All the signs were similar Friday night.
Not closing out on rotations. Hands on hips. Looking lost. Looking spent.
As the storyline shifts to whether a superstar leaves this summer.
The 2018-19 Warriors have become the 2013-14 Heat.
Watching the Warriors right now feels like watching the 2013-14 Heat. Eventually all the games, all the attention, all the emotion gets to a dynasty.
— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) June 8, 2019
Now, some will — and did — point to the absence of Kevin Durant as the real reason why the Warriors have fallen behind 3-1 to Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors. Naturally, that’s a huge component, though the Warriors were nearly unbeatable this season when Steph Curry and Klay Thompson played, and Durant didn’t. There seems to be something else at play here. Teams get tired of each other. But they also just get tired. Tired of all the extra games. Tired of all the roster attrition. Tired of all the media. Tired of all the expectations.
Remember what Dwyane Wade told me after the 2013-14 season?
“Last year wasn’t fun.”
Here was that story: https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2217199-the-exclusive-d-wade-qa-on-why-last-year-wasnt-fun-and-life-after-lebron
It wasn’t fun for anyone. Not the players. Not the coach (seen here in one of the grainy photos I took on that final night in 2014 in San Antonio.)
And now, here we are again.
And it’s Kawhi — and to a much lesser degree, Danny Green — again.
A much hungrier team.
A much seemingly happier team.
And the likely end of a mini-dynasty.
Our own Ricky Marc had an astute observation:
In 2014, the last time Kawhi Leonard ended a dynasty, his Spurs team won Game 1 at home, lost a winnable Game 2, then won two straight on the road with Game 5 back in his building (which he would win). History may well repeat itself just five years later. Wow.#NBAFinals
— Ricky J. Marc, J.D., M.S. (@RickyJMarc) June 8, 2019