Not so long ago, the Golden State Warriors were the team to beat in the NBA. They made it to 5 straight NBA Finals and won 3 rings, and also broke the record for the most wins in a single regular season.
And, according to Matt Barnes, one of the reasons why they were able to dominate that much is because they didn't care that much about scoring 30 apiece.
Instead, they wanted to do what was best for the team even if that meant putting the ego aside.
“Everyone kind of kept their egos at the door," Barnes said on Gilbert Arenas' 'No Chill Gil' Podcast. "You know, I mean the goal was to win; that team had so much firepower, so many stars from our coaches to our players that at least while I was there basketball was what was most important. Winning was most important so, you know, there were games where guys wouldn’t kill but at the end of the day you won by 30, [because] it was someone else’s turn. When I was there the chemistry was second to none.”
That selfless basketball was a big part of the Dubs' winning formula during the mid-2010s.
That's why it all kinda fell off when the egos got in the way. The rift between Kevin Durant and Draymond Green was something they never could get past, eventually sealing their fate.
According to both people involved in that argument, coach Steve Kerr and GM Bob Myers could've handled the situation better and it would've all been different:
"It wasn't the argument, it was the way everybody acted like it didn't happen," Durant said. "Steve Kerr acted like it didn't happen. Bob Myers tried to discipline you and think that that would put the mask over everything. I really felt like that was such a big situation for us as a group. The first time we went through something like that. We had to get that shit all out. I remember watching 'The Last Dance," and when Scottie didn't go into the game, the whole team in the locker room said, 'Scottie that was f****d up that you did that.' We needed that. We just needed to throw all of that shit out on the table and say, 'Yo, Dray, K, that was f****d up that we even had to go through that. Let's just wipe our hands of that and go finish the task.' I don't think we did that. We tried to dance around it. I just didn't like how all of that, just the vibe between all of that, it just made shit weird to me. And I'd rather us, be who we say we are. Family first. Communication is key. Like we didn't show that. And that's what rubbed me the wrong way more than anything."
At the end of the day, that Warriors team could go down as one of the biggest 'What Ifs' in the history of the league, just like it happened when the Lakers traded away Shaquille O'Neal.
Maybe, if they had the same mindset as the 2017 Warriors, they could've gotten past that altercation and run it back to try and be the league's greatest dynasty. But we'll never know that now.