Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
5 June 2017
It’s official. The NBA Finals are booooorrriiiing.
The image of Steph Curry seemingly napping on the sideline as his Golden State Warriors once again trounced the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 2 of the NBA Finals said it all. The emergence of the NBA super team has made everything just plain boring.
The Warriors haven’t lost a single playoff game this year, dispatching the Cavs 113-91 last Thursday, then dominating last night 132-113. Golden State is beauty in motion, with sharp shooters all around from Curry, Kevin Durant and even Klay Thompson breaking out of his recent slump.
For those who don’t know the history, it’s this. The Warriors beat Cleveland in the 2015 NBA Finals. LeBron James brought back his hometown Cavs from a 3-1 deficit to win last year. That, in turn, prompted Golden State to sign Durant from Oklahoma City. Durant, the 2014 league MVP, is considered the league’s second-best player behind James.
“I just wish it were more interesting. I do appreciate the level of basketball I’m seeing from the Warriors. But damn. Who wants to watch Game 3?”
So now you have this super team that looks unbeatable. And it’s making this year’s NBA playoffs one of the least interesting in recent memory. What’s the NBA to do?
The TV ratings for the first game matched that of last year, so I’m sure the NBA isn’t too worried. (Ratings from Sunday’s game were not available yet.) But man, it sure doesn’t make for compelling television.
The irony? This year’s NBA Finals are a result of what LeBron did in 2010.
There’s really nothing the NBA can do. But it’s ironic that LeBron James himself is the one who started this trend. He left the Cavaliers in 2010 for the Miami Heat. (The famous, “I’m taking my talents to South Beach” moment.) He joined fellow All-Stars Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh to go to the NBA Finals three straight years, winning titles in 2012 and 2013.
At the time, past superstars lamented the move. They said, in their day, it wasn’t about superstars joining each other to form a super team. (Other than, of course, the Dream Team.) It was about beating the other superstars.
But these new superstars, many of whom played with each other in youth leagues years before, are teaming up to win titles. NBA superstar are judged by titles. Judged against the likes of Bill Russell (an astounding 11 championships) and Michael Jordan (6 titles).
So, Durant became dissatisfied with Oklahoma City’s chances (after blowing its own 3-1 lead in the Western Conference finals against the Warriors last year). He left to join a team that won a record 73 games before falling to the Cavs in the finals.
This won’t be the last time we see this kind of League of Justice teaming up. LA Clippers stars Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are now free agents and sure to find homes in Oklahoma City, Cleveland or San Antonio.
Like I said. There’s really nothing to do about it. I just wish it were more interesting. I do appreciate the level of basketball I’m seeing from the Warriors. But damn. Who wants to watch Game 3?
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