Moments ago, the Golden State Warriors completed perhaps the most unexpected run in NBA history. For the first time since 1975, they are NBA Champions. In an unlikely occurrence, the Warriors went 67-15 in the regular season and blazed through the NBA Playoffs to snatch the title from the hands of LeBron James.
Prior to the start of the season, LeBron returned home to Cleveland on an admirable quest to return glory and a possible title to Cleveland. It is such an endearing move from a true superstar. James could have stayed in Miami, he could have signed with the Chicago Bulls for less money, he could have signed with any team on planet Earth because he IS the best player of this era in Basketball. His return to the Cavs, as well as the signing of Kevin Love, made it seem like a title was on its way to Cleveland. True to form, James followed through on his promise to return some glory and a possible title to Cleveland. Unfortunately, he was denied by the Warriors. Twice! Twice because despite his valiant efforts, Andre Iguodala was pronounced as the Finals MVP. This series proved to the world the greatness of LeBron James and his willingness to sacrifice for his teammates, friends, family, community in order to bring hope, joy and fulfillment to their lives. He doesn’t really need any validation, or anything really, but this really shows his greatness and there is absolutely no doubt that he will continue to strive to bring a title to Cleveland.
The funny thing is that it took the same type of effort and sacrifice from the entire team of the Golden Warriors to overcome the greatness of LeBron. Everyone made their own contribution. From Mark Jackson being let go after putting together a championship caliber team to Steve Kerr turning down the Knicks job opportunity to Steph Curry giving up his time and body to the game of basketball, to Klay Thompson taking on a huge responsibility running the team offense, to Andre Iguodala and David Lee sacrificing playing time, to Andrew Bogut sacrificing his game and his body, to the coaching staff for the Warriors being professional in their approach to the game, to Draymond Green never getting to overly caught up in his own success, to Barnes being so professional in his development, and the story goes on and on. They are family men who came together to create this family atmosphere that permeated throughout their game play and through their successful run towards the championship. The sacrifices they made for their teammates, friends, family, the league, their city and the game of basketball led them to their championship and it is fitting that Iguodala – not Steph Curry and not LeBron James – is the 2015 NBA Finals MVP. He is the embodiment of all the hardwork, sacrifice and preparedness that it takes to win.
Congratulations to the Warriors. Our collective hats to you. Thanks for doing it all the right way.