The 2016 NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors is regarded as the best ever by many. LeBron James delivered on his promise to the city of Cleveland by bringing an NBA Championship. Moreover, the 2016 Warriors went 73-9 in the regular season and were the favorites to win it all that season.
Additionally, Steph Curry and the Dubs even managed to get a 3-1 lead, but it went vain after a phenomenal comeback by Cavs.
As good as this finals matchup was, it was just one game away from ever happening. Yes, the Warriors that looked so invincible in the regular season, struggled against the duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. The superstar duo gained a 3-1 lead over the Dubs, only to lose three straight games in the Western Conference Finals.
Former NBA player Richard Jefferson reflected back on the series between OKC and GSW. He revealed that the Cavaliers were waiting for OKC in the finals and were surprised how they messed it up.
“We should have been playing y’all in 2016," Jefferson said in an interview with Gilbert Arenas. "We should not have been playing the Golden State Warriors. Yeah, Klay had a great Game 6 and all that stuff. But dog like, y’all let that s**t go. We thought 100% you guys were the better team, the more rested team, you had a 3-1 lead.
"You had to beat them one time, and it wasn’t all Russ’ fault. I’m not blaming it on Russ, but there was just too many times where it was turnovers or like mistakes that you’re like ‘dude, you guys are too great to let this slip through your fingers’,” he concluded.
Following the defeat to the Warriors, OKC's iconic duo broke up with Kevin Durant joining the Warriors. Although he was heavily criticized for his decision, he won two NBA championships while sharing the locker room with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green.
As for Russell Westbrook, he is still in search of his first NBA title. He joined the LA Lakers this offseason to fulfill this dream. And as things stand currently, Russ and KD might face each other in the 2022 NBA Finals.