343 days after Kevin Durant set the NBA community on fire with his infamous decision to depart from the Oklahoma City Thunder, he won a championship with the team that knocked him out of the playoffs last year, the Golden State Warriors.
However, Durant wasn’t the only NBA veteran yearning for an NBA title. Javale McGee and David West have a combined 21 years of NBA experience but zero championships between them. West has played on four teams and McGee has played on five in eight seasons.
No matter your opinion on the decision Durant made, he’s an unbelievable player and fully deserves to be the NBA Finals MVP.
In this series against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Durant averaged 35.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 5.4 assists per game on 55.6 percent shooting. Obviously, those stats are highly impressive, but considering the three other NBA All-Stars he plays alongside, it may be even more impressive.
Before the season started, many critics shared their opinion on this offensively stout roster and how there weren’t going to be enough shots to distribute between the four. Some even said there may be chemistry issues due to a battle for power. Somehow, Steve Kerr and Co. worked all that out behind closed doors and never seemed to encounter any major issues.
This is a prime offense for Durant to thrive in. OKC was as well, but Golden State has four other players that can pick up the slack on the rare occasions his shot isn’t falling. Last season in OKC, he only had Westbrook on a consistent basis. Durant’s sole purpose is to win championships.
Durant’s sole purpose is to win championships and that’s what he’s doing. All the extra doesn’t matter to him.
He has solidified himself as one of the most prolific scorers to ever touch a basketball and him being 6-foot-11 makes it even more mythical.
McGee and West
These two played significant roles off the bench for the Warriors and they deserve all the accolades that come with winning an NBA title. No, they weren’t Durant, Klay Thompson, Steph Curry or Draymond Green, but they were a solid supporting cast.
David West for his career averages 14.1 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. This season was his 13th and it’s clear his best days are behind him but don’t let his 4.5 points per game this postseason fool you. He was one of the three emotional leaders on this team. Without West, Green, and Andre Iguodala, this team wouldn’t hold that tough and defensive edge over many teams. He was the voice of the Warriors reserves.
McGee averages 7.8 points and 5 rebounds per game – he’s not known as a great player, yet he’s known for Shaquille O’Neal’s TV show “Shaqtin’ a Fool,” a show that highlights player’s bloopers throughout a season. He’s become a legend on that show, but this title, plus his contributions to the Warriors bench forces us to put some respect on his name.
For the second year in three, the Warriors won the NBA title. Instead of comparing them to the Detroit Pistons in the 80s, the ’95-’96 Chicago Bulls or the ’00-’02 Los Angeles Lakers and critiquing the method of how they created this super team, we should all just appreciate an exciting basketball team.
Although Lebron James lost the series, he still made history. He played unbelievably and averaged a triple-double in the Finals for the first time, ever. 33.6 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists per game on 56 percent shooting.
Now, it’s the offseason and 29 NBA teams have a little over three months to figure out how to contend against the Warriors.
May the offseason frenzy begin.