The Toronto Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors and won the 2019 NBA title. The question becomes, is the Warriors’ title run over? After making the finals for five straight years it seems to be the end of the line. It looks like Kevin Durant will miss all of next season and Klay Thompson will be out for a major chunk of next season. Those two injuries alone make it hard to believe the Warriors will continue their domination of the western conference. It has been an all-time run for Golden State. Is the legacy of the Golden State Warriors tarnished?
I could make the argument that without KD, the Warriors weren’t as good as we once thought. They beat the Cleveland Cavaliers for the NBA title in 2015 to start this run. Kevin Durant hadn’t come to the Bay Area at this time. However, they beat a Cavs team that lost Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving to injury. 2016 comes around, Cleveland is healthy, and became the first team in history to come back from three games to one in a finals to defeat Golden State.
In 2017 and 2018 after Kevin Durant was recruited in to do something Curry and Thompson couldn’t do; beat a healthy Cleveland team. The Warriors took down the Cavs in both years. In 2017 they won four games to one and took home the championship again in 2018 in a series sweep. In 2019 with no Durant they lose to a Raptors team led by Kawhi Leonard. Klay Thompson left late in game six with a torn ACL against the Raptors. The Warriors are one for three in the NBA finals without KD. The legacy is tarnished with the knowledge that they had to over-stack the deck to be successful during this five year run.