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NBA, you will be missed…NOT!

The NBA season ended last night. 

THANK GOD! 

I have had it up to here with LeBron, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, and anything and everything associated with the National Basketball Association, which I think should stand for something else. I will not reveal it.

I am beyond fed up with the comparisons between this year’s Warriors and the 1995-96 Bulls, who went 72-10 in a season which featured two expansion teams (Raptors and Grizzlies, who were then in Vancouver) and several established teams who were beyond pitiful (Mavericks, Nuggets, Bucks, et al). I don’t think either team is the best of all time. I honestly don’t think Jordan’s Bulls or Curry’s Warriors would beat the Lakers of Magic and Kareem, or the Celtics with Bird, Parish and McHale. I watched the NBA’s golden age of the 1980s, and nothing will ever compare. That’s why I gave up on the NBA for the most part after 1990. 

LeBron flat out lied last night and said he does not believe in “super teams”. Bullshit. Who the hell do you think started the super team idea? LeBron James. He, Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade committed gross collusion by talking for FOUR YEARS about joining the same team, which happened to be the Heat. David Stern, the chickenshit bastard that he is, let LeBron, Bosh and Wade commit collusion in the open by forming that super team. 

Yes, LeBron went back to Cleveland, but he stabbed the city in the back and proved he is all about the Benjamins by going to Miami to form the super team. The Warriors only mimicked LeBron by signing 

I cannot stand Michael Jordan, but I agree with him about not wanting other superstars on his team. He wanted to beat the tar out of Magic, Bird, Isaiah Thomas, Patrick Ewing, Gary Payton, Karl Malone, John Stockton, and Kobe (albeit in his very early years). The NBA was greater when the wealth was spread around, which it was in the 1980s. The Lakers had Magic, Kareem and later Worthy. The Celtics had Bird, Parish and McHale. The 76ers had Dr. J, Maurice Cheeks and later Moses Malone. The Bucks had Sidney Moncrief. The Pistons had Isaiah, Laimbeer and Dumars. The Trail Blazers had Clyde Drexler. The Jazz had Malone and Stockton, plus in the 1980s, they had Adrian Dantley, one of the forgotten scoring greats. The Rockets had the Twin Towers, Hakeem and Ralph Sampson. The Knicks had Ewing. The Bulls had Jordan and later Pippen. In 1982-83, the Spurs had George Gervin and Artis Gilmore. 

Can you name players on teams other than the Warriors and Cavaliers right now? I know Anthony Davis in New Orleans, the Greek Freak in Milwaukee, John Wall in Washington, James Harden in Houston and Russell Westbrook in OKC. Other than that, don’t ask. I can’t tell you one player on the Kings, Suns, Magic, Nets or Nuggets. 

I am not a big basketball fan. I would much rather watch football, baseball, hockey and real football (soccer). Heck, give me golf, skiing and cricket. But if I’m going to watch basketball, I will watch MEN’s college basketball, and that’s it. I don’t bother with women’s college basketball, because for the most part, we know who’s going to win. Yes, UConn lost to Mississippi State in the Final Four. But that’s not going to happen very often. 

I saw an article on ESPN today about who will win the NBA championship in 2018. According to ESPN’s formula, Golden State is a LOCK to win the Western conference. That’s right, the Warriors have a ONE HUNDRED PERCENT chance of winning the West next season. In the East, Cleveland’s chances are 62.2 percent, compared to 28.9 percent for Boston. The third favorite? Milwaukee at 4.4 percent. Wahsington and Detroit (??!!) are at 2.2 percent.

As for the overall NBA champion, Golden State has a 97.8 percent chance to win the title. Cleveland is the only other team listed at 2.2 percent.

To put that in perspective, in 1,000 simulations of the 2017-18 NBA regular season and playoffs, Golden State wins the championship 978 times. Cleveland wins 22. 

The 2017-18 NBA season begins October 31. Halloween. What a frightening thought to think I only have 4 1/2 months away from the NBA, the most overrated spectacle in entertainment, sports or not. 

As long as I don’t watch ESPN, especially at 5 pm when Jemele Hill and Michael A. Smith spew their garbage, I may be okay. 

Golden boys

For most of my life, the Golden State Warriors have been an NBA backwater.

As of 11:58 p.m. Eastern Time last night (10:58 Central, 8:58 Pacific), the Golden State Warriors are NBA champions for the first time since Gerald Ford occupied the White House.

The Warriors wrapped up the championship in Cleveland with a 106-97 victory over the Cavaliers to take the series 4-2.

Golden State won 67 games, the most in franchise history, during the regular season. It was pushed by Memphis in the second round and by Cleveland in the Finals, but each time, the Warriors erased 2-1 series deficits with three consecutive victories, each time winning two games away from Oakland, where the Warriors were an incredible 48-5. Do they really want to move back to San Francisco, even though this new arena is supposed to be the most modern on earth when it opens in 2017?

It’s the culmination of a lot of hard work by owner Joe Lacob, who bought the franchise in November 2010. Lacob loves basketball, having grown up near Boston and once owning a minority stake in the Celtics. His enthusiasm and business acumen were sorely needed by a franchise which most of the time was a doormat, and at others, a total joke for most of the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. The only time the Warriors rose from their perennial status as a punching bag for the Lakers and other Western Conference powers was in the early 1990s, when they featured hte dynamic trio of Chris Mullin, Mitch Richmond and Tim Hardaway (Run TMC). But even then, Golden State could not get out of the second round.

After winning the 1975 NBA championship with a stunning four-game sweep of the Washington Bullets, the Warriors had the NBA’s best record in 1975-76. Instead of a return to the championship round and a match with 1974 champ Boston, Golden State was shocked itself when it lost the Western Conference finals in seven games to the upstart Phoenix Suns, losing game seven 94-86 at Oakland. The Warirrors lost in seven in the 1977 Western Conference semis to the Lakers in a series in which the home team won every game.

Then the bottom fell out.

Rick Barry, the centerpiece of the Warriors–with a brief detour to the ABA–since their loss in the 1967 championship series to Wilt Chamberlain’s 76ers, was wearing down. Clifford Ray’s effectiveness in the low post was declining. Robert Parish, a 7-foot-1 rebounding and shot blocking machine from tiny Centenary College in Shreveport, was a rising star, but the Warriors would soon blow that one, too.

The 1979-80 Warriors were the worst team in the NBA at 24-58. With the number one pick in the draft that June, they selected Purdue center Joe Barry Carroll, an All-American whom Golden State believed was the next Chamberlain, the next Nate Thurmond, the next Clifford Ray. That made Parish expendable, and he was shipped across the country to Boston, where Lacob must have been a very happy man.

Indeed, the Celtics won the 1981 championship with Parish in the pivot, providing the defensive ace Boston needed to compliment the offensive prowess of Larry Bird. Meanwhile, the Warriors were in the midst of seven losing seasons out of eight, bottoming out at 22-60 in 1984-85.

The Warriors made the playoffs in 1987 and stunned the Jazz in first round, but lost in the second round to the eventual champion Lakers. Golden State made the playoffs four seasons out of six between 1988-89 and 1993-94, but big time trouble was lurking.

In 1996, Golden State became the laughingstock of the NBA by dumping its iconic blue and gold palette and replacing it with a character who looked like a 1990s update of the old cartoon Voltron. I laughed so hard at how terrible the new logo looked, and for that reason, I vowed to never root for the Warriors as long as they wore this hideous uniform.

On December 1, 1997, the Warriors showed they were beyond hopeless.

That was the day when the volatile Latrell Sprewell choked coach P.J. Carliesmo during a practice. I was never a fan of the overbearing Carliesmo, who could belittle someone so badly Bobby Knight would blush. However, I also firmly believe nobody has the right to physically assault and choke someone without provocation. Sprewell was 100 percent in the wrong.

Sprewell was suspended for the remainder of the 1997-98 season without pay. I felt that was too lenient. He should have been fined at least another $2 million, and his suspension should have been for at least 164 games–the equivalent of two full seasons–with reinstatement solely up to then NBA commissioner David Stern.

I didn’t shed a tear when Golden State went 19-63 in ’97-’98 and ’99-2000, and 17-65 in 2000-01, then 21-61 in 2001-02. Golden State was getting what it richly deserved for Sprewell, for Carliesmo, for those disgusting uniforms.

The Warriors made the playoffs just once between 1994-95 and Lacob’s purchase of the franchise. In 2007, Golden State stunned top seed Dallas in the opening round of the playoffs, but didn’t return until 2013

With Steph Curry and Klay Thompson in their primes, with Draymond Green coming on, and with veteran savvy from Andrew Bogut, Harrison Barnes, David Lee and Finals MVP Andre Iguodala, the Warriors aren’t going anywhere.

Cleveland gave it their best, but when Kyrie Irving fractured a kneecap in overtime of game 1, the Cavaliers knew that it was LeBron or bust. King James did his best, but he no-showed for most of game 6. By the end of the third quarter, it was obvious the Cavaliers would not be going back to Oakland.

And Cleveland’s wait for a championship continues. And I don’t see it ending before next June at the earliest. I don’t see the Indians getting back into playoff contention this season, and the Browns will be lucky to win more than four games.