SI Staff
Thursday June 18th, 2015

The Golden State Warriors capped their charmed season by outlasting LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals. In honor of Golden State's first NBA title in 40 years, Sports Illustrated takes a look back at the team's championship campaign with SI's 10 best Warriors stories from 2014-15.

MORE NBA: Celebrate Warriors' title with SI's commemorative cover

Golden Hours: Warriors' celebration

NBA
Golden Hours: Inside the Warriors' nightlong NBA Finals celebration

​​In the wee hours after Golden State's Finals-clinching win over Cleveland, Lee Jenkins got a behind-the-scenes look at the Warriors' celebration. The team's "season of splash" poetically ended with Stephen Curry dropping a celebratory Heineken before boarding the team's bus to the afterparty. "He tried to catch the bottle, but it splattered against the cement, leaving a puddle of green shards and Dutch hops. A few of Curry’s teammates, waiting for him outside the bus, saw the final splash. They erupted in applause." READ MORE


Jerry West: Pursuit of perfection

NBA
Pursuit of perfection: Jerry West's fire burns as deep as ever with Warriors

At 77, Jerry West's fire burns as deep as ever. Now an executive with the Warriors, West is as competitive as ever despite being removed from the day-to-day hustle and bustle. He still watches tape, talks to GM Bob Myers on a sometimes hourly basis and is as invested in the Warriors as he was with the Lakers or Grizzlies. West is driven, as always, by a simple goal. “You get so addicted to winning,” he says, “that you don’t want that feeling to stop.”  READ MORE


Andre and the Giant

NBA
Andre and the Giant: How one veteran helped the Warriors turn the Finals

Andre Iguodala hadn't started a game in 13 months, relegated to a reserve role on the NBA-best Warriors. But with the Cavaliers taking an unlikely lead in the Finals, Steve Kerr made a drastic decision. He benched starting center Andrew Bogut in favor of small forward Andre Iguodala, electing to go small against Cleveland rather than trying to matchup. The result? The cerebral veteran stepped up, slowed LeBron James (as much as is humanly possible, at least) and helped turn the NBA Finals in the Warriors' favor. READ MORE


Steve Kerr: Warriors' ringmaster

NBA
Steve Kerr: The Warriors' Ringmaster

Steve Kerr spent 15 years in the NBA as guard, winning five titles with the Bulls and Spurs. But his contributions as the coach of the Warriors pale in comparison to his successes as a player. Everything Golden State's new head coach did in 2014-15 turned into gold, all while maintaining the same laid-back attitude. As Lee Jenkins wrote: "He surfs Pipes Beach in San Diego. He grills carne asada for his daughter, Maddy, and her volleyball teammates at Cal. He is kind of a foodie but hardly a snob. For a week every summer he flies to a buddy’s ranch in Baja California and stays in cheap motels near Scorpion Bay. Or he throws up a tent on the sand. “What’s your ZFL level?” you can ask him, and he’ll reply with a smile, “Pretty high.” ZFL is one of his pet acronyms: Zest For Life. In press conferences the 49-year-old wears a hoodie and jeans, with his omnipresent Vans. He’d like to coach a game in Vans." READ MORE


Fine tuning: World's best shooter

NBA
Fine tuning: Coaching Stephen Curry, best shooter in the universe

What's it like to coach the best shooter in the universe? Rob Mahoney asks that question to Warriors coach Steve Kerr and assistant Bruce Fraser, who works with Curry on a day-to-day basis. “With the stuff he does, he challenges himself to get less rhythm and use harder cuts and more speed,” said Fraser. “He's always constantly pushing himself to make shots challenging so that when he gets in the game he's done that a lot.” READ MORE


Oracle Arena brings the noise

NBA
Oracle Arena brings the noise for an NBA Finals worth screaming about

​In addition to hosting the best team in the NBA, Golden State also boasts arguably the league's loudest fan base. Before the Finals began, Lee Jenkins profiled the team's arena, nicknamed"Roaracle. "If you're an opposing team, and you're not used to the noise here, you can get rattled," says Golden State forward Harrison Barnes. "We have those dagger plays—those threes, those crazy shots, those four-point plays—and it gets loud and rowdy. It's hard to take yourself out of that and think of the next possession." READ MORE


Warriors' remarkable transformation

NBA
Warriors: From one-dimensional and one-and-done to NBA title favorites

How did Stephen Curry and the Warriors go from one-dimensional and one-and-done to NBA title favorites? Chris Ballard detailed their incredible transformation in SI magazine. How sudden and substantial has Golden State's turnaround been? Ballard writes: "Of the 15 players on the Golden State roster, it is strange to think that the 26-year-old Steph Curry is now the longest-tenured. Especially because he never should have been a Warrior." READ MORE


3 a.m. text helps turn NBA Finals

NBA
Meet Nick U'Ren: The Warriors staffer with the idea to start Andre Iguodala

How did the Warriors decide to scrap their starting lineup—a unit that dominated during the regular season—in favor of a radical small-ball group that featured Andre Iguodala instead of Andrew Bogut? It started with a 28-year-old video coordinator and a 3 a.m. text to head coach Steve Kerr. Lee Jenkins dives inside the Warriors' drastic decision in the Finals, which ultimately paid off and led to Golden State containing LeBron and winning the Finals. READ MORE


Anatomy of the insane

NBA
Anatomy of the insane: Closer look at Stephen Curry's game-tying three

​ The opening week of the 2015 NBA playoffs was missing the "oomph" factor until Curry chimed in during Game 3 against the Pelicans. Curry hit a corner three-pointer—in which he was absolutely clobbered—in the closing seconds over an outstretched Anthony Davis to cap a 20-point rally in the fourth quarter and send the game to OT. To give the incredible shot its true due, Ben Golliver breaks down the sequence moment-by-moment. READ MORE


Warriors cap charmed season

NBA
Stephen Curry, Warriors cap charmed title run with fitting finish in the Finals

Was it destiny? Golden State's 2014-15 title campaign certainly felt like it, particularly in Game 6 with their Finals-clinching win over the Cavaliers. Ben Golliver recaps the team's dramatic triumphant finish. "A season in which everything always seemed to fall perfectly into place ended in perfectly charmed fashion, with the proper button being pushed at the right time and every shot falling once the championship was in reach."  READ MORE

 
—Compiled by Matt Dollinger

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