Golden State Warriors re-enter ‘the reality of the NBA’

The Warriors’ new-look squad fell apart against a tough Clippers team to open the brand new Chase Center, losing 141-122.

But the Warriors franchise as a whole, when taking its last five magical seasons into account, fell back down to earth, according to coach Steve Kerr.

Here’s what Kerr said after the game, per The Athletic’s Anthony Slater.

The last five campaigns were sublime, and yes, unworldly. The Warriors earned three championships and appeared in the NBA Finals every year of that run, starting with Kerr’s first with the club. That was also Kerr’s first year as an NBA coach.

Golden State still has it’s core three players on the roster in guards Steph Curry and Klay Thompson and forward, Draymond Green. Thompson tore his ACL in the most recent NBA Finals, however, and as Kerr said, the remainder of the roster is loaded with inexperienced players.

The last five seasons were majestic, but this year’s team is arguably as interesting — unfortunately for the Warriors, most of the intrigue lies in whether they can make the playoffs rather than if they can win the NBA title. And that new reality will take some getting used to for those that follow the team and the core members themselves.

Reality without Klay Thompson sinks in for Steph Curry, Warriors

Warriors guard Klay Thompson wasn’t around postgame to sit in front of his own locker, so his Splash Brother, superstar guard Steph Curry, kept Klay’s seat warm while talking to reporters on Friday, after Golden State played its final preseason game in 2019.

He surely can’t wait for Thompson to sit in his own chair.

Thompson will miss the majority of the regular season after tearing his ACL in the most recent NBA Finals, in just one of the many changes the Warriors will deal with this year.

They’re no longer considered a shoo-in for the Finals or even the playoffs. Forward Kevin Durant left in free agency, former team leader, Andre Iguodala was traded away. Swingman Shawn Livingston, a member of all three recent championship teams, retired.

But the loss of Thompson, while temporary, could be the largest blow to the team, certainly in the short term. Here’s what Curry said about Thompson while he sat in his teammate’s chair, according to The Athletic’s Anthony Slater.

“It’s different, man. He’s such a unique player and such a huge part of our DNA and who we are as a team.

“When we’re out there on the court, you gotta have guys step up in his absence until he comes back, hopefully, later in the season … Seven years we’ve been playing together, and you get used to a certain look. We’ve got to adjust as NBA players and keep it moving until he gets back.”

Reporters asked Curry if he’ll miss Thompson most on offense or defense. After a pause, Curry said, “both.”

It would be easy to expect Curry to say, or at least think defense. Thompson famously takes the defensive pressure off Curry, guarding the opponent’s best guard. But Curry knows that Thompson is, incredibly, one of the best shooters in NBA history. Curry would know. He’s arguably the best shooter of all time.

And that’s why he’ll be missed. In the meantime, Curry will keep his seat warm for his Splash Bro and do all he can to keep the team on track to make the playoffs.