Listen up terrible employees,
If you are reading this, it is probably because you are bored at work and are trying to burn some time. No worries, you know it is the dog-days of summer when shit like this article is popping up on sports blogs; figured I’d give it a shot.
Recency-bias, but the 2017 Golden State Warriors team is the best basketball team I have ever seen; cue Jordan fans spazzing out. One of my all time favorite teams to watch was the late 90’s Red Wings. With everyone freaking out about not making the playoffs, it is a good time to reflect on the best era in Wings’ history. I will do my best to compare the main pieces of the Wings Dynasty of late 90’s early 2000’s to the current Warriors squad. I realize this is an enormous waste of time, but shut up and enjoy it. Here we go.
Steph Curry: Steve Yzerman
Both guys are the leader of the team; edge to Yzerman, as he is recognized as one of the best Captains of all time in the NHL and Curry is known for being mainly an unbelievable scorer. However, both “lead by example” and keep to themselves for the most part; other than Steph chewing his fucking mouthpiece non stop. The team needs each guy to win and looks to them when the team is struggling.
Kevin Durant: Sergei Fedorov
This was a tough one. Hear me out. Both are/were considered one of the top players in their perspective sports. Both were loved by their teams and hated by others; Durant for joining a super team and Fedorov for being a bit of a preppy/primadonna. Both were also a stud on a team filled with talent. Both were also key factors in putting the team over the top compared to all other squads in their leagues. (I understand that Fedorov will most likely not be remembered as highly as Durant may end up)
Klay Thompson: Brendan Shanahan
This one is pretty accurate. Klay is just an all around solid player; offense, defense, go to scorer, tough, smart, and also knows when to pass to the scorers. The same goes with Shanahan. Guy was a badass. You just knew he was going to make the right move when he had the puck. He was lock down and is an all time great Red Wing. Both are solid pros and are guys you have-to-have in order to win multiple championships.
Draymond Green: Darren McCarty
I will not budge on this. McCarty is one of my all time favorite players and I am team-Draymond. I have been called borderline insane for saying that the Wings would not have won those cups without McCarty on the team. Back then, if you did not have a solid enforcer your star players were siting ducks. If anyone touched the Russian Five (other than Vladi – he could handle it himself), Draper (ask Lemieux), or god forbid Yzerman, then McCarty would whoop their ass; or die trying. Not only was he the enforcer, but he also scored some key goals in key moments (i.e. ’97 cup vs Flyers). The same goes for Draymond. Not only is he an all around solid player, but he is also the enforcer for the Warriors. He brings attitude to a team that needs it. Personally, I believe he has given Curry confidence/swagger. He is semi-insane himself and will not let anyone mess with his team. Neither team wins championships without these guys on the team……. yea I said it.
Andre Iguodala: Niklas Lidstrom
Had to get Lidstrom on here. No brainer, he is a HOF Wing. Obviously had to compare him to a defensemen (defencemen in honor of the Russian 5); since Iguodala is a wiley vet who is known for his defense. He is a also known for hitting some big shots in key moments. Iguodala may never be remembered as an all time great, however he was still integral in these Championship teams. Lidstrom will be remembered for being one of the great captains/best defensemen, but in the late ’90s he and Iguodala were in similar spots in their careers. Both are true-pros and are respected in their leagues.
Others I had trouble leaving out:
- Shaun Livingston/Chris Chelios, Larry Murphy
- ZaZa Pachulia/Larry Murphy, Chris Osgood
- Matt Barnes/Martin Lapointe, Joey Kocur, Kirk Maltby
- JaVale McGee…..
- ……The rest of the Russian Five