The Golden State Warriors captured their fourth NBA Finals championship in eight seasons Thursday night, defeating the Boston Celtics 103-90.
It was a long road back to the finals for the Warriors, who missed the playoffs in each of the last two seasons after making five consecutive finals appearances prior. After overcoming injuries to their stars, significant roster turnover and talk that their core could no longer get the job done, Golden State stands back atop the NBA mountain, in what seems to be the sweetest victory yet.
“We always had doubt. You know how long the road is to get back here because of how hard it is to win at this level,” NBA Finals MVP Steph Curry said in the postgame trophy presentation. “Boston is a great team. Every team we played in the west is a great team. But we found a way to just get it done.
“… we built this for 10-11 years. And that means a whole lot when you get to this stage, because you know how to win. And everybody who’s been a part of this knows what that’s about. So, this one hits different. This one hits different for sure.”
Warriors guard Klay Thompson, who spent 941 days on the shelf across Golden State’s 2020 and 2021 season, illustrated just how good it felt for him on a personal level.
“Two years off –wasn’t really off — watching the finals and the playoffs the last couple years nearly killed me,” Thomson said. “Just to be back on this stage, I’m so thankful for my teammates. The start they had this year, 18-2, it really laid the foundation for what was to come.
“It’s crazy. I’m on cloud 109 right now… Holy cannoli, this is crazy.”
As water always finds its level, so does the NBA, with the Warriors reclaiming their spot at the top. As Draymond Green said postgame, “Welcome back to the Warriors invitational.”