My heart felt like it was going to leap out of my chest as I watched the Warriors and Cavs trading off blows for nearly the entirety of Game 7 of the NBA Finals. We were the defending champs, the record holder for most wins in a season, and we had the back-to-back MVP, yet we were on the brink of letting a comfortable series lead slip out of our hands. We had everything to lose and with most people having already written off the Cavs after Game 4, they had nothing to lose. I am sure many Cavs fans had already booked their summer vacations to the Bahamas.
As the game lay out for the taking, I watched in disbelief as Kyrie Irving hit a step back three to clinch the Finals on Sunday night. The Warriors had successfully become the first team in NBA Finals history to blow a 3-1 series lead. Quite the let down.
As I come to terms with what happened, I ask myself, was it disbelief that I was feeling?
Well, not really.
The Cavs had smashed us two games in a row, Kyrie Irving had been consistently scoring at will on Curry (I cringed when Curry made that switch), and Bogut’s inevitable injury waiting to happen finally happened which allowed for Varejao to come in and ruin things with his unwarranted flops. The stars had aligned for the Cavs and it was all but unsurprising when that shot fell through the rim.
The day after basketball, as I contemplate what occurred, it would probably sting a lot more had we not won the championship last year, but it still is nagging at me. I could only think about how long it would take to get back to this point: a whole offseason, 82 games and 3 rounds of playoffs. It feels like ages ago since we started off the season 24-0. All of those shitty internet streams of Warriors games that I put up with for nothing…
Yet the more I think about it, the more I start to laugh off the last minute collapse and appreciate the year that I witnessed as a Warriors fan. We were cruising all year, dominating teams, and just ran out of fuel on the curb in front of the gas station. We may never see another 73 win team in the next fifty years, not to mention another 37 point quarter or such a prolific three point shooting squad. Let’s not let the Finals erase the greatness that we witnessed from Steph Curry nearly all year.
For all Dubs fans out there, put things in perspective. Did you think that we would ever get to this point while watching Andris Biedrins repeatedly hit the bottom of the rim with laser beam free throws? That’s what I thought… From consistently being one of the worst in the west with notoriously terrible lottery picks, to expecting to win the NBA Finals with a core picked exquisitely through the draft, we have come a long way and we should be proud of that.
All I can say is that I don’t think the Warriors’ Finals runs are over, they’ve only begun.