Since acquiring Chris Paul in June, the Warriors’ chemistry has improved greatly compared to its awkward state during the 2022-23 NBA season.
In an interview with 95.7 The Game’s Matt Steinmetz and Daryle Johnson on Monday, former Warriors center and current front office consultant Zaza Pachulia confirmed Golden State’s reformed roster connection, sharing an exclusive story about when he stumbled upon a late-night practice.
“Before even training camp started, I had a dinner in the city and left my car here (Chase Center) because it was so hard to park,” Pachulia shared with Steinmetz and Johnson. “I came back to pick up my car. A ball was bouncing. I thought it was one of the security guys. So, I opened the door, and I saw Steph (Curry), (Chris Paul) and Moses Moody. Saturday night at 9:15. Getting shots up at 9:15 p.m.
“You know what? That’s it. You feel the energy. Feel the connection. That’s something super important, by the way. Super important.”
Pachulia, a two-time champion, knows just how crucial a team’s bond is when aiming for a title. The former Warriors big man was a part of the Kevin Durant era in Golden State, which saw its fair share of winning and chemistry issues, ultimately leading to the superstar wing’s departure only after three seasons.
However, Pachulia’s latest experience convinced him the Warriors are on a better path this season and are putting in extra work on and off the court.
“It was so beautiful to see, honestly. Steph had got (Paul), who had just joined our team, who had been our opponent, a tough opponent literally every year, and the young buck (Moody). This was their second workout, by the way. Morning run, then they came to get extra shots. That was super. That was — You know what? I feel great about this year.”
Pachulia has every right to be excited about the season, as Golden State’s roster consists of much leadership and experience.
Also, the Warriors went 4-1 during the NBA preseason, and look ready for their first regular-season game against the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday at Chase Center.
Evidently, Golden State did not have strong camaraderie in the locker room last season.
But per Pachulia, those days are over, and the Warriors’ core is primed to compete for its fifth title as a connected unit.