The Golden State Warriors are acknowledged as one of the most polarizing basketball teams in the NBA today. Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green have notably beat formidable teams like those of LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love; Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green and LaMarcus Aldridge; and Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Dion Waiters. With their incredible season and back to back wins, it comes as no surprise that the Chicago Bulls under the Michael Jordan era are being compared to the Golden State Warriors. Can the Andrew Bogut squad beat the Scottie Pippen team's record?
The 72-win streak of the Chicago Bulls has been used as the standard of excellence in the NBA. This accomplishment was so groundbreaking that not even the heyday of the Los Angeles Lakers with both Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal managed to get near the record. However, the growth of the Golden State Warriors appears to show promise in finally putting to end the Michael Jordan record.
While it is an exciting prospect, it looks like the Golden State Warriors are no longer interested in pursuing the record. In fact, Steve Kerr himself minimized the possibility - noting that the most important achievement would be to win championships. With the steady rise of the San Antonio Spurs and the gradual meshing of the Cleveland Cavaliers, it appears that the Golden State Warriors head coach has a point. That is, losing track of the true opponents - LeBron James and Tim Duncan - will be the end of the dream for the NBA champs.
"I think they want the [wins] record," shared Kerr following the team's defeat in the hands of Marcus Smart's Boston Celtics. He added, "But I think what they probably realize is maybe all the talk and all the focus on the record has gotten us away from the process of who we are."
Kerr noted, "I do think the constant questions and talk about -- whether it's home win streak or record or whatever -- I think all that stuff does take its toll, whether the players know it or not, whether it's a conscious thing or not, and it probably has taken a little bit away from, as I said, our process or our work."
The Golden State Warriors head coach also revealed that the same situation and scrutiny placed the Chicago Bulls in peril in 1996. According to Kerr, the idea of chasing a record greatly influenced their gameplay in a negative manner. He shared that the Chicago Bulls lost focus of the goal then and simply vied to create a record. Hence, Kerr refuses to allow the Golden State Warriors to fall into the same trap.
"Honestly, it was exactly the same. Constant media questioning about the streak." Kerr further recalled, "When we did break the record, in Milwaukee, I still remember it. It was a horrendous basketball game. We won like 85-80 or something. So yeah, it was like the same kind of thing. Constant scrutiny, little slippage in our execution, eking out wins, so it does feel the same way."
Meanwhile, Scottie Pippen's comment that the Michael Jordan team can beat the Golden State Warriors if given the chance to play against each other prompted Klay Thompson's dad to respond. Standing by his son's NBA team, Mychal Thompson said that Pippen's responses were expected. However, the elder Thompson still believes that Curry and his squad can beat the Chicago Bulls under the Jordan era.
"It doesn't surprise me. That's the way he's supposed to feel," said Mychal Thompson. "They're one of the greatest teams ever. [Pippen] is one of the greatest players ever, and that's the way he's supposed to feel. But I think the Warriors would win."