NEW YORK — National Basketball Association (NBA) Commissioner Adam Silver will be at Oracle Arena on Tuesday night, handing the Golden State Warriors what will be their third set of championship rings from the last four seasons.
A banner will be displayed. Highlights will be shown.
And then the Warriors will have to start all over again.
The NBA’s 73rd season starts Tuesday night, beginning a year where LeBron James will play for the Los Angeles Lakers, where Carmelo Anthony will aim to push the Houston Rockets over the top, where Dwyane Wade will take his 16th and final lap around the league.
A new arena is opening in Milwaukee, eight teams will have new coaches, and everyone will be looking to see if the Warriors can win a third straight title.
“None of us are ready for this run to come to an end,” said Golden State’s Draymond Green, part of all three Warriors’ titles in this four-year run of dominance.
“So we’ve got to continue to approach it like we’ve got zero. And that’s cliché and impossible to do, but you want to try to get as close to that as you possibly can. And that’s my mindset always entering the season.”
They will be the overwhelming favorites, with good reason.
The Warriors still have Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Green, plus added All-Star big man DeMarcus Cousins — coming off an injury — on a bargain $5.3 million deal.
And calling all the shots is coach Steve Kerr, who won five rings as a player and now three more as a coach.
“If they don’t win, it’s a failure,” Memphis guard Mike Conley Jr. said.
“I know that’s how they feel as well. For us, for the other 29 teams, we’re the underdog. We’re trying to take what they have. It’s a lot easier playing from the underdog perspective than coming in with a lot of expectation.”
In this NBA, everybody else is an underdog.
That even applies to Houston — which won 65 games last season, has the reigning MVP in James Harden, an elite point guard in Chris Paul who re-signed for $160 million this summer, a deep-pocketed owner in Tilman Fertitta and an always-tinkering GM in Daryl Morey.