By Jamal Laoud
By Jamal Laoud
Washington D.C – Four-peat is what the NBA is offering in the 2018 Finals with the Cleveland Cavaliers facing the Golden State Warriors.
The talk is, what is the likelihood that LeBron James, Cavaliers’ main man and the best player in the NBA today, would pull this off and win a fourth Championship? The consensus, highly unlikely!
It is not hard to understand that argument. While Cleveland has LeBron, the Warriors are loaded with superstars like Kevin Durant and the Steph Curry. Instead of getting into what each one of these two can do and bring to the table, I think it is best to mention some of their accomplishments, and let you imagine what it would take to get that done.
Durant’s has won the 2017 NBA Championship and Finals MVP, and has four scoring titles to-date, just to name some of his accolades. All of this under LeBron’s nose.
Steph Curry has the 2015 and 2017 NBA Championships and the MVP honors under his belt. Add to that a scoring title in 2016, under LeBron’s nose as well. His most impressive accomplishment may well be his influence on the game. Steph is a notoriously great three-point shooter. So much so that he and his teammate, Klay Thompson, another potent three-point shooter, are nicknamed The Splash Brothers. Furthermore, The Steph Effect was coined to acknowledge Curry’s impact on the NBA. Thanks to him, more NBA and College teams are taking three-point shots today than any other time before.
I cannot not mention other Warriors, most notably Klay Thomspon, the still injured Andre Iguodala, and the Scottie Pippen of the Warrios Draymon Green. I am already doing them injustice by not elaborating on their contributions and accomplishments. Suffice it to mention that this team set the record for the best team record of the regular season, previously held by Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls, of 73 and 9!
The three previous championships went like this, Warriors, Cavaliers, Warriors. Noteworthy that Kevin Durant was not featured until the third championship.
Getting back to LeBron, his main challenge is lack of serious help. So much so that Saturday Night Live did a skit mocking his teammates, and boiling them down to personal assistants who fetch towels and drinks for him. The perception was embarrassing.
Many also argue that LeBron’s road to the Finals this year was easy, given that he faced no major experienced opponent, and no other major star. The championship he has won against the Warriors was made possible partly by Kyrie Irving who has since left for the Boston Celtics. Kyrie has taken the load off LeBron James many times during that series, and allowed him to take breaks and relieved some of the pressure from him.
Furthermore, he had serious help during the three previous three championship he has won. The first and second championships, he enjoy much support from two superstars Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. The third one, the impact Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving had is undeniable.
And no, I am not beating up on LeBron. He is an amazing player and is the best player in the world today. What I am saying though is that this is an opportunity for him to curtail the GOAT talk significantly. He can seriously impact the LeBron vs. Jordan debate, and sway many doubters, like myself, to his camp. No one is seriously giving him a chance. It is James against the world!