THE GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS have done their best to tell everyone, perhaps even themselves, that they are focused on the now. This season. This attempt at a championship.
It's the correct play. However, that's not a luxury their ownership and front office can enjoy. This time of year, teams are beginning to have meetings to discuss offseason plans. It's typical business. It is a must approaching the trade deadline.
And the Warriors have one of the most stressful offseasons in team history rushing at them.
This is not an unheard of position. It happens even when teams are in the midst of building dynasties. In 1998, for example, Phil Jackson declared the season was a "last dance" for the Chicago Bulls before it even began, Michael Jordan kept threatening to retire if Jackson didn't come back, and Jerry Krause plotted a rebuild every day as the team motored to a second three-peat.
In 2004, as the Los Angeles Lakers tried to win their fourth title in five years, tension between Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant built up to a boiling point in a run to the NBA Finals that forced the Lakers to trade O'Neal that summer.
Now it is the Warriors' turn. Owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber and general manager Bob Myers see two roads on the horizon.