With LeBron James no longer with the Cleveland Cavaliers, it seems like it is pretty much the end of the Golden State Warriors and Cavaliers meeting in the NBA Finals every year. With their four-straight finals matchups, lets look back at them. Could this rivalry have been the worst rivalry in NBA History?
The how and why?
Looking back at this there are many factors on why many fans think that this rivalry we saw the past four season was one of if not the worst rivalry we have seen.
One big factor in being a terrible rivalry is that we never saw either team at 100 percent. Back in 2015, both teams were seen equal to each other. The Cavs were back to being possible contenders with James returning to Cleveland. He wanted to bring a championship to a city that had not won a major sports title in over 50 years.
The Warriors were trying to prove that they are the real deal. By the time they met in the finals, the Cavaliers were banged up with injury. Kevin Love had a shoulder injury in the first round that kept him out of the entire playoffs. Kyrie Irving was dealing with knee injuries that had him ruled out of the finals.
With no help, James was pretty much on his on when it comes to star support. The Warriors had all the advantage in the world to win the championship.
2016 was different
In 2016, fans got the rematch they wanted as many people thought at full strength the series would be more competitive and filled with suspense. On the Warriors side, Stephen Curry was dealing with injuries. He was injured twice in the playoffs and he was not at full strength. The Warriors still had control of the series as they took a 3-1 lead. After that, Draymond Green was suspended and Andrew Bogut was injured.
After the Cavaliers won in 2016, the rivalry stood at 1-1. Going into the 2016-2017 season, there was a good chance there was going to be the third round. The Warriors were going for redemption and the Cavs were looking to go back-to-back.
Ruining the rivalry?!
Kevin Durant is also a big reason why people think the rivalry was bad. Unfortunately, when the Warriors signed Durant in 2016, many people thought that this created a huge imbalance on an entertaining matchup.
The only thing that mattered was that both teams were tied and had something to prove. With Durant joining, we never really saw any closure. Some teams like the 2014 San Antonio Spurs, the 2010 Los Angeles Lakers and even the 1989 Detroit Pistons got the closure on a rivalry they deserved.
A side note
Also, this rivalry was because most of the games each year were blowouts. 68 percent of the Finals games they played were blowouts. Some of these games were close to start but got out of hand in the end.
There were some things going on off the court that could have made this rivalry even better. This rivalry had the potential to go down as one of the all-time great rivalries. Due to many factors like injuries and the games not really being too close, this rivalry is possible one of the worst to go down in NBA history.