The 2019 NBA finals finished much better than how it started. There was a moment where it looked as if the championship would end with a resounding thud. Debris from fallen Warriors filled the court, but the Raptors couldn’t see to put them away. This allowed the defending champs to heal somewhat or have a brief Band-Aid applied. This was a great thing for TV ratings and the Raptors’ credibility as champions of the NBA. Had they closed it out early, which they very well could have, I fear it would have forever given them an asterisk in the record books. A lot people would have viewed their accomplishment with less legitimacy due to the fact the Warriors were ravaged with injuries.
At points, it got down right pitiful. DeMarcus Cousins looked as if he were from the movie Zombie Land with his return to the court. I admired his willingness to play, but I thought at any moment, Woody Harrelson’s character would show up to put him out of his misery. Thankfully, Klay Thompson returned and so did his high level of play. Boogie would improve as well. For a fleeting moment, we witnessed the return of Kevin Durant only to have him mercilessly succumb to injury once more. It was quite tragic; especially after the hot start. However, it would not derail the defending champions as they began to roar back triumphantly. That is until the final blow was struck. Klay Thompson tore his ACL. He would try to rise once more like Rocky Balboa, but it wasn’t meant to be. The depleted Warriors tried their best to carry on. Steph Curry did everything he could as did his supporting cast of Andre Iguodala, Kevon Looney, Boogie, Draymond, etc. It just wasn’t enough. At this point, the Raptors finally did something they couldn’t do earlier. They slew the broken giant.
Congratulations to Toronto though. It is a well-deserved honor. The play of Leonard, Siakim, VanVleet, Lowry, and Gasol was inspiring. They showed a tremendous display of team basketball; which in my opinion is a rarity these days. Regardless of what people may say of either team at this point, a showcase of heart and perseverance was served to us. At times, it felt like something out of an inspirational movie. I am not a Warriors fan, but it is heartbreaking to think that the dynasty may come to a close on this note. Even if you are tired of their seemingly endless winning, as a sports fan you would rather they go out with everyone healthy. Let the champion be vanquished at full strength, not as a shell of their former selves. In some ways, it feels as if we were robbed. After all, the Bulls were able to walk off into the sunset on their terms. Why can’t the Warriors be granted the same luxury?
I am a 2003 graduate from the University of Alabama with a degree in Exercise Science. While at the Capstone, I served as a student assistant with the head strength and conditioning coach of the Crimson Tide football team. I have competed in both powerlifting and bodybuilding for several years. In addition, I have served athletes and people through the arena of personal training. Jesus is my Lord and Savior. I am a passionate fan of Alabama, but do not make other fan bases miserable because of it. College football has my heart first, but I cover all areas of sports. Follow me on Twitter: @justinriley7!