The Golden State Warriors are arguably the strongest force in the NBA nowadays, and one of the strongest and most dominant dynasties this league has ever seen, winning 3 Championships in 4 years.
Still, not so long ago, this team was pretty mediocre, to say the least. They mightily struggled to get wins and get people to the Oracle Arena, with California pretty much owned by the Los Angeles Lakers.
Following a successful stint in the ’70s, this team wasn’t known for their success or their rings, and other than the ‘We Believe’ Warriors that upset the Dallas Mavericks in 2007, there wasn’t much to brag about here.
So, how did they become the monster they are nowadays? How on earth a team like the Warrior became unbeatable? Let’s walk you through it, step by step:
June 25, 2009
This day will go down in history as the day the Warriors dynasty started. Even though they almost traded their 7th overall pick to the Phoenix Suns in return for Amar’e Stoudemire, the Warriors eventually decided to hold onto it.
With that pick, the Warriors drafted Stephen Curry out of Davidson, a sharpshooting tweener whose ankles were a major concern, and that went a couple picks after Jonny Flynn and Ricky Rubio.
April 14, 2011
Fast-forward a couple of years, with Curry slowly coming together as a scorer, but the team still struggling to find success. Enter Bob Myers as the team’s General Manager, replacing Larry Riley.
Myers grew up in Oakland and was a longtime Golden State Warriors fans and little did they know that he would go on to play a major role on their future success, but we’ll get to that part in a while.
June 23, 2011
After striking out in the 2010 NBA Draft by taking Ekpe Udoh with their first-round pick, the Warriors would make up for it by landing the other half of the Splash Brothers, Klay Thompson, with their 11th overall pick.
The Warriors were reluctant to give up on Thompson even despite being stacked with Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis in the backcourt and decided to hold on to him even amid the Spurs’ last-second attempt to snub him.
March 13, 2012
Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry just couldn’t coexist, with the first one claiming the team needed to get rid of the ladder because he was already a proven star and a 20+ point per game scorer. The team had to make a choice, and they decided to trade Curry, whose ankles issues were aggravating.
Even so, his bad ankles wind up hurting his trade value and the team eventually parted ways with Ellis instead, sending him alongside Ekpe Udoh to land star big man Andrew Bogut in one of the most controversial moves of the decade.
June 28, 2012
The Warriors had already done an outstanding job in the Draft by landing the Splash Brothers. Still, the guys they got in the 2012 NBA Draft were the cherry on top of the sundae. With the 7th overall pick, they got Harrison Barnes out of UNC, a guy that was supposed to be the league’s next superstar.
Later, they would get Festus Ezeli with the 30th overall pick, and more importantly, they landed a true diamond in the rough 5 selections later, when they drafted Draymond Green out of Michigan State.
Oct. 31, 2012
The Warriors were already high on Stephen Curry’s progress and they knew they had what it took to lead the franchise to success. Still, his ankle issues were still a major concern when it came to thinking about a contract extension.
Either way, the team decided to take a gamble on him and signed him to a 4 year-44 million dollar extension, a huge bargain for a guy that wound up winning 2 MVP awards a couple of years later.
July 10, 2013
With the team on the verge of playoff contention and a roster filled with young talents, the need for a veteran leader was evident, so they made a run at Andre Iguodala, but they were near the top of the salary cap and moves needed to be made.
Eventually, the team sent 4 draft picks (2 first and 2 seconds) on a three-team trade in order to prevent Andre of signing with the Dallas Mavericks. He would go on to lead this team off the bench and bring that grit-and-grind suffocating defense to the Bay area. The price was high, but he went on to win a Finals MVP.
May 19, 2014
Mark Jackson was no longer the guy the Warriors needed, so they reached Steve Kerr to try and convince him to bail on the New York Knicks, who were also interested in his services, and lead this young core to success.
Phil Jackson’s presence at the Big Apple wasn’t enough to convince Kerr to try and fix New York’s mess, so he wound up signing a long term deal with the Warriors amid several doubts about his ability to coach at the highest of levels.
Oct. 24, 2014
David Lee was one of the team’s biggest stars, but his injury was a blessing in disguise for the Golden State Warriors. With him out lingering and the team lacking depth at the four, Kerr trusted Draymond Green with the starting job.
Needless to say, Green was the missing piece they were so desperately craving. He made an instant impact as a versatile and switchable defender, and his playmaking was a great surprise for the team as well.
Feb. 13, 2015
The NBA had just signed a huge television deal that meant a lot of money for all teams to be injected all at once, and, obviously, the Warriors would know how to make the most of every single dime.
Notably, the new deal meant teams could sign a top-tier free agent even if they were already stuck with huge contracts, as the league’s salary cap rose significantly with all the new money flowing in the league.
July 7, 2016
Right after their historic 73-9 team was beaten by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 7 games, the Warriors were determined to put the icing on the cake and improve a team that had already made it to back-to-back NBA Finals.
So, the team used that extra cash to make a run at some guy Kevin Durant, who was supposed to be very good. The rest, as you know, is history, as the team is en route to making yet another playoff run and possibly the chance at a three-peat.