LeBron Longs For La La Legacy

LeBron James is going to play for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Re-read that. Let it sink in. Still sounds weird, doesn’t it??

While he could have dragged out his decision, creating another ‘Summer of LeBron’, he wasted little time. NBA’s free agency moratorium period began on July 1st at 12:00 a.m. Just 17 hours later, LeBron informed the world, via Klutch Sports, he would be donning purple and gold next season.

**The moratorium period runs from July 1st through July 6th. This means free agents may discuss, and announce contracts, however can’t officially sign on the dotted line until the end of this period.**

LeBron’s move to one of the most storied franchises in NBA history is not surprising. It’s never a bad idea to join forces with Magic Johnson, while carrying the torch Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Kobe Bryant have kept lit for over 40 years. His contract, however, is surprising. LeBron James has made the one-year contract cool. This method has allowed LeBron the freedom to skip town the second stuff hits the fan, maximize his earning potential, and keep the ball in his court. How many idioms can I squeeze into one sentence?? The answer, apparently, is three.

LeBron’s contract: 4 years, $154 million (4th year player option)

magic

LeBron is giving Magic the most valuable gift imaginable; time. Having the peace of mind that LeBron won’t be going anywhere for a minimum of three seasons is priceless. Now, Magic can shift, shape, and maneuver accordingly.

Which naturally begs the question: Who ELSE is coming to La La Land??

Everyone and their grandmother assumed Paul George to the Lakers was a done deal. However, he and Russell Westbrook’s party burst that bubble before midnight on Saturday….

paul george

Will the San Antonio Spurs acquiesce to Kawhi Leonard’s demands, and trade him to the Lakers?? I don’t know. They want a King’s ransom, and the Lakers should give it, but just because I say it doesn’t mean it’ll happen.

Will the Lakers sign Demarcus Cousins?? They should. They have a meeting setup with Cousins, so the world will see how far Magic’s smile can carry him.

Final Thought

magic vs bird

The NBA is the big winner here. The league is better, and happier, when the Lakers are good. It’s also beneficial when the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, and other big markets are competitive too. Two-out-of-three ain’t bad. There was no better era in basketball than the 1980s: Showtime Lakers vs. Bird’s Celtics. There’s no guarantee this will be that, but if the Lakers bring in another top-10 player this year, and Klay Thompson next year, ya never know.

 

Thoughts. Questions. And concerns. You know where those go….

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Durant Wins 1st (of many) NBA Title

durant nba title

There are 9 words in the English language we should all get used to hearing..again..and again..and again: “The Golden State Warriors are NBA Champions once again!” With Kevin Durant as the new sheriff in town, this may become a common theme in the NBA. And as impressive as the Warriors were this season (I will give them their deserved praise), they are not helping the NBA’s cause. Many thought the NBA had become a 2-team league. Correction. It has become a 1-team league. Think about it. What is the question Cavaliers ownership and management are asking themselves right now?? Exactly! Who can we add to this roster in order to compete with the Warriors?? You laugh but it’s true. In the not so distant future, I picture the entire All-Star starting lineups donning Cavaliers and Warriors’ jerseys. We’ll get back to the mess that is the NBA, but for now, let us give the Warriors the standing ovation they deserve.

Kevin Durant did what he set out to do. He captured his 1st NBA title after jumping ship in Oklahoma City and joining forces with Stephen Curry and company. There’s only one way to put this, Durant straight up balled out. After missing 20 games due to injury this season, Durant returned and peaked at the perfect moment. He averaged 35.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 5.4 assists in the finals, making him the unanimous Finals MVP. He unquestionably deserved the Finals MVP, however, he completely overshadowed the spectacular series Stephen Curry had. Curry averaged 26.8 points, 9.4 assists, and 8.0 rebounds in the Finals. Those are video game numbers, normally MVP worthy, however, Curry was the 3rd best player in the series. Again highlighting the state of the NBA.

Let’s rewind to the 2014 offseason. The Warriors roster was constructed with only 1 thing in mind; winning multiple championships. 2 down, at least 1 to go. Assuming this roster remains intact (only Andre Iguodala is a free agent this coming offseason), this Warriors team will remain a dynasty in the NBA. Which begs the question, where does this Warriors team rank amongst the all-time great teams?? We only ask the tough questions here at DaveTalksSports!! Here is a list of the NBA’s all-time great teams:

  1. The “Showtime” Lakers
  2. The 80’s Celtics
  3. The “Bad Boy” Pistons
  4. The Bill Russell Celtics
  5. The Shaq and Kobe Lakers
  6. The Spurs’ Dynasty
  7. And last, but certainly not least, the Jordan-Era Bulls

When we say teams, we really mean an era or dynasty that won multiple championships. Many teams flashed greatness for 1 year, but how many franchises ran off streaks of multiple championships??

The Warriors have now been to 3 straight NBA Finals (winning 2 of 3). In the 2015-2016 season, the Warriors broke the record for most wins in the regular season (73), previously held by the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls (72). The Warriors made a historic run through the postseason this year, dropping just 1 game. Their 16-1 record is the highest winning percentage (.941) of any championship team in NBA history, and they also became 1 of only 3 1-loss teams to win a championship.

The question, when comparing teams from different eras, isn’t who would win (as fun as it would be to watch Jordan and the Bulls play Durant and the Warriors), rather who has a more impressive resume. The Warriors still have room for improvement (which is scary), but right now I’d rank them 7th all-time, behind everyone on the above list besides The “Bad Boy” Pistons. Every other team on that list won at least 3 championships and had at least 4 Finals’ appearances. Unless the Cavaliers add another piece to their championship puzzle, the Warriors should repeat next year (yes I already decided next year’s champion) and climb the all-time ranks.

For now, we close the book on the 2016-2017 NBA season. And we open a new book to a clean page to start the debate. Where do the Warriors rank amongst the all-time great teams?? Post your ranking in the comment section below.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. You can also follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!