Warriors and Celtics enjoy finals without KWD and Kerry

On the afternoon of June 30, 2019, Kevin Durant posted on Instagram that he is leaving Golden State Warriors. The next day, Kyrie Irving officially announced that he was leaving Boston Celtics as an unrestricted free agent.

Destination for both: Brooklyn.

The NBA was buzzing, of course. Durant and Irving are among the top 10 players in the league. Maybe the top five.

They have now united to form the so-called superteam and would-be hero from the dystopian Nets franchise who lived in the shadow of the New York Knicks despite the frustrations of this series of handicaps.

It was only supposed to be a matter of time before Brooklyn would compete in the NBA Finals, let alone win them.

And in turn, there were huge questions about what each one left behind. Golden State’s roster was full of elderly players and injured Klay Thompson. Boston had a group of promising young players but no leader—just two years ago, the Celtics traded three players and three draft picks for Cleveland for Irving.

It was a black day for both teams.

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 24: Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors has the Larry O'Brien NBA Championship and two NBA Finals Cups during Golden State Warriors Media Day on September 24, 2018 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The Warriors Championship emerged after Kevin Durant left the Bay Area for Brooklyn. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Well, a funny thing happened on the way to the Brooklyn dynasty and rebuilding the Celtics Warriors.

The Nets won one massive playoff series in three seasons plagued by injuries, vaccine discussions, and drama.

while, Golden State hosts Boston on Thursday (9pm ET) for the opening game from the finals.

The reasons vary, but you can’t blame any of the franchisees for enjoying a bit of schadenfreude at the end of the action.

This is really not about laughing at KD, Irving, or Nets. These Finals are actually an old – and often unfairly mocked – story from the NBA.

“Only players and coaches don’t win trophies. Organizations win trophies.”

It was so late Jerry Krause, who was the managing director of the Chicago Bulls in 1990 led by Michael Jordan. The idea infuriated and motivated MJ, but Krause’s theory, though perhaps clumsy in its pronunciation, was correct.

There was a measure of anxiety about each franchise when its stars departed. Some fans may panic.

Inside the Warriors and Celtics front office, there was design.

“We took a risk… I’ll never regret it,” then-general manager Danny Ing said of trading several assets for Kyrie. “…You just move on to the next deal.”

Ainge was not alarmed. Nobody did with the Celtics. They just stuck with the show and built around the young talent they had already drafted to support Irving. Kerry may have headed to Brooklyn in part to play with a star in Durant, but he either didn’t know or didn’t care what he was leaving behind.

They include Jason Tatum (now 23), Robert Williams (24), Jaylene Brown (25), and Marcus Smart (27). Even with the 2021-22 season off to a rough start, the Celtics’ front office, led by former coach Brad Stevens, didn’t change the plan. Tatum became a star. The smartest defensive player of the year.

BOSTON - APRIL 17: Celtics Jason Tatum (right) and the fans erupted after his basket at bell defeated Kyrie Irving (left) and the Nets 115-114.  The Boston Celtics hosted the Brooklyn Nets in Game One of their NBA first-round series at TD Garden in Boston on April 17, 2022. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Celtics’ Jason Tatum erupted as well as fans after his basket at bell defeated Kyrie Irving and the net on April 17, 2022 (Photo by Jim Davis/Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Bob Myers, Golden State’s general manager, admitted he was “sad” when Durant left. He had no ill intent, and in the meantime, he continued the team tradition of strong recruiting choices.

The Warriors sealed holes around the hearts of Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and the now-rehabilitated Thompson. He drafted Jordan Poole in 2019 and traded for Andrew Wiggins and a future first-round pick who became Jonathan Cumminga. All three players are now basic pieces.

Six of the Golden State’s top eight contributors to these qualifiers (including big man Kevin Looney) are drafted by franchise. Nothing went higher than the seventh overall. The average draft pick score for Golden State was 19.6.

The Warriors are older and more experienced — 123 finals versus team zero in Boston — but both clubs are now poised to be contenders over the next few years. They are rich in talent, well trained and are well-run franchises.

They are the antithesis of the super team concept that seemed to take root in the NBA only to produce mixed results.

It was Milwaukee after all, led by Giannis Anticonmo (the Bucks’ 15th overall penned star), who won the award all last year.

And now it will either be a restart of the Dynasty of Warriors or the start of a possible new Celtics dynasty this year.

One of those franchises would win a championship, after just three seasons losing a seemingly irreplaceable talent and simply being ignored.