Championship Aftermath: 10 Takeaways & 10 Questions

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In a shocking turn of events, the Golden State Warriors have won the 2017 NBA Championship. I know, I know, none of us saw this coming!

In what was one of the more compelling Gentleman’s Sweeps in recent memory, the Cavs were dispatched despite the superlative play of LeBron James and a 2.75 game HOT streak from Kyrie Irving.

With the Dubs taking the ‘chip back from the Cavaliers in the Trilogy, there are so many storylines to talk about. KD’s first ring. Curry’s “redemption” from last year’s flop. Draymond getting through the whole series without kicking anyone in the balls. Steve Kerr making it back from debilitating complications from his back injury. But, there are 10 more stories that are bigger than all of that.

1) The Greatest Love Story Of Our Time

Basketball is a sport built on passion. Sometimes, in the heat of the moment, that passion can manifest itself in different ways. One time, it’s Steph Curry taking a dropping a pretend deuce on the court in glee. Other times it’s David West and Tristan Thompson professing their love for each other in front of the whole world, to hell with what we all think:

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Still a better love story than Twilight

Q: Does Double T stay in Cleveland, or do the Cavs look to trade the defensive specialist?

2) JAVAAAAAAAAALE MCGEEEE!!

At one point, McGee was leading the Playoffs in PER (sure, it was when they were playing Portland, but still). Throughout the post season, McGee has been an important and valuable contributor. And now, he becomes the greatest/only player to ever win a Championship whilst rocking a Rat Tail.

McGee might have gotten his game under control, but he didn’t let winning change who he was. This is great for JaVale, the Warriors, and anyone that hangs around train stations late at night hoping to bum a ciggy.

Q: Can the Dubs retain JaVale, or has he priced himself out of their budget?

3) Michael Burton Brown

Or Mike Brown, as he is better known. The twice former Cleveland Cavaliers coach may have just enjoyed the greatest season an Ass. Coach can have. Yes, even better than Luke Walton’s 39-4-becomes-Laker-Head-Coach season from last year. How you ask?

  • Joins the winningest team from the past 2 seasons as Lead Assistant.
  • Keeps getting paid by Cavs for firing him 1 year into his 5 year, $20 mil contract…just before LeBron came back!
  • Wins more games than any other NBA team this season, has fun coaching.
  • Keeps getting paid by Cavs for firing him 1 year into his 5 year, $20 mil contract…just before LeBron came back!
  • Gets to take over from Steve Kerr who has an indefinite leave of absence due to continued complications from back surgery, in the Playoffs.
  • Keeps getting paid by Cavs for firing him 1 year into his 5 year, $20 mil contract…just before LeBron came back!
  • Goes 11-0, IN THE PLAYOFFS, as caretaker coach, rehabilitating his image from failed tenures in LA and Cleveland.
  • Keeps getting paid by Cavs for firing him 1 year into his 5 year, $20 mil contract…just before LeBron came back!
  • WINS NBA CHAMPIONSHIP AGAINST THE TEAM THAT FIRED HIM – JUST BEFORE LEBRON CAME BACK – WITH LEBRON HAVING ONE OF HIS GREATEST SERIES EVER
  • Keeps getting paid by Cavs for firing him 1 year into his 5 year, $20 mil contract…just before LeBron came back!

Q: Does Coach Brown get a look at another Head Coach position? Does he want one?

4) The First Time Since 2013 You Haven’t Needed An Aussie To Win The Finals

San Antonio Spurs – Patrick Mills and Aron Baynes
Golden State Warriors – Andrew Bogut
Cleveland Cavaliers – Matthew Dellavedova

For a while there it was looking like having an Australian on your squad was the only surefire way to win the Larry O’Brien Trophy. It certainly helps your playoff chances, as both Utah and Milwaukee advanced to the Conference Semi’s with dual Australian players and the Spurs had Mills on their WCF team. Cleveland even tried to tap into the streak, but Bogut changed his mind about playing for the enemy 1 minute into his new tenure as a Cav.

Q: Who will be the next Australian crowned Champion, and how long will it take?

5) Mark Jackson Telling Harrison Barnes How It Is

Kevin Durant. The guy has been so good, that if I was Harrison Barnes watching this game right now, the former champion for the Warriors, I would say ‘I understand’.

Q: Can Barnes escape the memory of his 2016 Finals and experience Playoff success as a foundation player?

6) James Michael McAdoo – Dual NBA Champion

According to basketball reference, McAdoo has a Value Over Replacement Player of zero for the 2017 playoffs, and also his entire playoff resume. He has a playoff win share total of 0.3 for his career. Steve Kerr primarily used McAdoo for defence, but his defensive box plus-minus went from plus 6.8 last playoffs to minus 3.0 these playoffs. Oh, and he now has the same number of championships as his Hall Of Fame relative. We are witnessing the reincarnation of Mark Madsen.
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Q: Does McAdoo remain with Golden State, or even stay in the League?

7) Jose Calderon – Robbed

Remember this? Jose Calderon was mercifully released by the Lakers to chase his title dreams with a team that could conceivably win it all. For reasons I’m still not too sure about, the Dubs wanted him. Calderon was busy clearing waivers, and was all set to join the Warriors. But then, Gortat into Zaza into Durant happened:

This forced the Warriors to reassess their immediate needs, resulting in the hiring of all around good guy Matt Barnes. (By the way, the guy who turned himself into the authorities over an assault charge is now an NBA Champion). Barnes’ incredible good luck was the shocking misfortune for Jose Calderon. Considering the severely minor contributions Barnes made to the Warriors title run, it’s pretty safe to say that Calderon would have been a member of not just a title winning team, but a roster making a bid for Greatest Team of All Time. Instead, he ended up with the Atlanta Hawks.

Q: Where does Jose land to chase a ring in 2017/18?

8) Steve Nash Finally Tasted Championship Glory

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Look at how happy Steve is! Despite Steve not playing at all in these Finals, due to retirement in 2015, Mr Nash still made an impact with the Dubs as a consultant. And since he is technically an employee of Golden State, I think it’s fair to say he finally got his ‘Chip!

Q: Does Nash make the jump to Assistant Coach/Front Office Exec this summer?

9) The Defeated Coach’s Press Conference

This is a man who thinks his team was better. This is a man who is not enjoying the fact that he was beaten. There is something perverse about making members of the losing team get up and talk about why they just lost one of the biggest games of their careers. The heartache is so pure and raw. The answers are considered but tinged with a bit of “fuck it, we lost so what does it matter”. Admitting to failure is no easy task for the average person, let alone professional athletes who build their whole foundation of self on the basis that they can be better than anyone else. Being forced to talk about it just after you’ve failed is an especially cruel twist of the knife. I love it.

Q: How long does Ty Lue get before the vultures start circling? Coach Blatt didn’t get much leash.

10) Andre Iguodala Had Great Shoes In Game 5

And despite my best efforts, the internet doesn’t have a picture of them for me to share. Go back and watch Game 5, all you will see is Silver/Gold (can’t tell which it is) for Iggy’s 38 minutes on the floor. I completely attribute his breakout game to his kicks.

Q: Does Iggy take the hometown discount to keep the band together, or look for one last big payday?


Stats courtesy of basketball-reference
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