With the Golden State Warriors finishing the 2015-16 basketball season last week with the best record in NBA history at 73-9, the makers of NBA 2K16 turned their minds to a question that only a video game can answer: How would this year's Warriors squad fare against some of the best teams ever to step onto an NBA court?
NBA 2K16 developer Visual Concepts pitted the Warriors against three of the all-time greatest NBA teams: the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls, which previously had the best regular-season record ever at 72-10; the 2000-01 Los Angeles Lakers, which hold the mark for the best playoff record in history at 15-1; and the 2005-06 Miami Heat, which were led by Shaquille O'Neal and Dwyane Wade. (Obviously, there are many other great squads in NBA history, but those three are all playable in NBA 2K16.)
Only one of those classic teams was able to defeat the 2015-16 Warriors in a seven-game series simulated in NBA 2K16: the Lakers squad, which featured Shaq in his prime alongside a young Kobe Bryant. (That group was in the midst of an NBA championship three-peat.) Even then, the matchup went the distance, with the Lakers defeating the Warriors four games to three.
This year's Warriors are still writing their history, looking to cap off their record-breaking season with a second consecutive NBA title. They've only played one playoff game so far, destroying the Houston Rockets 104-78 in Game 1 of their first-round series. For more on the Warriors' incredible season, read about how NBA 2K16's developers are struggling to accurately represent Stephen Curry's mind-boggling real-life exploits without breaking the video game.