Eight Reasons to Get Excited About the Warriors’ 75th Anniversary Season
Breaking Down Some of the Top Things to Watch for During the Dubs’ 2021-22 Campaign
Welcome to the 75th season of the NBA and Warriors basketball!
The roots of today’s NBA date back to 1946 back when it was the Basketball Association of America, and the Philadelphia Warriors were one of the chartering members.
Now 75 years later, following an unprecedented year and a half of navigating a global pandemic, the Warriors are set to safely reopen the doors to their home at Chase Center for a full season of basketball in front of the ever-loyal Dub Nation.
But besides reuniting with each other as fans, we’ve got plenty of reasons for you to get hyped for this season. Take a look at the storylines and matchups to mark on your calendars as the season tipoff approaches.
Celebrating 75 Years Against the Celtics and Knicks
Only three franchises can trace their roots to those early days of the NBA: the Warriors, Boston Celtics and New York Knicks. Each of the three clubs, along with the NBA, celebrate their 75th season in existence this season.
The Dubs face these two clubs, with whom they share plenty of history, two times each this season. It starts with consecutive games on the East Coast on Dec. 14 in New York and then Dec. 17 in Boston. The decades-old rivalries then shift to the Warriors’ home court when the Dubs host the Knicks on Feb. 10. The following month, the Celtics make their lone regular season visit to Chase Center on March 16.
The Dubs will sport their Warriors Origins uniforms for these matchups, and the ones taking place at Chase Center will feature a special-edition court as well.
Klay’s Return to the Hardwood
Warriors guard Klay Thompson has not played in a NBA game since tearing his ACL on Jun. 13, 2019 in Game 6 of the 2019 Finals. A subsequent Achilles tear kept him out of last season as well.
But now putting up his shots once again, Dub Nation awaits the return of the three-time NBA Champion.
While no official timetable is set for his return, the Splash Brother is making his way back into NBA form and will reunite with fellow three-time NBA Champions Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and one more familiar face, among others…
Andre’s Back in Blue and Gold
Returning to the team he helped get to five consecutive NBA Finals, winning three of them, as well as earning a Finals MVP award is Andre Iguodala.
The 17-year veteran played in 413 regular season games (84 starts) over six seasons (2013-19) during his first go-round with the Warriors, averaging 7.3 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.08 steals. He has accumulated 104 postseason games (40 starts) with Golden State, ranking fourth on the team’s all-time playoff games played list.
KD Plays in Front of Dub Nation Again
There’s another notable Champion Warrior making a return to Chase Center in the 2021-22 season: Kevin Durant. Though with the Brooklyn Nets since 2019, this will be the first time he can play in front of Dub Nation since the 2019 Western Conference Semifinals.
Durant was with the Nets for their last visit to Chase Center on Feb. 13, 2021, but fans were not yet permitted in the building due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, the organization rolled out the below tribute video for the two-time NBA Finals MVP at that game:
Now 964 days since his last game in a Warriors uniform, the former MVP will return to Warriors Ground in front of the Golden State fans on Jan. 29, 2022.
Back-to-Back MVPs Battle it Out
There are only 18 players in NBA history to have won the honor of Most Valuable Player in back-to-back seasons, and three of them are currently playing in the league. One of those is Golden State’s very own Stephen Curry.
But the two other active players with such credentials -- LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo — will lead their respective squads into battle against Curry and the Warriors, with all of the squads having Championship aspirations.
James, along with forward/center Anthony Davis, is just one season removed from a 2020 Championship. However he will lead an overhauled Los Angeles Lakers roster that looks to improve on the team’s First Round exit from least season’s NBA Playoffs. Dub Nation does not need to wait long to see this new group in action as the Lakers and Warriors tip off the NBA season against each other on October 19th in Los Angeles (7 p.m., TNT). They will have three subsequent matches throughout the remainder of the season.
While the Warriors will face the Western Conference rival four times, the Dubs will have just two dates with the reigning NBA Champion Milwaukee Bucks, who are led by another back-to-back MVP in Antetokounmpo. The Warriors host the Bucks on Mar. 12 at Chase Center after a meeting in Milwaukee in January.
The Warriors went 1-2 against the Lakers, also falling to them in the first round of the NBA Play-In Tournament, and 1-1 against the Bucks last season.
Christmas in the Valley
The Warriors will play on Christmas Day for the ninth straight year when they square off against the reigning Western Conference Champion Phoenix Suns (2 p.m., ABC). The Warriors have four games against these foes, starting with a home-away back-to-back on Nov. 30 and Dec. 3, but the series is highlighted with the holiday treat when the two teams clash on Dec. 25.
The foes from the Valley of the Sun have been riding a wave of momentum since the 2020 NBA season re-start in the Orlando Bubble, where they reeled off eight straight wins to end the 2019-20 season. That success grew into a Western Conference-leading 51-21 record in the 2020-21 regular season, and Phoenix would ultimately make it all the way to the NBA Finals.
The Warriors went 1-2 against this Suns team that retains much of their core including Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton and more.
The Deepest Splashers Face Off
Get ready for four games featuring bombardiers Stephen Curry and Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard. Two of the most prolific and accurate shooters from deep showed off their range in the 2021 All-Star Game.
The Warriors and Trail Blazers play just three times this season with the Dubs getting home court advantage for two of those contests. The splash clashes at Chase Center take place on on Nov. 26 and Dec. 8, followed by a third meeting following the All-Star break in Portland on Feb. 24.
Riding into Battle vs. Doncic and the Mavericks
While the Western Conference is overloaded with talent, there was no one player who gave more grief to the Warriors than Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks. The fourth-year guard averaged 36.0 points, 6.3 rebounds and 8.3 assists against the Dubs, while the squad went 1-2 in their meetings with the Mavericks last season.
The Warriors were able to hold Doncic to 27 points in their first meeting of the 2020-21 campaign, handedly claiming their lone win 147-116. But Doncic’s response included 42 and 39-point outings in their following matchups.
Who from the Warriors will step up to the challenge of handling the defensive duties against the 22-year-old sensation?
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