The Golden State Warriors are currently the elite team in the NBA. They have been consistently in the running for a championship for nearly a decade now. Learn about the history of the Northern California franchise below.
The Golden State Warriors have won 6 NBA Championships in their history. With four of those titles coming since 2015. The franchise was founded in 1946. The Warriors were originally based in Philadelphia.
In 1959, the Philadelphia Warriors added Wilt Chamberlain to its roster. Chamberlain would go on to become one of the most prominent figures in the history of basketball. With the Warriors, Chamberlain scored an NBA record, 100 points.
In 1962 the Warriors would move to the Bay Area and become the San Francisco Warriors. During the 1960s NBA greats like Rick Barry and Nat Thurmond suited up for the Warriors. The team would find a lot of success in the 1970s, including winning a championship in 1975.
The Golden State Warriors in the early and mid-1980s were not successful. They were consistently one of the bottom teams in the league. Franchises like the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics were dominating the NBA in that era, and the Warriors were not relevant.
In the late 1980s, Golden State started playing a style of basketball that was exciting to watch, while at the same time unorthodox by the standards of the time. Coach Don Nelson put an emphasis on scoring and did not prioritize defense. He encouraged a fast paced style and relied on smaller and quicker players. Nelson’s philosophy was ahead of its time.
Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond, and Chris Mullin were an exciting and high scoring trio for Nelson’s Warriors. They perfectly personified the style the coach wanted. The trio could shoot from deep and play uptempo. Hardaway, Richmond, and Mullin would go by the name of RUN TMC. While the RUN TMC era was fun, they never experienced playoff success.
The Warriors suffered years of irrelevancy until 2006-2007. Nelson left the franchise in the 90s but would return in 2006. Nelson returning, and bringing his trademark style, allowed the Warriors to make the playoffs in 2007. Golden State that season became the first 8 seed in the playoffs to defeat a 1 seed in a 7 game series. The “We Believe” squad defied the odds to become one of the most memorable Golden State teams.
World Champion, Steph Curry
Stephen Curry would be drafted in the first round by Golden State. The guard was selected with the seventh overall pick. In retrospect, the Warriors were incredibly lucky that Curry was still available that late in the draft. To get the greatest shooter that ever lived, with the seventh pick, is one of the all-time steals in the NBA. Especially when you consider other great players of Curry’s generation, like LeBron James & Kevin Durant, were top three picks.
Before the 2014-2015 season, Stephen Curry was considered one of the top guards in the league. He was a great shooter and scorer, and fans loved to watch him. But Curry had not earned any substantial success in the playoffs, which is the thing that earns you respect in the NBA. Playoff success would come in a major way in 2015. Curry would lead the Golden State Warriors to the NBA Championship. The Warriors would defeat who many believe to be the best player of his generation, LeBron James, and his Cleveland Cavaliers. Curry also earned league MVP honors during the 2014-2015 season. He would win the MVP Award again in 2015-2016. Becoming one of the rare players to win the MVP Award in back to back seasons. As of 2022, Chef Curry is a four time NBA Champion (2015, 2017, 2018, 2022).
In 2016, Kevin Durant made the biggest decision of his career. When KD decided to join the Golden State Warriors in the summer of 2016 the sports world went mad. Many were excited to see the all-star join the powerhouse team. Many others were critical of the decision. The Warriors already won a title before KD joined, and the Golden State squad that he joined, just eliminated KD and his OKC team from the playoffs months prior.
Despite the criticism, KD’s time in Golden State was stellar. He would lead the Warriors to back-to-back championships in 2017 and 2018. He also won Finals MVP in both Championship runs. KD only spent three seasons in Golden State, but those three seasons are arguably the best of his career.
Splash Brothers, Kerr & Green
Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry are the greatest shooting backcourt in history. Their potent shooting earned them the nickname, The Splash Brothers. Steve Kerr would coach the Warriors during its strongest stretch as a franchise. Draymond Green’s defense, playmaking and leadership has also contributed mightily to the team’s championship success.
The Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors are currently the hottest ticket in the NBA. Curry, Thompson, and Green have led the Warriors to 4 Rings since 2015. Under the leadership of Steve Kerr, Golden State has become one of the elite franchises. The recent success should help propel the Warriors to success for years to come.
- Adam C. Better
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