Regardless of the sport, a dynasty always follows three inevitables stages: it rises, it rules and it fades away. At some point, bodies cannot take as much as before, form streaks run out or the chemistry that made a team great just is not there anymore. Then it becomes time to farewell memorable names and rosters.
In the NBA things are not different, as shown by the rise and eventual fall of dynasties like the Celtics’ in the sixties, the Bulls’ in the nineties or the Spurs’ earlier this century. Despite how dominant they were in their prime, all of them eventually had an end. A fate that also seems to be in store for the Golden State Warriors.
Oakland’s team has achieved its furthest heights thanks to the unbelievable play of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and co, earning four rings and putting together the season with the most wins of all time.
Many of the league’s fans have grown with them, making them, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most supported teams. But success cannot last forever, especially in a league that works as a result of its willingness to change and to favor switches in dominant-team dynamics.
In the NBA, it is clearly tougher to stay at the top than to reach it, and it seems like the time has come for its most recent dynasty to start fading away.
The reason to a potential downfall: The dynasty has been weakened
Despite it not being the first time they have been ruled out, it could be the final one. The main cause, their bad start to the Playoffs in the series against the Sacramento Kings, against who the Warriors (as raining champs) looked like the favorites to advance despite being the sixth seed playing the third.
The main issue is not the fact that they are one games behind (after winning the third at home), but a lack of trust the reigning champs had not shown before. Their chances of coming back in the series are much less certain than what they would have been a few months ago.
Steve Kerr’s pupils are not as convincing as they were seasons ago, and their aura of invencibility when it matters most has vanished little by little. Despite being very solid in the Chase Center during the course of the season, their weakness when playing away from home has also been one of the clearest in recent times, which leaves a lot of doubts considering the fact that they need to steal at least one game in Sacramento to advance.
They have also lost the good vibes that made their teams special over the years as a result of their off the court drama at the beginning of the season, which could be a deciding factor on them splitting up if things do not go well (Green is already looking like he could be one to switch scenarios).
Of course, the aging of all of their veteran stars besides Curry has also played a role, but that was waiting to happen either way (and probably was already happening but was just masked by the good work of Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins, who have not been on their level as of recent).
Although giving up on the current champions would be premature, it does seem like their window to win as they are now is starting to close. Depending on how the remainder of the season goes for the Warriors, we will see their core get back together once again to keep the dynasty going or one of the most awaited rebuilds in the league will take place.
To see Stephen Curry away from The Bay, the only place his basketball has served, could lead to some very interesting scenarios.
Main image: @warriors.