For the last twenty years, the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls have been widely regarded as the greatest team in NBA history. Their incredible 72-10 record that year was the best that’s ever been achieved. Led by Michael Jordan, the Bulls sailed through the regular season and won the NBA championship in six games. A season couldn’t be better, or so everyone thought.
Flash forward twenty years. The Golden State Warriors started the season 24-0, the best start in NBA history. Steph Curry had already hit 125 three-pointers by the team’s first loss, on pace to make 427 total threes for the season. That first loss came against the Milwaukee Bucks in December. Their next loss did not occur until Curry was forced to sit out against the Mavericks, a game that the Warriors lost by twenty-three points.
It took seven more wins for Golden State to lose again, this time to the Denver Nuggets. A loss to Detroit two games later dropped them to 37-4, and people began to question their ability to at least match the ’96 Bulls’ record, let alone defeat it. Half of the regular season was over, and at their current pace the Warriors would finish 74-8, but the second half of the season brought three games against the San Antonio Spurs who were ranked second from week three till the end of the season. The Spurs finished only seven games behind Golden State, and with the hype that followed the Warriors all season, many people forgot just how good San Antonio was.
Golden State lost to Portland and the Lakers before getting to the first of the games against the Spurs. This was an away game for the Warriors against a San Antonio team that had not lost at home since last season. The Warriors lost that game, pushing their record to 62-7. If they were just to tie the ’96 Bulls they could only lose three out of their next thirteen games.
They lost two more. The final regular season record for the Golden State Warriors was 73-9, making history as both the best record and only the second team to get more than seventy wins. Steph Curry shattered the record for most three-pointers made in a season (he had set it last season with 286) with 402 total threes. He also became the most improved scorer that was the MVP for the previous season.
Curry is already in discussions as being one of the all-time greats. Basketball is in his blood. His brother, Seth Curry, played college ball at Duke University and now plays for the Sacramento Kings. His father, Dell Curry, played primarily for the Charlotte Hornets among a season or two with other teams. His team this season, however, will always be remembered as one of the best ever.