On Thursday night, the Golden State Warriors will open the doors of ORACLE Arena and host the Cleveland Cavilers in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
The match-up is a blessing for the NBA and a dream for hardcore hardwood fans. However, like most epic battles, there has predominantly been a "good guy VS bad guy" story line on the way to the NBA Championship. It appears this is not the case.
Let's start with the Cavaliers, Lebron James and a wrestling reference that fans will appreciate and non-fans will tune out (if you choose the latter, please enjoy another link on this fine page).
Lebron James is WWE Superstar and Hollywood money machine The Rock. When The Rock debuted in the WWE, he was a handsome blue-chipper named Rocky Maivia. The WWE Universe loved him, but after time The Rock turned his back on the ones that praised him most and started his own alliance of chosen ones called the Nation of Domination. This heel move would last for years, before The Rock turned face, embraced the admiration of millions (and millions) of fans to become The People's Champion.
The same holds true for King James' reign.
What started with the prodigal son putting Cleveland on the map, turned into a media fiasco with "The Decision," a plethora of burned James jersey images as he took his talents to South Beach and then returning full circle with his promise to bring a championship to the hometown fans that cheered for him in the beginning.
Now, take a look at the Warriors, a franchise that is returning to the Finals for the first time in 40 years when Earth, Wind and Fire's "Shining Star" was #1 on radio.
Undoubtedly the man donning the white hat for Golden State is Steph Curry.
Curry has captivated the hearts of people across the country in a variety of ways. From a fans perspective, his shooting and ball handling skills are mesmerizing. From a family perspective, his relationship with wife Ayesha and daughter Riley is a fresh of breath air from the normal domestic issues splattered across sports pages. Plus, Steve Kerr was equally as liked when he was a Chicago Bull alongside Michael Jordan and the same holds true today as head coach.
So … Who's the bad guy? The answer may not be that simple, but the promise of an incredible NBA Finals matchup is undeniable.
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