After a year of people saying the Golden State Warriors were lucky to win the title last year and diminishing their accomplishments this year, and questioning the worth of their top players, winning Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals tonight would be even more satisfying than last year.
If the Warriors can beat the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight, there is no way that anyone can claim they got lucky — they've dealt with injuries, overcoming a 3-1 deficit, multiple elimination games, disappearing starters, and fending off a performance for the ages by LeBron James. If the Warriors can win tonight, there will be little question about their standing as one of the best teams ever after joining the elite who won back-to-back titles.
But if they lose, those who wish to diminish the greatness of this team will predictably consider last year a fluke. They'll proclaim that no soft, finesse, jump shooting team can win a title without luck on their side. They'll say Stephen Curry is not worth the superstar hype that he gets and that Draymond Green is an overrated hot head who never deserved star treatment.
If we were to focus exclusively on what outsiders think, this game would be nerve wracking. But for long-time Warriors fans, the outcome of tonight's game shouldn't diminish the excitement of this season.
Before tonight, I'll just say this: this has been, and will probably be, the best Warriors team of my lifetime. I've loved every second.— Fast Break (@GSWFastBreak) June 19, 2016
Over the last few days, I've been trying to brace myself for how I'll feel if the Golden State Warriors lose Game 7 and trying to convince myself it doesn't matter due to their success over the last two years, but it's really not about one game validating or ruining a season.
This has been, by far, the most exciting Warriors season I've ever witnessed. It's still hard to imagine that a franchise that once put a BJ, Bimbo, Mookie, and Muggsy on the floor past their primes at the lowest points of nearly two decades of futility could possibly enjoy this much success, but we have to just embrace it for what it is: quite possibly the best season of basketball many of us will ever see in our lifetimes.
Losing tonight would indeed suck. Nobody likes to lose. But no matter what any other basketball fans say, Warriors fans can't let losing Game 7 of the Finals against LeBron James define this season.
The Golden State Warriors in Game 7 of the NBA Finals is the Great Time Out we've been waiting for. Win or lose, the past suggests that we need to appreciate this moment regardless of the outcome.