Steph Curry

LaVine praises Splash Bros for setting NBA franchise standard

NBC Universal, Inc.

Chicago Bulls star guard Zach LaVine -- like many of his NBA peers -- circles the date on his calendar when the Warriors’ dynasty rolls into town.

An opportunity to play against stars like Steph Curry and Klay Thompson always stands out, even in the midst of a grueling 82-game regular-season schedule.

"You’ve got to bring your 'A game,' " LaVine said to NBC Sports Bay Area's Monte Poole last month at the American Century Championship at Edgewood Tahoe Resort. "Both those guys are future Hall of Famers. Steph and Klay are two of the best shooters of all time. One of my good friends, Draymond [Green], has the same agent as me. There’s some competitive stuff there, but you’ve got to bring your 'A game' against those guys.

"They set the standard of what a franchise in this new generation has been."

The dynasty in the Bay all started when Curry was selected with the No. 7 overall pick in 2009. Klay Thompson was drafted two years later to form the greatest shooting backcourt in basketball history, and Green added a layer of championship-level intensity in 2012. The timeline accelerated when Golden State signed Andre Iguodala in July 2013, and those four players won four championships together in 2015, '17, '18 and '22.

If the Portland Trail Blazers trade star guard Damian Lillard this offseason -- as expected -- Curry, Thompson and Green would become the three active players with the longest tenures with one franchise.

In an NBA landscape where it seems there's always a superstar player asking out of his current situation, the bond in the Bay remains strong.

"There hasn’t been a franchise like that since Kobe [Bryant] and [Shaquille O'Neal with the Los Angeles Lakers], and before that with [Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen on the Bulls]," LaVine said.

"That’s the type of greatness you’re going up against. You better bring it."

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