NBA: Postmortem

Even I expected this series to go six. I also assumed the Cavs were going to be as psychical in the first two games of this series as they were in Game 3 and Game 5, but since they lost those two games anyway, I suppose that shit doesn’t really matter. The Warriors as a unit just operated so much better than Cleveland. The floor spacing, ball-handling, shooting abilities, old-school unselfishness, and tough D is just too much to deal with for four quarters. I want to be honest and admit that watching them embarrass teams by 40 points is the greatest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.

The Warriors have become such a force of nature that they’ve basically simulated what everyone has tried to achieve in MyLeague on 2k since people got tired of MyGM’s constant interruptions. This management, staff, and players all did their part to assemble a Justice League of a basketball roster. Surrounding their stars with just enough of what they need in what little they lack in, and let them go have fun. It worked almost to perfection; 16-1.

11 of Boston’s 17 championships came during Bill Russell’s era, and I see excuses on how small the league was, as if his accomplishments aren’t something to be celebrated. I’ve seen people recently try to diminish Michael Jordan’s accomplishments in light of LeBron’s recent achievements. LeBron’s been routinely criticized for a good chunk of his career now, but with influence comes burdens, and he understands that.  It would appear that no one’s legacy is safe, everything must be discredited.

Which is why I’m getting a good laugh out of every NBA fan in distress currently. Cries of dying competition and unfair teams remind me of house rules where you couldn’t use a certain fighter or team in a video game because they were too unfair. Everyone wants parity suddenly, even though the league has only gotten so successful by depending on their superstars repeatedly reaching the Finals. How much does the casual fan really know about the NBA of the 1970’s? The decade had a rampant cocaine problem and shady business practices, but yet, there was that parity that people desperately cry out for these days. Eight different franchises win in one decade? Since then, only nine different franchises have won overall. Lakers, Celtics, Spurs, Pistons, Heat, Bulls, Rockets, 76ers, and the Mavericks. There’s your parity.

Seems like the 1% of superstars really own the NBA, and everyone who can’t help them or isn’t on their team is just along for the ride. So how does this year’s Warriors team break the NBA? It’s always been a slightly broken system, much like America in general. No need to overthink this one NBA fans, LeBron is a top 6 player of all time, do you really think he’s just going to sit aside and let the Warriors take over the NBA?

It’s not about what the Warriors did, if you’re still upset about that, then I don’t know what to tell you, because you’re not interested in what is happening in front of you. It’s about what other teams are willing to do to beat them. That’s where the competition has gone these days. There’s 30 teams in the NBA, and it’s obvious most of them don’t know how, or simply can not put together a team successful enough to compete for a championship. Ever since LeBron left Cleveland and was able to put together that Heatles team with the help of Wade, Bosh, Spoelstra and Pat Riley; resulting in two championships and changing the way superstars approach free agency forever.

A YouTuber, Legend of Winning, uploaded a video some time ago where he was quick to point out the hypocrisy of fans and players alike who say there’s never been a move like what Kevin Durant did. Earl Monroe was the star point guard of the Bullets, now the Wizards, and his Bullets team lost to the Knicks three of the four years he was on the team in the playoffs. Three games into the 1971-72 season, he was traded to one of the teams he demanded a trade to – the Knicks.

Wilt Chamberlain was unhappy and subsequently found himself traded from a Warriors team he won a championship with just two years prior in the 1966-67 season, to an already stacked Lakers squad for the 1968-69 season. A championship was inevitable, and yet, Boston upset them that year in one of the, and often referred to as, the greatest NBA Finals of all time. Sound familiar? 2010-11 wasn’t that long ago; the Mavericks upset the heavily favored Miami Heat. History repeats itself, no matter how much the game changes.

The players have more control over their careers than ever before. Social media, and LeBron taking the heat for going to South Beach, aided that process. The idea of staying loyal to a franchise when most franchises only care for profit, or are so inept it doesn’t matter how well a star plays, is simply archaic now. A scorer like Kevin Durant can survey the landscape of the NBA, see that the Warriors have created a system that compliments him perfectly, and when his contract is up with the Thunder, he can go elsewhere. LeBron was forced to build his own super team, twice. As talented as one player is, it’s incredibly rare when you can build a system around one superstar and then go and win championships.

So don’t worry basketball fans, we’re not in a new position. These things happen, and then someone bigger comes along. I know this core is young and dynamic, but anything can happen. The Celtics have assets that could turn them back into a contender soon, LeBron is more than likely already looking at ways to improve this Cavaliers roster for next year, and any other superstar, player or franchise who’s worth a damn will be out there trying to link together a roster to compete against this Warriors team. Why is having a dominant team who everyone is gunning for a bad thing?

The NFL lives on the fact that you can bank on the Patriots either being in or competing for a Super Bowl. This is the Warriors first season together with this roster and they did win it all, much like the 2007-08 Boston Celtics, who never won another title with that Big Three of Allen, Pierce and Garnett. It sounds ridiculous, but the same thing could happen to this team. We don’t know, and perhaps it’s for the better. After all, we’re talking about it now aren’t we?

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