‘Scary’ Warriors Are Making NBA Finals Non-competitive: Why That’s Bad for the League

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) gestures after scoring against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the first half of Game 2 of basketball’s NBA Finals in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, June 4, 2017. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) gestures after scoring against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the first half of Game 2 of basketball’s NBA Finals in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, June 4, 2017. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

There is a sign posted on the wall inside the Golden State Warriors locker room, high above the corner stall belonging to Kevin Durant. It keeps with the tradition of cheesy team slogans, meant to convey the importance of the group above all else. It reads:

mUSt

be

jUSt

about

US

The message has taken on new meaning during the Finals, after the Warriors’ 132-113 demolition of the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 2, and not in a promising way for the NBA. The NBA waited for this matchup. An epic Finals would be worth the cost of a non-competitive playoffs. June would redeem April and May, and the NBA would sail into the summer as the hottest league in professional sports. Instead, the Finals is in danger of becoming a competitive dud.

It is performance art, and watching Durant and Steph Curry together occasionally moves the viewer to a place near levitation. But that’s not what sports promises. The Finals was supposed to be ultimate theater, a historic clash, The Thrillogy. It is instead about the Warriors, just about the Warriors.

These Finals must be making the league nervous. The team with the best player can never be counted out, and LeBron James remains the best player in the world, despite the argument Durant is currently submitting. It would be a mistake to dismiss Cleveland. It would be equally foolish not to recognize the strong chance that for the remainder of the Finals, and perhaps beyond, the Warriors’ only competition will be history.

“Sure, the fan in me would love to see more competition at times,” Commissioner Adam Silver said before Game 1. “But on the other hand, I’ve said it before, I think we should also celebrate excellence.”

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SOURCE: Adam Kilgore  
The Washington Post