Thursday , May 24, 2018

Limpag: Paying up for backing LeBron

SO IT had to take a golden effort by the Golden State Warriors in order for me to make it to the golden newspaper. I have to give it to my good friend – when he bets, he bets the entire house (or in this case, premium real estate in his column).

The NBA Finals was nigh, the inevitable “three-match” between the Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers was inescapable. All of a sudden, a window popped up. In it contained a juicy proposition: if the Warriors win, you get to write the first few paragraphs of my column. Lose and place LeBron James’ image as your Facebook cover photo for an entire week.

Tantalizing? Sure. The allure of being a front act for one of Cebu’s most read columns was a provocative proposition. Risky? Most definitely. As favored as the Warriors were, it’s always a risky gamble to bet against any team that has LeBron James.

And here we are. After five mildly-competitive clashes, the Warriors were able to exorcise their demons behind ironically, the efforts of a man nicknamed “Slim Reaper” and the golden boy, the man who I named my firstborn after, Stephen Curry.

As basketball fanatics, the end of an NBA season brings closure but at the same time, begs the question, “So, what now?” The final buzzer brings forth endless loops of NBA’s Greatest Games but none of the action that we really want. Fortunately for Cebuanos, there’s a lot to eat from the plate in the next few months.

There’s the 3x3 tournament that will be staged by the basketball boutique, Common Ground. There are plenty of games for weekend warriors from various local leagues, and of course, the toast of the town – the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) –, which I firmly believe, would be bigger and so much better this season.

My friend Jonas wrote the previous six paragraphs since the Warriors won. Paying up, that’s what Cavs fans have been doing ever since Game 5 ended. I saw a photo online of how a store owner was discontinuing his credit line because the Cavs lost. Over the course of the series, so heavy underdogs were the Cavs that I’ve overheard numerous conversations of how only a fix would extend the series to a Game 7.

But if I were to do it all over again, I’d still go for the Cavs. Why? I’ve been following LeBron when he was first touted as a No. 1 pick in his junior year thanks to Sports Illustrated. He had his lost years in Miami but now he’s Cleveland’s No. 1 meme generator.

Fans, too, have been quite cruel on Kevin Durant for ditching Oklahoma in search of a title, heck they’ve been doing that for generations. Clyde Drexler ditched Portland and won two titles with Houston, Shaq ditched Orlando for LA. Karl Malone (Utah for LA) and Charles Barkley (Phoenix for Houston) also did it but were unsuccessful.

So stars ditching their teams in search for a title has happened, is happening and will continue to happen. As NBA commissioner Adam Silver said, now that it’s obvious that Golden State is developing a dynasty, it’s up to the rest to catch up.

Still, I’m quite confident that LeBron will still win one final title before he retires and I think it’s going to be against Golden State.