How big a story are the 2016-17 Golden State Warriors?
The calculus behind this move goes back to a conversation I had with Post sports editor Matt Vita the day I started this job last November.
“Every day,” he said, “your goal should be to try and write the most interesting thing about the NBA that day.”
It was straightforward advice, and has served me well over the past 10 months I’ve been on the job. Once Durant made his decision, something became crystal clear: Nothing in sports — let alone the NBA — is going to be more interesting over the next nine months than the Golden State Warriors.
Bontemps’ re-location is noteworthy beyond the news that the Post will have a lot of stories about Steph Curry and Kevin Durant. It also symbolizes the comically outsize relevance of the Warriors right now. A man whose job is to cover the entire NBA thinks that task is impossible without access to this team.
When LeBron James signed with the Heat and then the Cavaliers, ESPN assigned reporters to cover his teams, but this is a little different. This is a national writer practically turning himself into a beat writer because covering the NBA at-large this year basically means covering the Warriors.
As Bontemps points out, the Warriors won a title, then set a record for wins in a season, then blew a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals, then signed one of the top three players in the world. They have arguably four of the 15 best players in the league. It doesn’t get much more relevant than that.
Bontemps makes clear in his post that he’ll still be covering the entire NBA, not just the Warriors, but his move, and his decision to write about it, sends a clear message: From an NBA media standpoint, Golden State is where it’s at.