Draymond believes Dubs’ four titles each had unique themes originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay area
Draymond Green has been the Warriors’ de facto outspoken leader during their dynamic run and was a focal point in each of the team’s four NBA Finals wins.
In an exclusive interview with Bleacher Report’s Taylor RooksGreen explained what theme each of the Warriors’ four championships represented, starting with 2015.
“The first one was disbelief,” Green shared with Rooks, “Going into that year, we were like, ‘Yo, we got a chance to be good’ and then we start playing and … I’ll never forget, maybe 10 games into the season, we’re all looking at each other like, ‘Hey, we can win a championship.’
“And so, all of a sudden, the mindset turns to like, ‘Yo, can go win a championship.’ “
With the strength of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Green and rookie coach Steve Kerr, Golden State won its first championship in 40 years, defeating the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers in six games in the summer of 2015.
After losing the 2016 NBA Finals to those same Cavaliers in epic fashion, Kevin Durant joined the Warriors that offseason. With Durant’s arrival, Green said the expectations for the Warriors grew exponentially.
“With KD coming here, you know we cannot lose,” Green continued. “Like we’ll never hear the end of it, he’ll never hear the end of it, we got to protect our brother.
“We are not allowed to lose.”
The 32-year-old also revealed that Durant had been playing timidly, so as to not step on Curry’s shoes as the No. 1 option in the offense. However, after Curry relinquished being the No. 1 option, that was when the team took off.
In Green’s words, the Warriors, after that conversation between Curry and Durant, were so confident in their ability to win that they knew which games they were winning; it was all a matter of getting to that specific day.
“Now all of a sudden, we’re the supervillains and so that one was like, ‘Oh, we’re the supervillains? Alright, say no more. There’s nothing you can do about it,'” Green added.
That season, the Warriors won the championship in five games and Durant got his first ring along with his first NBA Finals MVP.
Green believed the following season, that Golden State’s 2018 championship was more about proving the naysayers wrong and to “piss them off even more.”
“And so, I think that one was kind of like the icing on the cake for all of it,” Green said. “Like, let’s go do it again. And once we won that one, the mindset immediately turns to, ‘Why not three-peat?’ “
However, a three-peat would not be in the cards for the Warriors.
Thompson tore his ACL and Durant tore his Achilles tendon in the 2019 NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors. Durant then left for Brooklyn Nets and while he was rehabbing, Thompson then tore his Achilles, sidelining him for a second consecutive season.
In the years between the Warriors’ 2018 championship and their recent 2022 title, Golden State was the worst team during the 2019-20 season and was eliminated in the play-in tournament the following year.
As a result, pundits and fans alike wondered aloud if the Warriors’ dynasty had come to an end. For those reasons, Green said the fourth championship meant the most.
“The fourth one was like the biggest ‘f— you’ — I have no better way of explaining it,” he said. “That was ‘f— you’ to everybody.”
Green added that the Warriors’ most recent title meant so much more because of all the things people outside the team were saying about Golden State’s ability and the fact that Durant had left the team.
Nevertheless, the fourth championship was Golden State’s way of sticking it to those that had doubted them.
“For all of you that said there was no chance, for all of you that are supposed to be experts that just don’t get it, like you don’t understand what makes up the sauce, it was just like, ‘OK, you can shut up now. Thank you, have a good day,'” Green concluded.
Despite the Warriors’ mediocre halfway record through the 2022-23 season, Green still is confident in their ability to compete for a championship.
Considering everything Golden State’s dynasty has been through in the last decade, it’s best never to count out the Warriors.