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THE GOOD GUYS vs. THE BAD GUYS – AGAIN
THE GOOD GUYS vs. THE BAD GUYS
Gary Norris Gray- BASN- Staff Reporter
OAKLAND, CA.- The fans of the National Basketball Association (NBA) will be treated to a two week fantastic final, just like old times. Remember the Days of Magic Johnson-Los Angeles Lakers and Larry Bird-Boston Celtics, or the battles of Bill Russell-Boston Celtics and Wilt Chamberlin-Philadelphia Seventy- Sixers for the Eastern Conference crown and last the 1970′s New York Knicks playing against the star studded Los Angeles Lakers, lead by Jerry West. This is the 2015 version, the ground and pound Cleveland Cavaliers with the KING LeBron James vs. the run and gun Golden State Warriors with the kids called the Splash Brothers. The game is slowly changing with the help of the high flying Atlanta Hawks and sharp shooting Golden State Warriors. It has become an open floor like the Showtime Laker days. Six foot to seven foot players move across the floor in a beautiful ballet.
The Golden State Warriors have become the new media darlings with Stephan Curry’s daughter Riley stealing the show and sharp shooter Thompson raining threes over anybody that guards him.
It is sad to say that LeBron James might be headed back in the dog house with J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert. The Cleveland Cavaliers are slowly becoming the media bad guys, AGAIN. This is the American perception.
The Splash Brothers will have vanquished three of the four 2015 NBA First team, with number 23 waiting in the wings this week for the Championship Round. Stephan Curry and the Golden State Warriors will have played all four NBA 2015 First Team. Guard-James Harden- Houston Rockets, Center-Marc Gasol-Memphis Grizzlies, Forward-Guard- LeBron James- Cleveland Cavaliers, and Center-Forward- Anthony Davis New Orleans Pelicans, in one playoff season. That has never happen before..
There are so many story lines in this championship and where do we begin? The Golden State Warriors are the number one defensive team, The Dubs are number one in steals, two players-Curry and James, two basketball cities, really want and need this championship to help their cities Cleveland and Oakland. This is a classic
The Last time Golden State won, this writer was a sophomore at Southern Illinois University in 1975. The Cleveland Cavaliers have never won the championship.
The Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan broke the hearts of Cavalier fan many times. The Cleveland Indians still wear Chief Wahoo on their uniforms and “THE CURSE” still hangs over the heads the city of Cleveland that has not won a professional championship since the Jim Brown era. Retire that smiling red faced SAMBO and maybe, just maybe the city will win a title.
Story number two, the conspiracy theory is alive and well in 2015. Avid basketball fans have murmured quietly that LeBron James might be given a championship for saving the Central Division and the Cleveland Cavaliers from contraction. All of the Central Division teams Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, Indiana Pacers, Detroit Pistons, Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers were hemorrhaging cash each of the four years James played in South Beach. The NBA’s reward might be a third championship for LeBron James.
Story number three the James family wanted to return to Ohio-HOME where they grew up. LeBron wants to give the state of Ohio another professional championship. Mrs. James wants her children to grown up in a slow pace environment. South Beach was not the place for young children.
Story number four the Golden State Warriors remained healthy until the last series with the Houston Rockets. Stephan Curry tried to play Superman and jump over Trevor Ariza crashing to the floor on his head. Golden State won 67 games and only lost two games in a row twice. The Dubs- that’s what Bay Area fans call them – hit over 50% of the three point shots and when they scored over 100 points they only lost twice.
Curry was diagnosed with a head contusion from a heavy fall while attempting to block a shot by Houston’s Trevor Ariza. The fake from Ariza sent Curry flying forward, causing him to tumble and awkwardly land on his shoulder and head.
In game five with the Rockets Klay Thompson suffered the second Warrior injury within a week.
Thompson threw up and experienced other “concussion-like symptoms” late Wednesday night after being kneed in the head by Rockets forward Trevor Ariza in the fourth quarter of Game 5, his father, Mychal Thompson, told ESPN. Thompson was initially cleared to return to the game by team doctors.
While the Cleveland Cavaliers struggled without starting center Anderson Varejao at the end of the season and shooting forward Kevin Love went down in the first round of the playoffs against the Boston Celtics with a shoulder injury that ended his season. The 2014 First round draft choice guard Kyrie Irving still is nursing a strained knee and should be day to day. These injuries made the Cavs a better defensive team. Cleveland’s offensive will now suffer and with the stifling Dubs (Golden State) defense this could be very interesting series.
So many stories, number five, the side bar that LeBron James and Stephan Curry were born in the same hospital in Akron, Ohio, Akron General Medical Center, what kind of basketball genes are they producing in Ohio?
Here are the contrasts of these two teams just like in the Laker-Celtic days 1980′s-1990′s playoffs are something to look forward to again.
1. American Head Coach vs. European Head Coach
Steve Kerr comes from the house of San Antonio and the Champion Spurs-with his spread offense while David Blatt traveled overseas coaching in Europe and the Middle East, adopted the old New York Knick style offense. The Battle of the Future vs. the Past.
Two Rookie coaches will meet in the finals. That has not happened since 1947, the first year of the NBA existence.
2. Its blue and gold vs. rust and gold-team colors
This will be an NBA Gold rush with the Golden State’s Blue and gold and Cleveland’s Rust and gold. Both arenas interesting enough will be dressed in bright yellow.
3. New school vs. old school basketball
The run and gun shooting threes Warriors vs. the bump and grind drive to the lane and the basket then kicking the ball out to the open man Cavaliers.
4. Big market vs. small market
The metropolitan Oakland-San Francisco Bay Area vs. The inner city of Cleveland.
5. People dying vs. people partying
The recent unrest and protest in Cleveland vs. the wine and dine crew of the Bay Area. These two teams reflect the current conflict in the United States. The haves and the have not’s. The City Hall administration of Cleveland hopes the playoffs will quell the violence.
6. Its light skin vs. dark skin
America loves light skin brothers so Curry and Thompson fit that societal mold vs. Irving, James, J.R.Smith, and Shumpert, who are of darker hue and are perceived to be trouble makers.
For those who still don’t believe take each sport. Football- Russell Wilson-Seattle Seahawks vs. Teddy Bridgewater-Minnesota Vikings, Baseball-Derick Jeter-New York Yankees vs. Ryan Howard-Philadelphia Phillies, Hockey-Johnny Oduya-Chicago Blackhawks vs. P.K. Subban-Montreal Canadiens I rest my case your honor.
Story number six and for some the most important story of how a city can turn 360 degrees and back again. In 2010 Cleveland Cavalier owner Dan Gilbert wrote an open letter to the fan base and LeBron James. This was after the telecast of ESPN’s, “Decision” when James informed the public that he would take his talents to South Beach, Florida. All hell broke loose in the City of Cleveland; jerseys were burnt in the streets people calling James everything but the Son of Satan and then the letter,
Dear Cleveland, All Of Northeast Ohio and Cleveland Cavaliers Supporters Wherever You May Be Tonight;
As you now know, our former hero, who grew up in the very region that he deserted this evening, is no longer a Cleveland Cavalier.
This was announced with a several day, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up culminating with a national TV special of his “decision” unlike anything ever “witnessed” in the history of sports and probably the history of entertainment.
Clearly, this is bitterly disappointing to all of us.
The good news is that the ownership team and the rest of the hard-working, loyal, and driven staff over here at your hometown Cavaliers have not betrayed you nor NEVER will betray you.
There is so much more to tell you about the events of the recent past and our more than exciting future. Over the next several days and weeks, we will be communicating much of that to you.
You simply don’t deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal.
You have given so much and deserve so much more.
In the meantime, I want to make one statement to you tonight:
“I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER ‘KING’ WINS ONE”
You can take it to the bank.
If you thought we were motivated before tonight to bring the hardware to Cleveland, I can tell you that this shameful display of selfishness and betrayal by one of our very own has shifted our “motivation” to previously unknown and previously never experienced levels.
Some people think they should go to heaven but NOT have to die to get there.
Sorry, but that’s simply not how it works.
This shocking act of disloyalty from our home grown “chosen one” sends the exact opposite lesson of what we would want our children to learn. And “who” we would want them to grow-up to become.
But the good news is that this heartless and callous action can only serve as the antidote to the so-called “curse” on Cleveland, Ohio.
The self-declared former “King” will be taking the “curse” with him down south. And until he does “right” by Cleveland and Ohio, James (and the town where he plays) will unfortunately own this dreaded spell and bad karma.
Sleep well, Cleveland.
Tomorrow is a new and much brighter day….
I PROMISE you that our energy, focus, capital, knowledge and experience will be directed at one thing and one thing only:
DELIVERING YOU the championship you have long deserved and is long overdue….
Remember James was a free agent that year and could barter with any team he wished including Cleveland. Fact:-If Dan Gilbert had traded LeBron James nobody would have said a word. It would have been business as usual.
In Cleveland, fans considered James’ departure a betrayal that ranks second to The Move, Art Modell‘s relocation of the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore. Associated Press wrote that The Decision joined The Move, The Drive, The Shot, and The Fumble in “Cleveland’s sports hall of shame”. Cleveland Cavaliers majority owner Dan Gilbert almost immediately wrote an open letter to fans published in Comic Sans typeface on the Cavs website, denouncing James’ decision as a “selfish”, “heartless”, “callous”, and “cowardly betrayal”, while guaranteeing that the Cavs would win an NBA title before the “self-declared former King.” Gilbert’s sports-memorabilia company Fathead also lowered the price of wall graphics depicting James from $99.99 to $17.41, the birth year of Benedict Arnold. William Rhoden of The New York Times defended James by stating that Gilbert’s “venomous, face-saving personal attack”, along with the ensuing “wrath of jersey-burning fans”, only validated James’ decision to leave Cleveland. Reverend Jesse Jackson, American civil rights activist, said Gilbert’s feelings “personify a slave master mentality”, and he was treating James as “a runaway slave”. J. A. Adande of ESPN said, however, that James chose to promote the drama of his decision in an hour-long television special instead of showing “common courtesy” to notify Cleveland and other teams of his plans. On July 12, 2010, NBA Commissioner David Stern fined Gilbert $100,000 for the letter’s contents, while also criticizing the way James handled free agency. On July 14, James told J. R. Moehringer for a GQ article that there was “nothing at all” he would change about his handling of free agency.
It can happen all over again because number 23 LeBron James will be a free agent at the end of the 2015-16 season.
This is the legacy of Cleveland
END OF PART ONE
Special thanks to Fox net Sports, CBS Sports.net, Rotoworld.com, and wikipedia.com
Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian. Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove, Soul Tree Radio In The Raw, and The Batchelor Pad Network on Blogtalkradio.com Disabled Community Activist. Email at email@example.com
©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod