The Cleveland Cavaliers had a great regular season and an amazing playoff run. Key injuries to Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving started the countdown. With 10.6 seconds remaining in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, Andre Iguodala grabbed a rebound off a missed LeBron James three-point attempt. James with sportsmanship and class shook the hand of the regular-season MVP Stephen Curry in front of the Golden State Warriors bench. A sign the run was over.
The Warriors ended a 40-year NBA championship drought Tuesday night by finishing off the undermanned Cavaliers 105-97 in Game 6. Curry and Finals MVP Iguodala scored 25 points apiece and Draymond Green recorded a triple-double. First of all “God is great, I want to thank all the chaplains across the NBA helping us out every night. ‘Stay with it’ was the coaches motto all playoffs, they kept fighting but this is unreal,” Iguodala stated. Golden State allowed the Cavs to creep within eight points in the fourth quarter, however the Warriors connected on 13 made three pointers for the game keeping the Cavaliers plane in Cleveland.
Iguodala was selected as Finals MVP. Out of 11 votes, Iguodala received seven, James four and Curry an obvious zero. There were whispers James should win the award even if the Cavs lost the series. Jerry West is the only player in NBA history to be named Finals MVP despite being on the losing team. James fell to 2-4 in the Finals. “Doesn’t matter if I’m playing in Miami or playing in Cleveland or playing on Mars,” he said. “You lose in the Finals, it’s disappointing.” James finished with 32 points, 18 rebounds and nine assists, and was dominant throughout the series. The fact that the Warriors sixth man Iguodala won MVP sums up Golden State this year.
The Warriors finished with 83 wins, the third-highest single-season total in history. Only the 1995-96 and 1996-97 Chicago Bulls won more, and head coach Steve Kerr was on both of those teams. “I remember coming to Oracle as a player year after year playing against lousy teams,” Kerr said. “I could not be happier for our fan base.” When Kerr spoke in the huddle to his players, he gained the eye contact and trust of them. The fact that he even took the advice of his 28-year-old special assistant Nick U’Ren to start Iguodala in Game 4 is evident that he gets it. Kerr is the first rookie head coach since Pat Riley in 1982 to win the NBA Finals.
The Warriors led by Curry, the team’s first regular-season MVP since Wilt Chamberlain, were the best team wire-to-wire this NBA season. They were fun to watch all season long especially with Curry tossing up and making off-balance three pointers. James did all he could to keep his team in the game, but it was not enough. It was hard to view James coming up the court and his teammates tossing up bricks. This Finals between the Warriors and Cavaliers was the most watched series since 1998, Michael Jordan’s last season with the Chicago Bulls. Nearly 20 million viewers saw how golden it was that the best team in the world was better than the best player in the world.