4 Takeaways from the NBA finals so far
Last night the Golden State Warriors snuck away with a victory in Game 5 of the NBA Finals over the Toronto Raptors to avoid elimination and extend their hopes of a Three-peat alive. Since Kevin Durant joined the Warriors in 2016, I thought to myself “What’s the point in watching the NBA anymore? That teams stacked!” and yet I found myself watching anyways. Fast forward to now, 2019, and it seems that invincible dynasty in Oakland might come to an end. In watching this year’s NBA finals, I came away with 4 major takeaways.
1) Do the Warriors need Kevin Durant?
When Durant joined the Warriors, it seemed all hope was lost for every other NBA franchise. That team had all the tools to succeed and then some. The Warriors cake walked their way to 2 championships without breaking a sweat during the 2017 and 2018 season. However this year is a different story. This year the Warriors have been plagued with injuries which includes Durant. For the past 3 years the narrative has always been “The Warriors don’t need Durant to win Championships, they‘ve been winning without him” but this Finals series might have proved that the Warriors do need Durant. The Raptors went up 3-1 before Durant came back. If you think about it, the Warriors are beatable without Durant, but with him, I’m not so sure. You be the judge.
2) Durant’s injury and what it means
Although Durant returned last night, he reinjured his calf and might have torn his achilles early in the second quarter. With this injury there’s no way he’s returning to the finals. With Durant out, the Warriors chances of winning is slim to none. But his injury is more than just winning and losing. This reminds me of Kawhi Leonard and the Spurs fiasco last season. Maybe Kawhi was right to sit out despite the peer pressure from teammates, coaches and fans to play. We don’t know the entire story, but it makes you think. Durant will need multiple surgeries and time to recover if his injury is as bad it seems. What will that mean for his career?
3) Kawhi Leonard is putting the world on notice
Speaking of Kawhi, he is playing out of his mind right now. As a Spurs fan I knew the potential Kawhi had, which made it harder to see him go. He’s having a historic playoff run this year. He’s breaking records and breaking hearts. Leonard didn’t get much recognition with the Spurs, but this year with the Raptors he’s proven to be a bonafide Superstar and putting the world on notice.
4) Basketball is more than just a game
I hate when people say basketball is just a game. It’s not just a game. Just because it doesn’t interest you doesn’t give you the right to belittle it. That goes for anything really. This is the first finals appearance for the Toronto Raptors and I guarantee you its more than just a game for those fans in Canada. In a recent interview Kawhi was asked what it would mean to Canada if they win the championship. He gave an honest and real answer saying he doesn’t know, that you’ll have to ask fans that question. He’s right though. He’s new there in Toronto, but there’s a certain culture and meaning that goes along with being a fan.
Players don’t make millions of dollar for “just a game” it’s because people are buying into that culture. People buy tickets to games, merchandise from clothing to bubbleheads and even video games. Google who Nav Bhatia is and tell me his story doesn’t move you.
However, there are lines that should not be crossed as a fan. Last night some fans lost sight of what it means to be a fan of the game as they cheered on Durant’s Injury. It’s good to be passionate about things you care about, but you also have to know where the line is between just a game and more than a game.
Game 6 is in Oakland on Thursday for the very last time in Oracle Arena. Can’t wait!
Don’t just watch the games just to watch them. Join the culture, rep your team and wear your pride on your sleeves! Literally! Create custom fan shirts with us here at Vivid Customs!