Suns GM: Warriors' Dynasty Taking Its Toll

James Jones explained why Golden State is breaking down and shared what it's like to be teammates with LeBron James

Reiter Than You
June 06, 2019 - 3:43 pm
Klay Thompson Warriors Game 3 NBA Finals

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The Golden State Warriors are a modern-day NBA dynasty. They are the first franchise to reach five consecutive NBA Finals since the Celtics, who reached 10 straight from 1957-66.

However, as evidenced by injuries throughout the lineup – most notably to Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant – all those postseason runs may be taking their toll.

“I think you see it,” Suns GM James Jones told Bill Reiter, who was filling in as host of The Jim Rome Show. “You can’t really appreciate just how hard it is to play one playoff game, but imagine 120+ extra games. Those guys, they’re on an unbelievable run. The fact that they are still standing at this point, you have to commend them for it. But you can just see it takes a toll physically, mentally – playing 10 months out of the year five, six years straight, it’s hard. But they’re champions. It’ll be interesting to see how they bounce back in Game 4.”

Jones, 38, knows about extended playoff runs. He played with LeBron James in Miami and Cleveland, winning three NBA titles in the process.

What’s it like playing with LeBron?

“You just have to trust that everything that he does, he does it because he wants to win,” Jones said. “He’s driven by greatness, and he’s ultra-competitive. If you’re a player that goes in trying to prove yourself and prove how competitive you are and prove that you have the answers, you’ll struggle. The sign of being a great teammate is taking the burden off of your teammates. If you just buy into it, if that means you work just as hard as he does, if you accept that he is just going to be aggressive and step in front of the train for you – if you can appreciate that, he’ll cover you.”

And when Jones says “cover,” he means personally and professionally.

“Everything that he has, he gives to his teammates if you’ll just accept that he’s the leader,” Jones said. “Whenever you’re the guy that plays the most minutes, takes the biggest burden or carries the heaviest load, and you perform night in and night out and you carry your team to championships, you deserve that respect. And if you give it to him, he’ll give it to you 10-fold.”