Floyd Mayweather’s First Open Training Session for Conor McGregor Fight Was as Wild as You’d Expect

Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor have spent the last few months sending shots back and forth at one another to build up the buzz for a potential fight. But now that they’ve agreed to the terms of said fight, it’s time for both of them to get serious about actually preparing for it. There is already enough speculation surrounding the fight, and the last thing either of them needs are rumors about how they’re not putting in the time it’ll take to prepare for what should be the most anticipated sporting event of 2017.

McGregor showed that he’s serious about preparing for the fight earlier this week by showing off a new mural that he had painted in his gym. It depicts him punching Mayweather in the face, and it looks like it’ll be the first thing McGregor sees every time he walks into his gym over the next two months:

McGregor has also posted a ton of training photos on social media in recent weeks, just to show that he’s doing everything in his power to be ready when he steps into the boxing ring with Mayweather:

 

Just tell us the ruleset.

A post shared by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma) on Jun 13, 2017 at 10:09am PDT

 

Call me Daddy today

A post shared by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma) on Jun 18, 2017 at 10:29am PDT

 

Tunnel vision

A post shared by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma) on Jun 19, 2017 at 7:02pm PDT

But make no mistake about it: Mayweather is putting in work, too. Most people are already assuming that he will destroy McGregor when they get into the ring together. But just because he’s heavily favored in the bout doesn’t mean Mayweather is going to take it easy in the gym.

On Wednesday night, Mayweather invited some members of the media to attend his first open training session for the McGregor fight at the Ten Goose Boxing Gym in Los Angeles—and it was, as you might expect, a pretty wild affair. Mayweather’s workout reportedly lasted for four hours and included a visit from NBA star DeMar DeRozan.

Fight Hype was on hand and captured a bunch of videos to document the experience. In this clip, you can see the crowd gathered outside as Mayweather made his grand entrance:

In this one, you can see that Mayweather has avoided packing on any pounds despite being “retired” for nearly two years now:

Here, Mayweather brags about being in great shape even though he's a 40-year-old boxer with more than 20 years of pro boxing experience:

And in this clip posted by TMZ Sports, Mayweather walks around the gym during a brief break in the action talking to himself:

“I can get a black eye, a bloody nose,” he says in the video. “I can have a bad day at the gym. At the end of the day, I don’t have a bad payday, and I don’t have a bad night under the lights. I get bumps, bruises… but I don’t have a bad night.”

Most people are expecting Mayweather to have a great night on Aug. 26 when he fights McGregor, and if he keeps this insane workout regimen up, it’s hard to see him losing.

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Square Up: Will LeBron James Ever Be the G.O.A.T.?

Complex's new debate show pits four staffers facing off head-to-head, duking it out over the most divisive questions of the moment.

This week, we discuss LeBron James as he comes off another disappointing NBA Finals loss. After leading the Cavaliers to their third straight NBA Finals appearance, and coming off of last year's amazing comeback against the Warriors, LeBron couldn't lead his crew past Golden State. Despite averaging a triple-double and becoming the first player in NBA history to lead a playoff series in points, rebounds, assists, blocks, and steals, LeBron had nothing to show for a truly historic performance. But does the fact that LeBron is now 3-5 in the NBA Finals tarnish his legacy? 

And what about Lil B? Is the rapper famous for cursing people the reason the Cavs lost 4-1 in the Finals and Kevin Durant was named NBA Finals MVP? And, most pressing of all, we question whether LeBron, at age 32, has peaked. 

Find out who has the hottest take (or is it takedown?) on our first episode of Square Up.

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De’Aaron Fox’s Father Aaron Takes Shot at LaVar and Lonzo Ball

In his final game as a member of the UCLA Bruins, Lonzo Ball gave NBA teams a lot to think about, and it had nothing to do with his lackluster stat line of 10 points, eight assists, and three rebounds on 4-for-10 shooting. It had more to do with the player across the court from Lonzo: Kentucky's De'Aaron Fox. Fox was instrumental in helping propel the Wildcats past the Bruins in the Sweet 16 of the 2016 NCAA Tournament, scoring 39 points, dishing out four dimes, and grabbing three boards while going 13-for-20 from the field. 

Following the game, Lonzo's father LaVar dismissed Fox's performance. “They came up short, but one game doesn't define his season,” he said, per ESPN. “No one is going to take De'Aaron Fox over him because of one game. It's about your body of work, and people know what he can do.” While Fox admits that his 39-point performance was meant to “shut LaVar Ball up,” the Wildcats point guard's father Aaron has remained relatively quiet. That is, until he sat down with Jonathan Abrams of Bleacher Report

When LaVar and his son Lonzo were brought up in their conversation, Aaron took a clear dig at the Ball family, claiming De'Aaron “already ate his ass up twice” during their match-ups last season.

“My son already ate his ass up twice,” he said. “[LaVar] can say what he wants to say. I just tell him to go back and watch the film. That’s it. All that yap, yap, yapping, I don’t even got to respond to that. We played them twice. Twice his son got outplayed. I always tell [De’Aaron], let your game speak for it. You ain’t got to talk. You ain’t got to fuss.”

With De'Aaron and Lonzo's entire NBA career ahead of them, this probably isn't the last time we have heard of Aaron or LaVar throwing shade at one another. 

Send all complaints, compliments, and tips to sportstips@complex.com.

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LeBron James Subtweets Dan Gilbert After Cavaliers Part Ways With General Manager David Griffin

The Cavaliers made a really surprising move on Monday night, and unfortunately for Cleveland fans, it didn’t have anything to do with the Jimmy Butler trade rumors that were swirling around earlier in the day.

Just hours after those Butler rumors started gaining some traction online, the Cavaliers and their general manager David Griffin announced that they had decided to part ways. Griffin—who had been with the team for three years and helped put together the roster that won a title just one year ago—had been seeking a contract extension from the Cavaliers for the last few months. But according to an ESPN.com report, Griffin and Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert were unable to reach an agreement on a contract extension in recent weeks. And with Griffin’s current contract set to expire at the end of June, the two sides broke off negotiations recently and decided it would be best to go their separate ways rather than continue to work together moving forward.

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Shortly after reports about the split started to circulate, ESPN’s Dave McMenamin released a statement that Griffin put out about the situation. In it, Griffin thanked the Cavaliers organization and briefly touched on why he and Gilbert weren’t able to agree on a new contract:

“I am extremely excited for my next challenge in the NBA,” Griffin said, “however Dan and I know now that [the Cavaliers] are a team built largely on the concept of fit and are now at the point where the fit is not right for us to continue with one another.”

Gilbert also released a statement and thanked Griffin for everything he did during his time in Cleveland:

“On behalf of the entire organization, I would like to thank Griff for his leadership and many contributions during his time here, including most recently, his role in the franchise’s first NBA Championship,” Gilbert said.

In his statement, Gilbert added that there would be “no announcement at this time related to new leadership of the Cavaliers basketball operations group.” But ESPN’s Brian Windhorst is reporting that the Cavaliers might be interested in hiring former NBA star Chauncey Billups to play an important role in their front office. They are reportedly going to meet with him on Tuesday:

Billups is very close with Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue, so he could end up being a great addition to the team. But it sounds like there are some people within the Cavaliers organization who were not happy with the way the team handled Griffin’s departure.

LeBron James in particular seemed like he was displeased with the idea of the Cavaliers cutting ties with Griffin. Back in April, he told ESPN that he wanted to see Cleveland give Griffin a new deal, and shortly after the Cavaliers announced that he wouldn’t be back on Monday night, LeBron appeared to subtweet Gilbert in a thank-you tweet he sent out to Griffin:

Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck also reported that LeBron was “disappointed” and “concerned” over the situation. Beck pointed out that LeBron and Griffin had a great working relationship over the course of the last three years:

LeBron wasn’t the only “concerned” one in Cleveland, either. There were a lot of NBA fans who enjoyed seeing LeBron subtweet Gilbert:

But Cavaliers fans are worried about what it could mean for LeBron’s future with the team. There are already rumors out there about how he could leave the team next year to play for one of the two teams located in Los Angeles. And after he sent out his subtweet, there were even more fans speculating about how Griffin leaving could impact LeBron’s decision to stay in Cleveland next summer:

And just a reminder: All of this comes less than two weeks after LeBron addressed the infamous Comic Sans letter Gilbert wrote after he left Cleveland back in 2010. More than a few people have alluded to that letter over the last 12 hours:

Could this really be the beginning of the end for LeBron’s second tenure in Cleveland? That remains to be see. But this summer just got a lot more interesting for the Cavaliers and their fans.

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Lonzo Ball Writes Touching Father’s Day Letter to LaVar

You don't really have to be a basketball fan to have an opinion about LaVar Ball at this point. He has been such an overwhelming presence in the media over the last few months that you're almost forced to take a stance on him, unless you just stay off social media altogether. Plenty of people—including some who otherwise root for his son—laugh anytime LaVar sees even a little bit of adversity.

This might shock you, but Lonzo Ball has a different take. With less than a week to go before the 2017 NBA Draft, Lonzo is attempting to change the conversation surrounding his father. First, it was a hilarious ad for Foot Locker that showed he was capable of mocking his dad. Now, he wants the world to see how much he loves and appreciates what his father did to get him to where he is today.

In a letter penned for The Players' TribuneLonzo reflected on being pushed by his father to not settle for mediocrity:

Every day, no matter what, you’d take LiAngelo and LaMelo and me around the corner from our house in Chino to run up and down that hill in the heat before bringing us back home to do sit-ups.

You were always out there with us, leading the way. You were there for every step. Pushing, encouraging and refusing to accept anything less than our very best. You never forced me to do any of it. You knew that you never needed to. You understood me.

And when I did need some motivation, you always knew just how to push my buttons. It wasn’t by making me do more reps or anything like that. It just came down to saying something simple like, 'I hope you know that you’re not getting better.' That was all I ever needed to hear from you to make me keep grinding.

Though a lot of people—myself included!—have pined for Ball to put some distance between himself and his dad's ridiculous comments, that's easier said than done for a teenager. LaVar's ridiculous claims aside, Lonzo feels like he owes a lot of his success to his dad, and he's not just going to turn his back on him because other people are mad about his brash personality.

And though publicly they seem like much different people, Lonzo insists the two are much more similar than you might imagine. He claims he has the same bold personality as his father, he just keeps it under the surface a little better:

People may not see it, but I possess the very same confidence that you have. (I think Melo got all of the talking genes.) In fact, when I think about it, confidence is the most important thing that I inherited from you. The difference is, I’ve internalized it. Everything you’ve told me, I’ve absorbed and used on the court. That’s where I do my talking.

The confidence that you have in me makes me feel so strong. It’s helped me to never back down from a challenge and to stay true to myself. I’m going to be taking this next step to the NBA knowing that I’m ready. And no matter what’s thrown at me, I know you’re always going to have my back.

Lonzo goes on to thank his dad just for being there at all, knowing many kids grow up without a father figure in their lives. Regardless of what you think about the Ball family's methods, it's clear that they love and respect one another, despite some obvious contrasts in how they carry themselves.

You can read the full Players' Tribune piece here, and if you're fortunate enough to have your dad in your life, maybe you can use this as inspiration to forgive him for some of his more embarrassing traits. At the very least, you get to deal with them in a more private setting. 

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De’Aaron Fox Admits He Wanted to ‘Shut LaVar Ball Up’ During Game Against Lonzo Ball

There are some NBA fans who believe that the Lakers should consider drafting De’Aaron Fox instead of Lonzo Ball at the top of the 2017 NBA Draft next week. And they think that for a very simple reason. Fox dropped 39 points during Kentucky’s NCAA Tournament game against Ball’s UCLA team back in March, and they think it’s evidence that Fox, not Ball, should be the player the Lakers target in the draft.

There’s still a lot of debate over whether or not that would be the best move for the Lakers—for the record, Fox is on board with that line of thinking and thinks he should be drafted ahead of Ball—but regardless of where Ball and Fox ultimately land in the draft, the media seems to be manufacturing a rivalry between the two players before they're even drafted. And Fox himself seemed to get in on the action during a recent interview with Sports Illustrated.

Fox was asked about his relationship with Lonzo, and he said that he’s known him since they were both high school players. He also pointed out there, before they went to college, he had never heard a peep from Lonzo’s dad LaVar. Fox spoke about why he thinks LaVar suddenly came out of his shell over the course of the last six months, which seems like a strange concept to even consider when you think about just how over-the-top LaVar has been at times.

“In the last year, he became relevant for some reason,” Fox said. “When I knew Lonzo in high school, I’d never seen his dad before. He went crazy this year. I guess when your son a lottery pick, that gives you a lot of confidence.”

Fox also talked about his 39-point performance against UCLA in the NCAA Tournament and said that LaVar served as his motivation heading into the game. Fox—who averaged 16.7 points and an SEC-leading 4.6 assists per game for Kentucky last season—heard everything LaVar was saying at the time. And he admitted that he wanted to show out against Lonzo and UCLA to “shut LaVar Ball up.” If you remember, that’s exactly what he did, though it didn’t last long as LaVar was right back on ESPN a couple days later talking again.

Elsewhere in the interview, Fox discussed what he thinks will happen once Lonzo gets into the NBA. Unfortunately, he thinks Lonzo’s NBA opponents are going to be gunning for him from the jump.

“He put a target on his neck,” Fox said.

You can check out SI’s story on Fox here. You can also check out the interview that we did with Fox here.

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Here’s Everything LeBron James Had to Say After Cavaliers Fell to Warriors in 2017 NBA Finals

As LeBron James and Kyrie Irving walked off the court at Oracle Arena on Monday night after losing their 2017 NBA Finals series to the Warriors, LeBron was spotted putting his arm around his teammate and telling him that the Cavaliers will be back in the Finals for a fourth straight season next year.

“We’ll be back,” LeBron said, “me and you. We’ll be back.”

And LeBron is right. The Cavaliers will, in all likelihood, be back in the Finals next season. As they showed during the 2017 NBA Playoffs, they’re still on a completely different level when compared to all of the other teams in the Eastern Conference, so they should make a return to the Finals in 2018.

But in the immediate aftermath of the Cavaliers’ loss to the Warriors, LeBron—who became the first player in NBA history to average a triple-double during the Finals this year—didn’t spend too much time talking about the future. Instead, he talked to reporters about how he was feeling about losing to the Warriors just one year after beating them in the Finals. He also shared his feelings on the concept of “superteams.” And he reflected on the season the Cavaliers just had. Here’s a quick rundown of everything LeBron discussed after the Finals ended.

On what it felt like to lose to the Warriors in the Finals in five games: “I left everything on the floor every game, all five games. So for me personally, I have nothing to be—I have no reason to put my head down. I have no reason to look back at what I could have done or what I shouldn’t have done or what I could have done better for the team. I left everything I had out on the floor every single game for five games this Finals.”

On how the NBA is going to deal with the Warriors moving forward: “I don’t know. I need to sit down and figure this thing out. And so I don’t know as far as me personally right now. But as far as that team, they’re going to be here for a while. They’re going to be around for a while. Pretty much all their guys are in their 20s. Pretty much all their big-name guys are in their 20s, and they don’t show any signs of slowing down.”

On whether or not this was his best individual Finals performance: “This is my eighth trip to the Finals, and I’ve had some pretty good ones in my day. And like I said, I just try to do everything to just try to help this team win and more. For me to go out there and for the guys that allowed me to be the leader that I am and allow me and trust me that I’m going to make the right plays and I’m going to do the right things and have the right intention, that’s a compliment to my guys.”

On why he won’t take much time off this summer: “It’s just a lifestyle for me. So I probably will be back in the my gym in the next couple days just because it’s just who I am. As far as being back on the basketball court, I’m going to take a while. I don’t need to be back on the basketball court right now. I need to get off of my feet and let my joints and let my body kind of recover from being out on the floor for 14 straight years. But I’ll train. I’ll train all summer. It’s just a part of who I am now.”

On why he doesn’t believe in the concept of “superteams”: “I don’t believe I’ve played for a superteam. I don’t believe in that. I don’t believe we’re a superteam here.”

On how he feels about Kevin Durant winning his first NBA title: “I’m not happy he won his first. I’m not happy at all. But at the end of the day, from when I played him in the 2012 Finals to now, like I said, experience is the best teacher in life, and he’s just experiencing and experiencing and experiencing. And it also helps when you are able to experience some things with this team as well. He felt like he needed to reassemble and reassess his career and come here…Getting that first championship for me was like having my first son. It was just a proud moment, something that you never, ever forget. And at the end of the day, nobody can—no matter what anybody says from now on in your career or whatever they say, they can never take away from you being a champion. That’s something that they are always going to speak about, about you.”

As LeBron told Kyrie Irving after the Finals ended on Monday, the Cavaliers will likely try to become champions again next season. But for now, LeBron sounds like a guy who is ready for a break. And after seeing everything he was able to accomplish this season, he definitely earned it.

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The Craziest NBA Finals Game Ever Just Delayed the Inevitable

CLEVELAND — It started off with a crazy 49-point first quarter from the Cavs, who finished with an even crazier 86 points at halftime. That was topped by the craziest third quarter the NBA Finals has ever seen when a series worth of soap opera like drama was squeezed into 12 minutes. 

Game 4 of the NBA Finals was­ wild, ridiculous, and absurd. We saw Cleveland go bonkers on offense in the first half, the refs call 51 fouls, the seemingly random rescinding of a technical on Draymond Green, and some extracurricular activities from superstars and role players alike that will be dissected for the next two days. When it was all said and done, the Cavs were 137-116 winners and extended the series at least one more game with a physical effort we hadn’t seen through the series' first three contests.  

“We took it to them first and that was very telling for the rest of the game,” Kevin Love said.

So here we are again. The Warriors are up 3-1 and headed back to the West Coast. And while we can draw as many parallels as we want to last year’s historic NBA Finals, the Cavs extending the series only feels like we’re delaying the inevitable this time around.

But before we get to that, Cleveland should be commended for preventing the Warriors from becoming the only team in NBA history to go 16-0 in the postseason. Their chance to do that was pretty much over early Friday as the Cavs blitzed Golden State for an NBA Finals record 49 points in the first quarter and an NBA Playoffs record 86 points after two. And they kept shooting lights out the rest of the way. Cleveland finished shooting 52.9 percent from the field and made an NBA Finals record 24 3-pointers. Through the first three games of the series, Cleveland had only made 31 threes.

Quicken Loans Arena was rocking as the Cavs treated their fans to a rollicking performance led by Kyrie Irving’s 40 points. LeBron James recorded his 9th NBA Finals triple-double, surpassing Magic Johnson for the all-time mark, going for 31, 11, and 10 while Love added 23 and J.R, Smith contributed 15.

“We played a desperate team at home and they came out and handed it to us. Simple as that.”

It was a feel good night for the Cavs and their fans, for sure. The crowd was hyped from the start and the Cavs, who were ripe to be blown out following Game 3’s devastating loss, fed off their energy. Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said there was no special pregame speech. He liked his squad’s attitude during the morning’s shootaround. “Guys were upbeat. No hanging heads,” he said. Maybe the Warriors were too caught up in chasing history? 

“I don’t think there was any thoughts or concerns about history,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “We played a desperate team at home and they came out and handed it to us. Simple as that.”

This one will be remembered for the truly bizarre third quarter. We had LeBron’s self-pass off the backboard for a dunk that will go down as one of the Finals’ most memorable plays. Later on, the King and Kevin Durant were jawing at each other and drew duel techs. “We weren't coming to blows, we were just talking,” Durant said. A little over a minute after that, Green was tossed for earning a second technical before he wasn’t. The refs ended up giving it to Steve Kerr instead. Finally, we saw Groingate v. 2017 when it looked like Zaza Pachulia took a swipe at Iman Shumpert’s sensitive area during a scrum for a loose ball.

NBA conspiracy theory junkies will have a field day dissecting that and all the fouls called by the refs in Cleveland's favor, especially in the first quarter. With the Finals enjoying some of their highest ratings in years, we all know the league really wants it to extend as long as possible and early on the zebras seemingly did their part. The Cavs went to the free throw line 22 times in the first 12 minutes. Somewhere in the bowels of Quicken Loans Arena, or back in New York—wherever he was—it was like commissioner Adam Silver was pulling all the right strings to at least extend the Finals to five games.

LeBron Draymond KD Zaza NBA Finals Game 4 2017
Image via USA Today Sports/Ken Blaze

But does this really change anything? Has momentum swung back in the Cavs favor? The Cavs deserve credit for not rolling over and letting the Warriors celebrate a title on their floor. They were gritty, gutty, and grimy, playing physical for the first time all series and roughing up the Warriors. But let’s be real here: the Warriors were their own worst enemy in Game 4. Featuring a ton of isolation and practically none of their signature run and gun offense or precision ball movement, the second half saw the Warriors brick a ton threes and settle for low percentage long twos. Golden State finished shooting 28.2 percent from beyond the arc, well below their 39.6 percent average this postseason. Yes, the Cavs are the second best team in the league and getting one of the Warriors shouldn’t come as a surprise. But the Dubs were due for a dud.

“It was one of those nights where we didn’t have anything clicking,” Steph Curry said

The “Cavs in 7’ chant that broke near the end of the game was cute, an ode to the tweet JR Smith claims he didn’t send out following Game 3. But the chances the Cavs faithful see their team play again in person are slim to none. The Warriors were garbage in Game 4, a hot mess on offense, and now they’re headed home where they have lost just once in their last 16 games. They’ve been the superior team three out of four games. They were the superior team during the regular season and during their run to the Finals. They have a potential championship clinching Game 5 Monday in Oracle Arena where they trounced Cleveland in the first two games of the series and once back in January. Draymond won't be suspended for Game 5 like last year. And most importantly they still have more firepower and more superstars than the Cavs, starting with the biggest difference maker, KD.

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LeBron James to the Lakers? Yes, This Is a Rumor That’s Actually Going Around Right Now

From now until the time he retires, LeBron James' free agency decisions will be covered with the fervor of a presidential election or, say, an NBA prospect's loud-ass dad. This has been the case for a long time. Because of this well established fact—oh, and probably because the Cavs currently find themselves in a 3-0 Finals hole—rumors are seeping out about where LeBron will take his talents to next when he's a free agent in the summer of 2018 (yes, over a year from now).

Those rumors, which certainly won't be the last, have the current Cavs' star heading to Los Angeles to play for the Lakers. The other rumor that came out on Thursday has him going to…oh, also L.A., but this time to the Clippers. Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer relayed the chatter, which has reportedly been floating around NBA circles. O'Connor also made reference to a nearly year-old Yahoo article from Adrian Wojnarowski that said there was a belief throughout the league that James wouldn't remain in Cleveland for the remainder of his career. 

If you keep up with your LBJ rumors, this shouldn't come as a total shock, unless you expect him to somehow convince Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade to come to Ohio.

O'Connor also talked about some comments Jalen Rose made on First Take this week, where he said he thought LeBron would eventually play in Cali because he has a house a half an hour away from the Staples Center (the same one that got vandalized):

After the completion of the 2017-18 season, LeBron will have a player option for the 2018-19 campaign worth $35.6 million.

But perhaps LeBron doesn't think Cleveland will stay competitive in the future. Or *clears throat loudly* perhaps he likes the attention. Or perhaps he's just sick of the narrative of “Why can't LeBron James win titles?!” even when everybody knows it's kind of a BS point because he's going up against a Finals opponent that's clearly superior.

It's up to you to decide how fact-based these statements are. That's kind of the thing with LeBron: everything about him becomes news.

Anyway, have fun going through this all over again, Cavs fans.

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The Cavs Gave Game 3 Away and Now We’re One Win Away From a Warriors Coronation

CLEVELAND — In the middle of his answer, Kyrie Irving sighed, still shivering from a post-game trip to the cold tub. What else could he do when he was asked why the Cavs blew their chance to make the NBA Finals an actual series?

Because for a few fleeting moments it looked like we had one. After two blowouts in Oakland, the Cavs and the Warriors treated basketball fans to a Game 3 that was a riveting, dramatic, and one the Cavs and their fans are going to lose a lot of sleep analyzing how they gave it away.

The Cavs should have won Wednesday after they got another big effort from LeBron James and Irving finally arrived on the big stage with a magical performance. Quicken Loans Arena was popping. The Cleveland faithful had watched their two superstars ball out to the tune of 77 combined points and looked like they were on the verge of earning a hard fought victory over the supremely talented Warriors. 

But the Cavs couldn’t execute offensively over the final few minutes, had mental lapses on defense, and watched the biggest difference maker in the series knock down a stone cold three to give the Warriors a one-point lead with 12.9 seconds to go. So instead of walking off winners and feeling like the NBA Finals was finally a competitive series, the defending NBA champions sulked off the court shell shocked, 118-113 losers, and now will have to play their hearts out just to prevent the Warriors from celebrating an NBA championship on their home floor Friday. 

“It definitely hurts. I'm human, as well as my teammates, and to lay it all on the line like that, you want to come out on the winning side,” said Irving. “But we gave a great effort, and the result just didn't turn out the way we wanted to.”

Now Game 4 is setting up to be a coronation for the greatest team in NBA postseason history. The Warriors improved to 15-0 in the playoffs because they had enough firepower to overcome James's 39 points and Irving's 38 and because the biggest difference maker of the series, Kevin Durant, hit that game-changing three that was a dagger through the hearts of the Cavs. 

“I just tried to stay disciplined in my shot, hold my follow through, and it went in,” Durant said. “But more importantly we got two stops after that.”

It didn’t have to be this way, of course. But the reasons the NBA Finals are basically over are obvious. The Cavaliers’ execution down the stretch was atrocious. James bore a heavy burden of the blame for not driving to the basket down the stretch despite the Cavs scoring 46 points in the paint. He too often deferred to teammates who hoisted bad shots or even crappier threes. Cleveland didn't score a point over the final 3:09. For the second straight game, the Cavs shot 27 percent from three. Overall, the Cleveland shot 44.4 percent from the field.

LeBron James Game 3 NBA Finals 2017 Post Game
Image via USA Today Sports/David Richard

“I gave everything I had tonight. So win, lose, or draw, you live with the results,” James said. “Like I said, they played a really good game as well, but they made shots, they made shot down the stretch. They got stops, which they have been doing. We shot in the low 40s again. They got stops and then they made play after play down the stretch.​”

Durant finished with 31 points and had 14 in the fourth quarter to lead the comeback. Klay Thompson was the unsung hero for the Warriors going for 30 on 11-of-18 shooting including 6-of-11 from three. Steph Curry added 26 and was the Warriors leading rebounder with 13.” 

While the Warriors swear a perfect postseason has never been on their mind during this run, they changed their tune after Game 3. 

“It is now because we took care of tonight,” Curry said. “It's not in terms of like 16-0 really just of what that means historically, it's just that's what's in front of us. We obviously know how hard it is to win a championship, what all goes into it and how important each game is. And now that you can look ahead to Friday, all our focus is on that. And just we obviously—we want 16 wins; it doesn't matter how we get there.”

The off-season appears imminent for the Cavs, which is shocking because when your two best players play that well, you shouldn't lose games. You should extend series. Except when you're playing the greatest team in NBA postseason history. 

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