When it comes to discussions about the greatest teams and dynasties of all-time, some of the constants are always the likes of Bill Russell’s Boston Celtics of the 1960s, Magic Johnson’s Los Angeles Lakers of the 1980s, and Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls of the 1990s.
The current incarnation of the Golden State Warriors is the most recent group to try and get into that discussion.
Led by Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Kevin Durant, the Warriors have won two straight and three of the last four NBA championships and are the overwhelming favorites to win a fourth in five years. In terms of sheer talent, the Warriors stack up well with any team in history, but Johnson believes they still have some catching up to do.
Johnson spoke with Ben Golliver of the Washington Post and said that he believes the Warriors must continue to dominate throughout the decade to be considered with his Lakers or Jordan’s Bulls:
“It’s an achievement to win 73 games, no question,” Johnson said, referring to the record-setting 2015-16 Golden State Warriors. “But that doesn’t mean that [Michael] Jordan’s Bulls teams weren’t as good as that team or my [1980s Lakers teams] weren’t as good. The Warriors are in the discussion, but think about the runs we had — Jordan winning six [titles], us winning five. We dominated a whole decade. The Warriors haven’t done that yet. You have to do those type of things to be the greatest team of all time to me.”
What Johnson is referring to is the level of consistent success the Lakers and Bulls had in their respective decades. The Lakers made eight NBA Finals appearances on the way to five championships in the 1980s. Jordan’s Bulls won six championships and could’ve won more had he not retired twice.
The Warriors could very well insert themselves in that conversation and with a championship this season are practically guaranteed to remain in that discussion. But as far as true dynasties, Johnson believes there is still some work to be done and he may not be wrong.