By Carlos Murillo and Nigel Flores
After dropping four games in a row to the Cleveland Cavaliers (including Games 5-7 in the NBA Finals), the Golden State Warriors cruised to a dominant 126-91 victory.
The two teams have developed a fierce rivalry, but not everyone is ready to admit it.
Prior to the MLK Day matchup, LeBron James told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, “I don’t think we have a rival in our game today.”
Often, the things James says do not match up with his actions. Since he led his Cavaliers back from a 3-1 deficit to clinch Cleveland’s first title in 52 years, he’s taken more shots off the court than on it.
From wearing an “Ultimate Warrior” t-shirt while carrying the Larry O’Brien trophy after Game 7, to placing a dummy dressed as Stephen Curry at the door of his Halloween party for guests to step over- James has taken petty to a new level.
Warriors’ star Klay Thompson, whose name appeared on tombstone cookies at that October party, called James’ antics “childish.”
Draymond Green, who famously got tangled up with James in Game 4 of the NBA Finals, was caught in another battle with the Cavalier superstar. Green fouled James and was given both a flagrant and technical foul.
After the game, he told CSN Bay Area, “regardless if [James] thinks this a rivalry or not, I know he wants to beat us – and we want to beat them. And that’s enough in itself.”
Though the two teams split the season series, this rivalry will only be solved in playoffs.