Operation: Stop the Warriors

An exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at how the rest of the NBA is coping with Golden State’s superteam reveals that—yeah, everyone else is pretty screwed. But across the star-studded basketball galaxy, rebel fleets are plotting the impossible. Herein, strategies to take down the Death Star… and fix an unfair league

By Howard Beck

October 18, 2016

Chris Paul cannot recall where he was, exactly, on the day the NBA spun off its axis.

“Might have still been in Spain. Ibiza. Somewhere,” the Los Angeles Clippers star said.

He does not care to remember, really, how he felt when he heard the news.

“I don’t think that deep into it.”

Paul’s tone is flat, his stare impassive. It’s as if nothing changed that day, July 4, when in fact everything changed with a single, stunning declaration.

“I am going to join the Golden State Warriors,” Kevin Durant announced in the Players’ Tribune, and nothing would ever be the same. How could it be?

The NBA’s pre-eminent scorer was joining the only 73-win team in league history, creating a superteam for the ages, obliterating all pretense of competitive equilibrium.

Two MVPs, Durant and Stephen Curry, flanked by two more All-Stars, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. So much talent, so much length, so much versatility. And the shooting! Oh lord, the number of three-pointers that Golden State might sink.

If the Warriors of the last two seasons were famous for their Death Lineup, this year’s team demands an even more fearsome moniker: the Death Star.

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