Rise, Fall, Rise again of the Warriors


Abby Aguayo (She/Her), Copy Editor

The  2014-15 Golden State Warriors captured the hearts of many across the Bay Area and the NBA. Over the next five years the number of those hearts began to reduce and increase as they went on one of the most memorable and dynastic runs ever seen in NBA history. Those five years resulted in three championships, five straight finals appearances, a 73-9 record (best record in NBA History) and arguably the greatest team in NBA history. A lot of fan bases surrounded the Dubs (The Warriors) and their success, and yeah we’re not going to talk about that 2015-16 season for obvious reasons. A team led by Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant were merely unstoppable. Their success had no signs of slowing down.

Heading into the 2018-19 season, a lot of that success remained the same, the warriors dominated and continued to do so by imposing fear into the rest of the NBA. They made it to the NBA finals for a fifth straight year as they were looking for the first three peat in franchise history. Their opponent, the surging Toronto Raptors, led by Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry were the only thing stopping them. All was normal until game five of the NBA finals. Down 3-1 in the series, the Warriors desperately needed a win which they got but at a significant cost. The win resulted in a catastrophic injury to their two time finals MVP, Kevin Durant. Durant ruptured his achilles which costed him to not play in the next season. It was both a brutal physical and emotional blow to the defending champs. The following game, game six, one of the most beloved and loyal players in franchise history, Klay Thompson, tore his ACL. Without two of the four most valuable players, it was going to be difficult for Steph Curry and Draymond Green to carry the team all the way to the finish line. Sadly they were unable to do so and lost the 2018-19 season championship. 

“At first it was very sad and very heartbreaking actually… I just though that next season we would need more time to become a contender for the championship” said junior Leimana Makasina 

Leading into the 2020-21 season the Warriors did not have Thompson and KevinDurant got traded to the Brooklyn Nets. All the warriors had were Steph Curry and Draymond Green and a lot of question marks. It only got worse as Curry  broke his hand, sidelining him for three months. This was a difficult season for the Warriors as there wasn’t much to be excited for. The team finished the season having a record of 15-50, an NBA worst. The following year started out with gut wrenching news. The Warriors found out that Thompson suffered another catastrophic injury as he tore his achilles just weeks before the season. The season was an eventful up and down year that resulted in a memorable Stephen Curry campaign but ultimately a disappointing finish. They failed to make the playoffs for a second consecutive year. Although the team wasn’t at their best, they needed those seasons to help them get to where they are today. 

Fast forward to this current NBA season where the Warriors have bounced back tremendously. Today they are one of the best teams in the NBA with a record of 53-29, good for third in their conference. While being at their lowest in the previous two seasons, this provided an opportunity for new players to arise and contribute while becoming valuable pieces to the team. These players helped create a new identity that helped set the foundation of success this current warriors team is having. These players include:  Jordan Poole, Andrew Wiggins, Jonathan Kuminga and Gary Payton II, which they did not have three seasons ago, the season they lost in the NBA finals. A new and exciting supporting cast to add to the greatness of Stephen Curry, Klay Thomspon, and Draymond Green. In all the unfortunate events the Warriors dealt with over that two year span lay hidden fortunes and gems. They were able to give a lot of playing time to young players, one of those young players being Jordan Poole. Poole, an ascending talent provides a young  charming charismatic presence that fans feed off of, not to mention his rapid development positioning him in a key and vital role for this team in only his third year.

A terrible record also  allowed them to have high draft picks which they kept rather than trading. One of those picks turned into rookie Johnathan Kuminga, who is as athletic as any current NBA player at the age of 19. Kuminga provides unmatchable athleticism and explosiveness, something the warriors haven’t had in a while. Alongside him we have Andrew Wiggins who was brought in via trade in that dreadful 2019-2020 season. Wiggins has tapped into that potential that made him a #1 pick in the 2014 draft, appearing in his first all star game and being one of the best two way wings in the game. Bringing incredible defense to the team is nothing new when you have players like Draymond green and Klay Thompson but add to that list, Gary Payton II. A fan favorite, has the ability to score in unbelievable ways to add onto his stout defense, but most importantly he was a diamond in the rough. GPII was in and out of the league a majority of his career until he found a home in the Bay last season and hasn’t looked back . And of course we have the returning three of Steph Curry, Klay Thomspon and Draymond Green bringing the same amazing game to court as usual. The future and present are in as good of hands dubnation could hope for. 

  The team is in new but familiar territory as they make their way into the playoffs with the third spot in the leader board of the NBA. All we can do is hope for the same hardworking, determined team that has been playing all season and hope for the Warriors to take home a fourth NBA Championship to the Bay Area.