Warriors beat Cavs for second title in three years

(AP Photo/Josh Edelson). Fans light fireworks on a street in downtown Oakland, Calif., after the Golden State Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in game 5 of the NBA Finals on Monday June 12, 2017.

What made them great: Set an National Basketball Association record by going 40-1 at home during the last of Bird's three straight MVP seasons. Did Durant take the path of least resistance to his first title?

"LeBron was the driving force", a Durant confidant said of his league-changing decision to join the Warriors.

There will be one question inevitably asked this off-season by most of the 29 other teams in the National Basketball Association whose fingers didn't get to smudge the golden surface of the Larry O'Brien Trophy this year. They don't care, because 16-1 will do.

Steph Curry and Draymond Green celebrate their second title in three years. Not because they won and did so in emphatic fashion-12 months ago they were a juggernaut, Kevin Durant made them a cyborg, and their victories typically have been inevitable. It doesn't mean he is Michael. James' NBA Finals record is now 3-5.

To paraphrase the late, great sports writer Frank Deford with a modern twist, you can yell on social media and scream on TV about who the greatest is, but no one truly knows.

The Warriors, once again, showed their team depth with Andre Iguodala scoring 20 off the bench, including several emphatic dunks and three-point shots that seemed to rejuvenate the Warriors and their fans. Ended up losing by five. The Warriors needed someone who could outplay James, and Durant gave them that. The original Big Three of Bird, Parish and McHale started in the frontcourt, and former MVP Walton backed them up and won the Sixth Man of the Year award. The premiere of unscripted series "Superhuman" followed with a 0.7 and 2.6 million viewers. The only thing left was to find out how much fight LeBron and the Cavaliers had left. They finished one victory short of the NBA's first ideal postseason, but bounced back from their Game 4 loss to Cleveland in the NBA Finals with another high-scoring performance. It was part of the huge respect Durant has for James, something he verbalized throughout the night. He punctuated that season with his famed "Baby Hook" to win Game 4 of the NBA Finals in Boston, giving the Lakers a 3-1 lead before they finished off their rivals two games later. "So for me personally, I have no reason to put my head down". I thought we played well, got better each game.

"I left everything on the floor every game, all five games".

And then he talked about how young the Warriors are.

The league continues to try to use the leverage of the collective bargaining agreement - salary caps and incentives - to get superstar players such as Durant to stay with their teams.

The way the Warriors have assembled their roster, in hitting on draft picks in two-time MVP Curry, Thompson and likely Defensive Player of the Year Green, while adding free agents on team-friendly deals, put the Warriors in position to be able to launch an ultimately successful pursuit of Durant.

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