I was 14 when I saw the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls make history by obliterating the competition and finishing with an NBA-best 72-10 record.
Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman on the same team in their prime was a magical experience night after night. Phil Jackson was cool as they came on the sidelines. They had flair, an unwavering confidence and charisma as an essence of their being.
The opposition was intimidated upon arrival and beaten before tipoff. It just took 48 minutes to make it official. I remember stating to family and friends that there would never be a team capable of breaking that illustrious regular-season record.
And over the last five years or so, my stance grew stronger. NBA players play year-round nowadays. In-season injuries are rampant. Franchises have seen their championship hopes vanish with superstars and high-level players succumbing to season-ending injuries.
Teams rest players more than ever. Body maintenance programs are instituted during predetermined parts of the season. Wins are sacrificed for health going into the postseason.
In order for a team to beat the Bulls, its main players have to play close to 80 games. The importance of regular-season win totals has been minimized with health being the No. 1 priority.
However, slowly but surely my stance is changing. The Golden State Warriors are the truth. They're not necessarily intimidating, but they're efficient in all that they do and having fun in the process.
Stephen Curry is arguably the best shooter in basketball history. All he needs is a split second of space. Klay Thompson epitomizes the meaning of a 3-D player (three-point specialist and defensive-stopper). Draymond Green doesn't do one great thing, but is a force in every aspect of the game.
They're filled with team-oriented, complimentary players who understand their roles. This blend of talent has translated to a 23-0 start, an NBA record. They look unstoppable.
Will they break the Bulls' 72-10 record? No, though I'm not writing this with the utmost confidence. I just tend to wonder when they're going to rest guys, because eventually they have to, right? Also, for the most part, they've dodged serious injuries and every team goes through a rough patch during the season.
The Bulls went through a two-game losing streak in early February, but bounced back like it never occurred.
How will the Warriors handle the adversity of losing a string of games? Would they sink or continue to swim? We just don't know, and maybe we won't find out if they continue to win games.
For the time being, I'm going with them falling just short. But it's important to keep this in mind: Not many foresaw Curry or the team reaching such an astonishing level this season. Some called their championship year journey a product of other teams suffering injuries to key guys.
So, if that record is ever going to come down, this Warriors squad seems to be equipped for making history.