LeBron James offered an eloquent response to whether a stacked team like the Warriors is good for the NBA
(Ronald Martinez/Getty) The Cleveland Cavaliers-Golden State Warriors trilogy has ultimately been a flop, because it has become obvious the Warriors are far better than the Cavs.
LeBron James and his Cavs teammates have made clear throughout the series that these Warriors, with Kevin Durant, are not the same as the 73-win team the Cavs beat in last year’s Finals.
Game 3 on Wednesday night was a perfect example — the Cavs handed the Warriors their best shot, and it still wasn’t enough to beat them. Golden State escaped with a huge win to go up 3-0, only one game away from the title.
In the aftermath, there has been some debate whether the Warriors’ dominance is good for the league. They’re one win away from the NBA’s first 16-0 postseason. They have a core of four All-NBA players in their prime and a fairly simple path to keeping them together.
What team could realistically knock off these Warriors, and how long will it take?
On Thursday, James was asked whether it was “fair” for the already stacked Warriors to have added Durant, and how it compared with when he joined the Miami Heat with Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade in 2010.
“It’s part of the rules,” James said. “The best thing with Golden State’s situation is a lot of their guys are drafted. They drafted a lot of their guys. Three of their best players were already drafted, so they were able to hold on to them because they own the Bird rights, if everybody knows the [collective bargaining agreement]. So they’re able to keep Steph, Klay, and Draymond, and be able to go out and sign someone else like they did this past summer by just getting rid of a couple pieces. … So that allowed them to go do that.”
James called his situation in Miami “totally different” because the Heat had to create the cap space and clear their roster to sign him and Bosh.
James then addressed whether he thought the Warriors’ dominance was good for the league:
“But is it fair? I don’t care. I mean, I think it’s great. It’s great for our league. Right now, look at our TV ratings, look at the money our league is pouring in. I mean, guys are loving the game, our fans love the game. I mean, who am to say if it’s fair or not?
"No matter who I’m going against, if I’m going against four Hall of Famers … or if I’m going against two, or whatever the case may be, I’m always excited to play the game. And I’m not one to judge and say if it’s fair or not if guys are adding players to their team. So that’s what you want to do.
"Is it fair that the New York Yankees in the ‘90s was adding piece after piece after piece? I mean, if you have the opportunity to do that — is it fair that the Cowboys added Deion Sanders? I mean, listen, it happens. It’s sports. You have an opportunity to sign one of the players, and you can do it, go ahead and do it. Why not? If I become an owner, I’m going to try to sign everybody.”
James said he was proud of Durant and his success during his career, but that he thought their situations were different because Durant was joining an established team and culture, whereas his Heat team essentially had a blank slate.
He said he could still appreciate the subtle sacrifices Durant has had to make to fit with the Warriors:
“But I can definitely appreciate the simple fact of him either reshaping his game or just sacrificing maybe some shots here, sacrificing having the ball in his hands all the time. But it works for their team. I mean, who wouldn’t want to sacrifice playing on a Golden State team or a San Antonio team or a Cleveland team when you know the ultimate result is you can actually compete for a championship?”
Over the years, Cavs-Warriors has become the NBA’s best rivalry, and this year’s lopsided Finals most likely won’t help that. However, it’s clear that the two sides respect each other and that James isn’t bitter that a competitor jumped at an opportunity to improve.
LeBron may never be MJ, but he can do something His Airness never did: control the entire NBA.
I’ve heard, read and thought about every rumor and possibility for LeBron this summer and most of them make no sense, some even worse than that. The only two ideas that we’re reasonable were LeBron in a S&T to the Clippers or just simply re-signing with Miami. And even both of those seemed a little far-fetched and a little boring, respectively.
But then I read Andy Glockner’s take and I was instantly sold.
What can be better than LeBron taking his talents everywhere? The only exciting news in Free Agency for the last 5 years has been the two times LeBron had to make a decision.
Why limit the off-season fun to every 4 years? Why not make it every year? Why shouldn’t LeBron dominate the headlines the same way Kim Kardashian or Justin Beiber does? Why should the best of this generation control his own fate and with it control the NBA?
It’s not going to happen, but it would be a marvel to witness if it did.
I feel like you're the modern day J.R.R Tolkien minus an anthology of fantasy books for your languages. However you do now have an anthology of TV shows you've helped with
Thing is the only difference between me and the literally thousands of other experienced conlangers is an opportunity. Consider the NBA. The NBA has about 450 players; the WNBA 144. There are probably another 450 at least around the world who are good enough to be in the NBA but aren’t, for one reason or another (maybe they just retired; maybe they’re good enough but are staying in college another year; maybe they play in a foreign league and aren’t interested; maybe they never got the right opportunity; maybe they just don’t want to play, etc.), and probably even more for the WNBA. There are a few thousand more who play in the NCAA who are really, really good at basketball. Then if you go to high school, there are thousands upon thousands who are really good at basketball. Then there are others who play for themselves and never played in high school or college but who are still pretty good. Then there’s who knows how many who would be good but never thought to play, or were never encouraged to. And that’s just in the States. You can do the same thing in every country in the world.
Now imagine one mid-level NBA player was transported to a planet where they have basketballs and hoops and courts, but for some reason no one really plays (maybe a couple people every twenty years or so). When that dude gets on the court he tears it up—best that planet has ever seen! That doesn’t change the fact that he’s a mid-level NBA player.
Now sports is a little more objective than art (i.e. if players are at about the same level, it’s hard to say which is better, but there’s no possible way to argue that someone like me is better than LeBron James. There are too many objective criteria to prove this false), so this analogy isn’t perfect. Because in art, you could maybe say one artist is “better” than another, but you can’t tell someone they like artist A more than artist B because artist A is “better” than artist B (you see people try to do this all the time when arguing about bands, movies, TV shows, actors, etc.). Bringing it back to conlanging, it may be the case that there are those who would prefer my conlang work even if there were better conlangers whose work was more visible (the last part being key). Even so, when the only comparison one can draw is to someone who died 43 years ago simply because there aren’t that many names to choose from, that suggests to me that the sample size is way too small.
Because there are fantastic conlangers out there—both in the past and active right now—who do amazing work. Many who do amazing work who have done more work than I have. There work is invisible to the majority of non-conlangers, though, because we generally don’t seek conlang work out, only paying attention to it when it’s attached to something else we engage with regularly (movies, TV shows, books, video games, etc.). That’s something I’d like to see change.
I know it’s tough to learn a language one needs to use for work or school or whatever, let alone learn one just for fun. I think conlangs, though, can occupy kind of a small space in a person’s life, rather like a video game. You take an hour or two (sometimes more, sometimes less) to play a game you like; you can do that with a conlang. You can do stuff with it: Tattoos, if that’s your thing; compose poems; translate quotes; draw something to put on the wall, etc. Something that you want to do with it. Like check this out:
This is a sign my friend @sopih made for me in honor of moving in to my new house. It’s written in Tepatic glyphs, and it basically means “Congrats on the new house!” I freaking LOVE this. It sits on my desk (where I spend most of my time), and I’m keeping it forever. It means more to because @sopih wrote it in his conlang and did the brushwork himself. That’s something you can do with your own conlang or someone else’s. And there are thousands out there, so there’s always something new to check out!
Anyway, I do appreciate the compliment, so thank you, but at all times, I feel the weight of the thousands of conlangers I came from—because if Dave and Dan had chosen a different Dothraki proposal, I would be another unknown conlanger who had a lot of incredible work to offer that might never be seen.