Appearing on ESPN’s The Jump today, former NBA player Stephen Jackson said without any hesitation in his voice that he “guaranteed” his Golden State Warriors from 2007 would beat this year’s version of the Dubs—and I’m seriously worried about his mental health after the proclamation.
For those who may have forgotten, Jackson’s Warriors shocked the NBA by defeating the then No. 1-seeded Dallas Mavericks in the opening round of the playoffs after the Mavs won 67 regular season games.
As for this year’s Golden State team, all they’ve done is get off to the best start in league history, currently sitting at 51-5 and on pace to beat the 72-10 mark of the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls, which happens to be the best record in a regular season ever.
Jackson didn’t mean any disrespect, of course, although writer Zach Lowe sure seems to disagree. Per FTW.USAToday:
Jackson: “They’re great, don’t get me wrong, I’m not taking that from them…”
Lowe: “Yes you are.”
Jackson: “…but we would’ve beat ’em. We had more heart.”
It’s always fun to play the whole “what if…” card when comparing teams, players and eras, but I’d say—with unequivocal confidence—that the current version of the Dubs would humiliate Jackson’s Warriors team. Heart is cool and all, but skill is a hell of a lot better.