On the eve of the NBA Finals, a story broke suggesting that Bryan Colangelo, the Sixers President of Basketball Operations, may have been operating multiple anonymous Twitter accounts to mostly defend himself while criticizing some of his current and former players.
“I ain’t got nothing to say about that,” said Kevin Durant, who apologized last summer for running a similar “burner” account on Twitter. “It’s got (bleep) to do with me.”
And if that isn’t enough, a gossip item linking Sixers rookie Ben Simmons to Kendall Jenner surfaced. Meanwhile, LaVar Ball is running his mouth again and of course there is more news about LeBron James’ future.
This is what the NBA does best and without even trying. It is a drama league and it is absolutely glorious.
The only question is will the actual NBA Finals generate any drama?
If you think Warriors-Cavaliers for a fourth straight year is a bad thing then run along. The best team vs. the best player is a dream match-up and the television ratings will prove that.
The Warriors have a chance to win back-to-back titles and a third in four years. If LeBron and the Cavs can pull off a miracle — they are heavy underdogs at 12-1 — it will go down as perhaps the greatest playoff run in history.
How is that a bad thing?
When LeBron was asked if this rivalry is good for the league, he provided a smart answer:
“Ask Adam Silver.”
We’ll save you the time. The Commissioner would merely point to the television ratings. The Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers are simply giving the public what they want. Even if the public won’t admit it.
Would you really prefer Houston vs. Boston? A series with Chris Paul likely unavailable and Kyrie Irving out is not very appealing. Plus, those teams had their chances and they blew it.
And it’s not like the Warriors and Cavaliers cruised into the NBA Finals. They earned their way here and they did it the hard way. Both trailed 3-2 in their respective conference finals and needed to win a Game 7 on the road.
LeBron had to put back-to-back epic performances together to rescue the Cavs while getting plenty of help from his much maligned supporting cast. You want an inspirational story? Look no further than Jeff Green, Durant’s former teammate with the Seattle SuperSonics who had heart surgery six years ago. In Game 7 against the Celtics, Green scored 19 points including the go-ahead three-pointer with six minutes left.
“(LeBron) is amazing,” Stephen Curry said. “It was an amazing performance, but don’t disrespect the other guys out there. They fought hard, too.”
The Warriors overcame deficits of 17 and 15 points in Games 6 and 7, respectively, to advance past the Houston Rockets. Klay Thompson bailed them out in Game 6 with 35 points and Curry played like a two-time MVP in Game 7.
If you want to complain, lobby the league to remove conference affiliation and simply seed the teams 1 through 16 based on their records. If that means 10 teams from the West and only six from the East qualify for the postseason so be it.
Silver won’t close the book on adopting the format. His one major concern is travel but come on, if the Portland Trail Blazers have to travel to New Orleans for a playoff series is it really that big a deal if they had to fly another 45 minutes to Miami?
Sorry, fans don’t care that NBA players have to fly an extra hour on a chartered plane. But that is a story for another day. And hopefully that day comes soon.
Until then the two teams we all believed in September would be here in May and June didn’t disappoint us. Is it a little too predictable? Sure. And the Warriors should end this thing in five games, max.
But LeBron James is on a mission. And who’s to say he doesn’t have four more wins in him.
Best player vs. best team.