The Golden State Warriors are on a historic pace this season. Their 40-4 record has many believing they can be repeat NBA champions and become the next great dynasty in sports. The Warriors have the pieces to win another championship, but building a dynasty is an even bigger challenge.
The word “dynasty” is overused in modern day sports. The process of building and maintaining a “dynasty” is extremely difficult to accomplish. In order to even be considered in the conversation of a dynasty, a team must win multiple championships in a five to 10-year period and be considered the elite team of the era.Every candidate must have three key ingredients to be considered a dynasty:
1. Two superstars and a solid core of role players
Each dynasty over the past 50 years has possessed multiple superstar players on the roster who carried the team, but for every Shaq and Kobe carrying a franchise into a dynasty there’s a group core of players who are the glue holding the whole thing together. The Lakers don’t win three straight championships without Robert Horry becoming “big shot Bob” and hitting the big shots at the biggest moments.
2. A veteran coach/manager to manage the players
Any coach or manager can put together a lineup and send their team out every night, but coaching goes deeper than just the lineup.
Coaches with winning teams develop winning cultures and create a continuity not only within their locker room, but the organization as a whole. Coaches like Phil Jackson, Scotty Bowman, Chuck Noll and Joe Torre created cultures like this, and the results speak for themselves in championship rings.
3.Front office personnel to put everything in place
The front office has the toughest job out of the three. They do most, if not all, of their work behind the scenes.
The general manager of a team moving toward dynasty status has to be sure each signing or trade is going to help the team improve play without changing the chemistry or culture. One wrong move can be the difference between a maintaining and destroying a dynasty.
Free agency has become the biggest deterrent to the modern day dynasty. Every player is looking for the big payday, and no one can blame them the way money is flowing through professional sports. It is almost impossible to keep a team together if there are four or five key players leaving every year due to free agency. When a team has to solidify a new set of core players every season, there is no chemistry, and with- out chemistry, it is impossible to win a championship much less become a dynasty.
Only two teams have successfully built dynasties in the past 10 years, the Chicago Blackhawks and the San Francisco Giants. The Blackhawks and Giants have been able to build dynasties in an era of sports where it is very difficult to do so. Both teams have the perfect combination of core players and superstars, coaches and front office personnel who put them in a position to contend every year.
Golden State is having an outstanding season, and it has the right ingredients to build a dynasty, but there are several teams in the past 50 years who were on the verge of building a dynasty and came up short.
The Warriors have a long way to go before they can win their second straight title and even farther to be a part of the conversation about sports dynasties.