The NBA Finals will play a role in free agency

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Over the weekend, The Athletic published an oral history of the Golden State Warriors' free-agent meeting with Kevin Durant in the Hamptons, which was 23 months ago.

LeBron James' letter in Sports Illustrated announcing his signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers, which is about to turn 4 years old, still gets web traffic and is referenced routinely.

Players' union executive director Michele Roberts still is asked in interviews about the decisions that led to the salary-cap spike in 2016.where can i buy cheap nfl jerseys

At this moment, free agents like Paul George are deep in the planning of how to operate their recruitment process as a major life event, like a wedding.

There's a reason why all of this matters so much and lingers in the consciousness of NBA fans to the point that there's obsession about minor details. And it's not just because people love to follow along with the intrigue of transaction season on social media.16

Since Durant signed with the Warriors two years ago, they are 9-2 against the Cavs, taking a once skin-tight 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.

Whatever defensive scheme the Cavs cook up, whatever great performance James may be able to put together, whatever set of whistles the referees dole out, none of that is going to change. With only occasional exception, 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 cheap nfl jerseys china

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.

"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."

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