President Rick Welts thinks Golden State’s dominance is helping NBA
Following a third championship in the last four seasons, much has been made about the Golden State Warriors “breaking” the NBA with the coalition of All-Star players after having acquired Kevin Durant in the summer of 2016.
But to team president Rick Welts, the Warriors’ supremacy is not breaking the NBA, but rather helping it regain its glorious days of titanic rivalries.
“We’re seeing basketball being played differently at a different level than we ever have before. We all should be celebrating that,” Welts told Mark Medina of the San Jose Mercury News. “I know and understand 29 other teams may not feel exactly the same way. But for basketball fans, this is another golden era.”
Klay Thompson perhaps said it best when posed with the question that some fans had grown tired of watching the Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers for the last four years in the NBA Finals, as the shooting guard noted fans shouldn’t be made at the teams that make it that far in the playoffs, but rather at the rest of the NBA, which has proved unable to unseat them.
Welts maintains the team’s success isn’t only organization-wide, but for the betterment of the NBA as a whole.
“It’s going to impact the next generation in terms of being fans of basketball and the NBA,” Welts said of the Warriors’ success. “There’s a bigger mission here than winning a championship. This team is really impacting the future of basketball.”
Welts even rewinded to the old days, where rivalries between the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers sold out arenas and had fans glued to the TV and the radio, hoping to get the best off each other.
“The biggest thrill was to see Bill Russell or Wilt Chamberlain come in and have a glimpse at the greatness. This notion that there were too many Boston-LA series? That to me is unfathomable,” Welts said, chuckling. “Anybody who’s in the sport celebrates greatness. That’s what we’re all about.”
The Warriors though, will have a tough time keeping this star-studded team with skyrocketing contracts and the wave of revenue to derive from the legalizing of sports betting, which will play a major part in Klay Thompson and Draymond Green’s impending free agent contracts in 2019 and 2020, set to balloon over time.