Former Knicks coach and current ESPN NBA color guy Jeff Van Gundy is bullish on more than just Rihanna in this year’s NBA Finals. He also believes we’re witnessing one of the all-time great NBA teams in action: the Golden State Warriors.
On a media conference call earlier this week, before Game 1, Van Gundy made a bold claim about what this Warriors’ core could potentially accomplish before all is said and done.
“Just the combination of offense and defense, the talent that they’ve been able to amass, it puts them in position where this is a dynasty to me,” Van Gundy said. “They have their youth, they have their health. I see nothing preventing them from going to eight to ten straight Finals. It will be a massive upset, I think, if they’re not there each and every year.”
Eight to 10 years—it sounds ridiculous, but is it really? Golden State’s stars are young and they seem to genuinely enjoy playing together. Kevin Durant (28), Stephen Curry (29), Klay Thompson (27), and Draymond Green (27) should have at least five years of their prime left in the tank.
There are other factors to consider, of course—injuries, contract issues, the team's chemistry problems that could arise from one star feeling underappreciated.
Perhaps the most imminent threat to this four-player core is Klay Thompson’s impending 2019 free agency. He’ll be offered max money and will have the opportunity to be the guy on another team.
Van Gundy expressed his supreme confidence in the Warriors in an interview with Complex in April.
“I think that no one, if [Kevin] Durant is back, no one is challenging the Warriors,” JVG said. “I just don’t see it. I don’t care who it is. The talent differential is just too great, in my opinion, if the Warriors are healthy.”
At this point in time, his perspective from April seems dead-on. But it is worth noting that his perspective on the Cavaliers from that interview looks bad in hindsight.
“I’m really interested in the Eastern Conference this year, for the first time in a long time, because Cleveland is the favorite, but it’s not inconceivable that one of those other three teams [Toronto, Washington, or Boston] can come out in the East,” Van Gundy said.
JVG is one of the most respected analysts in the NBA, and in a day and age of hot takes, his opinions are generally of the quality sort. If he thinks the Warriors could go to 8-10 straight NBA Finals, well, it might not be all that ridiculous.
Game 2 between the Warriors and Cavs will tip at 8 p.m. EST Sunday at Oakland’s Oracle Arena. The Warriors currently lead the series, 1-0.
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