This is a very bittersweet moment for NBA Fans all over. For me personally this is a terrible hangover feel. Last night I was excited to see who would win the championship, but waking up this morning I just realized that it’s all over. With Game 7 coming to a close, the NBA season is officially over. Now it’s time to sit back and reflect on what we saw.
We saw one hell of a series that pushed both the Heat and the Spurs to their limits. It was Tim Duncan trying to end his legacy on a huge note versus LeBron James trying cement his legacy even further. In the end the best player of this generation finished off the greatest power forward of all time in a narrow, down to the wire victory. Last year it was LeBron’s time and this year it was too.
Ever since LeBron came to Miami, the immediate thought was that there were going to be multiple championships won. People looked at that as if it was the worst thing to happen to sports, a team dominating! Or even worse a team built through free agency dominating!
A lot of people felt that LBJ should of stayed in Cleveland to capture his rings but as we can see his decision is still paying off. While it surely wasn’t the popular move at the time, as no superstars of that level usually leave their team as a free agent but LeBron did it his way and just like with any other leader, people followed. Teams that have a superstar are so afraid of having them get close to free agency that they would rather trade them than lose them to another team. Players are taking notice of this and are even forcing trades to where they want to go. The times of sitting around with the same busted squad hoping to sneak your way into the Finals are over. If a superstar wants to leave, they will. We have LeBron to thank for that, he’s changed the game.
When people talk about the Chicago Bulls dynasty and their two three-peats, I get a little jealous. When Michael Jordan was dominating the game, I was only a child and I didn’t get to witness that great dynasty. When Jordan won his last championship I was only 6 years old and even if I wanted to watch the game, I don’t think my bedtime would of allowed me to see much. The stories of how dominant he was sound like urban legend. What makes it even crazier is when Kobe Bryant or LeBron James do something amazing all the old heads remind me “Jordan was nicer”. Sure I’ve seen countless throwback games on NBA TV of Mike Jordan balling but the thought of being able to watch the era when it was going on disappoints me dearly. By the time I really could get into the NBA Michael Jordan was lacing up the jay’s for the Washington Wizards and all i heard was “he used to be nicer”.
I feel blessed to actually have witnessed a few other dynasties though as I can clearly remember the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angles Lakers dominating. The Spurs domination was exciting but it never came on a back to back basis. All their wins were spread out and didn’t look as great to my young mind.
Now the Lakers dynasty on the other hand was one for the ages, watching Kobe and Shaq play together was pure magic. You got two guys who supposedly hate each other, both the best at their positions and completely dominate the game. Shaq was a bully in the paint, I remember watching him post up scrawny centers and finish the play with a power jam. This dude was huge and talented, every time he got the ball he was pretty much going to finish. The only thing he could’t do was shoot free throws. Kobe on the other hand, was the next best thing after Jordan, he played like him and dominated at his position as well. Kobe wasn’t buddy-buddy with anybody, he came to play basketball. Kobe’s game was made to get buckets and that’s what he did! (and still does now) It was perfect because they had that outside presence and inside presence, they won three back to back titles and looked like they couldn’t be beaten.
Now we have a new team to look back at when its all said and done. One day I’m going to be able to tell my kids all about how the Heat won multiple titles and how these new guys aren’t nothing like LeBron James. I’ll be able to say I saw that era of basketball and seen one of the best to ever do it. I’ll be able to look at whatever super team is formed years from now and say, “they may be good but they couldn’t beat the Heat”. Being a fan of the game I’m loving witnessing a new dynasty. Hearing about history is cool but witnessing history is truly amazing.