Your 2017 NBA champs! (AP/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
The narrative says that Warriors fans are spoiled. Even though a good portion of these fans have been through some ugly years for the past two decades, we are reaping the benefits of one of the greatest chapters in NBA history.
These Warriors pulled off the most impressive playoff run in history. They defeated a great team with arguably the greatest player of all time. Of course the Warriors are also stacked with talent themselves.
You can argue about how the Warriors were a shoo-in for the title after signing Kevin Durant. But that’s not the narrative. It’s not even about avenging the 3-1 collapse from last year (and the following memes).
Referee John Goble and Draymond Green discuss the confusion of the technical foul calls. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
We can all agree that last night’s NBA Finals game was some of the worst officiating in recent memory.
There were the confusing technical foul assessments that nobody knew about. There was also LeBron James and Kevin Durant being allowed to jaw at each other for way longer than they should have. There was also the confusion of Zaza Pachulia and if he did take a swipe at J.R. Smith’s crotch. There was also the seemingly insane amount of foul calls that leaned toward the Cavaliers’ side early on.
It was bad.
But that is not why the Warriors lost.
It was a weird feeling watching that final fourth quarter unfold during Game 3 of the NBA Finals.
I was sitting in my living room having a bunch of friends over to watch the game. One of them was a Cleveland native. The others were all for Los Angeles who were Lakers fans. I didn’t really care much about how they felt.
But it took me back as the game went back and forth and the Warriors lost their lead. I had a flashback to all the early years of my fandom of the Warriors and how a deficit would devastate me. That the end was inevitable and the Warriors had no chance of coming back.
That could have derailed me. But I also had a sense of calm.
Here we go again.
Last Saturday during a nationally televised broadcast, the Warriors rested their key star players because they were wrapping up a brutal road trip. Last night, the Cavaliers were also on a long road trip and decided to rest star players.
And for the second week in a row, the ABC broadcast team complained. They called the Cavaliers “an absolute joke” for this. But I have to ask the question: Why are they so upset over this?
The Golden State Warriors had everything in place for them to win the NBA Finals. They had the all-time record. They had the unanimous MVP. They survived the Thunder. Everything pointed out to them winning the championship again.
But they didn’t.
This is what makes sports so interesting. The Cleveland Cavaliers were poised to write their own history and against all odds, won the final three games to take that title. The city of Cleveland, a city I have visited and enjoyed, deserve a champion and I am glad that they get to celebrate. It sucks that they did it on behalf of my team, but the Warriors had their chance and lost.
It can be said that the league was under some conspiracy to suspend Draymond Green for Game 5 and have some sketchy officiating for Game 6. Regardless, the Warriors are better than that. They played well enough to win Game 7 but the Cavaliers matched them.
When the NBA handed Draymond Green a one-game suspension for Game 5 of the NBA Finals, I was baffled by the decision. This is the accumulation of four flagrant fouls, which the league deemed was worthy after what happened above.
The officials didn’t rule it that way during the game and it only came after nearly two days of reviewing.
“The cumulative points system is designed to deter flagrant fouls in our game,” NBA Vice President of Basketball Operations Kiki VanDeWeghe said in statement. “While Draymond Green’s actions in Game 4 do not merit a suspension as a standalone act, the number of flagrant points he has earned triggers a suspension for Game 5.”
Adidas’ sleeved jerseys are stupid. We awaited the day that LeBron James, who had complained about it before, would do something about it.
Even though he did say that he ripped out of frustration, the message is still loud and clear. The sleeves suck.