It took 40 years for the Golden State Warriors to repeat as World Champions but there’s no doubt for Bay Area fans that it was worth the wait. The best team in the NBA proved they could silence the self proclaimed “best player in the world” winning game 6, 105-97.
The baby faced assassin, Stephen Curry kept his cool despite being fouled and harassed non-stop and scored 25 points with 8 assists and 6 rebounds. But it was the year’s unsung hero, Andre Iguodala who once again rose to the occasion. The 11 year vet calmly and calculatingly scored 25 points to secure the historic win over the Cleveland Cavaliers while making LeBron James wildly uncomfortable.
Golden State Warriors Prove the Best Team Trumps the “Best Player”
“I can’t say enough about my teammates,” said Curry, the season’s MVP. “The brotherhood of this team. Everyone bought into the owners and coaches plan. It all payed off. We’re going to enjoy this one.”
The reaction from the Championship Series MVP, Iguodola who was asked to give up his starting position to strengthened the bench yet started the last two games of the series was equally humble.
“I can’t help saying how blessed I am,” added a grinning Iguodola. “We kept fighting. We took one game at a time. It’s indescribable. You just don’t know how hard it is. We had a great group of guys, coaches. and fans. They’re the best. They deserve it. It’s beautiful man.”
Beautiful indeed. Fans around the bay like Nina Pasquale in Marin County and Joane Nelson in Burlingame took to social media to share their pride in the team they’ve rooted for all year long.
“Yay Warriors,”texted Nelson. “So excited! Why couldn’t they do this back in the day when I had season tickets? Great team! And I like that they are so lovable too. Great group of guys.”
“Refs are so insane. Not thrilled with the announcers either,” texted Pasquale during the heated contest at Quicken Loans Arena. “LeBron this and LeBron that. It takes a team to win, not one flippin’ King James.”
It was also worth the grueling journey for first year coach Steve Kerr who admitted he was blessed with an unquestionably superior team.
“It speaks to the character of the players,” said Kerr. “The ownership, Bob Myers and his staff did an incredible job putting together this roster. They had what it took, spiritually and emotionally. They were close. A great group of guys willing to take the vision we gave them in the beginning of the year.”
Sacrifices that lead to a magical season that will be remembered forever as the team that ended the 40 year drought and the Championship Parade is scheduled for Friday. A time for the entire Bay Area to celebrate and thank the players who proved unselfish team ball and defense indeed win championships.
For Kerr who will collect his sixth ring, the first as a coach, this one is truly special.
“It was chaos, pure joy,” said Kerr of the scene in the locker room after the win. “It’s been 12 years since I’d been there (as a player). I almost forgot just how grueling the stretch is. Two months of physical and emotional stress. One of the great scenes for me was hearing the warriors chant from 500 fans behind us representing Dub Nation. I remember coming into Oracle as a player and hearing the loud supportive, passionate fans. I couldn’t be happier for our fans. they deserve it.”
And their fans who exemplify the “strength in numbers”agree their team deserves it too.
James did show his unquestionable talent scoring 32 points, 18 rebounds and 9 assists in 41 minutes trying in vain to carry his team to victory. He averaged 36.6 points, 12.4 rebounds and 8.8 assist through the first five games. But he had a very slim supporting cast with key All Stars, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving missing due to injuries. Those who criticized the Warriors and downplayed their ability to win the title with three point shooters claim the results would have been different without those injuries. However, Kerr and his coaching staff deserve a great deal of credit for managing his player’s minutes and ensuring they would be ready, willing and able to perform and excel when needed. And succeed they did. The Championship parade begins at 10am Friday in Oakland.