As the Golden State Warriors inch closer to the regular season wins record set by the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls, the debate over which team was better continues to intensify. At 69-8, Golden State is a 4-1 or better stretch from cementing itself as the greatest regular season team in NBA history.
The Warriors have one game against the 25-52 Minnesota Timberwolves, two games versus a depleted Memphis Grizzlies squad and two games against a San Antonio Spurs team that will likely rest its players in classic Gregg Popovich fashion left on the schedule. Surpassing 72 wins appears likely for The Warriors, but that doesn’t mean the current record-holders are ready to concede to Golden State’s greatness.
Scottie Pippen, the superstar forward who long acted as Michael Jordan’s wingman en route to six NBA titles, believes his squad would wipe the floor with this year’s Warriors. When asked who would win in a 7-game series, Pippen had this to say:
In the same interview, the defensive stopper also boldly declared that he would hold Stephen Curry under 20 points per game in the series. While it’s a feat no one in today’s era has proved capable of accomplishing, the Bulls’ historically great defense could certainly make life difficult for Golden State’s high-octane offense.
But for all of the back and forth on this never-ending debate, there’s only one man who can give a completely unbiased opinion – former Bulls guard and current Warriors head coach, Steve Kerr.
Recognizing that different eras make this a difficult game to predict, Kerr said, “if you actually put the teams in a hypothetical game, my guess is the Bulls would be called for a million hand-check fouls, and we [Golden State] would be called for a million illegal defenses when we overloaded the strong side. So the game would take, like, six hours because the refs would be calling stuff all game.”
Kerr went on to say that both teams could beat one another – a statement directly contradicting Pippen’s prediction of a sweep.
And while the talk and anticipation of the two greatest teams in NBA history squaring off is enticing, sadly, it’s a hypothetical matchup that will always be left to our collective imaginations.