After the Cleveland Cavaliers overcame a 3-1 series deficit to win the NBA Finals last spring, there’s been a bit of an existential quandary about whether the Cavs earned their championship or whether the Warriors simply choked. There’s no easy answer to that question, and regardless, it doesn’t change the reality of the outcome.
But people still like to ask the question, which is what Bill Simmons did when he posed it to Paul Pierce on this week’s episode of Any Given Wednesday. Count Pierce among those who believe Golden State simply let it slip through their hands. Hat tip to Mike Coppinger of USA Today for the text of that segment:
“Golden State choked!” Pierce, in a gray suit and dark-rimmed glasses, remarked as he threw his hands down. “Like, seriously? 3-1? 3-1? You’re not supposed to lose. 3-1 you should never lose. Golden State choked.”
“Never,” Pierce said when asked if a team he led could meet the same fate as the Warriors in the Finals. “That would never happen.”
Pierce, of course, won his only championship with the Celtics in 2008, then lost a rematch with the Lakers in 2010 in Game 7, although Boston didn’t have a 3-1 series lead at the time. There’s merit to both sides of the argument, but to state definitively that the Warriors simply squirreled away the title discredits the Herculean task it took on the part of the Cavs in the face of overwhelming odds.
(h/t USA Today)