Kevin Garnett is one of the most distinguished players of all-time. He has had a long career spanning multiple NBA eras and has won both an MVP and a championship. He has played with legendary players like Ray Allen and Paul Pierce. Kevin Garnett has many distinctions, but an interesting fact is that he is the only player to have played against the two greatest regular season teams of all-time: the 72-10 Chicago Bulls and the 73-9 Golden State Warriors.
When the 72-10 Chicago Bulls run during the 1995-96 season was happening, Kevin Garnett was still a rookie. He would continue to witness the dominance of the Chicago Bulls during their second three-peat, albeit he wouldn’t face them in the playoffs, due to being in the Western Conference. There was an encounter that a young Kevin Garnett had with Michael Jordan. During his career, Garnett was known as one of the top trash talkers in the league. But he learned quickly, that he shouldn’t do it against Michael Jordan. Jumpman History compiled the accounts of the incident.
JR Rider & Kevin Garnett talk about the time a young KG made the mistake of talking trash in front of MJ 😅 pic.twitter.com/VfL57upGhB
— Jumpman History (@HistoryJumpman) February 20, 2020
This segment exemplifies the sort of confidence that Michael Jordan had: Jordan was only further motivated by trash talk because he knew how good he was. That sort of confidence had surely spread to the rest of the 72-10 Chicago Bulls. The 1995-96 Chicago Bulls were dominant: their 72-10 record doesn’t fully exemplify how revered they were in the era.
Jim Cleamons, who was an assistant coach with the dynastic Bulls famously stated that the Chicago Bulls would have won a few more games if they knew the Golden State Warriors were going to beat their regular-season record. Their dominance continued from the regular season, all the way to their Finals series win against the Seattle Supersonics. After the Golden State Warriors had blown their 3-1 lead against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Michael Jordan agreed to publish ‘The Last Dance’: a now-famous documentary on the dynastic Chicago Bulls. Perhaps he wanted to remind people about the greatness of those Chicago Bulls, as they were dominant in the regular season but also punished opponents in the postseason.
Funnily enough, Kevin Garnett played against the 73-9 Warriors during the last season of his career, when he was 39. Both the starting and ending seasons of his career were marked by the most dominant regular season teams of all-time. LeBron James had famously said that he considers himself the GOAT after beating the 73-9 Warriors. It is truly a testament of James’ greatness for him to have beaten that team: they looked like no-one could stop them, and Stephen Curry was the unanimous MVP during that season.
The 73-9 Golden State Warriors were the best team during the regular season and came back from a 3-1 lead against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Finals. Had Draymond Green not gotten suspended in the Finals, they may have won it all. Their greatness is overshadowed by their Finals loss in the eyes of many fans. However, due to their loss in 2016, they went out and acquired Kevin Durant in free agency. That led to more championships and was a crucial part of the team’s further success.
The Golden State Warriors dynasty will always be compared to the Jordan Chicago Bulls: they are some of the most dominant teams in the history of basketball. There was a poll that compared the 2016-17 Golden State Warriors with Kevin Durant against the legendary 1995-96 Chicago Bulls. NBA fans were asked to select the best team of all-time: in a poll with more than 30,000 votes, 74% of fans voted for the Chicago Bulls as the better team. While Kevin Durant was an elite addition to the 73-9 Warriors and made them unstoppable in their era, the 1995-96 Bulls had talent at every position and were led by the greatest player of all-time, leading to the poll numbers. Jordan’s influence alone was probably a huge factor in the skewed numbers towards the Bulls.
The players that were participants in the dynastic runs for the Golden State Warriors and the Chicago Bulls have etched their names as greats into the NBA pantheon. The all-time greats from the two franchises alone could create superteams that no-one would be able to beat: those superteams would surely include many players from each franchise’s respective dynasty. Stephen Curry and Michael Jordan have both led teams to victory and cemented their names as mainstays in NBA history. Now, it is up to fans to decide which team is the better team for themselves. Although, perhaps one could ask Kevin Garnett: after all, he was the only one who played against both teams.
Credit For The Idea: Ballrsnation