The new NBA regular season is nearly upon us, and what has become an annual tradition, teams are talking hot smack to one another.
Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry, however, may have scored the sickest burn of all on Tuesday. He was asked by reporters for a response to people who strictly view the team's 2015 championship run as "lucky." People like, for instance, Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers.
"You need luck in the West. Look at Golden State. They didn't have to play us or the Spurs," Rivers told Grantland's Zach Lowe in an interview published last Tuesday. His quote has since been used as a larger platform to discuss if the Warriors actually "deserved" their championship.
Curry's response, which was provided to ESPN's Ethan Sherwood Strauss, was absolutely drenched in sweet sarcasm:
I apologize for us being healthy, I apologize for us playing who was in front of us. I apologize for all the accolades we received as a team and individually. I'm very, truly sorry, and we'll rectify that situation this year.
In effect, Curry was directly responding to Rivers and his assertion that the Warriors were fortunate to draw (and defeat) weaker teams in the playoffs than last season's Clippers or San Antonio Spurs. Last Friday, Warriors teammate Klay Thompson called Rivers' remarks "bitter."
Rivers walked back that "luck" quote on Sunday, saying, "No, I don't think the Warriors were lucky to win. I think they deserved to win."
In clarifying his earlier comments, perhaps Rivers was reminded of these simple facts: In addition to beating LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals, the Warriors had the NBA's best regular season record and won 11 individual accolades throughout last season, including Curry's MVP, Andre Iguodala's Finals MVP and Bob Myers' Executive of the Year title.
Now, it's not incorrect to say that luck was an element in the Warriors' championship season. They were lucky to not suffer any debilitating injuries. They were lucky that the NBA's ridiculous seeding rules pitted the Spurs and Clippers, the Warriors' two biggest challengers in the Western Conference, against each other in the first round of the playoffs.
But in the road to a championship, the winning team will always have their "lucky breaks." And why run away from them? If anything, the best team that takes the most advantage of their breaks is often left hoisting the title. To suggest that luck makes a champion -- any champion -- somehow less deserving, however, is just silly.
Kind of like this photo.
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