For the past five years, the Golden State Warriorshave lived by one mantra: "Strength in Numbers." Yes, they had more talent at the top than any otherteam in the NBA, but at critical momentsthroughout their five consecutive trips to the NBAFinals, they knew they could count on their deep, veteran-laden bench to support their superstars.
But the Warriors underwent a dramatic transformation this summer. Gone were not only All-NBA-level starters Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins, but also key reserves Andre Iguodalaand Shaun Livingston. The Warriors' newfound underdog status meant they were no longer adestination for veterans willing to take a pay cut to chase a near-guaranteed ring.
The good news for the Warriors is that they still have Curry, Thompson and Green to be thefocal points of that culture. The trio of players takes a great deal of pride in what they haveaccomplished together, but the organization knows that it's time for each of the three to takeon more leadership responsibility this season.
Curry, 31, noted that he is now the oldest Warriors player after the offseason moves and thathe will "have to step my game up."
"The chemistry will develop quickly. We'll be really purposeful about that and trying to set thetone for how we're going to play this year," Curry said. "It's about encouraging each other andhaving confidence that we'll bring the best out of each other. Then when Klay gets back aswell, add him to the backcourt mix. It's going to be fun.
"I'm excited, to be honest with you. Five straight years in the Finals and we've accomplished alot, and three championships. There's a lot to be proud of. But everybody wants a newchallenge in terms of how do you get back to that level."
Thompson, a month removed from surgery to repair his left knee, is expected to make a fullrecovery and follow a standard recovery time.
"The Warriors showed their loyalty and their respect for me, offering me that five-year deal," Thompson said of his new $190 million contract. "Jumped on that as soon as I could, justbecause the history with this team and the franchise it would be so hard to leave.
"And to say the dynasty is over I think is a little ignorant, 'cause I think I'm going to comeback 100 percent — I think I'm going to come back even better and more athletic. And itwould not be smart to count the Dubs out. That's all I tell people, especially with the chemistrywe still have and our foundation still being there, I think we have the ability to continue thisrun."
“而对于那些说勇士王朝已经结束的人，我觉得他们有点无知，因为我认为我会100％的康复 – 甚至更强和更好的运动能力。而且把勇士国度排除在竞争者行列之外是不明智的。这就是我告诉人们的全部内容，尤其是我们仍然拥有的化学反应和我们的球队根基还在，我认为我们有能力继续打入总决赛。”
Green has been one of the vital cogs of the Warriors’ run to five straight NBA Finals, with the35th pick in the 2012 draft elevating himself into an All-Star and helping the franchise becomea modern dynasty. He has been on the NBA's All-Defensive first or second team for five straightseasons and was the Defensive Player of the Year in 2017.
Much like Curry and Thompson before him, Green has been open about how much being part ofthe Warriors organization means to him. He never doubted that he would stay long term.
"I'm confident that I'll be here for a very long time," Green said. "So it's not something I'mgoing into the season thinking about. Like all that stuff will be taken care of when it's best forme, when it's best for the team. I'm not looking at this one-sided. It's a partnership. And it's afamily. And doing the right thing for everyone involved is important."
New Warriors guard D'Angelo Russell is excited about the chance to pair with Stephen Curryand the defending Western Conference champions after being acquired in a sign-and-trade fromthe Brooklyn Nets for Kevin Durant.
The Warriors are hoping Russell can help them bridge the gap as Klay Thompson recovers froma torn left ACL that is expected to keep him out for most of the regular season.
"Honestly, I'm excited," Russell said. "I'm excited more than anything. I think it's a hugeopportunity just to take another step and learn from a good group of guys that have done — and marked their way in this league, so I'm super excited."
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