented guys. Ego is a part of this thing,” West continued. “Ego is a big deal, but it’s everybody. You’ve got literally five Hall of Fame guys on the same damn team.”
Still, having that ring on your finger extinguishes illusions that any wrong choices were made along the way and West acknowledges that.
“The talent is only so much,” West said. “We were able to win it. But winning it and trying to get that energy, everybody’s a year older, it was a bit tougher. But we still had enough.”
Now that Durant’s found a new home in Brooklyn, it is once again undeniably Steph Curry’s Warriors squad. Even without Klay Thompson (Achilles tendon injury) by his side this season, Curry has Golden State sitting in a playoff spot at seventh place in the West.
Young guns such as rookie James Wiseman, paired with more proven veterans like Andrew Wiggins and Kelly Oubre Jr., have given the Warriors the boost they’ve needed to stay in the playoff picture. It will be fascinating to see if ego ends up playing a role in the remainder of Golden State’s 2020-21 season, as it did during their championship dynasty.