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The Timberwolves defeated the Warriors, but that wasn't the biggest story line in China. USA TODAY Sports

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During last year’s NBA Finals, with the Golden State Warriors bearing down on their second title in three seasons, coach Steve Kerr did what he could to defuse any comparisons to other all-time great teams, including Jordan’s Chicago Bulls.

But with the Warriors currently abroad, taking part in the Global Games in China, their international popularity sounds like it’s beginning to impact their perspective.

“What’s that, six championships in eight years?” Klay Thompson said when asked about comparisons to the Bulls. “So we’re, what, like only a third of the way there? I think it’s close. We still have a long way to go, but I do see the fandom, the fanfare like the Bulls had in the 90s.

“Every time the Bulls came to town, that was the ticket of the year. Now it’s when the Warriors come to town, that’s the must-see game. And we don’t take that for granted; that’s such a cool position to be in. We rarely play in front of a crowd that’s not sold out. That’s so special. It’s hard to really grasp that as a player. So I think it’s close. I still think we’re not on their level yet, but that’s what we aspire to be of the 2000s. We aspire to be that dynasty that will be in the minds of NBA fans forever.”

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Kerr, who won three titles with the Bulls, isn’t having it.

“We can’t match what the Bulls did,” he said. “They won six championships in eight years. And we have two in three years, which is great, but we’d like to keep going.”

Their preseason is off to an inauspicious start, having lost their first two games. The Warriors take on the Timberwolves on Sunday before heading back to the United States. Though important to engage with fans abroad and increase the NBA’s reach, not every Warriors player has been thrilled with the international trip.

“I mean at the end of the day, my overall health probably will take a step back,” Draymond Green told USA TODAY Sports’ Sam Amick about the effect of the trip. “Your conditioning and eating the rights things (are negatively affected). You head into the season, and you kind of want to tune your body up and eat healthy and this, that, and the other. So all those things that’s conducive to playing basketball take a hit.” 

Follow USA TODAY Sports' Michael Singer on Twitter @msinger. 

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