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It’s the players, stupid: Warriors owner as lost as Jerry Krause

The Warriors are great because Stephen Curry is great, not because their management team is visionary. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Besides chasing the 1995-96 Bulls for the NBA single-season victory record, the Warriors have something else in common with Bulls teams of that era: delusional management.

In a recent New York Times Magazine article about the Warriors, the team’s majority owner said that what Golden State is accomplishing this season goes far beyond the talent of the players on the court.

“We’re light-years ahead of probably every other team in structure, in planning, in how we’re going to go about things,” said Joe Lacob, who made his money as a venture capitalist. “We’re going to be a handful for the rest of the NBA to deal with for a long time.”

You might have been under the mistaken impression that the Warriors are great simply because of the presence of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. You are forgiven for being a silly goose.

Bulls fans made the same mistake when they thought those six championships in eight seasons were the result of having Michael Jordan on the roster. Former Bulls general manager Jerry Krause was there to disabuse them of that notion.

“Players don’t win championships, organizations do,’’ he reportedly said.

Now, Krause has since claimed that he said “players alone don’t win championships,’’ but it had a strong whiff of Krausian authenticity to it. Lacob, who keeps talking about a master plan, doesn’t seem to have Krause’s good sense to deny, deny, deny.

What happens to people when they get within a stone’s throw of greatness? Why is there always such a wild grab for credit?

The Bulls were great because they had Jordan and Scottie Pippen. Krause did a wonderful job of assembling talent around them, but any team that started with those two players was going to dominate.

And any team that begins with Curry’s unique talents as a scorer, Thompson’s shooting and Green’s brawny leadership is going to be excellent.

“The great, great venture capitalists who built company after company, that’s not an accident,” Lacob said. “And none of this is an accident, either.”

Oh, good Lord.