The Warriors are set to become only the sixth team in league history to win a championship three times within four years. That’s fantastic and dynastic.
But where do the Warriors, led by Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, rank among NBA dynasties? Would they be tough enough to beat Michael Jordan and the Bulls, who ruled the 1990s? Better than the Showtime Lakers of the ’80s? Or a match for the Celtics of the ’60s, who were as stinkin’ good as Red Auerbach’s victory cigar? By MARK KISZLA
Whether talking about his son LeBron Jr.’s basketball prospects, what he looks for in teammates, the difficulty of playing Golden State’s stacked roster, missing Dwyane Wade who was traded from Cleveland in February or poking fun at Portland for passing on Kevin Durant in the 2007 draft, James was thoughtful, insightful and entertaining. By Jeff Zillgitt
The Cleveland Cavaliers coach is never the talkative type on the post-game podium after a loss to begin with, and there’s just no fun in describing how the other guy treated your defense like this was a run at the local YMCA. But when he was asked about the Golden State star whose 43-point, 13-rebound, seven-assist outing in Game 3 of the NBA Finals was epic in every way, Lue reintroduced a topic that has been front and center for these Warriors in the past few weeks. By Sam Amick
All-Star forward Kevin Durant told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols on Thursday that he will re-sign with the Golden State Warriors this summer. Durant is finishing the first year of a discounted two-year, $51 million deal with the Warriors that included an opt-out clause for the 2018-19 season. “I’m planning on staying with the Warriors, and we’ll figure the rest out,” Durant said, before adding that only the “small details” remained to be figured out. By ESPN
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James said that he and everyone in the league knew Kevin Durant was destined for greatness even before the 2007 NBA Draft, where the Seattle SuperSonics took the Texas product No. 2 overall.
Of course, the story of that draft was Greg Oden vs. Durant, and the Portland Trail Blazers fatefully selected Oden No. 1 overall. In a decision that mirrored the Sam Bowie vs. Michael Jordan decision from 1984, Portland wound up missing on an all-time great, instead finding themselves stuck with an oft-injured big man. By Dane Carbaugh
The affection for Kevin Durant seemed evident with Kendrick Perkins’ words. After the pair played together with the Oklahoma City Thunder between 2011 and 2014, Perkins complimented Durant about his play, leadership and his decision to leave the Thunder for the Warriors almost two years ago.
But with Perkins since serving as a mentor for the Cleveland Cavaliers, his competitive juices are flowing. Therefore, as the Athletic’s Jason Lloyd first reported, Perkins saluted Durant with two middle fingers during his press conference following the Warriors’ Game 3 win over the Cavaliers. By MARK MEDINA
Draymond Green isn’t at all concerned that he has five technical fouls this postseason, just two shy of receiving an automatic one-game suspension. To him, that means he has wiggle room. “The way I’m approaching it, there’s one game left,” Green said. “So I’ve got two to play with for one game.” By MELISSA ROHLIN
Bryan Colangelo resigned Thursday as president of basketball operations for the 76ers in the wake of what an investigation found was ”careless and in some instances reckless” sharing of sensitive team information. By Rob Maaddi
James Harden was voted MVP by the NBPA in the fourth annual National Basketball Players Association Players’ Voice Awards. Harden also took home the “Toughest to Guard” award. The Rockets guard also won the inaugural MVP award in 2015. Harden averaged 30.4 points per game, 8.8 assists and 5.4 assists during the 2017-2018 season. By CHARLOTTE CARROLL