BASKETBALL: NBA CHAMPIONSHIP WRAP-UP 2017

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NBA CHAMPIONSHIP WRAP-UP 2017

After these disappointing NBA Finals were mercifully over, I needed a few days to collect my thoughts.  I didn’t want to write anything out of anger or hurt.

At the very end of Monday night’s Game 5, I said honestly, “Ugh, I’m so glad it’s over.” I meant the entire play-offs, not just that game.  As much as I love basketball, I’m relieved that I won’t have to see it for awhile.  I feel like I must be the only person to have watched every single play-off game! There may be some other equally-crazy individuals out there who did the same, but I don’t know any. I don’t even know of any!

The victorious Golden State Warriors.

The victorious Golden State Warriors.

So, as I watched all the celebrations of the Golden State Warriors on Monday night, I jotted down some of my random thoughts on what I had just seen over the course of the entire NBA Play-offs, but mainly about these two teams who had just competed for the Championship. (If you’re interested, you can read my earlier thoughts on the whole post-season here: itsnotaboutme.tv/news/basketball-nba-play-offs-2017-so-far.) Here they are, in no particular order:

– I’m sure that LeBron James totally sympathizes with Kevin Durant (KD, for short,) for having changed teams this season for the sole purpose of winning a championship, because that’s exactly what LeBron did all those years ago himself. But I have a feeling that Kevin will not be returning to Oklahoma to help them win one now, as LeBron did for his beloved city of Cleveland.

So, I guess that KD made the right decision, eh?  I still don’t understand why he’s able to play so well when he’s so hunched-over.  It just doesn’t seem physically possible.

– As brutal as this series was for the Cleveland Cavaliers, I’m so glad they weren’t swept. And that one game they did win was absolutely amazing! They set so many records that I don’t even have the time to recount them all for you. But I guess that game took too much out of them, and they had nothing left for what turned-out to be the final game, even though they came close at some points of it.

– As Mr. X said, (only with better words,) the NBA really needs Charles Barkley and his Inside The NBA co-horts to comment on every play-off game. As he pointed-out to me, they’re the only ones who make it fun. And interesting. I explained that they work for TNT, while some of the games are on ESPN, and the Finals are all on ABC, but he said the NBA needs to make a deal with the guys to do them all! Period. Dot, dash, end of story.

– I certainly will not miss Kendrick Lamar’s Humble, which was played ad nauseum on every game telecast.  I’m so glad that I won’t have to hear it any more! So that’s a plus that the series didn’t go the full seven games. Possibly the only plus. (Except for the fact that now I can keep the plans that I had already made for the nights that would have been Games 6 and 7. But you know I would have cancelled them to stay home and watch the games live! That’s the kind of fan I am!)

–I used to like Kevin Durant.  I wish I still did, so I could be happy for him.  But when I started really watching him play last year, and listened to him talk, I began to dislike him. So, he’s one of the two reasons I rooted against the Warriors this season. (The main reason is two paragraphs down.) But, I’m such an Empath that I’m still sort-of happy for him to have finally won now.

And then, after disliking him intensely for two seasons, I watched his interview with Scott Van Pelt on ESPN after the win, and, as Mr. X said, he comported himself very well. And then he spoiled it all by saying that LeBron is such an idol of his that he wants to pass LeBron’s accomplishments!  What is wrong with him?! I recently heard LeBron exalting his idol, Michael Jordan, and he was basically thrilled and humbled to just be in the same sentence with MJ! And it came to me right away why I rooted so hard for LeBron over KD!

– Okay, here’s the main reason that I rooted so hard for the Cavs—I absolutely detest the Warriors starting center, Zaza Pachoulia! He’s perhaps the dirtiest player ever; definitely the dirtiest one I’ve ever seen. After the win, I tweeted that he should actually get the MVP trophy for his disgusting, evil, dirty play that took-out the Spurs’ star, Kawhi Leonard, in the last round. That bit of rottenness ensured that the Spurs would not have a chance in hell of keeping the Warriors from getting to the Finals, and easily, I might add. He paid no mind to the fact that he was messing with Kawhi’s brilliant career. As I said, he’s dirty. And evil!

LeBron James hugging Kevin Durant after the latter's victory. Photo by Karen Salkin, as is the big one at the top of this page.

LeBron James hugging Kevin Durant after the latter’s victory. Photo by Karen Salkin, as is the big one at the top of this page.

– Contrast those players with LeBron James. That guy is such a man! At only 32! He was the very first guy on either teams to go over and hug Kevin Durant, the second the game was over. Major props to LeBron for that extra bit of class.

– KD didn’t even run over to his own teammates when it was over, and he had just won his very first Championship with them, after ten years in the league! That was one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen in the sport. I really feel like he’s into only himself.

It's so odd that not only does not even one teammate rush over to celebrate with Kevin Durant, but you can see that LeBron James, in black, walking towards Durant in the center, is the only person on the floor who has that thought at the buzzer! Photo by Karen Salkin.

It’s so odd that not only does not even one teammate rush over to celebrate with Kevin Durant, but you can see that LeBron James, in black, walking towards Durant in the center, is the only person on the floor who has that thought at the buzzer! Photo by Karen Salkin.

– I love that LeBron James is the first player to average a triple-double in the Finals! I’m so happy for him, (even though I’m sure he would have gladly traded that record for another Championship.)

– I’m the most upset for Anderson Varejao. Here’s why: He was a Cav in 2015, and they got beaten by the Warriors that year. He stayed a Cav until the middle of the season last year, until he was traded to—you guessed it!–the Warriors! And in those Finals, the Warriors lost to his former team, the Cavs! Because he had played half a year with them, contributing to their success, the Cavs offered him a Championship ring. (I still don’t know if he accepted it or not.) And then this year, the Warriors traded him away, and then they won the whole enchilada! So, he’s just missed-out for three years in a row. That is possibly the definition of “snake bit!” (I hope he doesn’t get a complex about it.)

Kyrie Irving (in black) saving Warrior Klay Thompson, while Klay's own teammate, Kevin Durant, does nothing to help.

Kyrie Irving (in black) saving Warrior Klay Thompson, while Klay’s own teammate, Kevin Durant, does nothing to help.

– One of my favorite images from this entire play-offs, that not one person has mentioned, (not the commentators, the analysts, nor any players,) is this: during that final torturous game for the Cavs, Warrior Klay Thompson fell over the back of a Cav during a play. His own teammate caught his legs, so he wouldn’t fall on his head, but his upper body was still hanging. And Cav star Kyrie Irving ran over and grabbed his torso, so he wouldn’t hurt himself. That, my friends, is true sportsmanship!!! I absolutely loved that move, and have played it over and over. Major kudos to Kyrie, who has finally moved into my affections with that one second of life.

–I know that Kevin Durant is unusually close with his moms, but she’s annoying. She just had to butt-in during his post-game interview, when any parent should know enough to stand back for a bit and let their offspring shine.

As you can see, Kevin Durnat's mother pushed her way to the front of the celebration on stage.  The team (and the woners and coaches) should have been the only ones to hoist the trophy, not someone's MOM, for goodness' sake!!! Photo by Karen Salkin.

As you can see, Kevin Durnat’s mother pushed her way to the front of the celebration on stage. The team (and the woners and coaches) should have been the only ones to hoist the trophy, not someone’s MOM, for goodness’ sake!!! Photo by Karen Salkin.

And later on, she pushed her way to the front of the stage where the team was receiving their Championship trophy, standing ahead of the players who had just earned it! Disgusting behavior.

–Yes, KD may have been the difference in why the Ws won again this year, but, no matter what anyone says, he needed the Warriors as much as they needed him, if not more!

– The Ws won with a very rare four stars on their team! (Most teams have just one or two players of that caliber.) So, I guess the Cavs, (and every team,) need to get someone of Durant’s ilk for next year. (Yeah, good luck with that!)

Cute Steve Kerr. Photo by Karen Salkin.

Cute Steve Kerr. Photo by Karen Salkin.

– I am so happy for Warriors classy coach, Steve Kerr.  I love him.  (Especially because he also detests Orange Hitler!) And I feel so bad for him about his horrible health issues. (He has major problems due to back surgery a couple of years ago. I’m so glad now that I was too chicken to go through with the back surgery I was supposed to have!)

– I’m also happy for assistant coach Mike Brown, who coached the team through much of the play-offs, while Steve was out.  I wonder if he’ll be a head coach again somewhere next year.

– I feel soooo bad for the Warriors’ Klay Thompson, even though of course he’s happy that he won another championship. (He said he’s happy that now he has as many as his dad, Mychal Thompson, who won them with the Lakers back in the day.) Klay always seems so nice.  The reason I feel bad for him is that he went from being the team’s co-star, with Stef Curry, for the last several years, to being basically just an afterthought in this play-offs, where it seemed to be all about creepy Kevin Durant.

–I have to laud Steph Curry for one thing—it’s great that for once, a player didn’t make believe that they did it “all for the fans.” That’s always baloney. They’re doing it almost 100% for themselves!!!

– And shame on the media for making the entire Finals series too much about Kevin Durant.  I really hated that.

– Each Warrior was actually much more likable in his private one-on-one post-game interviews.  And they all seemed exhausted and drained.  So they actually did “leave it all on the floor!”

Steph Curry and his lit cigar on the left.  I hate to tell him what smoking cigars in public says about a man.

Steph Curry and his lit cigar on the left. I hate to tell him what smoking cigars in public says about a man.

– Steph Curry should not have brought his lit cigar with him onto the floor of the arena during his post-game interview, especially because it’s against the rules of his own team’s building!!!  He could have put it out before the interview.  (My asthmatic chest literally started hurting watching it! No lie.) How rude, and what a terrible example for all the young people who look up to him. Shame on him!!!

– Kyrie is so well-spoken and thoughtful and intelligent.  He said regarding LeBron, “As a student of this game, it would be a disservice to myself if I didn’t try to learn as much as possible while I’m playing with this guy.” Great stuff!

– I found this fact out the day after, but I’m impressed by it, so I just had to include it here. I cannot tell you how happy I am that the Warriors refused to go to the White House because of the creep who’s living there now! The protocol for all these teams who win championships is to go meet the President, but these guys are shunning the doofus who’s there now. So, I may have to think about resuming my former fan-ship of this team! You guys rock right now!

Now, I can finally go out without having to then stay up all night to watch the games, and surrounding coverage, when I get home. And I can now devote all my time to baseball and tennis.  Let’s go Yanks, Mets, and Roger Federer, of course!

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