They say “records are made to be broken.” Some records though seem like they will stand forever. Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 points in a single NBA game, Ladanian Tomlinson’s 31 rushing touchdowns in a single NFL season, and the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls’ 72 win NBA season.
The Golden State Warriors won the 2015 NBA championship, their first in 40 years. They also unbelievably won 67 games in that season and were the best team in the NBA with the championship hardware to prove it. So at the beginning of the 2015-2016 season, after not losing any key players, and gaining depth and confidence, the question had to be asked. “How good can the warriors be?”
This question couldn’t have become more relevant to start the season when the flood gates opened and the Warriors rattled off 24 quick wins in a row to start the season. This was when the whispers began: “73? Is it possible? Can they reach that magic number?”
They then lost their first game of the season to the Milwaukee Bucks, putting their record at 24-1. It was only five games until their next loss at Dallas, but something special was starting to unfold, and everyone was seeing it. In the eight games before their next loss, it was clear that reigning MVP Steph Curry was rising from best player in the NBA to one of the best players of all-time. He broke his own record by sinking over 400 three-pointers. After the Warrior’s next loss two games later to Detroit, Golden State stood at 37-4. The record seemed possible, but very improbable. In the 27 games between February and March, the Warriors lost only three games and were being recognized as one of the best NBA teams ever. As the Warriors reached April with seven games remaining, their record was an incredible 68-7, and another player was starting to emerge into a relatively unknown role. Draymond Green, the Warrior’s 26-year-old power forward was emerging as the heart and leader of the team.
On April 10, the Warriors beat the San Antonio Spurs 92-86 to tie the ’96 Bulls’ record of 72 wins. They were 72-9 with one game to go. Could it really happen? It could, and it did. On April 13, the Golden State Warriors won an NBA record 73 games in one season after beating the Memphis Grizzlies 125-104. Stephen Curry put the exclamation point on the win by scoring 37 points. Obviously because of the record, this Warriors team is the greatest regular-season NBA team in history, but the ’96 Bulls won the NBA championship in their record setting year, so until the 2016 NBA champions are crowned, the debate of who the best team is in NBA history is still up for discussion. Regardless, this team broke an “unbreakable” record and made a huge part of NBA and sports history.