The Bottom Line
By Bill Nestor
The NBA finally finished its season with an improbable comeback of epic proportions. The season is a rather long journey and the postseason in many years gone by, has felt even longer.
It takes a big chunk of June just to decide a champion and it typically feels like more of a chore to embrace the final weeks of the finals. However, this particular campaign saw something that had never been done before. A team came all the way back from a 3-1 hole to claim gold. The storylines of this extra season helped to create a “soap opera” feel for sports fans.
First, LeBron James went home to Cleveland and completed his promise to bring back a title to his hometown. James appeared to do so in spite of Cavaliers owner, Dan Gilbert. Their relationship just hasn’t been the same since Bron went to Miami where he captured a pair of rings. Ironically enough, LeBron is not only in charge on the hardwood, he is calling the shots in the offseason as well. James, a free agent, is holding the Cavs hostage by not re-signing with them unless they make all of the basketball moves that he desires. His decision turns out to be the best for Cleveland fans because in order to keep up with the Joneses or at least the Warriors, some additional wheeling and dealing must be done.
Second, Golden State appeared ready to bow out of the playoffs as they faced a 3-1 deficit against Oklahoma City in the Western Conference Finals. It would have been viewed as an even bigger collapse than their loss to the James Gang after setting a regular season record for wins. The Thunder appeared ready to finish off the Warriors but a total implosion kept them from finishing the deal and it set up the re-match of last year’s finals where Golden State won it all.
Finally, if you can’t beat them just join them. That is what former Oklahoma City All-Star Kevin Durant decided to do when he signed with the Warriors after the conclusion of this year’s finals. Durant left behind fellow All-Star Russell Westbrook and the only team that he had ever known for a chance to earn his first ring. Golden state has been dubbed a “super team” with the addition of Durant and they became an even bigger favorite to win it all next year. This move has made Durant into an instant villain in the eyes of the general public and in another twist has taken some of the heat off of James. When LeBron left for Miami to form the original “Big Three,” he automatically became the biggest bad guy in basketball. Durant’s decision puts him in the cross hairs of basketball cynics nationwide.
Now that Golden State has upped the ante with the coming of a third all-star it puts the spotlight back on the champs. Will they stay put with the core of the roster that made history or will they make a move. Surely any major addition will bring about subtraction. It is more than likely that they would have to part with a big name or two if they were to reel in a big catch from somewhere around the league. Time will tell and it will make for some interesting TV during this off season.
That will do it for now. Until next time…take care and God Bless!