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Golden State Warriors Are Off To A Hot Start; Could Set NBA Record


Pro basketball history could be made tonight. If the Golden State Warriors beat the LA Lakers, they will go 16-0 and set the record for the beginning of an NBA season. Joining us now to explain how the Warriors are doing that is Diamond Leung, basketball writer for the San Jose Mercury News. Welcome.

DIAMOND LEUNG: Thank you so much for having me.

WERTHEIMER: So the Warriors are, after all, the defending NBA champions. They have the league MVP, Steph Curry. Are they just picking up where they left off, or is there some additional magic here?

LEUNG: Pretty much, you know, they're picking up where they left off. Obviously, you know, they heard a lot of the chatter about how, you know, maybe they might have been lucky winning that championship. And now I think, you know, the players have proven that they're that much better as a collective unit and also individually as well, and that includes Curry. Believe it or not, he got better during the offseason, and I think now, given the results of where they are, it's definitely showing.

WERTHEIMER: They're doing this without their coach, Steve Kerr. He's been sidelined all season with back surgery. So what does that tell you?

LEUNG: I think it says that Luke Walton, the interim coach that's filled in for Steve Kerr, has done a great job, really, helping things along in communicating Kerr's message. It also says a lot about the system that Kerr already had in place before he took his leave of absence due to offseason back surgery. And I think the Warriors just keep on going right now.

WERTHEIMER: There are comparisons being made to the Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls team of the '90s, even the '72 Lakers. They won 33 straight games during the season. Is it too early to make those kinds of comparisons? Does this feel like a history-making team?

LEUNG: I think it was a little bit early maybe just a few games ago, but now that the Warriors are going for that best start, I think they're going to start hearing more of those comparisons just because of the nature of the way they're dominating opponents. This is a team that's gone out and just overwhelmed the competition, showing really no signs of weaknesses. They have the MVP. They have clearly the best team in the NBA right now. And I think as they go along through this season start to threaten some more records. Those comparisons are going to keep on coming.

WERTHEIMER: They're playing the Lakers tonight. Now that is a kind of situation where although the Lakers are struggling, they are traditional rivals. And, you know, often it happens that people just lose to their traditional rivals for no reason. Is an upset possible?

LEUNG: That could be the case, though the Lakers just really struggling. Kobe Bryant isn't what he used to be, whereas Steph Curry has really taken the nation and the world by storm, so many years that they have had the Lakers deliver them the blow, and now it's the other way around. So I think the crowded Oracle Arena out there later on this evening is going to be very excited to get this record.

WERTHEIMER: Diamond Leung is a basketball writer for the San Jose Mercury News. Thank you very much.

LEUNG: Thanks for having me. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.