After winning the 2022 NBA championship, the Golden State Warriors have struggled to reestablish their dominance in the Western Conference. Through their first 68 games, the Dubs have a record of 35-33, which has them sitting in sixth place out West.
Throughout the season, many have debated whether or not Golden State is still equipped to compete for another title.
During the March 13 episode of ESPN’s First Take Kendrick Perkins made the argument that the Warriors are finished.
“Okay, so when I look at the Golden State Warriors… they are dead bird, tall grass. They are done, Perkins told Stephen A. Smith. “I’m not saying that they’re not going to make the playoffs, they’re going to get into the playoffs. But, let’s be real here. Their expectations are (to win) a championship. The only reason I say that is because when you’re the defending champs, when you’re the Golden State Warriors, and you have that much pride that we know them to have, they want to defend that honor. I’m looking at them right now, and no, they’re not a championship team.
Perkins, who won an NBA title with the Boston Celtics in 2008, the warned the Warriors of a matchup against the Sacramento Kings.
“I’m going to say this right now. They’d better stay the hell away from the Sacramento Kings, because no matter how young that Kings group is, no matter how inexperience they be when it comes to the postseason, they have old souls… The Sacramento Kings are going to the Western Conference Finals. The Golden State Warriors, their championship days are over.”
Stephen Curry Remains Confident in Warriors
Perkins’ doubts about the Dubs haven’t been echoed from those that are actually in the locker room. In fact, some of Golden State’s stars have been outspoken about their confidence in this season’s squad.
Stephen Curry recent spoke on his belief in his teammates, saying that they’re a “tough matchup for anybody.”
“It’s a different challenge because I was out for four weeks before, four weeks this last time. Andre (Iguodala) has been chomping at the bit to get out there and play,” Curry said after the March 5 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers via NBC Sports Bay Area. “The way we’ve been shorthanded for a long time, these guys have been stepping up and playing at an extremely high level to give us even a little bit of life to be where we are in the standings and all of that. You know, there’s just a lot that we’re trying to deal with and still stay optimistic about where we’re headed. Until we get beat we feel like we’re a tough matchup for anybody. That’s the confidence that we have to have down the stretch and heading into the postseason.”
Klay Thompson is ‘Never Going to Doubt’ Warriors
Curry’s teammate, Klay Thompson, shared a very similar feeling about the potential of the current roster.
“Our confidence is very high. I think I’ve stated this before, I’m never going to doubt this group or this franchise,” he told reporters via NBC Sports Bay Area. “We still have a lot of basketball left and we can put ourselves in a great position to finish the year the way we want to.”