The Golden State Warriors captured their second NBA Title in 3 years in front of their loyal fans at Oracle Arena, defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers in game 5, 129-120 on Monday, June 12th. Kevin Durant earned Finals MVP, unanimously, leading DUB Nation with 39 points on 14 of 20 shooting from the field.
Durant was spectacular over the five games of the series, scoring at least 30 points in every single game while averaging 35.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, 5.4 assists, and 1.6 blocks.
One year after their infamous Finals collapse, this “Superteam,” is poised to be the next great NBA dynasty with no end in sight.
Still, questions linger about the weight and meaning behind Durant’s first NBA Title. After all, he left the Oklahoma City Thunder right after the Warriors eliminated them in the Western Conference Finals last year.
The notion is frankly ridiculous, Durant and the Warriors melded from the onset, the transition was seamless. One could make a very strong case Durant’s achievement was even more impressive than him capturing the NBA Title alongside Russell Westbrook.
Durant’s detractor’s argument is hollow, every NBA dynasty has been a, “Superteam” to some degree. For instance, the 80’s Showtime Lakers were pretty exceptional, dare I say super?
The only difference, rather than owners and other GM’s callously building these “Super-Teams”, the players decide their team and have taken rightful control of their NBA future.
The Warriors finished off the Playoffs with an outstanding 16-1 mark, an NBA record. In the process, these Warriors found redemption and didn’t squander this 3-1 edge.
Steph Curry bounced back from a dreadful Game 4, to torch the Cavs for 34 points and 10 assists. Durant weathered the criticism ever since his shocking announcement to join Golden State on July 4, 2016.
Andre Iguodala added 20 points off the bench, the Warriors outscored the Cavs bench, 35-7. This is the organization’s fifth NBA Title.
The Cavaliers weren’t going down without a fight. Jumping out to an early 41-33 lead, prior to the Warriors erupting for a 17-point free for all. The Cavaliers cut the lead to 3 points in the fourth quarter, but never got any closer.
LeBron James led all scorers with 41 points, to go along with 13 rebounds and 8 assists. The King falls to 3-5 in his NBA Finals career, yet he couldn’t have done any more. Averaging a triple double with 33.6 PPG, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.
Kyrie Irving scored 26 points, but the depth is lacking for the Cavs. J.R. Smith scored 25 points, but no one else, certainly not Kevin Love showed up. The Cavaliers will be forced to retool this summer, difficult changes must be made.
The hot rumor is LeBron is eyeing another NBA team, the Los Angeles Lakers! His contract expires in 2018, and he was cryptic after the Finals defeat.
King James, the native son of Akron, Ohio, already delivered the city of Cleveland its first professional sports title in over 54 years, perhaps donning the iconic Purple and Gold is his next step, he has a penchant for abandoning his empire he left Cleveland to join the Miami Heat in 2010, only to return to the Cavs in 2014.
As juicy and explosive as this gossip is, it remains highly doubtful. His reputation, sustained a blow when he departed Cleveland the first time.
In addition, playing in the limp Eastern Conference, James has a clear path to the NBA Finals and a far greater chance of winning another NBA Title.
Ask yourself: Will LeBron truly leave Cleveland only to meet the Golden State Warriors earlier in the Playoffs? Also, the Western Conference is stacked with talent, so the move will not make James’ journey any easier.
Is this the greatest NBA team ever? Time will tell, but this title is about vindication, and relief for a squad that proudly hoisted the Larry O’Brien Title, after the agony, these Warriors endured last season.
A Letter From Steve Ballmer
Dear Clipper Nation,
Since acquiring the L.A. Clippers in 2014, I have been adamant that our players, coaches and staff receive the support they need to do their best work on and off the court. I’ve also committed to giving our fans and their families the NBA’s best game experience.
To date, we have greatly invested in our players, our coaching and support staff, our fan experience and our community.
Today, we are expanding that investment by entering into an agreement to explore an opportunity to build a new arena for the Clippers in the City of Inglewood. I have said from day one that we need to plan for the future. This agreement helps us do that by expanding our options.
The prospect of a new state-of-the-art NBA arena would allow us greater latitude to influence our game schedule, particularly as it relates to weekend games that are so important to our fans. We also want to offer our fans premium experiences in terms of technology, club spaces and other amenities; that’s easier to realize in a new arena.
This new arena would be 100 percent privately funded. No public dollars would be used for this project.
STAPLES Center has proudly been the L.A. Clippers’ home court since 1999. It will remain so until at least June 2024, when our lease expires. AEG, which operates STAPLES Center, remains our valued partner.
During the upcoming planning process, the Clippers and the City of Inglewood will work diligently together to evaluate this project in great detail. Regardless of where the Clippers take the court after 2024, I remain committed to helping the great city of Los Angeles and its citizens thrive. We look forward to sharing our progress as we continue along our journey to deliver championship results for our fans and the entire Los Angeles region.