I was nervous about tonight. As a fan of the NBA you have to be. Whether or not this Warriors team and “superteams” in general are bad for the NBA is a discussion with merits to both sides that we can have this time next week. But there’s no denying that a Warriors sweep, especially in this fashion, is awful for the sport.
Not only in regards to this individual series and ratings and momentum leading into the summer… but also for the long term outlook of the league.
No, of course teams and individuals would not and will not stop trying. Even in the face of sure defeat, players will always care and strive for success. Even despite a lack of hope, teams will always build for the future (except the Knicks) while attempting to put an entertaining product on the court.
But from a viewership perspective it will hurt.
Despite all the young talent and the fascinating storylines and the individual rivalries and the up-tempo pace and the broken records and the nightly brilliance that the NBA season presents, the inevitability of a Warriors championship would always sit in the back of fans minds and inevitably serve to diminish the importance of everything leading up to next June and every June after that.
Two superteams? The league can work around that. If we believe we’re, at worst, headed towards a fair and entertaining fight in the Finals, it serves to quell some of the backlash of that inevitability.
You can’t work around one completely untouchable superteam. If we’re subject to a sweep and outright massacre of the only real challenger to this Warriors team? That… well frankly that would fucking suck.
As a fan of the NBA itself, you can’t help but fear that scenario. You can’t help but dread into tonight dreading the inevitable Warriors third quarter run to put Cleveland in an insurmountable hole. You can’t help but dread the idea of the Finals ending before the Stanley Cup on Friday night and dealing with the hockey backlash. You can’t help but dread the knowledge that teams would head into this summer with only two possible avenues — completely tank or create your own superteam. You can’t help but dread the thought of all the competitive imbalance arguments actually, legitimately comping to fruition. You can’t help but dread the bleak predictability of the league.
That was until LintBron James came along.
Oooooooohhh wheeeeeeee talk about a good omen. Bron bout to roll out there and post a 60-20-20 and right the fucking ship. Shut down KD, block Steph through the earth, dunk on Draymond’s dick. All that concern we’ve (justifiably) shown these last few days will float right out the window like
dust lint in the wind. This series is back on before game three even gets going.
Cavs by 50. Put it in the books fam.
P.S. I’m really willing to do anything to convince myself this series isn’t over.