Don’t let this distract you from the fact the Golden State Warriors blew a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals.
That’s what the Warriors have been relentlessly hearing for the past year after being turned into a punchline by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
From being a win away from completing a historic campaign in which they set the record for most wins in a regular season, to being crying Jordan face’d into oblivion, the Warriors suffered the ultimate fall from grace. They were the belle of the ball, the rare dominant team that was liked and not loathed.
And then LeBron snatched all that admiration and respectability, though much of it was self-induced as the Warriors saw their confidence suddenly viewed as arrogance and their loose, fun-loving play deemed reckless.
Now, they’re the NBA’s biggest villains, not only battering opposing teams on a nightly basis, but the concept of parity in a league that has ultimately become repetitive the past three years.
Kevin Durant’s decision to jump ship from Oklahoma City and join the bandwagon only stoked the flames and took their newfound ‘unlikeability’ to new levels. That’ll happen when you’re a 73-win team and add a former MVP, which is the equivalent of Bill Gates winning the lottery.
Golden State and their fans should have known hatred would follow, but they’ve struggled to reconcile embracing the villain role with the desire to still be liked. You can somewhat understand their unrealistic expectation that even as they embarrass teams, they should still be cheered, considering that’s exactly what was happening before their collapse against Cleveland.