Kevin Durant wins his 1st title & Finals MVP in his 1st season w/ Warriors as Golden State defeats Cleveland to regain NBA throne:
Via SI’s Ben Golliver:
OAKLAND — Steve Kerr’s wet hair was spiked into a mohawk, Kevin Durant’s champagne goggles still hung around his neck, and Stephen Curry’s championship hat was still perched backward on his head, and yet the painful memories from last year and the jubilation of the present moment had already given way to a different conversation: Dynasty.
Golden State defeated Cleveland 129-120 in Game 5 of the Finals on Monday, claiming their second title in three seasons and avenging last year’s unprecedented 3–1 collapse. On the final night of their near-perfect 16-1 run through the postseason, the Warriors did it with nearly equal measures of their two MVPs, one returning and one recruited, who ultimately proved able to share control of one of the most dominant teams in NBA history.
Finals MVP LeBron James Delivers An NBA Championship To Cleveland As Cavs Win Dramatic Game 7 Over Warriors
Yahoo Sports Dan Wentzel on LeBron who fulfills his promise to Cleveland in delivering it’s first sports championship in 52 years:
OAKLAND, Calif. – When the improbable, seemingly impossible, was done, when Cleveland’s championship was, at long, long last, won, LeBron James simply went to his knees and wept. There was nothing else to do.
Wept for the accomplishment, his Cleveland Cavaliers defeating the Golden State Warriors here Sunday, 93-89 in Game 7 to become the first team in NBA history to come back from a 3-1 Finals deficit. Wept for the performance, 27 more points, 11 more assists and 11 more rebounds to cap a three-game stretch (averaging 36.3 points, 11.6 rebounds, 9.7 assists while facing elimination) as great as any player, ever.
Wept, too, because of Cleveland, because of Akron, because of The Decision and because of The Return, because of the Drive, the Fumble, the Shot, because of Jose Mesa and Rocky Colavito, because the people and places back home made this bigger than him, bigger than a single team, bigger than it even should be, a basketball game understandably meaning so much to so many.
NBA Playoffs: OKC Thunder Collapse After 3-1 Series Lead As The Warriors Win Game 7 To Advance To NBA Finals
Defending Champion Warriors defeat the OKC Thunder in Game 7 setting up a NBA Finals rematch vs LeBron’s Cleveland Cavs:
Via NY Times:
OAKLAND, Calif. — The Golden State Warriors entered the N.B.A. playoffs having spent months chasing basketball magic. As they overwhelmed a conga line of opponents, the Warriors went about the uncharitable business of obliterating records, each new number more impressive than the last.
Yet the Warriors have remained aware that all their feats would be meaningless without an opportunity to vie for another championship, their victories consigned to the dustbin of near renown, their records reduced to footnotes of almost greatness. They have always wanted the whole package: the wins, the records and the trophy.
Golden State sustained the dream on Monday by defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder, 96-88, in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals at Oracle Arena. The Warriors, the defending champions, are bound for the N.B.A. finals, where they will face the Cleveland Cavaliers for the second straight year. Game 1 is here on Thursday.
Sports Illustrated’s Ben Golliver on the 2015 Golden State Warriors; From Best Record All Season To NBA World Champs:
CLEVELAND—A season in which everything always seemed to fall perfectly into place ended in perfectly charmed fashion, with the proper button being pushed at the right time and every shot falling once the championship was in reach.
The Warriors defeated the Cavaliers 105–97 in Game 6 on Tuesday to claim their first title since 1975, following up a franchise-best 67-15 regular season with a spectacular 16-5 jaunt through the playoffs. Lacking in Finals experience before it entered the series, and facing the daunting task of slowing LeBron James, Golden State was nevertheless well-prepared for this series, having faced multiple superstars earlier in the playoffs, having won matchups by playing both fast and slow, and having climbed out of a 2-1 hole against the Grizzlies in the second round.
Those experiences, coupled with Golden State’s talent-laden, healthy and unselfish roster, fueled the Warriors. Golden State coach Steve Kerr expertly drew on the lessons he learned along the way. In defending James, as in dealing with Anthony Davis and especially James Harden, Kerr used multiple defenders and regularly changed his help coverage before sticking with Andre Iguodala once the veteran wing proved he could consistently make James work hard for his numbers. Read the rest of this entry
A look at the top NBA Finals storylines & matchups including this season’s MVP Steph Curry facing former MVP LeBron James:
Via NBA dot com:
LeBron James satisfied ? Never. Not with four more wins needed to finish the story properly. Same goes for Stephen Curry.
Grinding your way to The Finals, for the fifth straight year for LeBron and for the firs time ever for Curry, is just another step on the path to bigger things … a place in history and the chance to bring a parade to streets that have either never seen one or at least haven’t seen one in decades. The goal for LeBron and the Cleveland Cavaliers has always been to crown his homecoming with a Larry O’Brien Trophy. Curry and the Warriors laid out their plans in training camp, a Larry O’Brien Trophy or bust.
So it’s fitting that the four-time MVP and the reigning KIA MVP would square off for supremacy after traveling two very different paths to get here. The Warriors looked like a lock for months, running roughshod over the league nearly all season, while the Cavaliers had to survive an early season transition period, with so many new faces in the mix, before emerging in the playoffs as the true beasts of the Eastern Conference.
NBA Finals: Tim Duncan’s Spurs avenge last seasons NBA Finals loss to Miami by defeating the Heat to win another NBA Title:
Via NY Times:
SAN ANTONIO — The arena rumbled. It was only the first half on Sunday night, but there was already a growing sense of inevitability with each passing possession. Having withstood the best that LeBron James could offer, the Spurs were closing in on another championship.
Tim Duncan backed down an opponent before throwing in a baby hook. Manu Ginobili raced end to end for an emphatic dunk that nearly blew the top off AT&T Center. And James, the Miami Heat’s resident superstar and the best player on the planet, was rendered powerless by the Spurs’ slow march to history.
With their 104-87 win in Game 5 of the N.B.A. finals, the Spurs celebrated their fifth championship in 16 seasons as black-and-silver confetti fell from the rafters. San Antonio turned the series into a coronation by winning four of five games, including the last three, with the bonus of snuffing Miami’s well-publicized quest for a third straight title in the process.
Sports Media World and Sports Illustrated connect on a feature on Boxing Legend Mike Tyson in Miami Beach during the NBA Finals:
MIAMI — Archeologists recently discovered the remnants of an ancient Native American civilization in downtown Miami. Surrounded by towering, glittering buildings, whatever is left of the Tequestas, whose history dates back thousands of years, has slowly been uncovered. The findings have included portions of a village and even a burial ground, which the Miami Herald reported was destroyed to make way for a hotel long ago. The discoveries have slowed development projects, as city officials decide how to proceed while weighing this history against the future.
Just minutes from one of these sites, Mike Tyson plops down on a brown couch in a Brickell high-rise condominium. The 47-year-old Tyson happens to know a thing or two about buried skeletons, and he admits that he can feel the tug from the past as he tries to craft a new, functional life after retiring from boxing eight years ago.
Nevertheless, he is plowing forward in earnest with his latest venture as the frontman, namesake and promoter for Iron Mike Productions, which is staging made-for-TV fights. His fingerprints are all over the new company’s efforts, from selecting the matchups, to mentoring the younger fighters, to attending the events to generate buzz, to leveraging his name to land national television broadcasts. Read the rest of this entry
CBS Sports NBA with a NBA Finals preview as the defending champion Miami Heat face the veteran Spurs once again:
With the San Antonio Spurs winning the Western Conference Finals in six games a day after the Miami Heat wrapped up the East in six, we’re about to get a rematch of one of the greatest NBA Finals we’ve ever seen just one year after it happened. The Spurs are making back-to-back NBA Finals appearances for the first time in franchise history, and the Heat are looking to complete a three-peat for the first time since the 2000-02 Lakers.
What do we have in store for this 2013 Finals sequel? Let’s take a quick look ahead to what the series will look like:
Season series: The Heat and Spurs split the season series 1-1. Read the rest of this entry
NBA Finals: LeBron and DWade combine for 60 points in Game 7, proving too much for a Spurs team who collapsed during Game 6:
Via (AP): Victory in Game 7 brought more than another crown for LeBron James and the Miami Heat. It validated the team and its leader, forever cementing their place among the NBA’s greats.
For the vanquished San Antonio Spurs, it simply compounded the misery of a championship that got away.
James led the Heat to their second straight title, scoring 37 points and grabbing 12 rebounds in a 95-88 victory Thursday night in a tense game that was tight until Miami pulled away in the final minute.
Capping their best season in franchise history – and perhaps the three-superstar system they used to build it – the Heat ran off with the second straight thriller in the NBA’s first championship series to go the distance since 2010.
Two nights after his Game 6 save when the Heat were almost eliminated, James continued his unparalleled run through the basketball world, with two titles and an Olympic gold medal in the last 12 months.
“I work on my game a lot throughout the offseason,” said James, who was MVP for the second straight finals. “I put a lot of work into it and to be able to come out here and (have) the results happen out on the floor is the ultimate. The ultimate. I’m at a loss for words.”
True Hoops Kevin Arnovitz on LeBron James’ 1st Title and the importance of this to the NBA’s premier player, King James:
I’d been quietly pulling for the Miami Heat to win the title since April — and not because I find LeBron James to be sympathetic or because I like the Heat’s brand of basketball or even because I have a lingering attachment to the Heat after covering them in Miami during the 2010-11 season.
I simply wanted it all to be about basketball again, because the public exercise of trying to probe James’ inner life had grown tiresome. The ease with which epithets like choke artist, fraud and much worse have been thrown at James has always been petty and, when examined closely, they usually rang false. In recent months, those takedowns had also become boring, and the prospect that they’d continue to dominate the NBA for at least another year was excruciating.
Read the rest of this entry