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The Golden State Warriors beat the Boston Celtics in Game 6 on Thursday to win the NBA title, the Warriors’ fourth NBA championship in the last eight years.
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Stephen Curry, who won Finals MVP honors, has cemented himself as one of the greatest players of all time alongside future Hall of Famers Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.
What the Warriors (with a special acknowledgment to general manager Bob Myers) have built is nothing short of amazing.
But what can other teams learn from what the Warriors did over the last three years following their 2019 Finals loss?
There are two things that really stand out to me.
- The Warriors didn’t overreact to devastating injuries.
Klay Thompson tore his ACL in the 2019 Finals and missed an entire year. During that time, Curry also dealt with some injuries and the Warriors went from being a Finals contender to not even making the playoffs.
But they didn’t overreact or overcorrect. They trusted in what they had built and knew that they would be back once they were healthy.
The next year, Thompson suffered a torn Achilles and would miss the entirety of a second consecutive season.
Again, the Warriors did not overreact. They still trusted in the core of their team even though they missed out on the playoffs again.
They returned this season led by Curry, Thompson and Green and shot straight to the top of the league, winning a title.
Had they worried about losing two years of success and their aging stars, they might have missed out on this year’s title, but they stayed the course and it paid off.
- The Warriors saw Andrew Wiggins for what he was and brought out the best in him.
When the 2015 No. 1 overall draft pick came into the league, the Minnesota Timberwolves treated him like he needed to be the guy, the franchise player, the singular star that would make the Wolves into a contending team.
Many teams do this and they expect that top and high draft picks will solve all of their problems, but that’s just not who Wiggins was or is, and it’s often not at all who players are.
Most players are not going to be singular generational talents. Most players need to be surrounded by other great players in order to make each other better.
With Golden State, Wiggins was allowed to flourish because he wasn’t tasked with putting an entire team on his back.
Of course, not every team is going to have players that are of the same talent level as the Warriors’ leading trio, but they can trust in players’ skillsets, have realistic expectations and try to build whole teams rather than relying on one player to solve all of the world’s problems.
New with the Jazz
This week on ‘Unsalvageable’
Check out “Unsalvageable: A Utah Jazz Podcast,” hosted by Deseret News Utah Jazz beat reporter Sarah Todd and lifelong Jazz fan Greg Foster (no, not that Greg Foster).
Catch up on last week’s episode in which the crew discusses the departure of Quin Snyder and how the Utah Jazz got to this point. And stay tuned for an episode this weekend reviewing the movie “Hustle” starring Jazz forward Juancho Hernangomez.
The podcast has moved to a new feed so remember to follow or subscribe by searching for “Unsalvageable” through your podcast provider.
New episodes come out every week. You can listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and anywhere else you stream podcasts.
Stat of the week
Stephen Curry closed out Game 6 of the NBA Finals with 34 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and six 3-pointers en route to earning Finals MVP in a unanimous media vote.
From the archives
This week in Jazz history
Just one year ago, on June 9, 2021, Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert was named NBA Defensive Player of the Year. In doing so, he became the fourth player to win the award at least three times, joining Dikembe Mutombo (four), Ben Wallace (four) and Dwight Howard (three).
How to pass the time in the offseason
Now that the Jazz season has come to an end, it means that I have some time to catch up on the things that I love but don’t have enough time for during the NBA season. Here I’ll suggest my latest way to pass the offseason time and also take your suggestions.
I am a huge fan and supporter of local libraries and Utah has some really great libraries that have resources well beyond books.
Library cards are free and there are tons of activities and that are offered by libraries that people don’t even know about. For example, many libraries have movies, board games and even telescopes that can be checked out. Also, if you’re looking for a place to work that isn’t your home office, the library is an exceptional place for that.
If you love books, magazines, historical periodicals, or even if you want to find out what kinds of events or activities the library offers for adults, children, teens and everyone, just reach out to your local branch.
- The Utah Jazz’s new jerseys are awful — and clearly, the team knows that (Salt Lake Tribune)
- Trade tracker: Dallas Mavericks get Christian Wood from Houston Rockets (Deseret News)
- Jazz bring in prospect Josh Minott for workout. Why that’s intriguing (Deseret News)
- Finals MVP Steph Curry delivers ‘crowning achievement’ (San Francisco Chronicle)
Around the league
The Golden State Warriors are already title favorites for the 2022-23 season.
Chet Holmgren visits with Orlando Magic as No. 1 pick intrigue builds.
Up next: Draft night
June 23 | 6 p.m. | 2022 NBA draft | ESPN