"After the Game 6 loss to the Raptors, the Warriors went to Steph's house. They weren't sulking, they were celebrating. @StephenCurry30 told us he's more proud of this year's Warriors squad than last year's. Read: https://t.co/ubo335OUbN pic.twitter.com/sPmtNHxU9a — Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) June 26, 2019"
After missing a wide-open three-point look to give the Warriors the lead with under ten seconds left in the game, it appears that Curry has moved on relatively quickly.
In the mind of the Warriors, reaching Game 6 of the NBA Finals with their injured roster was a win itself. However, for a team that’s dominated the NBA over the past five years, it’s weird that a loss on the games biggest stage warranted celebration rather than disappointment.
Celebrating the journey rather than the result is not how championship teams behave. Instead of congratulating themselves on reaching the big stage, championship teams use the motivation of losing towards their benefit the next season. When LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers lost to the Warriors in the 2017 NBA Finals, James posted a video in the gym just days after. Rather than moping or celebrating, he simply got back to work. James is admittedly borderline superhuman when it comes to his endurance and body, but his competitive drive never stops.
One of the most dominant dynasties in league history, the Warriors have reached the NBA Finals the past five years and won three titles. This year, the Warriors lost both Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson in the Finals to devastating injuries. According to Curry, this year’s run to the NBA Finals was the most difficult both physically and emotionally. Curry went on to say that, “there’s really no reason other than our sheer fighting ability and competitiveness that we were within a possession to get to Game 7.”
Whether it was a team therapy session or true celebration of their success this past season, it’s bizarre to see one of the best teams in league history content with being the runner-up. With a chance to win their third straight title, the Warriors should have been devastated that they couldn’t add their name to the history books of NBA teams to accomplish a three-peat. They should have been upset that the Raptors celebrated winning a title on their home floor, in the last game ever at Oracle Arena. Instead, they celebrated the fact that they made it to Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
There are no consolation prizes in sports, and it looks like the Warriors failed to receive that message.