Basic Biittner: Dynasty? Come Back in a Few Years...

Monday, June 22, 2015

It seems that each time a professional sports team wins a "world" championship in their respective sport these days, the "talking heads" of the media start talking about whether or not that particular team is - or will be - considered as a "dynasty."

Case in point - two of the four "major" men's professional sports recently crowned their 2015 champions - the Chicago Black Hawks in the National Hockey League and the Golden State Warriors in the National Basketball Association. I can see where maybe the talk of a dynasty for the Black Hawks is somewhat appropriate - the team has won the Stanley Cup in 3 of the past 6 seasons and most of their player roster, with a couple of exceptions, is "home grown," having been drafted by the Black Hawks and playing their entire career to date with them.

The Warriors, on the other hand, though I heartily cheered their win over the Cavaliers, should in no way be considered anywhere in the "dynasty" talk at this point, though the team had many compelling back-stories during their championship season : 1. They posted one of the best regular season records in NBA history; 2. Steve Kerr, who played on five NBA championship teams as a player, guided the team to the championship in his first year as a coach - not just as the Warriors' coach, but as a coach at any level; 3. The smallish (for basketball), baby - faced Steph Curry, the son of former NBA player Dell Curry, had a marvelous MVP season; 4. Clay Thompson, like Curry the son of a former NBA player , Michael Thompson, and when he's "on," combines with Curry to form one of the best pair of 3-point shooting teammates ever; 4. The Warriors hadn't played in an NBA Finals for 40 years - not since the days of Rick Barry and Nate Thurmond; 5.The MVP of the finals, Andre Iguodala (who?), a 10 year NBA veteran, didn't even start a game in the playoffs until the final three games.

Compelling back stories all, and I may have even missed a few. But a "dynasty?" Maybe in five years or so, if the core of players and coaches stay together and go to the finals in 4 of those 5 years, winning at least 2 titles. Then ... maybe.

I am a person who grew up in the 1950s and 1960s worshiping the New York Yankees in baseball and the Boston Celtics in basketball. As a team, the Yankees have won 27 World Championships, including several year runs in seven decades - the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and 90s. The Celtics won 11 of 13 NBA championships in one stretch from the late 50s through the late 60s. Now, those two were indeed dynasties , in fact, in the sports world at least, they are the very definition of the word "dynasty."

Many great professional teams have come along since then, such as the NFL's Steelers of the 70s and 49ers of the 80s, the NBA's Chicago Bulls of the Michael Jordan Era (probably the closest thing to a dynasty in recent years) and the NHL's Edmonton Oilers during the Wayne Gretzsky Era, but really, I feel any "dynasty" talk should be left on the shelf until the team proves it has a shelf life.

Until then, fans should just enjoy the play of their favorite team one year at a time and let the game's historians decide down the road if the team was indeed a "dynasty."