The NBA Finals will play a role in free agency

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Since Durant signed with the Warriors two years ago, they are 9-2 against the Cavs, taking a once skintight rivalry and turning it one-sided. There have been occasional bouts of turbulence as he has dealt with injury and adjustment, but essentially since Durant authored "My Next Chapter," the balance of power in the NBA has shifted.

No matter what defensive scheme the Cavs cook up, no matter what great performance James may be able to put together, no matter what set of whistles the referees dole out, none of that is going to change. With only occasional exceptions, talent wins in the NBA, and the accumulation of talent is the absolute most important thing for a franchise.

In some ways, it can be more important than the game nike nfl jerseys cheap

After watching the Warriors shoot 57 percent and absorbing nine 3-pointers from Stephen Curry on Sunday night, James was asked about the daunting challenge that's in his face. He's looking at an opponent with four All-Stars, two of them former MVPs in their prime, and a system that takes advantage of all of them when it's working properly.

In his artful way, James demurred.14

"The odds have been against me since -- I don't know, since I was 5, 6 years old," James said when asked about the predicament his team faces in the NBA Finals. "So we're talking about basketball here. It seems like I come up here and tell you guys this all the time. The odds have been stacked up against me since I was an adolescent."

James' backstory does offer perspective. But in this case, he was just trying to get out of being blunt in the moment. He has described his viewpoint on this season as trying to "get the most out of it." That's coded language too. James knows he's up against heavy odds, and he'll play the hand he's got and hope for some fortune. But he's not expecting it. It's not a way to go through a Finals scenario, but James has gotten used to nfl jerseys cheap paypal

That's why it's hard to take in these Finals without recognizing the parallel tracks. There are these hugely important games with historical moments -- JR Smith's blunder, Curry's long-range 3-pointers, suit shorts -- being authored. The first two games peaked at more than 21 million viewers in the U.S. alone, and there were 50 million watching in China, not to mention those across the entire basketball-loving planet. This is basketball at its highest level in its highest profile.

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