Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Bogut, Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes and Andre Iguodala on the court, Steve Kerr on the sideline, Bob Myers and Joe Lacob in the front office.You know. The new-look Warriors.They are the champions now and that is very much of a new look for anyone going through it, even enduring it, for the first time. There is suddenly an expectation that did not previously exist. Players face the unique demand of trying to play in June two seasons in a row. Twenty-nine other teams are aiming for them.Familiar faces, but unfamiliar territory.This season will be different no matter what. When the Warriors officially reconvene for media day as the start of training camp in Oakland on Sept. 28, they will be preparing for the regular-season opener against Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans a month later. The opener is also ring night at Oracle Arena, because jewelry is part of it, too: 2015-16 will be about how Golden State plays while wearing a crown.
Steve Kerr Talks WarriorsSteve Kerr discuses his team, the Summer League, and the future of the Golden State Warriors."I think it helps, actually," said Kerr, the coaching speaking with the experience of five titles while playing for the Bulls and Spurs. "It's probably counter to what a lot of people say, but I think it makes it a little bit easier, as long as you approach it the right way. The burden is lifted. Nobody can ever say to Steph Curry, 'Well, you've never won a title,' or Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes. These guys are young guys who have now won a title and they never have to play with that burden like a lot of other players in the league do. The danger is that you stop working. I'm not worried about our team on the working front."Not this group filled with unselfish veterans and positive chemistry."My guess is, knowing our team, the attitude is going to be, 'Let's go win another one,' " Kerr said. "Now, don't get me wrong. It's incredibly hard to do. I hope I didn't give you the wrong impression when I said it can be actually easier, because I don't mean it's going to be easy. What I mean is the relief of the burden being lifted, we should use that to our advantage. Maybe that's a better way of expressing it. The way to use that is to be free and loose and to play your asses off knowing nobody can take that away from us and there shouldn't be pressure. The pressure should be on teams that haven't won one. But it only works if you compete like crazy and you don't lose your focus and you try to get better every day and you play with the same hunger."The real selling point on Golden State set up perfectly to become more than a one-hit wonder?The Warriors won the title without being at their best.Curry is 27 years old, the reigning MVP, and showing no signs of leveling off. Thompson is 25 and still improving. Green is 25 and dramatically improving. Barnes is 23, already producing big in the playoffs and getting better. The majority of the rotation of the NBA champions hasn't even peaked yet. And Kerr is off his rookie learning curve as a coach, whether he looked like a rookie or not.Bogut is 30 and Iguodala 31. Shaun Livingston, a key reserve, is 30. So there are concerns. Watching their minutes in the regular season will be a priority.The San Antonio Spurs, they're another concern and a welcome scare tactic. The additions of LaMarcus Aldridge and David West while keeping Tim Duncan, Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green and Manu Ginobili meant the Warriors spent more than a little of their offseason hearing about San Antonio -- not the defending champions -- as the team to beat in the Western Conference in 2015-16. That's good for Golden State too, the emotional jolt to help ensure that Curry & Co. don't settle in and another layer to the burden being lifted, as Kerr described.
NBA 2015-16 Favorites: Warriors or Spurs?After picking up LaMarcus Aldridge, are the Spurs the favorite or is that disrespectful to the Warriors?"Maybe," Myers, the general manager, said not long after San Antonio's blockbuster free agency. "I don't know. I've never been in this position coming off a championship. But Steve has. I don't know if you need motivation. Hopefully you have players on your team and people in the organization that want to win no matter what, whether you're the favorite or not. I think we have a lot of people that are made up that way. But certainly I think through the media, to be honest, reminding them of the Spurs, maybe that'll bring an edge to the upcoming season. Even though we had such a great season, I think a lot of people still probably didn't think we'd come out as champions. So I don't think we're used to being favorites. And now that the Spurs are the favorites, we can let them go back to being the favorites."It will be an interesting time for the Warriors no matter what, starting when training camp opens in a little less than two weeks. Most of the same cast is back, but the look will be different. The part about being champions is very new.Scott Howard-Cooper has covered the NBA since 1988. You can e-mail him here and follow him on Twitter.The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting.