It was closing night at the Oracle, a dynasty was hanging on for dear life and the credits were ready to roll on the best soap opera in sports.
Someone get Shonda Rhimes on the phone. The Dubs couldn’t give us a seventh game, losing 114-110 Thursday, but ABC had a show worthy of a sequel.
Why not? This NBA Finals has had everything:
Aubrey and Klay; Beyonce, The Billionaire and Nicole Curran; Steph Curry draining threes from downtown on his way to piloting America’s New Favorite Game Show while Sonya Curry was checking fools in downtown Toronto.
KD’s Achilles, KD’s Achilles, KD’s Achilles. Should he have played? Should he have stayed? Then Klay’s knee. Would he have made a difference? The world will never know.
And, plot twist: Rude Canadians. Blame Canada, indeed.
Oracle Arena, Oakland, California. The Golden State Warriors were down 3-2. We the North were hoping to sing “We Are The Champions,” and the Warriors were hoping to survive another day in a series with as much drama courtside as on the hardwood. The Warriors’ championship run ended, but the memories of a NBA Finals that began last month, with drama in the stands, the training room and in two countries, still linger.
Aubrey, Aubrey, Aubrey
Drake, megastar Canadian rapper, Raptors superfan, was annoyingly, maddeningly everywhere, logging more on-camera sideline time than Andrew Bogut. Then came Klay Thompson’s tunnel takedown heard ‘round the world after Golden State’s 109-104 win in Game 2: “See you in the Bay, Aubrey. You weren’t talking tonight, were you?”
Mark Stevens was the very picture of spoiled Silicon Valley fat cat. The billionaire venture capitalist and minority Warriors owner shoved Toronto’s Kyle Lowry after the Raptors’ star guard dived into the stands for a loose ball in the fourth quarter of Game 3.
“I was furious. I was pretty upset .... There’s no room for that in our game,” an upset Lowry told reporters after the game. “A guy like that shouldn’t be a part of our league.”
The NBA agreed. Stevens was banned from games for one year and fined $500,000.
Beware the BeyHive
Beyonce’s sideward Game 3 glance when Nicole Curran, wife of Warriors owner Joe Lacob, leaned in front of her to converse courtside with husband Jay-Z blew up on social media and brought the full wrath of the BeyHive upon the unsuspecting Curran.
Curran told ESPN she was trying to be a good hostess. Jay-Z wanted a vodka and soda, Curran explained. Curran said she asked if he wanted a lime.
Then came the death threats, Curran said: “I’ve never experienced cyber bullying like this,” Curran told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, saying she’s since disabled her Instagram account. “I can’t believe our players go through this, that kids go through this.”
Take it easy, eh?
You’ve just cheered a career-threatening injury to one of the league’s brightest stars in front of a worldwide television audience and had to be shamed into respectful silence by your own team. What do you do for an encore? Hurl obscenities at the mother of your rivals’ star player.
Easy choice for our kindly neighbors to the north at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena who did both, cheering and jeering as the Warriors’ Kevin Durant went to the floor clutching his ruptured Achilles tendon; then, hours later outside the Warriors’ team hotel, shouting profanities at Steph Curry’s mom — his mom — Sonya Curry, who looked ready to take them all on when she climbed off the bus.
Bob Eubanks. Wink Martindale. Bob Barker. Stephon Curry. So if this NBA thing doesn’t pan out, there’s always a second career in game shows.
Curry’s miniature golf game show – wait, here comes another commercial – will make its TV debut on ABC (June 20. Check your local listings.). Curry is an executive producer for the 10-show run that appears ready to bring new meaning to the words “summer replacement.”
The Warriors’ season is done. So is the flurry of Curry ads.
This story was updated at 9 p.m. June 13.