As we enter the NBA Finals every one and their mother is analyzing the series. Steph vs LeBron, whose bench is better? Who will be the unsung hero? Blah blah blah. There so many off the cuff story lines that interest me in this match-up between Golden State and Cleveland. Here are a few:
How did Tyronne Lue re-invent himself
Who knew before the playoffs that the former Lakers guard was the Associate Head Coach for the Cavaliers? I knew he was an assistant in the league and bounced around a bit but now he’s been lauded as a mastermind of sorts for the Cavs. He’s getting more credit than the damn coach in David Blatt. He’s already a hot candidate for head coaching positions next year.
This is a hell of a turn around for a guy that we truly only remember for one thing and one thing only:
How in the hell did he rebound from that? Who took him seriously after being embarrassed by Allen Iverson in such a disrespectful way. Could you trust that man after seeing that? I would have a hard time trusting his judgement.
I remember watching that live on TV and after I picked myself up off the floor from laughing I thought this guys career was finished. It turns out I was half right, as a player he was finished, but nobody saw the second act of his career coming.
The sad narrative that is developing between Steph Curry and LeBron James
I’m not here for the who’s better comparison, who’s harder to stop or who’s more likely to finish series MVP. What I am here for though is the subtle black hat that is being put on LeBron while Steph has been fitted with a blanco lid. There are times when they are comparing the two and those allegedly in the know will say that they are rooting for Steph, he’s clean cut, more marketable and a breathe of fresh air while LeBron is over publicized and calculated.
Nothing good can come from this. His daughter Riley was cute then a distraction and now she’s back to being a benefit for Steph Curry. Some media members have now calling LeBron’s 2013 move to have his sons join him at the podium to accept his MVP award a publicity stunt. The eight day lay-off has led to the media to drum up anything for clicks. Its deplorable and something that has a lot of biased undertones in it. Putting Steph and LeBron in the good versus bad argument is just lazy.
#Knickstape is still flourishing
The two biggest proponents of one of the greatest hashtags of all time #Knickstape are about to get on the biggest stage in the NBA and showcase their skills. Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith are outchea getting buckets and playing defense channeling back to the two-seed days of the Knicks. The swagger is back, J.R. is being his usually outlandish self on social media. Shumpert is experimenting with his hair.
All is well at the Q in Cleveland but this was supposed to go down at the worlds most famous arena with Spike, John McEnroe and the corporate shills who have bought up all the good seats screaming out “Go New York Go New York Go” For the record I want the Cavs to win the championship just so the #Knickstape hashtag can trend worldwide one more time.
Mark Jackson has to be kicking himself
It hurts Mark Jackson to his soul to see the Dubs running up and down getting W after W in a big spot, looking like the prohibitive favorites. If Jackson would have only learned to put the bible down, he would have a gig and could be very well coaching in these Finals. He has strong religious beliefs and loves to share them but to forcibly push that on his players and staff gave management an easy out to get him up out the paint.
Jackson will get a measure of credit if the Dubs win the championship but he is by no means the architect of this team. He changed the culture but he didn’t build the roster all by himself. He put the players in a position to win but the roster was severely upgraded during his reign. If he didn’t win with that roster he shouldn’t have gotten the job in the first place. Take solace for Jackson as we could potentially see him cry again at the broadcast booth when the confetti drops.
And for my generic Finals prediction: Cavaliers in 6.