The Pioneer

Warriors golden in championship win

COURTESY OF THE NBA

COURTESY OF THE NBA

Louis LaVenture,
Sports and Campus Editor

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A 40-year wait for an NBA championship is over for Golden State Warriors fans.

The Warriors won their fourth NBA title in franchise history, the first since 1975, on Tuesday 105-97 over the Cleveland Cavaliers and the self-proclaimed best player in the world, Lebron James.

Golden State embodied the word team all season and it was fitting that contributions from several key players led to the 2015 NBA championship. In just his second start of the season 11th year swing man Andre Iguodala was named the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player after he racked up 24 points, 5 assists and 5 rebounds on a 9-for-20 shooting night for the defensive wizard.

“We got a team full of believers,” Iguodala said. “This is my purpose and I accepted it. I want to be just like Steph when I grow up.”

Iguodala came off the bench all season for the Warriors, but a key call by Head Coach Steve Kerr to insert him into the lineup the last two games paid off in full for Golden State. Third-year undersized power forward, and the heart and soul of the team, Draymond Green became just the sixteenth player in NBA history to record a triple double in the finals and finished with 16 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in the series clincher.

The NBA’s Most Valuable Player, Stephen Curry, had a magnificent night and managed to break down the Cavaliers defense time and time again that resulted in 25 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds and 3 steals on the night.

“This is truly special,” Curry said. “This is a special group and from the beginning of the season this is what we envisioned, a championship.”

The Warriors took advantage of the 17 Cleveland turnovers and scored 25 points off of those turnovers. Despite the close score at the end, Golden State controlled most of the game and only trailed a few times the entire contest. Shaun Livingston was huge for the Warriors and played more minutes than he usually does due to Klay Thompson’s foul trouble throughout the game.

Livingston scored 10 points in 32 minutes and ran the offense for a majority of his time in the contest. Festus Ezeli also provided a huge lift off the bench for Golden State and recorded 10 points in less than 11 minutes on the floor. Ezeli had three key offensive attempts in the paint that led to 5 points when the Cavaliers were within striking distance late in the third quarter.

James continued his individual dominance and tallied 32 points and 18 rebounds in the final game to finish up one of the best individual statistical performances in league history. Iguodala managed to give James a tough time all series and it was his defense that wore down James who looked fatigued at the end of the game when he missed multiple three-point shot attempts.

This is the first championship for all of the Warriors players and head coach Kerr who is in his first season, despite winning multiple championships as not just a player but as an assistant coach and an executive.

“I’ve been blessed to play for the greatest coaches ever and I learned a ton from them,” Kerr said. Kerr was referring to Phil Jackson, Greg Popovich and Lenny Wilkens, all Hall of Fame coaches who Kerr played for during his career.

This is also the first championship for the Warriors fifth-year owner Joe Lacob, who acquired the team in November 2010 for $450 million with Mandalay Entertainment CEO Peter Guber. They purchased the team from former owner Chris Cohan and Lacob was was familiar with the league since he was a minority partner with the Boston Celtics organization before he acquired Golden State.

“We have the greatest fans in the world and I am so happy for them,” Lacob said.

Oracle Arena was sold out on Tuesday for the game 6 viewing party and the fans who have never experienced a championship, or those who haven’t since 1975, will have the chance to do so at the parade in a few days when the team returns. City and team officials have tentatively announced that the championship parade will begin at 10 a.m. in Oakland on Friday.

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