In the beginning, question marks were plentiful…would the defending champs be back in the ring…or upended by H-Town? Would the dominance of King James continue in the east…or was another team nipping at his heels? In the end…there were two, the SAME two…for the last four seasons.
Of course the historic aspect alone is not nearly enough. Because we live in a never ending news cycle, various narratives must emerge and take on a life of their own, thus:
Chris Paul’s unfortunate injury spelled d-o-o-m for the team with the league’s best record. Not necessarily—CP3 was plagued with injuries throughout the year. In fact, his absence plays a role in the presumptive MVP James Harden, being the presumptive MVP. Harden kept things rolling. The Rockets had plenty o’ experience without Chris in the lineup.
Without a doubt, you’d rather Paul be in the game than not. I could’ve sworn he WAS playing when G-State put that 41 piece on Houston though. Since the Warriors were without Iguodala, the Rockets would have stood a better chance with CP3? Sure sounds like a lot of moving pieces were needed for the #1 seed to prevail.
The saga coming out of Cleveland allll year was like a long, slow drip. Each chapter came with the taglines…how far can they go? Will it be enough to keep LBJ? Boston tried its collective best to answer the first riddle. There should be no shame in falling short—after losing two All-Stars and injuries to various players…the Celtics ended up right where folks predicted they would be at the beginning of the season. No small feat for a mostly youthful bunch.
LeBron can clearly carry a team but but but Jordan went to 6 Finals, not only won them all but but but was the MVP for all. The MJ cult switches the narrative more than the shell game…move the shells at a frantic pace—now, where is the ball? Jordan’s accomplishments were phenomenal, no doubt. Let’s all understand…the Finals were very much out of his reach until he had a well-stacked, complete team. In all of his greatness, he never “carried” anyone. Ask the Wizards! LeBron’s eight straight Finals appearances & the one from yesteryear means something…it.just.does!
As Kevin Durant comes closer to a second championship in as many years, the attempt to devalue his accomplishments have returned. It would mean more if he’d won it with OKC, they say…history will judge him harshly, they say. Could that be wishful thinking? Oscar Robertson left a team to join forces with Lew Alcindor in pursuit of a championship. I don’t recall him ever being referred to as Little or Lowercase O.
Naysayers can continue saying nay in the barbershops, sports bars & social media. History will know KD as a Hall of Famer, a prolific shooter, a champion! Something similar to Oscar “Big O” Robertson!!
The background noise of a 4peat being bad optics for the league was tuned out a long time ago. All 30 teams had the same opportunity to still be playing in early June….we get what we get. Seldom does the best player beat the best team though. Therefore, I expect my cozy bandwagon seat to get even more so….might even look into monogramming, in blue and gold of course!!