LeBron James is the best player in the NBA. He’s going to his 8th straight NBA Finals. He’s arguably the best athlete in North American sports. His presence on a roster makes that team a title contender. He essentially carried this Cavaliers team to the Eastern Conference title. The only professional athlete in North America I’d put on the same pedestal right now is Tom Brady.
LeBron is going to lose in the NBA Finals, and probably lose pretty bad. Golden State is just a hands down, far better team than Cleveland. If LeBron is the best player in this series, the next four best players are all on Golden State. Frankly, the big four of Durant, Curry, Thompson, and Green are all putting together Hall-of-Fame resumes before our eyes. They just won a much harder conference, and beat a better team in each round than Cleveland did. You can try and argue that a healthy Kevin Love could make this competitive, but he’d be the fifth best player on Golden State, and that’s arguable against the also questionably healthy Andre Iguodala.
Last year, Golden State swept a Cavaliers team that had Kyrie Irving, arguably a top ten player in the league. Does anybody actually think the bench pick-ups Cleveland made at the deadline will narrow the gap with Golden State? This Cleveland team needed LeBron James to put up arguably the greatest post-season ever to get by a not-quite-ready Indiana squad, a scared Toronto squad, and a Celtics team missing their best two players.
For me, the argument over LeBron being the best current basketball player is over in his favor, as is the argument of him being the best of his generation. LeBron will have a great series against the best team of this era. He might even average a triple-double. It won’t matter. His 2016 NBA title in Cleveland is his greatest achievement of his career, but once Durant went to Golden State, the mountain got too high. If LeBron’s supporting cast shows up, I could see this series going six games. I expect Golden State to win the title in four or five games.
Long live the king. I’m pulling for the upset. This would be a top five athletic feat of all time.