If you care about sports at all, you need to see the NBA Finals this year. What you will see are the two best players, on the two best teams — perhaps ever.
We’re not talking just about talent here. We’re talking about teams. Basketball at its best is a pure team game, and these guys are showing how it’s done.
Let me lay out my loyalties here first. They don’t matter, but I might as well.
I’ll always be a Knicks fan. But I’m a Golden State fan too. For a number of years in the late 80s (the “Run TMC” era) I had season tickets to the Warriors. And when I lived in Boston (’07-’13) I rooted for the Celtics as well.
But I just love the game. And right now we are seeing two amazing teams play outstanding team ball.
The two stars — the best players of our time — LeBron James and Steph Curry, lead their teams beautifully. As players they are hugely different, mostly because LeBron is huge (6-8, 260) and Steph isn’t. LeBron is simply the best player in the world, and perhaps ever. He is also making his team — all of whom, other than LeBron himself, were second-stringers or elsewhere at the start of the season — better than Golden State, which has the best record in the league. Cleveland plays top-notch defense and share the ball all over the place. They played the first to games away, at Golden State, and were expected to lose. Instead they pushed both games to overtime and won the second one. Then they won another at home. that makes them better, at least through three games.
Meanwhile, count on Golden State making adjustments. Steph is not only the best shooter in history (my opinion, and I’m not alone), but a brilliant ball-handler and a magician on the floor. He leads his team and gets everybody involved. All of them share the ball and are totally unselfish.
I gotta say I’ve been slow to warm up to LeBron over the years. But after watching what he’s done in Cleveland, and how he’s led his team, making every player on the floor better, every game, I’m in awe. If you love the game, you have to love the way that man plays. His worth and stature as one of the all-time-great team players only grows.
Same with Steph.
I want to see this thing go seven games. Only one team will win at the end. But so will the whole game, and every fan.
Alas, I’m probably going to miss some. I’m tied up and on the road right now, and probably will be for the next few weeks. So expect sparse blogging and tweeting. Just saying.