Because of the style they play, the Golden State Warriors sometimes look like a fatally flawed team. The Warriors shoot as many three-pointers as anyone, often play loose on offense and gamble constantly. They get up and down the floor, have little collective conscience and evoke memories of the most reckless, entertaining version of Golden State's squad. If you squint, you can see the ghosts of Run TMC and We Believe.

That's one of the interesting things about Golden State lore: the bad Warriors teams are anonymous and forgettable, but the good teams are so wonderfully unglued that we only remember the latter. Now that we have a third generation of exciting Warriors basketball, we carry forward the associations of eras past. The strongest association is that Golden State is entertaining as hell. After that, nearly as powerful, is the belief that the Warriors aren't really championship material due to some foundational crack. When they are good, the Warriors are always a lot of fun. But they aren't normal enough to win a title.

The NBA, however, is no longer run by the laws of normalcy. In some ways, every champion since the Mavericks in 2011 has flouted the extant laws of how to win in basketball. In an age of super teams, Dallas rode Dirk Nowitzki and a brilliant defense to glory. The Heat went back-to-back with a bizarre menage of stars and old dudes. The 2013-14 Spurs are the heroes of oddity, with a wunderkind wing incapable of smiling (Kawhi), an ancient oak around which everything revolves (Duncan), a bevy of crafty and quick guards (Parker, Manu, Danny Green) and the single most idiosyncratic player in the league.