I understand that bringing up the National Basketball Association is a sore point for many Seattle sports fans, seeing as the league sent the Sonics to noted sports hotbed Oklahoma City, where they’d henceforth be known as the Oklahoma City Thunder. One day, Seattle will get an NBA team again. For now... how does an NHL team sound?
Anyway, the 2018 NBA Finals are underway, and for the eighth straight year, LeBron James is involved. He’s taken two different teams to four consecutive Finals appearances, winning two rings with the Miami Heat, and two years ago he led the Cleveland Cavaliers to an epic comeback against the 73-9 Golden State Warriors, who felt the need to sign Kevin Durant to strengthen a seventy-three win team.
You have to go all the way back to May 13th, 2010 to find the last moment in time when LeBron was eliminated before the Finals. Defeat at the hands of the Boston Celtics led to the infamous “Decision” to take his talents to Miami, and the rest is history. Even acknowledging that the Eastern Conference has not been nearly as deep as the Western Conference, making it to eight straight championship games in the modern day sports world is absolutely insane.
To put LeBron’s run in perspective, here is an extensive list of current Seattle Seahawks who had played an NFL snap at the time of the 2009-10 NBA season:
Jon Ryan (entered the NFL in 2006)
Sebastian Janikowski (entered the NFL in 2000)
Duane Brown (entered the NFL in 2008)
Brandon Marshall (entered the NFL in 2006)
End. Of. List. And Ryan was the only one who was with the Seahawks at the time his happened.
Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor were drafted just three weeks before LeBron’s Cavaliers lost to the Celtics, but didn’t actually sign their contracts until the summer. In fact, of the 2010 Seahawks roster, only ETIII, Kam, Ryan, Brandon Mebane, Marshawn Lynch, Russell Okung, and Breno Giacomini are still in the NFL.
I suppose you can also frame this as such that LeBron James has made the NBA Finals every year since Pete Carroll’s first game as Seahawks head coach. Time sure flies, doesn’t it?
Game 1 of Cavs-Warriors IV was Thursday night, with the defending champion Warriors prevailing 124-114 in overtime after J.R. Smith committed a truly remarkable act of self-sabotage, even by J.R. Smith’s lofty standards. Game 2 is Sunday night, also at Oakland’s Oracle Arena.
You know I have to end this post by asking what your life was like the last time LeBron wasn’t in the NBA Finals.