He said it with a wink and a smile, but he said it. In a moment of postgame exuberance, Klay Thompson exemplified just how loose his Golden State Warriors feel in these NBA Finals when he said after Game 2 that the Warriors are better than the 1980s “showtime” Lakers. Thompson’s father Mychal Thompson played with Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy and Michael Cooper on that Lakers juggernaut. The Lakers won five titles — so that’s where Klay’s facetious smile comes in. The Warriors are still trying to line up championship #2.
The two teams do share a style that looks free-for-all but is deceptively disciplined. The showtime Lakers are one of the most iconic teams in NBA history. Klay was surely taking more of a family shot at his dad than staking a claim on history and Magic’s legacy. He was just feeling the confidence that drives him and this extraordinary Warriors team. But this Warriors edition and those Lakers share something else, too: they changed how the game is played in their respective eras. The Lakers stretched the court and made the fastbreak a more consistently refined weapon than it had been. The Warriors stretch it differently, with unmatched 3-ball prowess. Other teams scramble to try to reproduce the formula.