The way the media has crowned the Golden State Warriors the 2016/2017 NBA champs before a buzzer has sounded leaves plenty infuriated. It seems that recently retired superstar Kobe Bryant is one of those who thinks we should hold off on the ticker tape parades and see how the season plays out. The former Los Angeles Laker baller suggests the rest of the league just needs to get more competitive to combat the Warriors.
It is hard to argue that before the season starts, the Golden State Warriors are firm favorites. The franchise has continued its super-team building exercise through the summer with the addition of megastar freebie Kevin Durant.
Alongside existing Warriors class acts Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, the Californian franchise looks untouchable. Speaking to The Jim Rome Show, Bryant has urged the rest of the teams to up their games and stay competitive.
“I would have thought less about myself if I looked at that move and said, ‘That’s unfair,’” Bryant said of Durant’s move.
“If you’re a real competitor, you look at that and say, ‘OK, lace ’em up. Let’s go. I don’t care how many players you have over there; we’re still going to take you down.’”
Of course, Kobe was never one to shirk a challenge on the hardwood, and it is a quality others could do with as the season approaches. The media may have signed the Warriors off as champions before a bucket has rattled, but the other teams are probably gunning for the franchise the world thinks is untouchable.
Yes, Durant, fresh from his role as Team USA’s driving force to the gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games adds another dimension to Golden State. Does that make them champs in waiting?
Well, 2015/2016 can serve as a lesson for prematurely calling the champions. During the last campaign, the Warriors broke the all-time winning record for an NBA Regular Season. The team looked untouchable heading into the playoffs and seemed destined for the ring when taking a 3-1 lead in the Finals.
However, LeBron James (remember him?) grabbed the Cleveland Cavaliers by the scruff of the next and carried them to the championship. Who’s to say the Warriors won’t face a LeBron shaped obstacle again, or just another franchise that simply has a lot to prove.
Yes, praise the Warriors, expect much from them; just don’t put your house on that championship.