the golden state warriors on tuesday beat the cleveland cavaliers 105-97 in game six on the road to become the 2015 nba champions. the warriors' first title in franchise history was 40 years ago. golden state forward andre iguodala was named nba finals most valuable player - the first such honored after not starting a regular season game.
iguodala, an 11-year veteran, was taken out of the starting lineup at the beginning of the season in order for harrison barnes to start. although he didn't approve of the decision, iguodala neither privately nor publicly questioned the bold move of warriors' rookie coach steve kerr. moreover, iguodala is known as the team's resident sage.
kerr said, "he had never come off the bench once in his entire career, and he sacrificed to make harrison better, to make our bench better, and that set the tone for our entire season. an all-star, an olympian saying, 'ok, i'll come off the bench? it set the tone for everything we were able to accomplish, so it feels like full-circle to me that andre received the award. couldn't happen to a better person."
the warriors' draymond green finished the game with a triple-double: 16 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. but he also remembers the naysayers who doubted his pro ability. "i was a second-round pick, and a lot of people said i could never play in this league. too slow, too small, can't shoot well enough, can't defend anybody. what does he do well? he doesn't have a skill. i've got heart, and that's what stands out," green said.
nba mvp stephen curry was asked what he learned about his first nba finals as the series progressed. curry said, "to block out the noise, that's the biggest thing." about his teammates, iguodala said, "we have a lot of different personalities. draymond's loud. klay's quiet. then we've got everything in between. but the common denominator is guys were like really hungry to show what they could do individually, and then we believed in our team as a group."
golden state fought back from a two-to-one deficit against cleveland. they showed the mental fortitude and physical toughness critics accused them of lacking during the regular season, after their 67-15 league-best record. but they were also down two games to one against memphis and houston in this year's playoffs; they persevered in each series - clinching game six on the road each time.
despite their youth, the warriors are the first team since the 1991 chicago bulls to win an nba championship without a single player with nba finals experience. golden state matured in front of the entire world. iguodala said, "the first three games, they were bringing the fight to us. we were just reacting. i felt like games 4, 5 and 6, we were proactive. we brought the fight to them."
- mark j. tuggle
- harlem, usa
- same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. firstname.lastname@example.org.