1946–1962: Early years
was the league's first scoring champion.
The Warriors were founded in 1946 as the Philadelphia Warriors, a charter member of the Basketball Association of America. They were owned by Peter A. Tyrrell, who also owned the Philadelphia Rockets of the American Hockey League. Tyrrell hired Eddie Gottlieb, a longtime basketball promoter in the Philadelphia area, as coach and general manager. The owners named the team after the Philadelphia Warriors, an old basketball team who played in the American Basketball League in 1925.
Led by early scoring sensation Joe Fulks, the team won the championship in the league's inaugural 1946–47 season by defeating the Chicago Stags, four games to one. The NBA, which was created by a 1949 merger, officially recognizes that as its own first championship.[b] Gottlieb bought the team in 1951.
The Warriors won its next championship in Philadelphia in the 1955–56 season, defeating the Fort Wayne Pistons four games to one. The Warrior stars of this era were future Hall of Famers Paul Arizin, Tom Gola and Neil Johnston.
1959–1965: The Wilt Chamberlain era
Wilt Chamberlain averaged 41.5 points per game and 25.1 rebounds per game during his five and a half seasons with the Warriors.
In 1959, the team signed draft pick Wilt Chamberlain. Known as "Wilt the Stilt", he led the team in scoring six times, quickly began shattering NBA scoring records and changed the NBA style of play forever. On March 2, 1962, in a Warrior "home" game played on a neutral court in Hershey, Pennsylvania, Chamberlain scored 100 points against the New York Knicks, a single-game record the NBA ranks among its finest moments.
In 1962, Franklin Mieuli purchased the majority shares of the team and relocated the franchise to the San Francisco Bay Area, renaming them the San Francisco Warriors. The Warriors played most of their home games at the Cow Palace in Daly City (the facility lies just south of the San Francisco city limits) from 1962 to 1964 and the San Francisco Civic Auditorium from 1964 to 1966, though occasionally playing home games in nearby cities such as Oakland and San Jose.
Prior to the 1963–64 NBA season, the Warriors drafted big man Nate Thurmond to go along with Chamberlain. The Warriors won the Western Division crown that season, but lost the 1964 NBA Finals to the Boston Celtics, four games to one. In the 1964–65 season, the Warriors traded Chamberlain to the Philadelphia 76ers for Connie Dierking, Lee Shaffer, Paul Neumann and $150,000 and won only 17 games.
1965–1978: Thurmond and Barry
averaged over 20 points per game during five different seasons and over 20 rebounds per game during two seasons while with the Warriors.
In 1965, they drafted Rick Barry in the first round who went on to become NBA Rookie of the Year that season and then led the Warriors to the NBA Finals in the 1966–67 season, losing (four games to two) to Chamberlain's new team that had replaced the Warriors in Philadelphia, the 76ers.
(shown in 1976) was named the NBA Finals MVP in 1975.
Angered by management's failure to pay him certain incentive bonuses he felt were due him, Barry sat out the 1967–68 season and signed with the Oakland Oaks of the rival American Basketball Association for the following year, but after four seasons in the ABA rejoined the Warriors in 1972. During Barry's absence, the Warriors were no longer title contenders, and the mantle of leadership fell to Thurmond, Jeff Mullins and Rudy LaRusso. They began scheduling more home games in Oakland with the opening of the Oakland Coliseum Arena in 1966 and the 1970–71 season would be the team's last as the San Francisco Warriors.
The Warriors' 1974–75 championship banner
The franchise adopted its brand name Golden State Warriors prior to the 1971–72 season, in order to suggest that the team represented the entire state of California.[c] Almost all home games were played in Oakland that season; six were played in San Diego, but none in San Francisco or Daly City. Oakland Arena became the team's exclusive home court in 1971.
The Warriors made the playoffs from 1971 to 1977 except in 1974, and won their first NBA championship on the West Coast in 1974–75. In what many consider the biggest upset in NBA history, Golden State not only defeated the heavily favored Washington Bullets but humiliated them in a four-game sweep. That team was coached by former Warrior Al Attles, and led on the court by Rick Barry and Jamaal Wilkes. Barry was named Finals MVP.
At 59-23, the Warriors had the league's best record during the 1975–76 season. They were upset, however, by the 42–40 Phoenix Suns in seven games in the Western Conference Finals.
1978–1985: A period of struggles
Due of the loss of key players such as Barry, Wilkes and Thurmond to trades and retirements, the Warriors struggled to put a competitive team on the court from 1978 to 1987 after being one of the NBA's dominant teams in the 1960s and most of the 1970s. Through the NBA draft, however, they acquired some players such as high-scoring forward Purvis Short (1978), former Purdue center Joe Barry Carroll (1980) and center Robert Parish (1976), who was traded to the Boston Celtics in 1980 along with the draft pick that would become Kevin McHale for the pick used to draft Carroll. In 1983, the Warriors matched the New York Knicks' offer for free-agent Bernard King, but, unable to pay his high salary, quickly traded him to the Knicks for guard Micheal Ray Richardson, whom they soon shipped to New Jersey in exchange for former Georgetown Hoya point guard Eric "Sleepy" Floyd, and journeyman forward Mickey Johnson. Floyd once scored 29 points for the Warriors in the fourth quarter of a playoff game against the Lakers, though he was later traded to the Houston Rockets.
The departure of these players for various reasons symbolized the franchise's futility during this period, as head coach Attles moved up to the front office as general manager in 1980 and the team made several coaching changes. New owners Jim Fitzgerald and Dan Finane finally managed to return the team to respectability by hiring former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach George Karl as head coach in 1986 after selecting St. John's small forward Chris Mullin in the 1985 NBA draft.
1985–1997: The Chris Mullin era
After a subpar stretch in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the team had a brief resurgence under coach Karl, culminating in a 1987 Western Conference Semifinal match against Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers which is still shown on TV in the NBA's Greatest Games series. In the game, Warriors' All-Star point guard Sleepy Floyd's performance in the second half still stands as the NBA playoff record for points scored in a quarter (29) and in a half (39). His six consecutive field goals in the fourth quarter led to a 51-point finish for him and a victory for the Warriors.
The "Sleepy Floyd game" was a catalyst for increased interest in the NBA in the Bay Area which was furthered by new coach Don Nelson, who engineered another successful string of wins in the late 1980s and early 1990s with the high-scoring trio of point guard Tim Hardaway, guard Mitch Richmond and forward Chris Mullin (collectively known as "Run TMC" after the rap group Run-D.M.C.). But "Run TMC" stayed together for only two seasons (winning only one playoff series), when coach Nelson, in a move to get a promising young front-court player to complement his run-and-gun system, sent Richmond to the Sacramento Kings for rookie power forward Billy Owens. Nelson had been brought to the Warriors from the Milwaukee Bucks by Jim Fitzgerald, who along with Dan Finnane owned the team between 1986 and 1995. In 1993–94, with first-round draft pick and Rookie of the Year power forward Chris Webber playing alongside off-guard Latrell Sprewell, the Warriors made the playoffs.
At the start of the next season, however, a rift formed between Webber and Sprewell on the one hand and Nelson on the other. All three soon left the team, and the organization went into a tailspin. The 1994–95 season was the first under new team owner Chris Cohan, who had bought out Fitzgerald and Finnane. The Warriors selected power forward prospect Joe Smith as their first overall draft pick in 1995 and hired Rick Adelman as the new head coach. They sent Tim Hardaway and Chris Gatling to the Miami Heat for Kevin Willis and Bimbo Coles midway through the 1995–96 season, and ended up with a 36–46 record, three wins short of making the playoffs. While their home court, the Oakland Coliseum Arena, was being extensively renovated, the 1996–97 Warriors played their home games in the San Jose Arena and struggled to a 30–52 finish. Following the season, Mullin was traded to the Indiana Pacers in exchange for Erick Dampier and Duane Ferrell.
1997–2009: Wilderness years
Longtime Seton Hall college coach P. J. Carlesimo, who had been recently fired by the Portland Trail Blazers, replaced Adelman as head coach for the 1997–98 season. Sprewell was suspended for the remainder of the season for losing his temper and choking Carlesimo during a team practice in December, generating the glaring newspaper headline "WARRIORS HIT ROCK BOTTOM" and the declaration by general manager Garry St. Jean that Sprewell would never play for the Warriors again. He would not play in the NBA again until he was dealt in January 1999 to the New York Knicks for John Starks, Chris Mills and Terry Cummings.
St. Jean had become the new Warriors' general manager in July 1997; he and his predecessor Dave Twardzik received much of the blame for the Warriors' struggles early in Cohan's turbulent tenure as owner in addition to Cohan himself. St. Jean brought in players such as Terry Cummings, John Starks and Mookie Blaylock who were well past their primes. Twardzik drafted several flops, such as Todd Fuller (while Kobe Bryant was still available as well as Steve Nash and Jermaine O'Neal) and Steve Logan (who never played an NBA game). In the following draft, the team selected Adonal Foyle while Tracy McGrady was still available. St. Jean did, however, draft future two-time NBA slam dunk champion off-guard Jason Richardson (from Michigan State), a Warriors' star scorer through the 2006–07 season.
For a few years, with rising stars Richardson, small forward Antawn Jamison and point guard Gilbert Arenas leading the team, the Warriors seemed like a team on the rise; but the young Warriors did not have enough in the competitive Western Conference to make the playoffs. After the 2002–03 season, St. Jean's earlier mistakes of committing money to players like Danny Fortson, Adonal Foyle and Erick Dampier were painfully felt by Warriors' fans when the team was unable to re-sign Arenas despite his desire to stay in the Bay Area. A new rule was implemented in response to second-round draft picks who quickly become superstars.
Chris Mullin succeeded St. Jean with the title of Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations in 2004. He hoped to build a winning team around Jason Richardson, Mike Dunleavy Jr and Troy Murphy, and drafted 7-foot center Andris Biedriņš from Latvia (11th overall). At the 2005 trading deadline, he bolstered to the team with the acquisition of point guard Baron Davis, bringing to the team its first superstar since Mullin himself. The Warriors enjoyed a great start to the 2005–06 season, entering the new year with a plus .500 winning percentage for the first time since 1994, but managed to win only 13 more games through the end of March due to injuries. Davis often found himself at odds with new head coach Mike Montgomery (used to dealing with college players in his long tenure at Stanford) and failed to remain healthy, playing in just 54 games. On April 5, 2006, the Warriors were officially eliminated from playoff contention in a 114–109 overtime loss to the Hornets, extending their playoff drought to 12 seasons.
Entering the 2006–07 season, the Warriors held the active record (12) for the most consecutive seasons without a playoff appearance (see Active NBA non-playoff appearance streaks). During the 2006 off-season, Golden State announced that it had bought out the remaining two years of coach Montgomery's contract and hired previous Golden State and former Dallas Mavericks coach Don Nelson to take over for him. During training camp, small forward Matt Barnes established himself in the rotation. On January 17, 2007, the Warriors traded the disappointing Murphy and Dunleavy with promising young power forward Ike Diogu and Keith McLeod to the Indiana Pacers for forward Al Harrington, forward/guard Stephen Jackson, guard Šarūnas Jasikevičius and forward Josh Powell. This trade allowed the Warriors to "run and gun" their way to the playoffs with a more athletic and talented team. On March 4, 2007, the Warriors suffered a 106–107 loss in Washington, the Wizards handing them their 6th straight loss when former Warrior Arenas hit a technical free throw with less than one second remaining after Nelson had protested a controversial call with the Warriors ahead by a slim margin. The loss dropped them to 26–35.
March 4 marked the turning point for the Warriors. The Warriors closed out the regular season (42–40) at 16–5 in their last 21 games. "We Believe" became the Warriors' slogan for the last two months of the season and the playoffs.
Led by a healthy Baron Davis, an ever-improving Jason Richardson and young future star off-guard Monta Ellis as well as center Biedriņš, the Warriors immediately dashed the highly favored top-seed Dallas Mavericks' expectations of a short and easy series win with a Game 1 victory in Dallas thanks to Davis' frantic style of play. The Mavericks came back to win Game 2 easily to tie the series at a game apiece, but the Warriors won both Games 3 & 4 with a huge lift from the home crowd at Oracle Arena. A close Game 5 saw the Mavericks eke out a 118–112 victory with a last-minute surge led by superstar forward Dirk Nowitzki to send the series back to California at 3–2. In Game 6, the Warriors engineered a third-quarter 18–0 run to eliminate the Mavericks and become the NBA's first No. 8 seed to beat a No. 1 seed in a seven-game series (and the first NBA No. 8 seed to beat the top seed since 1999 when the New York Knicks eliminated the Miami Heat). It was an upset in name only, given the fact that the Warriors had swept the Mavericks in the regular season series.
The Warriors went on to play the Utah Jazz in the second round of the 2006–07 playoffs, where they dropped two close games at EnergySolutions Arena to open the series. The series then shifted to the Oracle Arena, where the Warriors won Game 3 in a convincing blowout. Davis scored 32 points and electrified the crowd with a monster dunk on Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko late in the fourth quarter, but they lost Game 4 at home, their first loss in Oakland in well over a month and the Jazz closed them out in Game 5 in Salt Lake City.
In the 2007–08 season, the Warriors faced early difficulties in their attempt to return to the playoffs. Richardson was traded to the Charlotte Bobcats for rookie Brandan Wright. To make things even worse, Jackson was suspended for seven games over a firearm incident. They opened the season with six straight losses, but Ellis' rise, Davis' solid injury-free season (21.6 points, 8 assists, 4.6 rebounds per game), and an overall improvement in team chemistry brought them back to playoff contention; but in the end the Warriors failed to make the playoffs despite a 48–34 record, which is the best record in NBA history for a non-playoff team since the NBA playoffs had expanded to eight teams per conference. The Western Conference was very strong that season; every playoff team won 50 games, leaving the Warriors two games out of the last playoff spot. The Warriors sold out nearly every home game during the season averaging 19,631 per game, the highest in team history.
In the 2008 offseason, Baron Davis opted to return to his home town and sign with the Los Angeles Clippers. With the 14th pick of that year's draft, the Warriors selected and signed Anthony Randolph out of LSU. To compensate for the loss of Davis, the Warriors signed free agents Corey Maggette and Ronny Turiaf and re-signed Ellis and Andris Biedriņš to long-term contracts.
The Warriors had a disappointing 2008–09 season, finishing 29–53. Ellis was injured in a moped accident, and suspended for 30 games for riding the vehicle against the terms of his contract, depriving the Warriors of their top player. They traded disenchanted forward Al Harrington to the New York Knicks for guard Jamal Crawford, and were undone by injuries and the minimal experience of their young players such as Anthony Morrow and Brandan Wright. Coach Nelson often had to make adjustments to the starting lineups since many of the original starters missed games due to injuries. Despite the team's losing record, the Warriors were hard to beat when they had a healthy lineup and a strong bench. With leadership and improvement in their young players, they were sometimes able to defeat powerhouse teams such as the Boston Celtics, 99-89.
2009–present: The Stephen Curry era
During the 2009 off-season, Warrior ownership declined to renew the contract of general manager Mullin. Larry Riley, Nelson's longtime assistant coach, was promoted in his place and drafted Stephen Curry as an outstanding 7th lottery pick, but dubiously traded Jamal Crawford to the Atlanta Hawks for Acie Law and Speedy Claxton.
The Warriors had another injury-prone year in 2009–10. as they were consistently unable to field their ideal starting lineup. In November, a malcontented Stephen Jackson and seldom-used Acie Law were traded to the Charlotte Bobcats for Raja Bell (out for the season with an injury) and Vladimir Radmanovic. Four days later, they signed center Chris Hunter. Starting in January 2010, they issued multiple 10-day contracts, most notably to power forward Anthony Tolliver from the Idaho Stampede. Due to their multiple injuries, they were granted an exception allowing them to sign Reggie Williams from the Sioux Falls Skyforce to a 10-day contract on March 2, making it their fifth D-League call-up that season, tying an NBA record. They eventually waived the injured Bell to sign Williams for the rest of the year, and finished the season 26–56, fourth in the Pacific Division.
On June 24, the Warriors selected Ekpe Udoh, a power forward from Baylor, as the 6th pick of the 2010 NBA draft. They also introduced a modernized version of their "The City" logo depicting the new eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, and switched to a simplified color scheme of royal blue and gold. They also introduced new uniforms reminiscent of the 1969–71 "The City" uniforms. The Warriors made an offseason trade that sent Turiaf, Randolph and Kelenna Azubuike to the New York Knicks in return for star high-scoring power forward David Lee via a sign-and-trade. Lee agreed to a six-year, $80 million deal, on a framework contingent on the decision of superstar forward LeBron James to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers to sign with the Miami Heat that same day. Following Morrow's departure after he signed the New Jersey Nets' offer sheet, the Warriors signed Dorell Wright, formerly with the Miami Heat, to a three-year, $11 million deal.
On July 15, owner Chris Cohan sold the Warriors to Peter Guber of Mandalay Entertainment and his partner Joe Lacob for a then-record $450 million.
On November 15, the Warriors announced the new 19-person ownership group composed of Joe Lacob, Peter Guber, Vivek Ranadivé, Erika Glazer, Fred Harman, Bob Piccinini, Larry Bowman, Danny German, Marty Glick, Chad Hurley, Craig R. Johnson, Bruce Karsh, Jeffrey A. Miller, Paul Schaeffer, David Scially, Nick Swinmurn, Harry Tsao, John Walecka and Dennis Wong.
The Warriors continued their signing spree by adding Harvard guard Jeremy Lin to their roster with a one-year partially guaranteed contract containing a second-year team option, the first Taiwanese-American player in NBA history. Louis Amundson was then added for little under $5 million in mid-September. Keith Smart was hired as head coach that same month after Nelson had resigned before the start of training camp.
In February 2011, the Warriors traded Brandan Wright and Dan Gadzuric for Troy Murphy and a 2011 second-round pick. On February 27, Murphy and the Warriors reached a buyout agreement and he was waived.
During a steady season without making any real ground in the playoff race, the Warriors broke franchise records with 21 made 3's in a win against the Orlando Magic. In April 2011, Dorell Wright made a franchise record of 184 3's in a season in a home win versus Los Angeles Lakers, surpassing Richardson's 183 in 2005–06. He then broke another NBA record, as the first player to have scored more points in his seventh season than in all his first six seasons combined in a win against the Portland Trail Blazers. He ended the season with the most three-pointers made in the NBA that season with 194, as well as the most 3s attempted with 516, both of which set new Warrior franchise records.
The Warriors failed to make the playoffs after a 36-win season in 2010–11, and coach Smart was dismissed on April 27 due to the change in ownership. 17-year NBA veteran and former ABC and ESPN commentator Mark Jackson replaced him as head coach on June 6. On December 19, they traded Amundson to the Indiana Pacers for small forward Brandon Rush.
The Warriors did not improve in the 2011–12 NBA season under coach Jackson, finishing the lockout-shorted season with a 23–43 record, 13th in the conference. The team suffered several injuries to key players, and due to the lockout, Jackson could not establish his system in training camp. They then entered into another chaotic rebuilding phase.
Team leader Monta Ellis was traded in mid-March 2012, along with Kwame Brown and Ekpe Udoh, to the Milwaukee Bucks for center Andrew Bogut (out injured for the season) and former Warrior small forward Stephen Jackson, who without playing a game for the Warriors was quickly traded to the San Antonio Spurs for Richard Jefferson and a conditional first-round pick on March 15. These moves saw the rise of Stephen Curry and David Lee to team co-captains, and saw off-guard Klay Thompson, the 11th overall pick of the 2011 NBA draft, move into a starting role. On July 11, they acquired point guard Jarrett Jack from the New Orleans Hornets in a three-team trade also including the Philadelphia 76ers, who received Dorell Wright from Golden State. On August 1, they signed forward Carl Landry on the termination of his one-year contract with the Hornets. In the 2012 NBA draft, they selected small forward Harrison Barnes with the 7th overall pick, center Festus Ezeli with the 30th pick, small forward Draymond Green 35th overall, and 7-foot 1-inch center Ognjen Kuzmic 52nd overall. In early November, swingman Rush was lost for the year with a torn ACL after falling awkwardly on the court early in the second game of the season, and less than a month later the team announced that Bogut was out indefinitely with a foot injury that was more serious than originally reported. Bogut did not return to regular play until late in the season.
Coming out of this maelstrom of trades and injuries with a team starting two rookies (Barnes and Ezeli), the Warriors had one of their best starts in decades, earning their 20th win before hitting the 30-game mark for the first time since 1992. The Warriors also achieved a milestone by completing their first ever 6–1 road trip in franchise history, including a 97–95 win over the defending champion Heat in Miami. On April 9, 2013, with a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Warriors clinched the playoffs for the second time in 19 years and the first time since the 2006–07 "We Believe" Warriors. This time, the local battlecry was "We Belong".
The team finished the season with a record of 47–35, earning the sixth seed in the Western Conference, and defeated the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs by winning four out of six games. They lost in the second round to the San Antonio Spurs, four games to two. This was the first playoff experience for all of the starters of this group except for Andrew Bogut.
Other highlights of the season included Stephen Curry's 272 three-point baskets to set an NBA single-season record, giving him the nickname "baby-faced assassin", and the naming of forward David Lee to the 2013 NBA All-Star Game as a reserve, ending the team's 16-year drought without an All Star selection, dating back to Latrell Sprewell in the 1997 season. Curry and Klay Thompson, dubbed the "Splash Brothers" by team employee Brian Witt  for their backcourt shooting prowess, combined for 483 three-pointers during the season, easily besting the prior record of 435 set by the Orlando Magic's Nick Anderson and Dennis Scott in 1995–96.
With their lone selection in the 2013 NBA draft, the Warriors made 22-year-old Serbian combo-guard Nemanja Nedovic the 30th and final pick of the first round. In early July 2013, Golden State signed former Denver Nuggets swingman and free agent Andre Iguodala to a four-year, $48 million deal. To make room under their salary cap, the Warriors traded Richard Jefferson, Andris Biedriņš and Brandon Rush, along with multiple draft picks, including their 2014 and 2017 first-round picks, to the Utah Jazz. The Warriors lost free-agent guard Jarrett Jack, who departed for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and free agent power forward Carl Landry, who went to the Sacramento Kings. To help fill the void left by Landry, the Warriors signed forward-center Marreese Speights to a three-year, $10 million contract. The team also signed one-year deals with veteran center Jermaine O'Neal ($2 million) and point guard Toney Douglas ($1.6 million). On August 21, the Warriors signed 7 ft 1 in Serbian center Ognjen Kuzmic, who had been playing in Europe since his selection in the 2012 NBA draft, to a guaranteed two-year deal.
The Warriors began the 2013–14 season showing flashes of brilliance and also plenty of lapses. In early December their record was 12–9, as compared to 17–4 the year before. One challenging factor was a tough starting schedule that saw them play 14 of their first 22 games on the road, including 10 games against teams holding playoff spots in the standings. A stream of injuries also held the team back, including injuries to Festus Ezeli (off-season surgery to repair the right knee, out for the season), Toney Douglas (left tibia stress reaction, out nearly a month from mid-November to December), and Jermaine O'Neal (right wrist injury and surgery, out from mid-November to early February). Stephen Curry and Harrison Barnes were also out for at least four games before the all-star break, each with minor injuries. Most prominently of all, Iguodala suffered a hamstring pull in late November that kept him out for over a month, during which time the Warriors' performance suffered significantly on both the defensive and offensive ends of the court, and the team posted a losing 5–7 record while revealing a lack of depth on their bench. With Iguodala back in the lineup, the Warriors went on a 10-game winning streak, which included six consecutive wins on a single road trip, tying an NBA record. The winning streak was the longest for the franchise since the 1975 championship year, and just one short of the team record of 11 consecutive wins, set in the 1971–72 season.
To strengthen their underperforming bench, the Warriors made a three-team trade on January 15, sending Douglas to the Miami Heat and picking up guards Jordan Crawford and MarShon Brooks from the Boston Celtics and then, a day before the trade deadline, trading Kent Bazemore and Brooks to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for veteran point guard Steve Blake. Thanks in part to the improved effectiveness of their backup squad, boosted by the additions of Blake and Crawford and the play of 35-year-old Jermaine O'Neal (who returned sooner than expected from wrist surgery), the Warriors were one of the winningest teams in the NBA after the all-star break. Nonetheless, and despite several victories over top contenders, the team displayed a pattern of losing games to inferior teams even at their home arena. On April 11, in a 112–95 stomping of the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center, the Warriors clinched a playoff berth in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1991 and 1992. However, just one day earlier in a loss against the Portland Trail Blazers, Andrew Bogut suffered a cracked rib that would keep him out of the post-season, a big blow to the sixth-seed Warriors' playoff hopes.
The Warriors ended the season 51–31, winning more than 50 games for only the fourth time in franchise history, finishing 20 games over .500 for the first time in 22 years, and tying the 1991–92 squad for the franchise's all-time mark of 24 wins on the road. Even without Bogut, in the first round of the playoffs the Warriors battled the third-seed Los Angeles Clippers to a seventh and deciding game, which the Warriors lost, bringing their 2013–14 season to an end. It was season of many thrilling moments in which the Warriors' played in 17 regular-season games decided by 2 points or less, 6 games with winning shots in the final 3 seconds, and 7 comeback wins in which the Warriors had been behind by 15 points or more.
In other noteworthy occurrences for the season, Curry was named to the starting lineup for the 2014 NBA All-Star Game. For Curry, the only Warrior named to the team, this was his first all-star appearance in five seasons as an NBA player. Curry hit another notable milestone in posting 4 triple-doubles for the season, tying a franchise record unequaled since Wilt Chamberlain in 1963–64. Curry also averaged career-bests in points and assists; averaging 24.0 points and 8.5 assists in the season. Curry and Klay Thompson continued to set league records in three-point shooting. On February 7, in a 102–87 win over the Chicago Bulls, the backcourt duo became the first teammates to each make a three-pointer in 30 consecutive games. Curry, who finished the season with 261 threes, set an individual record for most three-pointers in a span of two seasons with 533, surpassing the previous mark of 478 set by Seattle Supersonic Ray Allen in 2004–05 and 2005–06. Together, Thompson and Curry combined for 484 threes on the year, besting by one the NBA record they had set the year before.
2014–2015: From turmoil to champions
Even as the team rolled towards the post-season, signs emerged of trouble in the Warriors' front office. On March 25, the team reassigned assistant coach Brian Scalabrine to the team's NBA Development League Affiliate in Santa Cruz because of what head coach Mark Jackson called a "difference in philosophies" and what unnamed league sources cited by Yahoo! Sports called "an increasingly dysfunctional atmosphere" on the Warriors' coaching staff. Fewer than two weeks later, assistant coach Darren Erman was fired for secretly recording conversations between coaches, staff and players. During the post season, rumors persisted in the press that Mark Jackson's job as head coach was in jeopardy, leading the players to make a unanimous declaration of support for Jackson's return only minutes after the Warriors' first-round, game seven playoff loss to the Clippers. Nonetheless, three days later, on May 6, the team announced the firing of Mark Jackson as head coach. In his three-season tenure as head coach, Jackson compiled a 121-109 (.526) record, overseeing a terrific turnaround. When Jackson took the helm in 2011, the franchise had made the playoffs only one time over the prior 17 seasons, averaging 30.2 wins per season during that period. Jackson, 49, became just the third head coach in franchise history to lead a team to at least 50 wins in a season, joining Don Nelson and Alvin Attles, who both hit the mark twice with the Warriors. With 121 wins overall, Jackson ranks fourth on the franchise's all-time wins list, trailing Attles (557), Nelson (422) and Eddie Gottlieb (263). On May 14, 2014, the Golden State Warriors named Steve Kerr the team's head coach, in a reported $25 million deal over five years. It was a first-time head-coaching position for Kerr, 48, a five-time NBA champion point guard who holds the all-time career record for accuracy in three-point shooting (.454). Kerr formerly served as president and general manager for the Phoenix Suns basketball team (2007 to 2010), and had most recently been working as an NBA broadcast analyst for Turner Network Television (TNT).
The Warriors completed the regular season with a record of 67-15, the best in the league and the most wins in franchise history. The Warriors also finished with a home record of 39–2, the second best in NBA history. They were first in defensive efficiency for the season and second in offensive efficiency, barely missing the mark that the Julius Erving led Sixers achieved by being first in both offensive and defensive efficiency. On May 4, Stephen Curry was named the 2014–15 NBA Most Valuable Player, the first Warrior to do so since Wilt Chamberlain in 1960. In the first round of the playoffs, they swept the New Orleans Pelicans, defeated Memphis Grizzlies in the second round in six games and defeated Houston Rockets in five games of the Western Conference Finals. The Warriors advanced to their first NBA Finals since 1975, where they defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in six games to win their fourth NBA title, and their first in 40 years. Andre Iguodala was named Finals MVP.
Other highlights of the season included Stephen Curry breaking his own record for three-pointers made in a single season with 286. He and Klay Thompson made a combined 525 three-pointers, the most by a duo in NBA history. In the postseason, Curry shattered Reggie Miller's record of 58 made three-pointers in a single postseason with 98. On January 23, 2015, Klay Thompson broke an NBA record for points in a quarter with 37 in the third. Curry was also the leader in the voting polls for the 2015 NBA All-Star Game, won the 2014–15 NBA Most Valuable Player award and the 2015 ESPYs Best Male Athlete award.
2015–2016: Broken records
The Warriors began the season by winning their first 24 games, eclipsing the previous best start in NBA history, set by the 1993–94 Houston Rockets and the 1948–49 Washington Capitols at 15–0. The Warriors surpassed the 1969–70 New York Knicks for the best road start in NBA history at 14–0, which is also the joint-third longest road win streak. Their record-setting start ended when they were defeated by the Milwaukee Bucks on December 12, 2015. The Warriors broke a 131-year-old record of 20–0 set by the 1884 St. Louis Maroons baseball team, to claim the best start to a season in all of the major professional sports in America. Golden State also won 28 consecutive regular-season games dating back to the 2014–15 season, eclipsing the 2012–13 Miami Heat for the second longest winning streak in NBA history. The team set an NBA record 54-straight regular season home game winning streak, which spanned from January 31, 2015 to March 29, 2016. The previous record of 44 was held by the 1995–96 Chicago Bulls team led by Michael Jordan.
Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson were all named to the All-Star Game, the first time the Warriors have had three All-Stars since 1976. Green broke the Golden State franchise record of nine triple-doubles in a season. Curry broke numerous three-point records during the season, including his own NBA record for made three-pointers in a season of 286; he finished the season with 402 three pointers. He made a three-pointer in 151 consecutive games, which broke the NBA record of 127 set by Kyle Korver in 2014. On February 27, 2016, Curry also tied the NBA record of twelve three-pointers made in a single game, jointly holding it with Donyell Marshall and Kobe Bryant.
On April 13, 2016, Golden State set the record for most wins in a single season, beating Memphis, and finishing 73–9. On May 10, 2016, Stephen Curry was named the NBA's Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the second straight season. Curry is the 11th player to win back-to-back MVP honors and became the first player in NBA history to win the MVP award by unanimous vote, winning all 131 first-place votes.
The Golden State Warriors went to their second consecutive appearance in the finals with a rematch against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Warriors went to a 3–1 advantage but the Cavaliers made a comeback to tie the series at 3 wins apiece. In Game 7 the Golden State Warriors lost the championship series on their homecourt, and earned the unfortunate distinction of becoming the first team to give up a 3–1 lead in the NBA finals.
2016–present: Addition of Kevin Durant
On July 4, 2016, Kevin Durant announced he would leave the Oklahoma City Thunder in order to sign a two-year contract with the Golden State Warriors. On July 7, Durant signed his contract, which gave the Warriors a fourth All-NBA player on their team. The Durant signing made the Warriors the prohibitive favorites to win the NBA championship, according to oddsmakers.
The Warriors posted many notable achievements during the 2016–17 regular season. On November 7, 2016, Stephen Curry set the NBA record for most 3-pointers in a game with 13, in a 116–106 win over the Pelicans. On December 5, 2016, Klay Thompson scored 60 points in 29 minutes, in a 142–106 victory over the Pacers. In doing so, Thompson became the first player in NBA history to score 60 or more points in fewer than 30 minutes of playing time. Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson were all named to the 2017 NBA All-Star Game, making the Warriors only the eighth team in NBA history to have four All-Stars. On February 10, 2017, Draymond Green recorded a triple-double with 12 rebounds, 10 assists, and 10 steals, becoming the first player in NBA history to post a triple-double with fewer than 10 points. On March 2, 2017, the Warriors' streak for most games without back-to-back losses ended at 146 with a 94–87 loss to the Chicago Bulls. The streak eclipsed the previous record of 95 held by the Utah Jazz.
The Warriors earned home-court advantage throughout the 2017 playoffs, thanks to a 2016–17 regular season record of 67–15. They were the first team in NBA playoff history to start 12–0, defeating in order the Trail Blazers, the Jazz, and the Spurs. The 2017 Finals once again pitted the Warriors against the Cavaliers, becoming the first time in NBA history that two teams met in the Finals for three consecutive years. The Warriors won the championship after going 4–1 in the Finals, and their 16–1 playoff record garnered the best winning percentage (.941) in NBA playoffs history. After the Warriors announced that they were uncertain if they would make the customary visit to the White House by playoff champions, President Donald Trump rescinded his invitation. The team still planned to travel to Washington, D.C. to "celebrate equality, diversity and inclusion." Planned activities included meeting with local youth and a visit to the National Museum of African-American History and Culture.
The Warriors went into the 2018 playoffs as the second seed in the Western Conference after earning a 2017–18 regular season record of 58–24. After defeating both the Spurs and the Pelicans 4-1, the Warriors came up against the top-seeded Houston Rockets in the Western Conference Finals. Despite reaching a 3-2 disadvantage against the Rockets after Game 5, the Warriors were able to stave off elimination and came back to win the series 4-3. The 2018 Finals once again pitted the Warriors against the Cavaliers, becoming the first time in NBA history that two teams met in the Finals for four consecutive years. The Warriors won their second-straight NBA championship after going 4–0 in the Finals, marking the first NBA Finals sweep since 2007.
Move from Oakland back to San Francisco
In April 2014, the Warriors began the purchase process for a 12-acre (4.9 ha) site in Mission Bay, San Francisco, to hold a new 18,000-seat arena which is expected to be ready for the 2019–20 NBA season, with construction to begin in early 2016. The sale was finalized in October 2015. The location was selected after an original proposal to construct the arena on Piers 30 and 32, just south of the Bay Bridge, met with vocal opposition due to concerns about traffic, environmental impacts and obstruction of views. The new location, which still faces some vocal opposition in San Francisco, apparently eliminates the need for any voter approval, which would have been required with the original site. Some type of waterfront park is planned across from the projected arena, which will be located at an already-existing Muni T-Third stop. The Central Subway, planned to open in 2018, may provide a direct connection between the new site and the downtown Powell Street Muni/BART station. Although the Warriors considered a name change, possibly returning to their former name of San Francisco Warriors, it was ultimately decided that they would remain the Golden State Warriors upon their return to San Francisco. On January 27, 2016, it was announced that the Warriors' new arena would be called Chase Center as part of an agreement with JPMorgan Chase.