The last time I asked a similar question, Dennis Rodman had just joined forces with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, who were known for their offense, but were also elite defenders, and even though everyone laughed, the rest has become well noted history.
The Bulls went on to become the best team NBA fans had ever seen, while winning 25 more games then they had the year before.
Rodman was a hard nosed, unselfish, defensive player, who lived to rebound the ball and get it back in Jordan’s and Pippen’s hands. He didn’t ask for the rock or even seem to want it, he knew his role, and that’s what made that team almost unstoppable.
Two decades later the all-time win record has finally been broken again, by Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, and now the “Splash Brothers” find themselves joining forces with one of the best offensive players in the league, Kevin Durant.
As a matter of fact, all three of these players take their role of putting the ball in the hoop very seriously, and none of them are consistently considered a top defender.
When asked just recently about Curry’s defense, Durant responded, “I mean, getting steals … that’s a part of playing defense. He’s pretty good, but he doesn’t guard the best point guards.”
Even though they have all three improved on defense, none of these players are going to step out on the court with the intention of playing a complimentary role. They are all going to want to shoot freely just like they did last year when all three of them finished top 12 in scoring.
But is that a bad thing?
They are all also stellar three point shooters, and are virtually unstoppable when they are hot. They will be able to spread defenses out even more than normal and create open shots as teams will be forced to decide who to cover.
There have been plenty of super teams before, but have we ever seen three young players, so hungry, focused and still waiting to hit the peak of their prime?
All three players have reason to have a chip on their shoulders and to want to prove to the others that they belong among the elite.
The hardest pill for opponents to swallow, is that before Durant, this Warriors team has actually been underrated.
Nobody expected them to play such a thorough season in 2014-15, and even after that, it was a complete surprise when they came out so dominant in 2015-16.
That is a testament to Coach Steve Kerr, who played on the Bulls team with Jordan, Pippen, and Rodman, and has as good of an understanding as anyone, of how challenging and important it is to find a way to blend and soothe egos.
He’s also had experience playing on the San Antonio Spurs, who personify class, and have learned how to render some of the best players in the game virtually egoless.
As far as a perfect record, only time, a little bit of luck, and fate can decide that, but the initial outlook is that this may be just as close to a perfect fit as possible.