Stephen Curry is like Mike? Not quite

The Golden State Warriors are about to take down one of the NBA’s most historic records. With roughly two weeks left in the NBA regular season, the Warriors are on pace to shoot Michael Jordan’s legendary 1995-96 Chicago Bulls and their 72 regular season wins, right out of the record books. However, Golden State’s best player, Stephen Curry, is no Jordan and the Golden State Warriors are not yet the 1995-96 Bulls.

As the Warriors head into the victory parade that is their remaining schedule, many sports fans will get caught up in the “mystique” of the Warriors, much like ESPN has done for the last few months.  But what about the cake walk the team enjoyed last year that created this “mystique” on their quest for their first NBA championship together? It is the elephant in the room that nobody talks about. 

Last season’s Warriors had one of the easiest paths to a championship in recent memory. After bulldozing through injury-ridden team after injury-ridden team in the Western Conference, the basketball gods continued their endearment of the Warriors by having them face a Kevin Love-less Cleveland Cavaliers team. To put the cherry on top, the Cavs’ star point guard, Kyrie Irving, got injured in the first game of the series and missed the remainder of the best of seven.

Although they were an extremely talented team last year, the Warriors basically won the championship by default.

The 1995-96 Bulls galloped their way to a record-setting 72 regular season wins with three championships already in their back pocket. They were a battle tested unit that had the NBA on lockdown, unlike the Warriors who are coming off a grand total of one year of success.

California Lutheran University men’s Head Basketball Coach Richard Rider has seen both teams compete in their respective eras. In his eyes the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls and Jordan were on a different level than any past or present team. 

“The Bulls of 95-96 had excellent defense and were super athletic,” Rider said in an email interview. “They also had Michael Jordan who was the best point guard, off guard, power forward and center in the game.”

Additionally, in last year’s NBA finals, Curry was somewhat contained by the Cavaliers defense and in particular by Cleveland’s backup point guard Matthew Dellavedova. According to, Curry shot 5-23 in game 2 and 10-20 in game 3 resulting in back to back losses. The Warriors then found themselves in a 2-1 hole to the Cavs. The series only took a turn when Head Coach Steve Kerr inserted Andre Iguodala into the starting lineup. Iguodala thrived and was named Finals MVP at the end of the series.

On the other hand, when Jordan led his Chicago Bulls to the 1996 championship there was no denying who would step up in the biggest moments. According to, Jordan scored 36 points in a pivotal game three of the 1996 NBA finals to put the Bulls ahead 3-0. His overall performance led him to be unanimously crowned Finals MVP.

No disrespect to the Golden State Warriors or Curry, but it is too early to make comparisons between Curry and Jordan and their two respective record breaking teams. The Bulls were in the middle of a dynasty. We need to wait before putting Curry and the Warriors in that same category. 

Andrew Davies
Staff Writer
Published April 6th, 2016