The back-to-back champion Golden State Warriors will visit Cleveland on Wednesday to battle the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Last time the Warriors were in Cleveland, they were celebrating a clean, 4-0, NBA Finals sweep of LeBron James and the Cavs.
Things are different this time around.
The Cavaliers have only five wins and are undisputedly one of the worst teams in basketball. Golden State is just getting over their championship hangover and are coming into their true form with Stephen Curry returning to the court. They have won 16 games and are currently No. 4 in an incredibly talented western conference. They’re still without Demarcus Cousins, too.
ESPN will not be showing it.
For the last four years, the Cavs and Warriors matchup was one of the hottest rivalries in basketball. This year, the national sports powerhouse, ESPN, decided to broadcast 76ers-Raptors and Spurs-Lakers for its doubleheader matchup.
It’s easy to dream of the different possibilities and outcomes regarding the Cavaliers-Warriors rivalry.
What if Kevin Love’s shoulder wasn’t ripped out? What if Kyrie Irving hadn’t broken his kneecap? What if Iman Shumpert made the corner three at the buzzer in Game 1 of 2015? What if Draymond Green never cried in his car to Kevin Durant after Game 7 of 2016?
Earlier this week, while reminiscing a loss on his home floor in Game 7 of 2016 with reporters, Warriors guard Klay Thompson had some choice words.
“I forgot about that. Well, look at what pettiness gets you. Gets you 1-8 in the Finals. Idiots,” Thompson said of the 2016 3-1 jokes made by the Cavaliers.
Clearly, the Warriors have not forgotten the fatal blunder in their dynasty. Had the Cavaliers not prevailed in 2016, the Golden State Warriors, with Cousins, would be seeking their fourth-straight NBA title this season.
But, that is not the case. Although the Cavs are excruciating to watch right now, 2016 was something special. It was a miracle that nobody will forget, especially the Warriors.