On a recent appearance on SiriusXM radio, former NBA coach and current ESPN broadcaster Jeff Van Gundy made a definitive proclamation.
“The Warriors are gonna win forever if everything stays the same … this season is over. We're gonna play it out, and the Warriors are gonna win. And then the next year it's gonna be the same thing,” he said.
Regardless of the many moves and transactions that were made this summer, Van Gundy (and a large number of other influential members of the media) believe that the Warriors will glide to their fourth-straight NBA Finals appearance and their third title in four seasons this year since their entire core will be back and ready to go.
When asked what or who might slow down his team in the upcoming season, coach Steve Kerr had an interesting response.
"The biggest challenge is complacency," Kerr told Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. "We've been to The Finals three years in a row. And for our core group, I guess that would be four or five guys - Shaun (Livingston) and Andre (Iguodala), Steph (Curry), Klay (Thompson), Draymond (Green) - that's a long haul and you just cannot lose your edge in this league.”
Therefore, Kerr believes the only thing that can slow the Warriors down is their own attitude. There are a few other factors that he and the team will focus on as well.
“You know, defensively we’ll be keeping a close eye on our numbers and our intensity and our fundamentals. We’re not going to let them slide. And yet, human nature is to let your guard down a little bit with success… So, we have to be aware of that, the coaching staff, and we can’t disregard that ... that’s the balance we’ve got to find," the coach explained.
Discipline will be a major focus of the coaching staff.
"We always talk about our balance between being a little crazy and disciplined. It sounds like an oxymoron, but we need to keep our edge; pace ourselves, too," Kerr noted. "And how do you do that? That’s our job as a staff, to try to navigate that.”
Kerr also provided an update on his own health, as he missed a number of games last seasons due to complications stemming from multiple back surgeries.
“I’m not 100 percent by any means,” Kerr admitted. “But I’ve had a good summer. I’ve had a summer of exploring a lot of different procedures and doctors and theories. So, I feel good about my progress. But, you know, as I’ve learned a long time ago, it’s just not an overnight thing… It’s a process. It really is. So, I’ve got to keep going.”
Kerr and the Warriors are currently the favorites to win it all this season, and the coach’s words verify that he doesn’t think any other squad has what it takes to dethrone them.