Warriors Win—What’s Next For the NBA? by Chuck Strom

The Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2017 NBA Finals four games to one, but the series felt a lot closer than that. If the Cavs had managed to close out their late lead in Game 3 on their home court, they would likely have played a Game 6 there as well, which in turn would likely have produced another Game 7 in Oakland. Make no mistake—the Warriors’ joy was mixed with a lot of relief last night. None of them relished a return trip to Cleveland to tempt fate.

According to an article by Zach Lowe on ESPN, the dominance of the Warriors and Cavaliers could dampen the competitiveness of the rest of the NBA. For many general managers, it may be tempting to forgo trades or free-agent signings designed to help their teams win in the short term if their only reward is to get swept in whatever playoff round they encounter KD or LeBron. Those who choose to lay low, however, should remember that mortality can strike a dynasty faster than you might think. The Warriors, for all of their youth and depth, could fall from dominance to merely contender status with one or two injuries to key players. It’s always tempting in the wake of a championship to think that what just happened will keep happening at least for a few more years, if not forever. Danny Ainge thought as much of his 1986 Boston Celtics, but two years later they lost their hold on the Eastern Conference, not to be regained until a decade afterward.

Nothing is more fleeting than athletic success. The Warriors should enjoy their parade Thursday and take lots of pictures, an omission Mike Krukow regretted from the 2010 Giants parade in San Francisco. A return visit is never guaranteed.


Chuck Strom

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