Yes the Cleveland Cavaliers get to take home the Larry O’Brien Trophy after completing a comeback from down 3-1 against the Golden State Warriors, but the real winners are the NBA. After 6 straight blowout wins the NBA got a game of the ages in Game 7. These were the two teams that everyone wanted to face off again, but this time with both teams fully healthy. For the first 4 and a half games thats how it went and the Warriors went up 3-1, but when Andrew Bogut went out with a knee injury and Draymond Green being suspended the series changed. Cleveland gained momentum and carried that into Game 6 only down 3-2, and no Bogut for the Warriors, and found a way to win that game and force a Game 7. That is when this Warriors team got exposed and the NBA started winning.
The Warriors have been a bunch of whiners and even some are dirty (Watch Draymond Green kick Steven Adams in the groin again and tell me thats clean). This team is the epitomy of whats wrong with some kids these days, when something doesn’t go their way they cry and complain until it gets changed. This happens whenever the Warriors get called for a foul, even if it is blatant. Darymond Green and Steph Curry are the biggest whiners of the bunch as they are usually ones yelling at the refs saying “That wasn’t a foul” or “He is doing the same thing on the other end.” I remember when I was younger a saying my dad said that he keeps in mind when he refered and even applies to daily life: “You may not see who started it but they always see who retaliated.” There is only one time I didn’t see a Warrior complain about a foul during the Finals and that was when Curry threw Thompson so as to not allow ball entry. It was a obvious foul and only happened because of poor defensive switching on the Warriors’ part and that is where they started to tear apart completely.
It all started with when Bogut got injured as he was the key force inside and made the Cavs shoot more midrange and perimiter shots than the Cavs wanted to. Once he went down the paint was free to roam and score in for LeBron and company. Next was when Draymond kicked LeBron in the groin and got into a arguement where he called LeBron something that no one can figure out, but it wasn’t nice. The league reviewed the tape and determined that Draymond didnt learn his lesson and needed to be suspended for Game 5. Thats when Bogut went down because he was playing more time because Green was gone. Then in Game 6 is where the Warriors lost the series, in a game they should have won they lost by 15. The reason they lost is poor chemistry and bad attitude as everyone was yelling at one another and getting angry at them not making any baskets. What proceeded to happen was Curry fouled out and got a technical showing that he had a lot of pressure on him and could not handle as I detailed the whole sequence last week.
With the Warriors coming apart at the hinges and Cleveland looking like the Cavs that won the first 10 games of the playoffs easily, this was Cleveland’s series to lose. It was also Cleveland. As laid out in the new ESPN 30 for 30 Believeland, Cleveland seemed to have a curse on the city as they went 154 professional seasons (across all sports) without a championship. The Curse is gone now as they finally won a championship but they weren’t the biggest winner last night. The NBA seemed to have a lot of trouble bringing in, and keeping fans engaged, during the first six games of the Finals. Game 7 had no such trouble as it was reported that Game 7 had the highest rated NBA Game ever on ABC with a 18.9 overnight rating.
Thats how the NBA is a winner, they are making a bunch of money off those views. Not only views but also merchandise, advertising both tv and internet, they are also getting free marketing and branding from people sharing, posting, and talking about the game. This gets new fans and old fans that stopped watching to be glued to their TV. They also are capitalizing on the brands of LeBron, Steph Curry, the Cavs and Warriors. They will continue to make storylines all throughout the summer, like the debate of who the greatest team is, where certain free agents, like Kevin Durant and LeBron James will go, even start to play out alternate scenarios for the playoffs. Others may ask if the Warriors, and their style of play, are over and can be sustainable throughout a full 96-108 games. The biggest story that will trump all stories, however, will be who is better? Steph Curry or LeBron James, and are either anywhere close to Michael Jordan in terms of legacy.