First of all, congratulations to the Cleveland Cavaliers on winning the NBA title. Secondly, I am going to have to eat crow regarding my prediction of Golden State winning it all. I underestimated the will of LeBron James. I have never underestimated his ability but I didn’t think he would be able to do it with the Cavs. However, Kyrie Irving stepped up his game just in time so LeBron wasn’t playing alone. Once again LeBron proved to everyone that he is THE DAWG of the NBA. I believe there is no doubt anymore that he is the best basketball player on the planet. Steph Curry had another excellent year but as I tweeted earlier I didn’t think he was the real MVP of the league and definitely not a unanimous choice for MVP. I believed LeBron was the MVP based on the fact that Cleveland without LeBron doesn’t even make the playoffs much less win the title, whereas Golden State with Steph is still a playoff team. I felt that Draymond Green was the MVP of the Warriors based on the fact that his suspension for game 5 in the Finals was what allowed the Cavs to win it all. Regarding Steph Curry’s unanimous MVP selection I believe the MVP award from the league writers is a vanity show and not really indicative of who is the real MVP. Look at it this way, Wilt Chamberlain, in 1961-1962 playing for the Philadelphia Warriors, averaged 50.4 points and 25.7 rebounds a game and was not voted the league MVP, so I look at a lot of these awards as popularity contests and not real accurate evaluations of players’ talents and contributions to their respective teams. Even if you happen to agree with Steph being voted MVP you would still expect some votes going to LeBron and other players like Russell Westbrook, who had an outstanding year. In fact if Westbrook wouldn’t have deferred to Kevin Durant at the end of game six in their playoff series with Golden State, Oklahoma City would have been in the Finals and not the Warriors. Westbrook should have taken over at the end of the game instead of Durant, who turned over the ball several times at the end of the game allowing the Warriors to overcome them. It wouldn’t have mattered who represented the Western Conference anyway because LeBron was on a mission to win one for the Land and that he did. Kudos to LeBron and maybe the brothers in the barbershops across the country will stop calling him LaWanda, because #LeBronJames aka THE DAWG, is all the way up and his opponents couldn’t keep up.
Looking forward to next year there are some interesting discussions regarding the top free agents, LeBron and Kevin Durant, going on in cities like Miami, New York, Washington and Oakland. Word out of Miami is that don’t be surprised if LeBron opts out to return to play with his buddy DWade and possibly win a couple more titles with him. New York, Washington and Oakland are talking a lot about Kevin Durant. He would make each of them much better, possibly unstoppable and OKC would not be a contender anymore. He was recently offered a government cabinet position by the Governor of Oklahoma. He might stay in OKC after all. We shall see. The player I think that is going to be on the rise next year is Giannis Antetokounmpo. He has tremendous physical attributes and improved his play in the last third of the season this past year and I expect him to continue to do so. My hometown team the Timberwolves drafted Kris Dunn from Providence. He is a defensive stopper and should fit into Coach Thibs system of playing. Tyus Jones does not appear to be big enough or good enough defensive player to be interested the league much longer. Dunn gives the TWolves some insurance in case Ricky Rubio gets hurt, which has happened all too often in Ricky’s career. The Timberwolves look like they are getting all the pieces of the puzzle together but they need to retire Kevin Garnett and Tayshaun Prince as they are done. It will be interesting to see how they will play with Thibodeau running things now. They have all the talent to be a future contender but we will have to wait and see. As far as the Olympic Games are concerned the USA should easily win the gold. Maybe France or Lithuania could cause some problems but that is about it. Spain would have been my choice to challenge the USA, and they will still be a force, but without Marc Gasol they will be playing at a disadvantage.
Until the next blog post you can follow me on Twitter at @NBAMaven1. I appreciate any and all feedaback!