It all felt inevitable and yet, when it actually happened, when the Warriors were pulling away in the 4th quarter, it was pretty weird to watch.
It just felt like every time the Cavaliers got close, Kevin Durant would come down and hit a three, or post up and hit one of those Dirk fallaways, or just get right to the basket.
It didn’t matter who was guarding him, KD was not going to be denied last night. After spending all summer, all year, hearing critics talk shit about his decision to join the Warriors, Kevin Durant wanted to show why he joined the Warriors in the first place.
The morning after, it feels like everyone is still re-ligitating Durant’s decision to move to the Bay from Oklahoma City last year, which kind of misses the point.
Whether you think Durant was right or wrong to go to the Warriors, if you’re a basketball fan, these games have been absolutely ridiculous to watch. We’ve probably never seen a group of talent like what we saw last night ever on a basketball court.
LeBron James, the best player on the planet, had 41 points, 13 rebounds, and 8 assists, becoming the first player ever to average a triple double in the Finals. He got some help from Kyrie Irving and J.R. Smith, who had 26 and 25 each, but was let down by some of the other role players, including Kevin Love, who put up 6 points on 2-8 shooting.
LeBron threw some solid shade about the performance of others after the game, but we’ll get into that later.
Durant put up 39 points, Steph Curry threw up 34, and Andre Iguodola’s 20 point contribution rounded things out for the Warriors.
We are truly in a revolutionary period of basketball, LeBron and KD were playing center for minutes on end as both squads spread the floor and chucked up 3s.
While LeBron alluded to other players on his team not showing up in his postgame comments (Kevin Love, it’s quiet for you), the most interesting point he made was about the formation of “super teams”.
Although LeBron avoided that word specifically, he said teams are going to have to pull out all the stops in order to compete against the Dubs in the future.
An obviously rather sick LeBron said during his postgame press conference,
“Pretty much all [the Warriors’] big-name guys are in their 20s, and they don’t show any signs of slowing down. So there’s going to be a lot of teams that are trying to figure out ways to put personnel together to try and match that if they’re able to actually face them in a playoff series, both Eastern Conference and Western Conference. Because they’re built for — from my eyes — they’re built to last a few years. So we’ll see.”
The NBA will never not be entertaining, even when we’ve had the same matchup for three straight years in the Finals, even when the second best player in the league goes to the best team in the league, and even in the summer when there are no games.
There will be no shortage of narrative over the next couple of months as teams try to assemble their own super team to compete with the Warriors. Will Gordon Hayward go to the Celtics or Heat? Will Blake Griffin or Chris Paul leave for new opportunities? Could Melo or Paul George be on the move? What will the NBA Draft bring us? The NBA offseason might be more entertaining than the actual season anyway, I know I’m hype for free agency and the draft.
But there was plenty of #narrative last night. From LeBron refusing to lose against a team that was literally built to beat him, to KD going off and then getting too bopped, to Steve Kerr sobbing, to Kevin Love being trash, shit was popping off last night. Even if the series only went 5, shit was definitely entertaining.
We’re gonna miss J.R. Smith this summer
Wide open lane? No thank you I am J.R. Smith. pic.twitter.com/huhdq8ilAI
— Rob Perez (@World_Wide_Wob) June 13, 2017
He stared down the Golden State crowd after he made a 3 in garbage time while his team lost the Finals
— ☕netw3rk (@netw3rk) June 13, 2017
if you don't enjoy jr smith you can't sit at my lunch table
— Mina Kimes (@minakimes) June 13, 2017
Despite the game being heated, there was a little intimacy…
— theandrewtobin (@theandrewtobin) June 13, 2017
Slow-motion replays conclusively reveal that David West just fed Tristan Thompson like a mama bird feeds a baby bird
— Pablo S. Torre (@PabloTorre) June 13, 2017
LeBron did all he could
LeBron James: 43 minutes, 37 points, 12 rebounds 7 assists, 2 steals, 3 turnovers.
— Michael Pina (@MichaelVPina) June 13, 2017
Still the Shade King (never forget when LeBron called us all broke)
LeBron: "For me personally, I left everything on the floor every game, all 5 games. So for me personally I've no reason to put my head down"
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) June 13, 2017
there's enough shade under "me personally" to cause an eclipse https://t.co/LuNSLw0xNz
— ☕netw3rk (@netw3rk) June 13, 2017
Let’s see if he can get some help…
bron gotta call paul george and chris paul crying from the parking lot tonight.
— Joel D. Anderson (@byjoelanderson) June 13, 2017
The Warriors were basically constructed just to beat LeBron…
LeBron: 41, 13, 8. 19-30 from the field. A thrill to watch the player of our time stand up to an entire team assembled to stop him.
— Dave Zirin (@EdgeofSports) June 13, 2017
One of LeBron"s many lasting legacies is going to be the absurd thing Golden State had to build to end him.
— Dan Le Batard Show (@LeBatardShow) June 13, 2017
And they did just that with KD as the star of the show
Kevin Durant. Mission accomplished.
1 NBA champion pic.twitter.com/rhrIohYAAD
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 13, 2017
tonight kevin durant became president
— Desus Nice (@desusnice) June 13, 2017
I don’t know what’s good with this, though
KD about to go to the club, post up with both trophies and get no numbers salute
— Trill Withers (@TylerIAm) June 13, 2017
Shoutout the real MVP
LOVE you Son and I'm PROUD of you. https://t.co/mn1W8tqNiz
— Wanda Durant (@MamaDurant) June 13, 2017
Shoutout JaVale McGee
Currently happening: JaVale McGee running on a treadmill as teammates cheer him on
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) June 13, 2017
Shoutout Mike Brown
Mike Brown should walk over to the Cavs locker room and ask them for his June check
— Vann R. Newkirk II (@fivefifths) June 13, 2017
"Ok yea he got his lil ring…" pic.twitter.com/0plP6UQiN0
— updating… ⏳ (@thecoolsection) June 13, 2017
When you realize Matt Barnes' season is over. pic.twitter.com/LnwSS8cN20
— Prime Minister (@Al_Patron) June 13, 2017
Oh I guess I’m a Warriors fan now…
NBA champion Warriors skipping the White House visit, as a unanimous team decision per reports.
— Downtown Josh Brown (@ReformedBroker) June 13, 2017