Though losing sucks, as it was recently stated by Golden State Warriors’ guard Stephen Curry, there are plenty of cliches, references and ironies to describe the Warriors’ final losses to at least make reading about them interesting and explainable—losses that came at a most inopportune time.
The Warriors, who had the best regular season record ever in basketball, totaling 73 wins and 9 losses, breaking the 72 and 10 record set by the Chicago Bulls in 1994, fell short in the postseason, losing the championship series to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?” The world being the regular season. His soul being the championship.
Golden State’s inability to beat the Cavs put Michael Jordan fans and loyalists in a precarious position when defending his legacy. Would they prefer that the Warriors break the Bulls’ 1994 win-loss record and win the championship, preventing LeBron James from winning his third chip, bringing him within three of Mike’s? James is now within three.
Save the best for last. Game 7, the final one of the championship series, and they were tied at three games each with two minutes to go in the fourth quarter. Then it’s all tied at 89. It’s anyone’s game. Andre Iguadala gets downcourt on a fast break lay-up that was chased down and stuck to the backboard, rubbed by James. This play was probably the most exciting play of the game, preventing the ball from reaching its intended destination.
Cleveland completely shuts down Golden State, winning the championship 93-89 on Golden State’s floor, just as Golden State had won their chip on Cleveland’s floor last year—guzzling champagne and soaking the walls of the guest locker rooms.
What goes around, comes around. Cleveland had an ax to grind—avenging last season’s Finals loss.
Every cloud has a silver lining. It had been cloudy for the city of Cleveland for 52 years—that long since a championship had been won by any Cleveland team.
Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. The Warriors did. Their fans did. Everyone did. After going up 3-1, it was assumed that the Cavs were through, done. No NBA team had ever overcome that deficit to win it all, but the cream rose to the top. The Warriors couldn’t keep their heads above water.
“Did the better team win?” asked the Warriors head coach Steve Kerr. “Yes.”
You live by the three, you die by the three. That was certainly a Golden State problem. Instead of driving to the basket or taking shots with less depth from the goal, they continuously shot threes, even when they weren’t making them. They shot threes to break their slump, defying another one of Albert Einstein’s theories, his definition of insanity: “Doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.”
Stated guard Stephen Curry, “I didn’t do enough to help my team win.”
Although he was unanimously voted the league MVP, Curry and the Warriors, the best of the Western Conference, dominated the league throughout the season. The Western Conference dominated as well: Coach of the Year—Steve Kerr
Executive of the Year—R.C. Buford, San Antonio Spurs
Defending Champions—Golden State Warriors
Rookie of the Year—Karl Anthony Townes, Minnesota Timberwolves,
But to the victor goes the spoils—LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, 2015-16 NBA Champions.