The Golden State Warriors could very well be going for their fourth-straight NBA title this season, but if they capture their third title in four years, they will undoubtedly be considered a dynasty.
Klay Thompson, one of the main contributors to Golden State’s success, explained that the team has extremely lofty exception for itself, wanting to join perhaps the NBA’s most iconic player and most dominant teams in modern history: Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. In the 1990s, the Jordan-led Bulls won six championships in the span of eight seasons.
"What's that, six championships in eight years?" Thompson said Saturday, when asked whether the Warriors were the closest thing the league had seen to the Bulls dynasty, per Nick Friedell of ESPN. "So we're, what, like only a third of the way there? I think it's close. We still have a long way to go, but I do see the fandom, the fanfare like the Bulls had in the ‘90s.”
Thompson continued on that aspect, saying, “Every time the Bulls came to town, that was the ticket of the year. Now it's when the Warriors come to town, that's the must-see game. And we don't take that for granted; that's such a cool position to be in. We rarely play in front of a crowd that's not sold out. That's so special. It's hard to really grasp that as a player. So I think it's close. I still think we're not on their level yet, but that's what we aspire to be of the 2000s. We aspire to be that dynasty that will be in the minds of NBA fans forever.”
This isn’t the first time that the 1990s Bulls were brought up as a direct comparison to the Warriors. A couple of years ago, Golden State brought about the discussion with a 73-9 regular-season mark, which surpassed Chicago’s preexisting 1995-1996 NBA record.
"It was cool a couple years ago when we were chasing that 73-win season," Thompson noted. "Just being compared to that team is an honor. There's definitely motivation."
While Thompson believes that the core of Steph Curry, Draymond Green, Kevin Durant and himself can get the job done, Steve Kerr, who won three titles in the 90s with the Bulls, made it clear that those Chicago teams will always remain in a class of their own.
"We can't match what the Bulls did," Kerr told reporters earlier in the week, per Friedell. "They won six championships in eight years. And we have two in three years, which is great, but we'd like to keep going. We'd like to win more, so we have a chance to do something great not only this year but the next few years. But we have to work hard and also get lucky too. You have to stay healthy, and things have to go your way, so we'll do our best and enjoy the ride while we're on it.”
Given the influx of talent into the Western Conference, it’d be remarkable for the Warriors to continue their dominant ways for the foreseeable future. Barring injury, however, they will remain the clear favorites until they are dethroned.