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Carmen Policy likes Warriors-Kevin Durant comparison to 49ers-Deion Sanders in 1994

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Both teams needed someone to “put them over the top.” The 49ers did it with Sanders. Will the Warriors do it with Durant?

The Golden State Warriors made a huge splash last offseason, signing Kevin Durant to a two year deal that offers an option to opt out after the first year. They had split the last two NBA Finals with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and coming off a brutal Finals loss in 2016, the Warriors wanted to emphatically set themselves up for the 2017 NBA Finals.

There has been plenty of criticism by people outside of the Warriors sphere. We’ve heard people say the Warriors are too good, and we’ve heard people criticize Durant for going to his rival to try and win a championship.

Fans of the San Francisco 49ers know a thing or two about what’s going on. Former 49ers executive Carmen Policy took some time to chat with Matt Maiocco about the 49ers of the mid-90s, and offered up some fantastic insight. We’ll have a time stamp post Wednesday morning, but the Policy interview starts about 20 minutes in.

Policy has some great anecdotes from the 90s. He talked about how after the second straight NFC title game loss to the Dallas Cowboys led the team to go all-in leading up to the 1994 season. The team loaded up their defense, acquiring Deion Sanders, Ken Norton, Gary Plummer, and Rickey Jackson. Policy has a fantastic story about the recruiting process with Deion Sanders, and his meeting with George Seifert. It involves Eddie DeBartolo and then defensive coordinator Ray Rhodes having some cocktails to get through the stress of waiting on Deion’s decision.

Policy and Maiocco talked about the addition of Durant as similar in fashion to the 49ers addition of Deion. A year ago, when Durant made his decision, I wrote something about it and discussed the potential comparison with Sanders.

This is not exactly like when Deion Sanders signed with the San Francisco 49ers in 1994, but it is certainly something at least worth considering. The top free agent on the market is joining a team that was already built well, and is adding a little more to take them back over the top. One notable difference is this Warriors team won a title in 2015, and went to the Finals this year. The 49ers of the mid-90s could not get over the hump against the Dallas Cowboys. Deion was not the only notable addition that year, but he was a big one.

I did not mention the 49ers extensive additions that offseason. We’ll never know whether or not the 49ers would have won the Super Bowl that year without Sanders, but they made a lot of big acquisitions. The Warriors made some other additions, but last offseason was all about adding Durant.

There is a certain “putting them over the top” element, so it is still an interesting comparison to be made. The Warriors still have two more games to win in this series. And while they have dominated the second half of the first two games, let’s not forget that they dominated the first two games last year as well. This year, the Warriors won the first two games by a combined 41 points. Last year, they won the first two games by a combined 48 points. The big difference of course is that they have Kevin Durant. I don’t think they’ll sweep the Cavaliers, but they’re in prime position to put this series away sooner rather than later.