After all has been said and done, the Golden State Warriors will be playing the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals for a fourth consecutive year.
The opening game will start at 9 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, on ABC on Thursday, May 31, and it will be a best-of-seven series.
Don't yawn. And whatever you do, don't throw a brick through your TV set. You might need it later if you want to watch that new series, Shooting at Razorback Hogs in the Arkansas Outback, Feat. Bill Clinton, Phil Robertson & Terry Bradshaw. I can't blame you if you're upset, though. Most Americans who love professional basketball and are NBA junkies are a bit disappointed that their hometown team isn't playing for the championship. And what spacehogs! When will those Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors start slipping, losing their edge on this popular, fast-paced, physically brutal game?
Well, if you want to see two of the most talented basketball players who ever lived - LeBron James and Kevin Durant - lead their teams in this knock-down, drag-out, just tune in to a game or two. I'm even going off Trump Patrol for a while to watch my favorite team, the Cavs, duke it out in a gentlemanly fashion with those California renegades. I don't really care if they all flip off the flag for the National Anthem. This boy's all in for the fight, and that orange ball with the funny lines on it will be the centerpiece. Whoever controls that thing and gets it in the hoop more often than their rivals wins the game.
I'm so confident in the prowess, abilities, and knowledge that LeBron James brings to the court that I think he could play some of the less stellar teams in the NBA - by himself - and although he'd most likely lose to these teams, for a one-man show, King James wouldn't look all that bad.
I'd love to donate a pair of my own tennis shoes to this basketball great, because I hear he wears a new pair of tennis shoes for every game and is a big advocate of switching brands. I think this may be because he's still young and being an opportunisitc entrepeneur, as well as a smart businessman, James wants to land as many endorsements and TV appearances for tennis shoe companies that he can. See, I'm old, gimped up a bit, and wear tennis shoes with the overall flexibility of combat boots. My shoes have Velcro straps - not ties - but they cost nearly two hundred bucks a pair. That's a lot of mula and although they might be good for a tour of duty or a long shift in an integrated steel mill, my Red Wings are hardly a good fit for a world-class athlete.
Sometimes I envy those guys who do endorsements for companies. The NBA player who gets so many hits in one game that most people would be laying on a gurney in an emergency room must feel ingratiated and annointed when that big contract for $5 million is plopped in front of him to play a little one-on-one with another basketball great. Or put the tough, rough tennis shoes into an autoclave and send them through the cycle, only to open the weird fabric-killing machine and discover the totally intact and great-looking feet accoutrements - seemingly brand new and ready to wear for at least 156 games of hoops. Smile for the camera! Cha-Ching, Cha-Ching!
For all of us diehard NBA fans and all of us who live in or around Cleveland and Los Angeles, we're as proud as alpha-dog peacocks in heat knowing that such a match-up has never happened before. Not even the Celtics-Lakers rivalries of the 1960s and 1980s brought a fourth consecutive dual to the NBA.
Although the Warriors seem to have a more experienced team of starters and a deeper, more talented bench than the Cavs, James seems to play his best when he's the only superstar on his team. Earlier in the season, there was just too much talent and things got a bit jaded and frenzied. It was like having a host of Blue Giants too close together, which caused some sort of deep-space implosion that created a black hole. Now, things are in-synch. There's one 'Black Giant' on that court with a bunch of brown dwarfs. Oh well, there are a few bigger stars, akin to medium-sized celestial orbs, like J.R. Smith, who shot 11.8 points, on average, and hit an impressive 58 percent from a distance in last year's finals. J.R. better do the same, or best last year's overall performance or the Cavaliers will be in the wrong place at the wrong time, boomeranging into something terrible, with the Cavs looking like stars with no orbit, crashing through space like renegade solar system wreckers. More than J.R. and King James must be at the top of their game, as well. All the Cavaliers have to play like NBA material, not NBA wannabes.
Meantime, the Warriors have a mean, lean, fighting machine in their Big Three - Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson - and if James is left to use his knowledge, talents, and abilities alone against this trio, failure is sure to fall again to the Cavaliers. One superstar alone cannot play odd-man-out against three superstars. That's why it's imperative that Akron, Ohio's favorite son isn't left to fend for himself in battling this Titanium Trio of basketball geniuses.
With the Cavs averaging 110.9 points per game and finishing for prime time at #5 in the regular season, and with the Warriors averaging 113.5 points per game and finishing number one in the regular season, Golden State has been lauded as "massive favorites" by the good and the great sports pundits who really know basketball. But don't count out the supreme talents of James, who is arguably the best player on the planet and he's also the Cleveland NBA team's deputy head coach. James rules this little area of the universe and he is a dominant, demanding, defiant coach on the court. He gets the other four roaring into action like a mean taskmaster of a sled-dog whippersnapper will steer his team of huskies and spitz to fly through Arctic tundra in unison, flying down the trail to victory!
All in all, it should be a great series, and it might just reach a full set of seven games. Things will get hot and sweaty for all of us who will be wearing our Golden State or our Cavs basketball tanks to the stadium and the sports bars to watch and wonder who this year's championship team will be.
All I know is that Donald Trump is impeached suddenly and chased out of the White House in a tar and feather suit. We'll just make our cheers to the NRA and that loudmouth bastard and down another draft - the sports bar be damned if they decide to use the remote for such a remote message. Nope. Around my neck of the 'hood, we'll all be glued in to all 67 TV sets, waiting to see if J.R. Smith can hit that long three-pointer from way on top of the key or in the far corner to give our team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, a one-point lead in the lower end of the fourth quarter.
Play ball, guys! May the best team win!