Steve Kerr knows what it feels like when a dynasty’s time is finished. And as the Golden State Warriors’ postseason title defense looms, the three-time champion with Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls is pushing back on the notion the reign of Steph Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson will soon come to a close.
Comparing the Warriors’ drama-filled 2022-23 campaign to Chicago’s infamous 1997-98 season, Kerr insisted Golden State is not in the midst of its ‘Last Dance’ with the playoffs fast approaching.
“This is not ‘The Last Dance,’ he said this week on The TK Show with Tim Kawakami of The Athletic. “That was made clear in Chicago [back in 1997], that that was going to be it, Phil was done and everybody’s contracts were up. That was going to be it.”
“That’s not the case here at all. I know that Joe [Lacob] would love to keep this thing going,” Kerr continued. “He’s been incredible in his financial commitment to keep this team strong and relevant for a decade. He’s always committed to that. So I think there’s a really good possibility that we keep things going here.”
The Warriors enter Friday’s matchup with the San Antonio Spurs at 40-37, sixth in the West but just a game above the play-in tournament line—hardly the mark of a legitimate championship contender.
Draymond Green has a player option for next season he’s bound to decline, set to hit free agency come July in search of a long-term deal. Klay Thompson is eligible for an extension before the final year of his current deal, one that will pay him a whopping $43.2 million in 2023-24—more than he’s worth in his mid-30s. Jordan Poole has regressed after inking his big-money extension in the fall, while Andrew Wiggins—through no fault of his own—will miss at least half the season due to injury and personal issues.
Lacob, remember, has expressed hesitance about paying another record luxury tax bill next year, when the Dubs will be even more expensive. Andre Iguodala, a four-time champion just like Curry, Green and Thompson, is hanging it up at the conclusion of 2022-23, too.
Needless to say, Golden State’s dynasty hasn’t exactly lived up to that billing this season, and there are several indicators it might be time to finally pull the plug. Just like the Warriors still believe in their chances of winning back-to-back rings, though, Kerr maintains faith this team’s core will remain intact no matter what happens in the postseason.
Unfortunately for Dub Nation, we won’t know for sure if that’s the case until some hard conversations are had and tough decisions are made this summer.
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