And now, as Durant leads the league's most potent team into the NBA Finals while Oden is long gone from the NBA spotlight, it's easy to forget that a lot of people agreed with Nelson. James wept on the Warriors home court in Oakland, where he was named unanimous NBA Finals MVP.
Instead of the ultimate paradox, we're getting a pair of ultimate teams pitted against each other to the surprise of exactly no one.
The individual games are not that much different than what we usually get. James and the Heat took that Finals in five games. It's been a bit awkward for the deadly sharpshooter, slipping a notch in the Warriors' pecking order with Durant on board; his attempts and scoring average were in familiar territory during the season but he shot 32.5 percent and averaged 11.0 points in the West finals against San Antonio.For Cleveland, with Kyrie Irving established as 1A for clutch scoring and Tristan Thompson the designated possession-extender on the offensive glass, the "X" factor likely will be Kevin Love.
Kerr, in his third year as Warriors coach, has missed his team's last 10 playoff games as he deals with debilitating symptoms stemming from a loss of spinal fluid during back surgery two years ago.
Kevin Durant and Steph Curry pose with the Western Conference championship trophy after Golden State eliminated San Antonio. Us and Cleveland worked our butts off all year to put ourselves in a position to be playing for a championship.
But for the third year in a row, the Cavs enter the NBA Finals as the underdog.
That's where the dominance of Golden State and Cleveland makes its mark.
Meanwhile, the Cavaliers have been rolling as well, sweeping the Pacers and Raptors before dominating the Celtics in five games. Cleveland lost all six of James' road days off. The first "threematch" - rematch of a rematch - in league history.
Can the Cavs do it again?
The win means James is going to his seventh straight finals and will rematch with the team his Cavs beat to win the National Basketball Association championship past year.
A win and LeBron James goes to his seventh straight finals and the Cavs will see a team that is 12-0 in these playoffs.
"I'm saying to myself, 'They can not tie up this series".
"When you're growing up and you're seeing Michael Jordan, it's nearly like a god, so I didn't ever believe I could be Mike", James said. I can't play for every team, so the truth of the matter is I left one team. I think I fell in love with the game because of Mike.
"It's hard for me; I'm kind of in this basketball mode", Myers said. "I was like, 'If I'm not scoring the ball, how can I still make an impact on the game?' It's carried me all the way to this point now, and it's going to carry me for the rest of my career because scoring is not No. 1 on my agenda". King James or Air Jordan? Can James win his fourth ring? Get the popcorn ready.