The past decade has been all about the Golden State Warriors. Technically, it all started in 2013, when the core of Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson made their first playoff appearance. However, their reign truly began in 2015 when they won their first championship.
They won three titles in four years, with some help from Kevin Durant along the way, and established themselves as one of the greatest dynasties in NBA history. And although that was put in jeopardy when Thompson got injured in 2019, they bounced all the way back and won another championship in 2022.
Golden State took down the Boston Celtics in six games in this past year’s NBA Finals. Their veteran core outmatched the young, inexperienced Celtics, and point guard Marcus Smart recently spoke about how the team has reacted to their loss. In an interview with Bobby Manning of CLNS Media, Smart talked about how Boston learned from the experience.
“You hear it all the time, it’s a lesson, but it’s tough when you’ve got to take the lesson the hard way,” Smart said. “We have to take the lesson the hard way. We learned a lot out of our experience and unfortunately we had to lose to do that, but we now know what it takes to play, to be there, the stress it takes on you, mentally, physically, emotionally.”
The Warriors went through their own struggles, learning from them along the way. It was that experience that helped them on the biggest stage, allowing them to take down the Celtics.
Boston’s point guard also noted how the team is currently giving themselves a break after the tough loss.
Smart: ‘Giving Ourselves a Break’
Both Boston and Golden State went through long, grueling seasons to get to the Finals, and while the Warriors ended up finishing on top, each side was exhausted. After the loss, Smart said that the loss was still fresh in the Celtics’ minds, but they’ve taken the offseason as a much-needed break.
“You kind of figure when and when not to be too excited about it, how to play it and how to keep yourself calm. It was a lot of factors that we’ve learned individually and as a group from this … it’s tough to have to learn the hard way … it’s still fresh for us, so guys are really just trying to wait, but once we do start talking, we’ll get that out there, but right now we’re just giving ourselves a break,” Smart explained.
Smart isn’t the only Celtics player to make a statement about the Finals this summer, though. Grant Williams also commented on the loss, but his thoughts were more controversial.
Williams: ‘They Weren’t the Better Team’
During an appearance on The Long Shot Podcast with Duncan Robinson and Davis Reid, Williams said that, to this day, he doesn’t think the Warriors were the better team in the Finals.
“When I’ve reflected and looked back to those games, I still would say confidently – confidently – to this day, they weren’t the better team. I would say they were the more disciplined team,” Williams explained to Robinson and Reid.
So, while Smart’s comments were more about the Celtics’ internal development and ability to learn, Williams decided to call out Golden State. Both are interesting perspectives to note.