Are these current Golden State Warriors the greatest team of all-time?
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Surely, the Warriors are in the conversation, but losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals two seasons ago hurt the team’s case.
Had Golden State won that series, they’d have completed a three-peat last season and would be working this season toward a fourth consecutive championship – something Michael Jordan and the Bulls never were able to accomplish. Also, two years ago, the Warriors broke the single-season record for wins, topping the Bulls’ epochal 72-10 mark by going 73-9.
Only, the Bulls were able to seal the deal by beating Seattle in the 1996 NBA Finals. The Warriors were unable to do so, losing to LeBron James and the Cavs in a thrilling seven-game series. The 1995-96 Bulls went 72-10 and followed that with 69-13 and 62-20 campaigns – a three-year record of 203-43 – that resulted in Larry O’Brien trophies. The Bulls also won three consecutive titles beginning in 1990-91, missing out in 1993-94 and 1994-95 when Michael Jordan gave up basketball to pursue a baseball career. Had he remained with the Bulls, it’s quite possible Chicago could’ve won eight championships in a row, a feat only accomplished by the 1959-1966 Boston Celtics, who reached the finals 10 consecutive seasons beginning in 1956-57.
The Warriors have a three-year record of 207-39, but only two titles in three trips to The Finals. With the best record once again in the NBA, they’re on pace for 63 wins this season, which would give them a four-year stretch like no other team in NBA history, but a third title in four years seems necessary to rank with the greats of all-time.