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The 2016 Warriors winning 73 regular season games is an accomplishment no other team has ever sniffed other than the ’96 Bulls, however unlike that Jordan-led Bulls squad, they fell short.
Despite that, Warriors’ future Hall of Fame power forward Draymond Green said that team was still the best team ever on the Draymond Green Show with Volume Sports.
An all-time great team, but that’s a bold and also wildly biased statement to make when you played for the team.
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (L) shoots the ball over Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green during the third quarter in Game 7 of the NBA Finals on June 19, 2016 in Oakland, California. (BECK DIEFENBACH/AFP via Getty Images)
The interview began by Draymond asking Steph Curry if he’d trade his rings from both the 2017 and 2018 championship runs for a title in 2016. It’s an interesting question because the only thing that was stopping that year’s squad from conversation with the Bulls, showtime Lakers, and Bird’s Celtics was falling short of a Larry O’Brien trophy.
Curry eventually said ‘no’ and Green would even respond by saying he knew the answer wasn’t authentic. He’s flat out admitting that they both agree the ’16 Warriors winning would’ve secured that team’s legacy as the best ever.
LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers shakes hands with Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors after the 2016 NBA Finals Game Seven on June 19, 2016 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Obviously there’s going to be plenty old school basketball fans that would never hand that ‘best ever’ title to a jump shooting team in the modern day, however winning 73 games, more than any other team in league history, and then besting LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers for all the marbles? Which other team in the sport’s history can say they accomplished a feat that impressive in a six month span? Not many, so the conversation for best ever at least would’ve grown some legs given that hypothetical victory. But obviously Draymond got himself suspended for game 5, lost the team all momentum in the series, and the Cavaliers captured the title.
Conversation for best team ever should be over, especially from those on the team. If a player from another era wants to share praise for a team that came up one win short then fine. But to create a podcast and then diminish the importance of a championship title to manufacture a case for best ever? We just can’t let that slide. There’s definitely an argument for this team as one of the best basketball teams ever, but you can’t be superior than those that didn’t lose. Jordan hitting game-winners to hoist a championship banner has to mean more than a stronger bench or any other advantage we want to give Golden State.
LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers stands on the court before the 2016 NBA Finals Game Seven against the Golden State Warriors on June 19, 2016 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
It’s unfortunate for the team they didn’t get it done in 2016. It really is. These ‘best ever’ conversations for the runners-up must die.