That was supposed to be how the Warriors played. So in an effort to turn the tide at the beginning of the third quarter, Golden State's watch party fans chanted desperately for "defense" when the Warriors were down 14 points, but it was all for naught, as the Cleveland Cavaliers clawed back from a 3-1 series deficit with a dominating performance to force a Game 7.
This year the Golden State Warriors put together a historic run with a 73-9 record that surpassed the previous record established by Michael Jordan's 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls.
Just as with the impressive run of the Shaq-Kobe Lakers at the turn of the millennium, the question many prematurely asked was whether Stephen Curry's squad was greater than Jordan's Bulls.
LeBron James, who began his career out of high school just as Jordan ended his curtain-call return to basketball with the Washington Wizards, has dealt with his various Jordan questions of his own over the years.
When the NBA imposed age requirements and ushered in the "one-and-done" era, it ended the days of prep-to-pro players such as Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, Jermaine O'Neal, Rashard Lewis, Tracy McGrady, and LeBron James. Simply put, LeBron James arguably is a reminder for the NBA of an era it would like to forget.
Curry, on the other hand, has been widely promoted by the league as its new face, and has used a largely different marketing image. Curry is a fashion-conscious, family man, who famously let his kid crawl around during one of his press conferences in last year’s playoff run.
Furthermore, Curry is somewhat undersized for an NBA player (6’3" and 190 pounds), allowing the casual fan, who also is often of such a smaller stature himself, to identify with the Warriors three-point gunner. Wearing his trademark grey sports coat, Curry could walk down the street in the San Francisco Mission District and look like any other hipster.
That couldn’t be said for the heavily tattooed LeBron, who stands 6’8", weighs 250 pounds, and is no fashion model. If Curry savors the Bay Area sophistication, James reflects a working class Rust Belt vibe.
He’s also a professional wrestling fan. James wore shirts with professional wrestlers on them, proclaiming "we're not dead yet and we're going to bury you," sending out Undertaker swag before Game 5.
After a brief-stop over in Las Vegas, James and the Cavaliers made one more fashion change wearing another pro wrestling shirt as he exited the airplane in Cleveland to 10,000 fans: The Ultimate Warrior.
By Joseph Hammond
Contributing Writer for TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services