The NBA Finals concluded on Monday night with the requisite confetti, strobe lights, championship hats, trophy presentation and group hugs by the winning team, just as if the Golden State Warriors had done something other than what everyone expected of them.
Stephen Curry enjoys a post-game cigar after Golden State beat Cleveland in five games in the National Basketball Association final.
Then they traded Chris Webber for Tom Gugliotta, whom they subsequently dealt for Donyell Marshall in a downhill progression that isn’t just evident in hindsight, but was readily apparent at the time. They’re still championship caliber, but a step or two behind a glittering Golden State team that went 81-18 in Durant’s first season and built for the long haul.
Money and egos aside, the Warriors blended beautifully from the day Durant first walked into team headquarters.
I’ve watched the Warriors draft Tellis Frank in the first round.
“We did it”, Durant said to his mom, the only person in the world he listens.
Golden State responded with a 10-3 run, Durant scoring five as the Warriors stretched their margin back to 108-98. While fans in the audience chanted “say you’re sorry!” at Smith, he conceded and offered a good-hearted “I’m sorry” to Wanda while she smiled and laughed. At every turn, the Warriors were being talked about on a host of national networks. Durant has 28 points on 9-of-13 shooting and Curry has 25 points.
“The way that he embraced the opportunity in the Finals, it was unbelievable”, Curry said. We found out in the first quarter of Game 4, when they came out and scored 49 points and should have scored more than that.
In all five games, GSW forward was demolishing the Cavs averaging 35.2 points per game, 8.4 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.6 blocks. “I have no reason to look back at what I could have done or what I shouldn’t have done or what I could have done better for the team. Steve will be our coach”. “He was incredible all season long”. Just trying to make it a series.
“I just wanted to come in there and just be me. And there’s more to come from him”. “Great game once again, unfortunately the last”.
“You call us a super team, but it’s been a lot of super teams that haven’t worked”, Durant said. He can’t do it alone.
“I don’t think it’s fair to minimize what Kevin offers Golden State and what they offered him to say that it was the weakest move in National Basketball Association history”. The original Big Three of Bird, Parish and McHale started in the frontcourt, and former MVP Walton backed them up and won the Sixth Man of the Year award.
I bet he looked across the country and saw what was coming, like everybody else. I’ve been able to accomplish that individually.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have been saying they’re a better team when their backs are against the wall.
Good or bad, they were the story. “And he showed that”. They dropped the NBA Finals opener to league MVP Allen Iverson and the Philadelphia 76ers, then took the next four games.