OAKLAND, Calif. (Diya TV) —Sometimes the snow comes down in June as Vanessa Williams sang in her classic ballad, “Saved The Best For Last”.That was my high school senior prom theme in 1992, nearly 25 years ago. Now it’s Christmas in July after the Warriors inked THE free agent in Kevin Durant.
Many are surprised by the signing just as they were when LeBron James made “The Decision” when he joined the Miami Heat back in 2010. Some similarities remain. There are media personalities like ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith who think KD sold out and that if he does win a championship or two, it’ll be tainted.
Don't give a damn what anyone says: weak move by KD. You go to GSW, the team who beat you, when you're already on a title contender? Please!
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) July 4, 2016
I got a one-on-one interview with CSN Bay Area Warriors Insider Monte Poole and here’s what he had to say about the deal:
“It makes the Warriors the most explosive team in the league right now, and maybe in NBA history. You’ve got (Stephen) Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Kevin Durant on the floor at the same time. This is what the Warriors planned for. They won 73 games last season…did not win the NBA Finals. They probably won’t win 73 games next season, but the NBA Finals, they are the favorites and this is why they’re doing this. They don’t care about winning 73 games. They want to win the championship again and with this group of players, certainly the starting lineup and the “death lineup” they have the goods to do that, fill in a few roster spots, they’ll be in good shape.”
When asked how the Warriors were able to secure Durant,” Poole said, “The recruiting process started a long time ago and then you go to the Hamptons over the weekend with seven men: Curry, Thompson, Green, (Andre) Iguodala, CEO Joe Lacob, General Manager Bob Myers, Steve Kerr the head coach, all go to the Hamptons to sit with Durant and then on Saturday they call the hammer, Jerry West…he’s the closer.”
When Poole said closer, all I thought of was that classic scene in Glengarry Glen Ross by Alec Baldwin.
And it would only be complete to get some fan reaction. Many in Oklahoma City have burned their Durant jerseys, just as they did when LeBron James left Cleveland.
Said Jeren Livernois from Modesto: “As a Warriors fan, I have a little sympathy for them but whatever. It is what it is. I feel like we’re the villains now but we can embrace that as fans.”
Wow, the Warriors have come a long way. They never in their history ever have had a big name free agent. Sure they’ve had players like Wilt Chamberlain and Rick Barry but they came up as rookies. Arguably, their biggest acquisitions before this were Andre Iguodala and Baron Davis but Livernois had low expectations many years ago.
“I remember back in the day when I was excited about Larry Hughes coming to the Warriors as a free agent. We’ve come a long way since then and I’m pretty excited. It’s awesome…good stuff!”
Good stuff indeed and I tried not to laugh when he mentioned Larry Hughes’ name. Other than a 44 point performance, Hughes was mostly a bust and best remembered for this arm tattoos when that was just becoming a fad.
And Jake Rickard from Woodside chimed in with his thoughts:
“I think it’s a game changer man. It’s going to tear the league apart, honestly. From the reactions I’ve been seeing, it’s just been either really happy or really upset and from the players in the NBA, their reactions are mostly pretty upset. For me as a Warriors fan I think it’s going to be unbelievable.”
Bottom line, this is the 21st Century. The era of playing on one team for the entirety of your career isn’t common or practical. Sure it’d be nice if Kevin Durant stayed with Oklahoma City, but this is the United States of America, not the USSR. This is a free country and that’s the definition of a “free agent.” Monte Poole appeared on the Giants telecast on Monday and gave a great analogy. Imagine Willie Mays with Hank Aaron as his teammate and that’s what the Warriors essentially have done. They have arguably the best starting lineup in the game.
Give Lacob and Peter Guber some credit. They’ve stated since the day they bought the team in 2010 they wanted their legacy to revolve around championships. Since 2012, the Warriors have won two division titles, played in two NBA Finals and won one Championship. Maybe to the rest of the NBA this is a monopoly but for the Bay Area, these are exciting times!
India Rising puts forth valiant effort in loss to Boeheim’s Army in TBT
SYRACUSE (Diya TV) — With The Basketball Tournament commencing, most eyes have been set on Boeheim’s Army and their path to repeating as champions. However, their first match provided an opponent true to its name: India Rising.
While one may look at the 90-62 score and disregard the India Rising squad, when watching the game, the team did truly give Boeheim’s Army a run for their money in the first half. Facing a team full of guys who played under one of the greatest basketball coaches ever, Jim Boeheim, India Rising jumped out to an early 5-0 lead and was able to keep pace with Boeheim’s Army for a substantial amount of time. Most people may have written them off early but they kept fighting. They had a clear cut goal to bring attention to basketball players of Indian descent by pulling off a cinderella win and carve a path for themselves. It is clear that they put in their full effort to try and realize those goals.
In the second half, Boeheim’s army was able to pull away but India Rising had made their message clear: Indian ballers should not be overlooked. The box score does not paint the real picture of how much heart, determination, and grit India Rising displayed to get more recognition. General manager Gautam Kapur and head coach Ajay Sharma have done an excellent job overseeing the initiative and giving the best Indian hoopers a chance to shine on a big stage.
In a 64 team tournament, India Rising stood out and gave a near-professional squad a tough time. For what this team set out to achieve, no heads should be hung low. India Rising should be getting the recognition they so rightfully deserve.
Warriors win Game 5 at home, now just one game away from the title
SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) —The Golden State Warriors are just one win away from their fourth title in eight years. The Dubs returned home and overpowered the Boston Celtics 104-94 to take a 3-2 series lead, even though Stephen Curry only scored 16. Infact, Curry did not make a single three, a first in the last 3.5 years. Andrew Wiggins on the other hand matched Tatum while scoring a team-high 26 points and added 13 rebounds, including the dagger dunk to finish off Boston.
Draymond Green saw glimpses of a turnaround game as he was very close to a triple double before fouling out for the 3rd time in this series. Klay Thompson made a great contribution on the offensive end with 21 points, on the third anniversary of his horrific injury in the finals against the Cavaliers in 2019 . The Warriors trio of Curry, Thompson and Green were able to cement themselves even further with their 20th Finals win together, the most of any trio over the past 30 years.
The Celtics saw franchise star Jayson Tatum have a better game scoring wise than the last game with a team-high 27 points. But while Tatum showed up for game 5, Jaylen Brown did not. When both of those players are on at the same time, the Celtics can light it up. However, there has been inconsistency from both throughout the Finals. The C’s will need both guys to be on for them to fend off the Dubs and force a Game 7.
The Warriors can close out the series and add a 7th ring to their collection with a win on Thursday in the hostile environment of TD Garden. A collective team effort would do the trick as in Game 4, Curry shouldered the load while the rest of his supporting cast did the same for him. The Celtics will look to put forth their best effort of the season in a final effort to keep their season alive. It could very well come down to if both Tatum and Brown can prove they can be a dynamic duo on the biggest stage.
Warriors seal Game 4 victory with an epic Steph Curry performance, tie series 2-2
BOSTON (Diya TV) — The Warriors, seal Game 4 victory with a vintage Stephen Curry performance, evened up the NBA Finals in an absolute thriller, winning 107-97.
The start of the game saw both teams match each other pound for pound with Boston ultimately taking the first quarter by a single point. There were notions before the game about Curry having a foot sprain, but he quickly laid those doubts to rest. He began to heat up in the first quarter (and talked some trash along the way). Conversely, Draymond Green continued his finals performance with more fouls than points. Robert Williams III showed off his skills as a rim protector on defense, which was a missing piece for the Celtics up until the point of Williams’ return. In the first half, Curry and Jayson Tatum battled against each other in classic star matchup fashion with Curry scoring 19 and Tatum going for 16. Tatum was money from beyond the arc (made 3 out of his 4 three-point attempts), just like he’s been all Finals as he’s been shooting 48% on 3’s.
The officiating in the first half was questionable, especially in the second quarter when Payton Pritchard clearly traveled and yet a foul was called instead. This set off Warriors HC Steve Kerr and his temper led to him getting a technical foul. For a non-call to be that egregious and then to double down by giving Kerr the technical foul is asinine and something that certainly sparked controversy. Attention was also brought to the Celtics free throw attempts versus the Warriors (15 and 5 respectively) even with both teams attacking the basket often. Despite this disparity, the Warriors were able to keep it within 5 at the end of the half.
More Curry magic continued in the second half with him carrying the team on his back, in essence. 43 points highlight the stat line but when watching the game, it was clear as day that he was really the only dependable source of scoring throughout the ballgame for the Dubs. With 7 threes made tonight, we saw the greatest shooter in league history go to work and will his team to victory. In the biggest stage of basketball, Curry made his mark once again.
The Celtics now face a daunting Game 5 heading to San Francisco. Winning both games on their home court would have all but sealed a championship for them. But now, the door has not only creaked, but swung wide open. The #1 defense in the NBA will gameplan to try and find answers for Curry. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown will be facing a challenging environment in Chase Center, but one they are familiar with.
Meanwhile, the Warriors will look to capitalize off the momentum and adrenaline this win has given them. Off the heels of a classic performance, Curry will try to carry on his titanium-strong Finals MVP case. Draymond Green, coming back to friendly faces in San Francisco, will try to turn around an awful stretch. This series is shaping up to be a dramatic one with both teams trading blows. Game 5 should deliver more popcorn-worthy entertainment, especially if Stephen Curry is involved.
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