The NBA landscape in the early 2010s was very different from what it is now. LeBron James and D-Wade dominated the league with the Miami Heat. Legends like Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and Dirk Nowitzki were still some of the best players in the league. Above all, three-point shooting wasn’t as prominent as it is now. But that would all change once the Golden State Warriors won the NBA title in 2015. The game has never been the same ever since, for better or for worse.
However, a former Warriors veteran did not have the best of times in the Bay Area due to injuries. He recently made a shocking admission on Andre Iguodala’s podcast.
Injuries hamper Matt Barnes’ time at the Warriors
Going into the 2016-17 season, the Warriors were the favorites to win that season’s title. They won the 2015 title, won 73 games in the next season but lost to LeBron and the Cavs in the Finals. In the 2016 offseason, the Dubs signed Kevin Durant, making them heavy favorites for the title.
The 2016-17 season was a procession for the Warriors, as they won 67 regular season games and lost just one game in the entire postseason to clinch their second title in three years.
Matt Barnes played a key role that season, as a veteran with 14 years of NBA experience. However, KD’s return from injury and his subsequent injuries meant he didn’t have much game time. He expressed his feelings on his time with the Warriors on Andre Iguodala’s podcast, Point Forward.
He said, “I was just heartbroken cuz obviously I came in when KD sprained his knee. I came in right away and was playing 18, 22 minutes and I clicked right away with you guys. I got hurt the game KD came back, and it was probably my worst ankle sprain. So I had to sit there and be a vet, but that was one of the hardest experiences of my life because I didn’t get to earn that ring. Not being healthy and having to sit and watch that (Warriors winning the title) was hard.”</em>
End of the Warriors dynasty
After their 2017 triumph, the Warriors won another NBA title the next season. But that season wasn’t without its fair share of controversies. Draymond Green and KD had various verbal altercations which the media blew out of proportion. In the 2018-19 season, KD was up for a contract extension, but he didn’t sign the extension. This led to team chemistry issues.
However, things reached a tipping point in a game against the Clippers. KD and Draymond got into a verbal argument due to Green not passing the ball to KD. The front office suspended Draymond for one game without pay.
But, they rallied and reached the NBA Finals again, but injuries ruined their chance of winning their third straight title. In game 5 of the series, KD suffered an Achilles injury, which ruled him out for a year.
In the decisive game 6, Klay tore his ACL while attempting a lay-up. Without their key players, the depleted Warriors were no match for the Kawhi led Raptors. The following summer, KD joined the Brooklyn Nets. This Warriors team had the potential to become the greatest team in NBA history. However, injuries and a clash of egos made this union a short-lived affair.