Warriors vs. LeBron: Rematch in ’16?

The Golden State Warriors could meet LeBron James (23) in future NBA Finals. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

This one was for Purvis Short and Sonny Parker, and even for Todd Fuller, who unintentionally became the scapegoat of previous failings.
This one was for Baron Davis, who eight years ago showed us what was possible.
This one was for the Golden State Warriors and their relentless followers — past, present and future, and yes, with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes still babes, the future would seem every bit as exciting as these most recent 11 days in June.
Forty years, the length of time the bible says it took the Jews to cross the desert, the length of time it took the Warriors to once more reach the top of the mountain.
Historical. Hysterical, as in the reaction of the Warriors faithful when Golden State won its first NBA title since 1975.
Borrowing from The Beatles lyrics, they did it on the road. Again. Tradition by the Bay. Or more accurately, away from the Bay. The last championship, a four-game sweep of the Bullets, was completed in Maryland, near Washington, D.C. The new championship was wrapped up along Lake Erie.
Each of the Giants’ three World Series triumphs, Texas, Detroit, Kansas City, took place away from home. Not since the Athletics beat the Giants in the 1989 earthquake World Series has a final ended within sight of Nob Hill or the Campanile. Still it’s the result that matters, not the site.
One sight we’ll all remember from 2015, along with Curry embracing the trophy, is LeBron James, grief on his face, a fedora on his head, sitting in defeat and frustration. He was asking rhetorically the age-old question whether it is better to have loved and lost or not have loved at all — except in his case it was playing in the NBA Finals and losing.
“I always look at it would I rather not make the playoffs or lose in The Finals?” James said. “I don’t know. I’ve missed the playoffs twice. I lost in The Finals four times. I’m almost starting to be like ‘I’d rather not even make the playoffs than to lose in The Finals.’ It would hurt a lot easier if I just didn’t make the playoffs and I didn’t have a shot at it.”
The man nicknamed King James — the king is deposed; long live the king — and the Cavs have been made the favorite to win the 2016 championship, based on the presumption Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love will return from serious injuries which kept them from playing in these games. The Warriors are the second choice.
A repeat of the ’15 finals isn’t a long shot, which is the type of shot, very long, Curry, Andre Iguodala and others kept hitting, in defiance of a frantic Cavalier defense and the unwritten NBA rule titles are not won from the outside. That rule is hereby amended by Judge Curry.
A year ago there was great distress, not improper, when Mark Jackson was fired as Warriors coach. In stepped Steve Kerr — what if he had joined the Knicks? — with new ideas and old work habits. He could laugh at himself. He could lie to the media. He could bench Andrew Bogut. Most of all he and his players could win.
As the great John Madden says so often, winning is the best deodorant. Everything smells great after victory. Iguodala loses his starting position (to Barnes) in November, regains it 76 games later in June, and is voted the MVP of the playoffs. Fiction? No, fantastic.

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