There have been many iconic teams throughout NBA history, but one of the most popular to not win a championship was the “We Believe” Golden State Warriors. It appeared Golden State had no shot of making the postseason, but their stars pulled off the impossible and even went on to win a playoff series.
So, what helped ignite the Warriors’ historic run? Well, obviously, the players wanted to simply prove their doubters wrong, but former NBA All-Star Baron Davis recently revealed the team’s other motivation for wanting to win.
The ‘We Believe’ Golden State Warriors team was one of the most electric squads in NBA history
The 2006-07 season appeared to be a lost year for the Warriors. They entered March 5, 2007 with a 26-35 record, and they sat at 12th in the Western Conference.
However, the team — which consisted of Baron Davis, Monta Ellis, Stephen Jackson, Matt Barnes, Jason Richardson, Al Harrington, and others — ended up going on one of the most historic runs in NBA history.
From March 5 until the end of the season, the Warriors went 16-5 to finish 42-40 and clinch the final playoff spot in the West. That wasn’t all they did, though. Despite no one giving them a chance against the No. 1-seeded Dallas Mavericks, who went 67-15 that season, they upset the Mavs 4-2 in the first round behind electric support from their fans, who rallied behind the team’s “We Believe” slogan.
The win helped Golden State become the first No. 8 seed in NBA history to beat a No. 1 seed in a best-of-seven series.
The team, though, ultimately lost to the Utah Jazz in five games in the next round, but their run has lived on in NBA lore ever since.
But what helped launch their unexpected dominance?
Baron Davis revealed what led to the Warriors’ historic run
The 2006-07 campaign was Baron Davis’ second full year with the Warriors, and he had already solidified himself as one of the best point guards in the league, earning two All-Star selections with the Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets.
Davis averaged 20.1 points, 8.1 assists, and an NBA-leading 2.1 steals that season. He then took his play to another level in the playoffs, averaging 25.3 points, 6.5 assists, and 2.9 steals.
The UCLA product recently looked back at the “We Believe” Warriors with Sportscasting, and he revealed what helped fuel the team’s fire.
“The best part about it is, everybody kind of gave up on us,” he said while discussing his TV series Small Business Revolution. “We had nothing to lose. … When you feel like you’re down or people are giving up on you, that’s probably your best moment to shine.”
But what kicked everything off? A team meeting.
“We decided that, ‘Hey, we like to hang out and party and be rockstars, why are we holding back on the court?’” Davis said. “It was like, ‘If we win, then we can go to the club and hang out.’ And we started winning, and we started going to the club.”
So, the players didn’t just receive rockstar-type treatment on the court, but they lived it up off it as well.
Davis, however, also revealed what made the team so special.
Baron Davis shared what was so special about the ‘We Believe’ Warriors
The Warriors certainly had fun together during that season, but Davis said that having their backs against the wall “gave people an opportunity to be themselves and play with freedom.”
“We started seeing the beauty in each other, and we started working together as a team, more so than trying to like fit in and be a team to try and win a game. So, that was the best part,” Davis said.
That Warriors team was certainly special, and it seems the players had a lot of fun together on and off the court, with fans treating them like rockstars in both places.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference