Students React to NBA Finals


Brad Brewer, Print Editor

As an arena full of dejected fans walked away from the dream of being called the city of champions, thousands of fans 2,500 miles away experienced the thrill of sitting on top of the sports world for the first time in 52 years. LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers rewrote NBA history after winning three straight decisive games over defending champions Golden State to fulfill James’ winning promise made just two years ago. This historic series made impacts all over the world, including for students at Bryant.


Senior Josh Bonner became vengeful after his favorite team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, were eliminated by the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference ginals, leading Bonner to support the Cleveland cause.


“I was very disappointed [at the Thunder’s loss],” Bonner said. “I actually didn’t even watch game one of the finals, but once the Cavaliers won a game, I thought they had a chance. All I wanted was for the Warriors to lose.”


Regardless of his bias to the two finalists, Bonner respects the talent both the Warriors and the Cavaliers possess.


“I don’t mind the Cavaliers, and honestly I think [that] Lebron is the best [player] ever,” Bonner said. “The Warriors, I definitely don’t like, but Steph [Curry] is without a doubt the best shooter of all time.”


Junior Grayson Smith believed that the Cavaliers, viewed by many as the underdogs entering the finals, were superior to the favored Warriors.


“Going into the finals, I was thinking that Cleveland was the better team,” Smith said. “The way they swept the Pistons and the Hawks, and how they beat Toronto in game six [of the Eastern Conference finals] made me think that they were a team that [was] unstoppable.”


When the Cavaliers were in a 3-1 series deficit, Smith was skeptical about his premonitions, until Cleveland’s two star players stepped up in the fifth game.


“I really didn’t know what to think,” Smith said. “The Warriors were a very talented team, but I knew Cleveland had what it took to give them some trouble. When both Lebron James and Kyrie Irving dropped 41 points in game five, that’s when I really began to think they could win the finals.”


Senior Joe Henderson anticipated a competitive series before the tip-off of the first game, but he expected Golden State to repeat as champions.


“I thought that the Warriors were the superior team,” Henderson said. “But I also thought that Cleveland still had a solid chance because they had Lebron James, Kyrie Irving and a good team.”


Even though the series featured multiple blowout games, Henderson believes the games that were truly competitive made the series a memorable one and proved who the best players in the world are.

“I thought that games four and seven were the ones that were truly competitive, but despite many of the games being blowouts, I thought it was the most entertaining finals in a while,” Henderson said. “The Warriors cannot call themselves the greatest team ever, and Lebron James showed why he is a top-two player of all time, because he defied the odds and made finals history.”