As the Cleveland Cavaliers stare down elimination in Oakland, the future of LeBron and the teams’ championship hopes become more unclear
As it stands, the Golden State Warriors are now up 3-1 and have a chance to close out the series at home to secure their second straight championship.
For the fans in Northern California, the championship is the final jewel in the crowning achievement of an NBA franchise. Quite simply, it cements them as one of the best teams in basketball history.
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In Ohio, the story is much different. The young man whom Sports Illustrated once declared “The Chosen One” has grown up to be one of the best players of a generation. Yet, James’ individual talents will now have succumbed to superior teams in the championship game five times.
Such statements may be two days premature. But history is against the Cavaliers on an almost unfathomable level. No team in NBA history has ever come back from a 3-1 deficit in the Finals.
Barring the greatest comeback in Finals history, it appears that the Cleveland Cavaliers will suffer back-to-back losses.
What does this mean for the Cavs and LeBron?
The question is raised on the future James, both where he plays and the level at which he does. James has played at a masterful level for the better part of the last decade, and it has culminated in seven straight Finals appearances.
However, as the league continues to grow and develop, is there an eighth straight appearance in his future?
Each run is a testament to his abilities, but how many journeys to the championship series are left in him?
Conversation regarding the future has fans wondering if LeBron will re-sign with the Cavaliers or if the beaches of Miami (and prospect of playing with Hassan Whiteside and Goran Dragic) once again look too appealing to pass up.
All of which is a far cry from the claims that he would bring a world title to his hometown community.
Now, the once dynastic James has an uncomfortable front-row seat to another potential legacy team.
In Game 4, “The King” could only express his frustration through on-court scuffles with both Curry and Draymond Green down the stretch. Proof that he was aware of the window seemingly closing before him.
As the clock wound down in Game 4, the possibility that Ohio’s once scorned son may never end the championship drought that has plagued Cleveland began to sink in.
Even the continued domination of the Eastern Conference isn’t a guarantee in the NBA. For proof, look no further than the San Antonio Spurs.
Since winning the title in 2014, the Spurs have suffered a first and second round exits in the seasons since. This is also considering that the Spurs have continued to play at a high level and reload their roster in recent years.
To further illustrate how quickly things change in the NBA, even the Warriors suffered a first round exit the year before they won the title.
As the Cleveland Cavaliers prepare to make their last stand in Oakland on Monday, the question begins to swirl about whether Cleveland’s day in the spotlight is quickly approaching it’s end.