Somehow, We Knew This Would Happen All Along
The NBA Finals are over and the Golden State Warriors were the better team the whole time. We all knew it. The numbers knew it. Steve Kerr and Steph Curry knew it. David Blatt and LeBron James knew it. Vegas knew it. There’s nothing surprising about a team that was wire-to-wire the NBAs best, winning a championship. Had LeBron not been in the Finals, we would’ve have been talking about how this has to be one of the greatest teams of all-time. But that wasn’t the case. Unfortunately for the Warriors, the 2015 NBA Finals will not be about them winning the Finals, but about how LeBron lost the Finals.
For most of the Finals, it felt like the story always seemed to play out the exact same, save the last few minutes of the 4th quarter. Muppet-ass Matthew Dellavedova throwing himself around and Steph Curry chopping him up. LeBron continuously feeding his team mates open looks (I’m looking at you Shumpert and Smith, even though you get a SLIGHT pass for the last 2 minutes of the 4th) only to have them bounce out and into the hands of a Warriors forward to push out the fastbreak. There was, literally, nothing different about this game that stood out. Everything was the same. The hobbled, tired Cavaliers threw everything they had at the faster, stronger, deeper Warriors squad. No surprises anymore; just re-runs.
Figures that the only REAL surprise of the night came after the Warriors were presented with the Larry O’Brian trophy, when David Silver (to a rightful flood of “boo”s) announced that the NBA Finals MVP went to a guy who started the last 3 games of the series. The move to start Andre Iguodala, as we had reported before, was probably the move that saved the series, thanks to some man-boy intern. But there’s NOOOO fucking way Andre Iguodala was the most valuable player on the court. Even ESPN got in on the joke by posting this gem on their Sportscenter Facebook page.
Awarding Iguodala with the MVP affirmed that the NBA writers seek to never again award it to a player to the losing squad, no matter how historic his performance was. I COULD go on about how LeBron really should’ve been awarded the MVP, but I’ll stop here. The bigger picture is that now, no matter how many championships he wins, not 3, not 4, not 5, this generation will never see him better than Jordan. Ever.
It isn’t fair to compare the two, but in the grander scheme of it all, that’s the only thing we have LEFT to compare. I mean, the guy was the “heir apparent” to no one OTHER than Jordan. Calling him great, somehow, became niche. By LeBron not overcoming something that not even Jordan could have done, we were robbed of witnessing something historically amazing. But Life is cruel and works just like a Goddamn Game of Thrones season finale. It doesn’t work out that way because our generation, simply, doesn’t get another perfect storm of Jordan and Phil Jackson and Pippen. We got LeBron and David Blatt and Dellavedova.
When LeBron said “we ran out of talent,” he was dead on. LeBron is the ultimate example that no one, not Jordan, not Bird, not Russell, not Kobe, not one amazing player can win alone. The Warriors are champions because they were an outstanding, all-time team. And LeBron now sits at home with a 2-4 record in the Finals. LeBron and Love are Free Agents this summer and will both probably re-sign with the Cavs, and Golden State is probably not gonna suddenly get terrible, so we can probably bank that we’ll have the same two teams in the Finals again next year.
Let the summer of speculation begin.