Aschburner: on Warriors’ place in NBA history, why old-timers are criticizing Curry, what’s up with the Cavs, & more

Steve Aschburner is one of the best NBA writers going, and it’s been that way for a while. He is a senior writer at NBA.com and before that he worked for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and the Milwaukee Journal. His perspective on the NBA is matched by few as far as I’m concerned.

John Dickinson and I were thrilled to have Steve join us on the “NBA This Week” on 95.7-FM The Game and he talked on a variety of hoops topics, including the Warriors, Stephen Curry, the Cavaliers and league in general.

You can listen to the interview on the “NBA This Week” right here. There’s also a link at bottom of post.

Below are some excerpts from the interview.

–On where he puts the current Warriors team in the annals of basketball history and other great NBA teams:

Aschburner: I would think this team is top 3, 4 5 range. Maybe higher if it gets to 73. I’m not actively looking to hold them back. I don’t think 73 or practically speaking 72 was the definition of greatest team of all time. That’s best single season record of all time and I don’t consider the 95-96 Bulls the greatest team of all time. …

I think the 85-86 Celtics  were a tremendous team. The 71-72 Lakers who won 33 in a row, when Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West were pretty old for that time as veterans. I think the 66-67 76ers team that Wilt played on and I think there were one or two of the Russell Celtics teams that I would have in my top half dozen.

There is no right answer. If you get to 73 you can lay claim to that title and make a pretty convincing case. I just don’t know we’ll ever be able to decide who the best team of all time is.

–On why some NBA legends are criticizing Stephen Curry:

Aschburner: There’s a lot of ‘get off my lawn’ with a lot of us as we advance. Some not very flattering to those who spew it, some of it perfectly understandable … The most legitimate reason is the difference in physical play and that’s very real. Say what you want, but a fellow built like Steph Curry 30, 40, 50 years ago was going to take hits that wouldn’t get called, and produce wear and tear on him. It would knock him off his game, maybe get him out of rhythm and he might not be as effective as he’s been.

I think that’s a legitimate X and O type of thing. That to me is real. … But in terms of ‘everything is better back in the day,’ no, I don’t buy that.

On what’s going on with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers:

Aschburner:  Maybe there’s a little bit of buyer’s remorse. … LeBron is a bit of a drama queen. He may feel he’s a little bit in the shade of a season that’s been so much about the Warriors and Spurs and he’s getting a little bit neglected. I think he’s still the best player overall both ends of the floor in the NBA. Not quite what he was.

We’re seeing him start to head downward. He may resent a little of the lack of spotlight. … He may know the team he has is flawed. … You can’t be messing and flirting around with other teammates while you’re trying to get the most out of the ones you’re supposed to lead. I think that’s a dramatic mistake.

You can listen to the entire interview with Steve Aschburner on “NBA This Week.”

 

 

 

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About Steinmetz

Matt Steinmetz is a veteran San Francisco Bay Area sports journalist. He covered the Golden State Warriors for Bay Area News Group for more than a decade before becoming a television analyst with Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. Steinmetz currently co-hosts the "Warriors WrapUp" show and "NBA This Week" on 95.7-FM The Game, the franchise's flagship station, in San Francisco. He also co-hosts the Sal and Steiny podcast.
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