Last time the Warriors a championship, back in 2018, it was a roster littered with mostly veterans.
This time, in 2022, the Warriors are considerably younger. Yes, they still have the likes of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green (and possibly Andre Iguodala). But they also will be relying heavily on a youth movement — from James Wiseman to Jordan Poole to Jonathan Kuminga to others.
So this title defense won’t be like the last.
“I think what makes this one different is just the prevalence of youth on our roster,” coach Steve Kerr told reporters. “You know, after you get past our first six, plus Donte DiVincenzo and JaMychal Green, you’re really looking at a young group, basically first- and second-year guys, which is exciting but also daunting because you just don’t show up in this league and win. It took Steph Curry and Klay, it took those guys a few years to really learn how to win. They would be the first to tell you that.
“So I think our young guys have a lot to learn but they are all very talented and so it’s an interesting mix of veteran and youth that we’re excited about, but we are also conscious that it’s not going to be smooth sailing all the time. There’s going to be some — some — a learning curve for sure.”
The Warriors are beginning their preseason with a trip to Japan for a pair of games against the Wizards. The first will be held Friday, Sept. 30.
“I mean, three days does not constitute a camp,” Kerr said. “The practices and then a trip to Tokyo is totally different. We’ll use those two games as part of our preparation obviously. But you just adapt and it’s fine. It’s just different.”
Kerr added that the approach to this season could be different as well.
“Maybe a little bit based on the circumstances,” he said. “I mentioned that last year we really felt it was important to establish ourselves right away, and we got off to that quick start, 18-2, I think. We needed our vets to play together and develop that chemistry.
I think in the end, we won 53 games. Started out strong and kind of, you know, had that lull late in the regular season. You never know how this stuff is going to shake out, but I think we have more confidence in our ability to compete at the highest level going into this season. And the season may take on a slightly different shape in terms of the momentum and the energy and everything else. We have got to navigate that as it comes.”
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