Kevin Durant has helped Golden State to back-to-back NBA titles — and given non-Warriors fans fits.
By Mateo McCartney
Enchantment Sports Correspondent
The NBA Finals begin Thursday, and while Toronto represents a fresh face out of the East, again Golden State comes out of the West.
This marks the fifth-straight final appearance by the Warriors in a almost immaculate run of all-time greatness. They have played Cleveland in the past four Finals — winning three times.
Prior to Cleveland’s run, the Miami Heat represented the East four straight years in the Finals as new blood hasn’t been common in the championship series in more than a decade. Only once since 2007, have two teams met in the Finals (Dallas-Miami) in which neither team played for the title the year before.
And a lot of fans think its getting old. Each of the past two years, many folks said they were turned off watching the same team in the finals again. A lot of people in the sports world see it as a problem. Some even complain that the NBA shouldn’t allow this dominance, and to step in.
Well, for a hot take, I like to think that this isn’t really an issue.
I agree that it does suck to see the Warriors here for the fifth time in a row. The “Super-team,” as Golden State has been dubbed, has gone nearly unchecked since winning their first finals in 2015, and makes it almost boring to watch it play for many fans. The only time the Warriors didn’t win it all in the past four years was in 2016, when they set an NBA record for regular season victories but eventually lost 4-3 to Cleveland in the Finals. Golden State won 12 of 15 games against the Cavs in the other three series.
It got even worse for the rest of the league when the Warriors added, arguably, the best player in the NBA in Kevin Durant for the 2016-17 season. With Durant, the Warriors dominated the Cavs, 4-1 and 4-0 in the past two NBA Finals.
Durant was injured in the playoffs this year, and his status for the series with Toronto is unknown. Still, Golden State is a 3-to-1 favorite to win the series.
This is really the first time in decades a team from a North American professional league has had fans complaining about it being so powerful, and that it has gone unchecked. Well, technically it is checked. The NBA has a strict salary cap that all teams have to follow, and doesn’t really allow a super team to be built without great, and I mean great, drafting and free agent signings. Even then, this core of players can’t last forever in the NBA, as we’ll see with the Warriors after the season ends.
There are only a certain amount of superstars each team can realistically keep, and the Warriors almost certainly can’t hold on to Durant. Their reign won’t last forever.
The biggest point to go against this being a problem is that people only complain because they just constantly lose against them. Many act as if it’s unfair, especially fans of teams that consistently finish near the bottom of the standings. But the rules are the same, so rather than complaining for someone to save your favorite team, complain that your team isn’t doing what it needs to get better.
Or root for another team.
I hear the Warriors are fun to watch.
Mateo McCartney is a 17-year-old rising senior and journalism student at Atrisco Heritage Academy High School in Albuquerque. He is the sports editor of the student newspaper, Jaguar Ink. His goal is to someday work as a sportscaster for ESPN or the NFL Network.