Ever since the Golden State Warriors went 73-9 during the regular season back in 2015, the debate has been which legendary team from the past could beat them in a seven-game series. That team would go on to lose to the Cleveland Cavaliers ending a 52-year drought in “The Land.”
After losing to the Cavs in seven games series, the Warriors went out and recruited Kevin Durant, who they just beat after Durant’s former team the Oklahoma City Thunder were up 3-1 against Golden State before collapsing and losing the remaining three games. Durant was vacationing in the Hamptons, and Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, and Draymond Green visited Durant, and the rest was history. Durant would sign a two-year contract with a player’s option. The following year the Warriors would win their second NBA-title in three seasons against the Cavaliers. Kevin Durant would be named Finals MVP for the first time in his career and capturing his first ever NBA Championship. In 2018, the Warriors would repeat as champions and Durant would be named Finals MVP again.
Back in 2016, Shaquille O’Neal said the 2001 Lakers would beat that version of the Golden State Warriors.
“If you’re using those rules, we’d win. Now we use these rules these days, we’d still win, because you wouldn’t be allowed to touch me, you wouldn’t be allowed to touch Kobe (Bryant),” O’Neal said. “So yeah, that’s how I always look at it,” said O’Neal.
In February of that same year, former Phoenix Sun Cedric Cellabos was asked if his 1993-1994 team could beat these Warriors. That season was also Cellabos best season as he averaged 19.1 points per game in a Suns uniform.
“Oh easy,” Ceballos said of beating Golden State. “Warriors have to go with our ’93-94 team with (Charles) Barkley, (Dan) Majerle, (Danny) Ainge, K.J. (Kevin Johnson), Tom Chambers. Don’t get me wrong, Draymond (Green) is playing unbelievable, but he wouldn’t do anything with Charles Barkley. It would be so ridiculous what that guy would get done to him. If you don’t believe me, just ask everyone else at his size who can move that tried to guard the guy back in the day,” Ceballos said.
In 1993, Tom Chambers was not a member of the Suns, as he was a part of the Utah Jazz roster. So, Ceballos might have meant the 1992-1993 finals team.
“Steph Curry, unbelievable shooter, but he (Johnson) was a point guard’s nightmare because he was so strong and he loved going to the basket. That’s one thing these teams don’t do: they do not expose Steph and the way he plays defense, said the former All Star.
“I don’t think we would have a problem with this Golden State team.”
I recently asked former Kings’ guard Doug Christie if he thought his 2002 Kings team could beat the Warriors. Then Kings roster featured Chris Webber, Mike Bibby, Peja Stojakovic, and Vlade Divac.
“I think we would have been right there. The difference we did not shoot the mass amount of three-pointers, which is crazy because if Peja 15 three-pointers game, I had unlimited access, and Bobby [Jackson] already shot a whole bunch it would have just been a different style. Plus, our big men pass the ball better than any big man in today’s game. It would have been interesting because they put so much pressure on you, but all that I just said is predicated on playing in this era as opposed to playing in our era where the defense was already beginning to trend down. I think we would have been alright,” said Christie.
Doug Christie averaged 11.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists per game during his 10 plus year in the NBA.