My Intramural Team Would’ve Swept the Warriors!
Let’s all try to refute the greatness of one of the most transcendent teams in sports history by making ridiculous hypothetical claims
If you’re reading this, then my clickbait title worked!
If the title made you angry, then my sarcasm wasn’t properly conveyed. The subtitle was intended to do that.
Anyway, if you’re still following, please rest assured that I am not delusional enough to believe my team would sweep a series against the Golden State Warriors. My team didn’t even win our intramural division at IU, so it’s unlikely that we’d even be able to hold the Warriors’ offense to fewer than 300 points in a regulation game. And even 300 seems low.
But hey, I might as well put my claim out there because it seems like everyone else is making headlines by shouting hypothetical statements that can’t be definitively disproved. It seems like every great basketball player from previous generations is quick to discredit the Warriors and their contemporaries.
The league is soft.
No one plays defense.
The competition is terrible.
I never teamed up with my peers to chase championships.
(Quick-ish tangent: The last one is a swipe specifically aimed at Kevin Durant that is congruent to the swipes at LeBron James when he teamed up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami. Full disclosure, a younger and less rational version of me totally bought into this narrative and used it as a defense of Michael Jordan. By buying into this narrative, I was unable to properly appreciate the greatness of that Miami Heat team in the first couple years of its run. Then I watched in awe as LeBron and D-Wade completely destroyed a good Pacers team on the road in Game 4 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Semifinals. I was at the game and it was unbelievable. They systematically silenced and emotionally dismantled a raucous and jubilant crowd as they combined for 70 points including an absurd stretch of 38 consecutive points en route to a 101–93 win. I still never rooted for them, but I always appreciated the beauty of that team’s greatness from that day forward. MJ’s legacy speaks for itself and so does LeBron’s. If you think Michael’s the GOAT, that’s understandable. If you think LeBron’s the GOAT, that’s understandable.)
I’ll never know what it is like to be a great athlete. I don’t have to hear writers, pundits, and talking heads constantly debating the merits of my athletic legacy in comparison to others. It’s understandable that great competitors have an unflinching self-confidence that never fades, even several years after their playing days. It’s understandable that they want to stand up for themselves.
I just don’t understand why they feel the need to act petty and dismissive towards the heirs of greatness in the generations that follow them.
Magic Johnson boasts that his “Showtime” Lakers squad would sweep these Warriors. Julius “Dr. J” Erving didn’t go quite as far as Magic did, but The Doctor was still fairly confident in saying that his Sixers team would beat this Warriors team in a playoff series. I think they are both laughably wrong but there will never be any way for any of us to prove that their claims are false. Just like how anyone that claims this Warriors’ team would sweep those teams cannot definitely prove their point.
Draymond Green, of these Warriors, said it best.
“I never understand when people try to compare eras and say this team could’ve beat that team or they couldn’t have beat this team or this player was better than that player. Doesn’t make sense to me, talking two different games for real. They were great in their time. We are great in our time. Respect that.”
Amen, Draymond. I love everything about this quote.
We’ll never truly know which team is the greatest of all-time. We all have our opinions, but unfortunately there’s not going to be a tournament featuring the sixteen greatest teams ever for us to see once and for all which one is truly the greatest. I imagine being able to watch that tournament is what Heaven is like.
The Warriors may very well sweep a loaded Cleveland Cavaliers team. This Cavs team, by the way, has the greatest player in the NBA and indisputably one of the greatest players that has ever lived. LeBron, combined with overqualified sidekicks and perennial All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, still might not be enough to win even one game against these Warriors.
I don’t believe any team in history is sweeping these Warriors.
I don’t know if any other teams in history would be able to sweep these Cavs. None of us will ever know for certain.
And that’s why I propose that we all give these outlandish claims a rest. Let’s appreciate this Warriors team as an all-time great squad that is capable of transcendentally beautiful basketball that has rarely (if ever) been seen before in the NBA.
Let’s all listen to Draymond.
P.S. Let’s also please eliminate the talk of how extraordinarily great teams are ruining their respective sports. Many have said that the UConn Women’s program is bad for Women’s College Basketball because of their dominance. I guess they should settle for being good, but not great. Hey ladies, can we strive for a 35–5 season this year? I know we might be capable of going 40–0, but going undefeated (and continuing that streak into the following season/seasons) might be bad for our sport. No. Be as great as you can and make others catch up. I realize that with 24-hour “news” cycles that networks and websites need to constantly try to produce interesting content, but there are different ways to do this. Maybe show classic sports movies to fill non-prime hours? The takes about athletes and teams ascending to the highest possible levels and subsequently ruining their respective sports are embarrassing.
P.P.S. The UConn Women’s team was eventually defeated and did not win the national championship in the 2016–2017 season. The Warriors will probably be dethroned at least once in the next few seasons too. Until then, let’s remind ourselves to appreciate being able to observe greatness.