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Offline royal

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2016 NBA Finals
« on: June 02, 2016, 06:16:13 PM »
LeBron James and Stephen Curry aren't classic 'rivals.' So what?


No, Stephen Curry and LeBron James aren’t exactly “rivals” at this point. This isn’t a criticism of either player, nor is this another insipid statement on how today’s super-soft NBA has become too darn collegial for another old man’s tastes.

Nah, it’s just that they’re not there yet; presuming they’ll ever get there, as this league evolves. Even on the eve of their second consecutive Finals pairing (and possibly even after this June has finished), they just don’t strike as foes in the same way that their MVP and superstar predecessors once did. Through little fault of their own.

James and Curry were asked about as much during Wednesday’s media day, in the lead up to Thursday’s Game 1 of the NBA Finals, and both acknowledged as much:

    “You guys make rivals. I think it’s great for the sport. It’s great for all sports,” he said. “I don’t think me and Steph . . . when you talk about rivalries, you talk about Carolina-Duke, you talk about Ohio State-Michigan. It’s hard to say LeBron and Steph. If there’s a smaller scale or another word for a rival.”

    Curry chose to pass on all that stuff on the eve of Game 1, although he did admit to being a bit annoyed.

    “I’m not in the business of ranking or debating who is what,” he said. “It’s about winning and the fact that we won a championship last year and were the last team standing, obviously is what was most important to me. Us being back here against the Cavs again, there are story lines and whatnot that as a basketball fan are pretty cool when you have two teams fighting for the same trophy once again and trying to play at a very high level to help our team get there. That’s all I’m worried about.

For the last 11 months NBA fans have guessed that LeBron and Steph would be gearing up for Round 2 by the time June, 2016 hit. That guesswork was all but assured by the time Golden State started its season with 24 straight wins, and the Cavaliers dismissed potential usurpers on its way to the top of the East by Christmas.

And yet the two just don’t give off the vibe. Which is fine.

James is just four years older than Curry, but by virtue of LeBron being given millions straight out of high school, he was able to develop his stardom while Curry (even as the son of a longtime NBA player) worked in relative anonymity until his final two years at Davidson. By the time Curry was drafted in 2009, James had already been to an NBA Finals, already won an MVP as the top player on the team with the league’s best record, and was already staring down the soap opera that would turn into his embarrassing 2009-10 free agent tour.

From there, Curry struggled to overcome injury woes and the tactical issues that dogged his first few coaches. By the time the two met in the 2015 Finals, James was working on his fifth Finals trip and fourth in a row, looking (still looking) for that third ring and first for the city of Cleveland.

They’ve played just twice since Curry’s Warriors downed LeBron’s Cavaliers in last year’s Finals. It’s true that one of those was in the presence of your family on Christmas Day and the other was a much talked-about Warrior blowout – both nationally televised affairs – but the fact remains that neither player is seen in the same room as the other all that much.

The NBA’s first great individual rivalry pitted Boston Celtics center Bill Russell and Philadelphia Warriors center Wilt Chamberlain, two big men that shared a league, conference, division, and airspace. Not only were they the game’s two biggest stars and statistical dominators, they played the same position and worked out of the same time zone – as six of the NBA’s nine teams did in 1961-62, when Wilt and Russell squared off against each other 19 times in one season, counting the playoffs.

Nineteen times. Counting last year’s Finals, Stephen Curry has played 15 games against LeBron James since the current MVP was drafted into the NBA.

OK, it’s a novelty then. The league has changed, Celtics games start at 7:30 local time and Warriors games (now played in Oakland) start at around the same time workers in Boston’s arena start sweeping up the aisles following that night’s contest. There are 30 teams, which means even Conference-sharers only play each other four times a season, if that.

On top of all this, Russell and Chamberlain both played the same position – something the wispy-winged Curry will never be able to claim as he looks up to the Mack Truck With Skills that is LeBron James. Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, though they technically did not play the same position, still at least shared similar skill sets.

Michael Jordan and Patrick Ewing would seem to have the same problem, but that hardly got in the way of their natural rivalry. The two played each other just once in college, during the 1982 NCAA Championship game, but CBS made a point to pit two struggling Knicks and Bulls squads (Chicago was 13-12 at the time, New York 6-20) as showcase Christmas Day game in 1986. The two went on to face each other during five times (and it likely would have been more, had things not gotten nasty, or had Jordan not retired in 1993) in the Eastern Conference playoffs with Patrick’s Knicks failing to take a single series.

Media and, clearly, the NBA helped prop that pairing up from the outset, though, pitting two major cities against each other. Curry’s Golden State team doesn’t even have a technical city on its uniform, and it wasn’t a championship contender until last season. James’ Cleveland outfit plays in the 17th-largest media market in the NBA, and he wasn’t even a member of the Cavaliers from 2010 through 2014.

On the home fronts, Golden State’s chief rival would seem to be a Los Angeles Clippers team that they clearly do not like. That back and forth gives us fodder to consume in December, but due to injury and some on-court slip-ups, those two franchises haven’t seen each other in the postseason since 2014. LeBron’s main rival would either be former teammate and NBA best friend Dwyane Wade, a man he’s never faced in the playoffs, or a Chicago team that James has dispatched four out of four times in the postseason. The Bulls didn’t even make it to the playoffs in the East this year.

Stephen Curry and LeBron James just don’t have a rivalry in the historical sense, and considering the interest and ratings behind their pairing, it’s hard to argue that this is somehow a bad thing. This year’s NBA Finals will once again make a mark for the highest championship ratings since Michael Jordan’s last turn at the wheel, a remarkable accomplishment for a culture that has cut the cord and/or slid over to their computers or tablets. In an era full of planned-out binge watching, people are still making plans for Thursday and Sunday night, and how to take it in live.

From there, the two will play two-to-five more games against each other. They’ll meet each other again on Christmas, wearing silly uniforms, and then show up at some point on TNT deep into the dead of winter during 2016-17.

And that’s just fine. Somehow, in a sport obsessed with the work of the individual, Golden State and Cleveland have become the real attraction.

- - - - - - -

Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops

Offline weary1969

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Re: 2016 NBA Finals
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2016, 10:15:05 PM »
GSW 1 down 3 to go
Today you're the dog, tomorrow you're the hydrant - so be good to others - it comes back!"

Offline royal

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Re: 2016 NBA Finals
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2016, 05:35:27 AM »

Offline E-man

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Re: 2016 NBA Finals
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2016, 12:14:02 PM »
https://vine.co/v/iYbxq6rXuZb
[vine]iYbxq6rXuZb[/vine]
Warriors!
« Last Edit: June 03, 2016, 12:15:38 PM by E-man »

Offline weary1969

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Re: 2016 NBA Finals
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2016, 08:28:21 PM »
Lebrick I almost sorry for you.  Where yuh taking yuh talents to next.
Today you're the dog, tomorrow you're the hydrant - so be good to others - it comes back!"

Offline soccerman

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Re: 2016 NBA Finals
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2016, 09:15:19 AM »
3-1 Warriors!

Offline weary1969

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Re: 2016 NBA Finals
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2016, 12:44:37 PM »
Let's end this Monday so I can give some attention to Copa
Today you're the dog, tomorrow you're the hydrant - so be good to others - it comes back!"

Offline weary1969

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Re: 2016 NBA Finals
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2016, 06:57:01 PM »
No Draymond No Problem. Same result LICKS
Today you're the dog, tomorrow you're the hydrant - so be good to others - it comes back!"


Offline soccerman

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Re: 2016 NBA Finals
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2016, 10:28:14 PM »
We have a series again...they good ruff up Steph and it threw him off his game. Monster game by Kyrie and LeBron though.

Offline Sando prince

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Re: 2016 NBA Finals
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2016, 10:46:57 PM »
Think if Cavs were to win game 6 how Lebron haters will be literally on their knees praying for a game 7 win  ;D ah love it
.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2016, 09:10:10 AM by Sando prince »

Offline weary1969

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Re: 2016 NBA Finals
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2016, 10:47:28 AM »
We have a series again...they good ruff up Steph and it threw him off his game. Monster game by Kyrie and LeBron though.

Yes
Today you're the dog, tomorrow you're the hydrant - so be good to others - it comes back!"

Offline weary1969

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Re: 2016 NBA Finals
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2016, 10:50:26 AM »
Think if Cavs were to win game 6 how Lebron haters will be literally on their knees praying for a game 7 win  ;D ah love it
.

No we will know that the story that was written by Nike 4 Lebrick even before he score a basket. By leading his team back from 3-1 he will be crowned the greatest.
Today you're the dog, tomorrow you're the hydrant - so be good to others - it comes back!"

Offline 100% Barataria

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Re: 2016 NBA Finals
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2016, 12:55:10 PM »
Think if Cavs were to win game 6 how Lebron haters will be literally on their knees praying for a game 7 win  ;D ah love it
.

No we will know that the story that was written by Nike 4 Lebrick even before he score a basket. By leading his team back from 3-1 he will be crowned the greatest.

the new GOAT?  :devil:
Education is our passport for the future for the future belongs to those who prepare for it today

Offline weary1969

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Re: 2016 NBA Finals
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2016, 01:10:18 PM »
Think if Cavs were to win game 6 how Lebron haters will be literally on their knees praying for a game 7 win  ;D ah love it
.

No we will know that the story that was written by Nike 4 Lebrick even before he score a basket. By leading his team back from 3-1 he will be crowned the greatest.

the new GOAT?  :devil:

NEVER MVB Most Valuable Baby
Today you're the dog, tomorrow you're the hydrant - so be good to others - it comes back!"

Offline soccerman

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Re: 2016 NBA Finals
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2016, 02:12:30 PM »
Kevin Love gets no love...de man try to high 5 Lebron only to get a scolding yes

Offline weary1969

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Re: 2016 NBA Finals
« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2016, 07:18:24 AM »
Kevin Love gets no love...de man try to high 5 Lebron only to get a scolding yes

If Kobe had done that .....
Today you're the dog, tomorrow you're the hydrant - so be good to others - it comes back!"

Offline royal

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Re: 2016 NBA Finals
« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2016, 06:50:51 AM »
Game 7 it is

« Last Edit: June 17, 2016, 06:55:48 AM by royal »

Offline weary1969

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Re: 2016 NBA Finals
« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2016, 08:21:24 AM »
Game 7 it is



SHE NEEDS TO HUSH JEEZEEEEEEE.
Today you're the dog, tomorrow you're the hydrant - so be good to others - it comes back!"

Offline Sando prince

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Re: 2016 NBA Finals
« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2016, 08:36:11 AM »
Think if Cavs were to win game 6 how Lebron haters will be literally on their knees praying for a game 7 win  ;D ah love it
.

 :D look what happened! game 7 will be epic

Offline Sando prince

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Re: 2016 NBA Finals
« Reply #20 on: June 17, 2016, 08:36:50 AM »

Blame the ref, say the NBA is rigged whenever my team do not win  :D

Offline Sando prince

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Re: 2016 NBA Finals
« Reply #21 on: June 17, 2016, 09:10:29 AM »


<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/V9hNrRxEf9E" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/V9hNrRxEf9E</a>

Offline asylumseeker

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Re: 2016 NBA Finals
« Reply #22 on: June 19, 2016, 05:30:06 PM »
Buh allyuh eh mention Pep was at Game 4.

Offline soccerman

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Re: 2016 NBA Finals
« Reply #23 on: June 19, 2016, 06:09:20 PM »
Time for game 7.....locked in!

Offline soccerman

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Re: 2016 NBA Finals
« Reply #24 on: June 19, 2016, 06:10:13 PM »
Buh allyuh eh mention Pep was at Game 4.
Didn't see him. Did they show him on TV?

Offline soccerman

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Re: 2016 NBA Finals
« Reply #25 on: June 19, 2016, 06:46:40 PM »
Please keep Harrison Barnes on the bench  :praying:

Offline asylumseeker

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Re: 2016 NBA Finals
« Reply #26 on: June 19, 2016, 07:03:40 PM »
Buh allyuh eh mention Pep was at Game 4.
Didn't see him. Did they show him on TV?

Iz only in the US dem men could move so incognito.

http://www.marca.com/en/more-sports/2016/06/11/575c10f0e2704ebd7f8b459e.html

Offline soccerman

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Re: 2016 NBA Finals
« Reply #27 on: June 19, 2016, 07:26:56 PM »
Buh allyuh eh mention Pep was at Game 4.
Didn't see him. Did they show him on TV?

Iz only in the US dem men could move so incognito.

http://www.marca.com/en/more-sports/2016/06/11/575c10f0e2704ebd7f8b459e.html
I didn't even recognize him in that photo lol

Offline Sando prince

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Re: 2016 NBA Finals
« Reply #28 on: June 19, 2016, 08:40:05 PM »

KING JAMES!

What will the haters say now?

Offline Bitter

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Re: 2016 NBA Finals
« Reply #29 on: June 19, 2016, 08:40:49 PM »

KING JAMES!

Talk done. And I real hate Kyrie game too eh.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2016, 08:42:34 PM by Bitter »
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