Episode 161 – Tuesday, June 13th, 2017 (7469)
Earlier today (Philippine time), I watched the Game 5 of the 2017 NBA Finals between defending champions Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors. Although I didn’t watch the whole game (I didn’t know why but feel some restless), I found out that the Warriors led in the 4th quarter and in the end, they won the game 129-120 over the Cavaliers to end the series, 4 games to 1. Kevin Durant, coming from his former team, Oklahoma City Thunder during offseason, was awarded as Finals Most Valuable Player, and it was his first ever NBA title for his 10th season. This is the third straight time that these two great teams meet in the Finals where the Warriors won in 2015 while the Cavaliers regained to win their first ever championship after coming back from 3-1 deficit.
I’m not a fan either these two teams because I might be accused as “bandwagoner” together with millions of “bandwagoners” who became fans of Warriors or of Cavaliers in recent years (but I just step aside with the Warriors because I live in Golden City not State hehehe, but I like both teams). This year, because I’ve been jobless for so long, I watched this with my father, who loves watching basketball games, on TV at home. In the past two years, when I had a job in San Pedro, I used to watch the games thru internet live streaming via U.S. broadcast (which was ABC Network, the broadcaster of the NBA Finals since 2003). Well, I really miss to watch from an U.S. TV network in real time (even though it’s slightly delayed about 5-10 seconds due of buffering) most especially when I was at the office, freely watching these games live, and of course, the American TV commercials. I could also explore the internet about the Finals especially in ESPN where there were interviews and post-game analysis. However, since my job in San Pedro was dissolved recently last March, it will never be the same again.
Nevertheless, I just want to congratulate the Golden State Warriors for winning their second NBA title within three years, and their fans are really and wildly celebrating on their home floor. And for Cavaliers, well better luck next season, at least, they attempted to have another historical comeback from 0-3, just like last year where they’re down by 3-1, but they fell short.
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Since I grew up from a young kid, I have watched some games partially and even the championship celebration after the final buzzer. All of these were live in the morning on the TV set at home (or elsewhere). But there were some occurrences that I missed to watch most games of the finals because I was at school or at work (post-2010) during that time. I just share my experiences about watching NBA Finals in the past 17 seasons since 2000:
- 2000: I did watch some games between my favorite, Los Angeles Lakers, led by Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, and the Indiana Pacers especially during weekends. But I missed to watch Game 6 of the Finals where the Lakers won their 12th championship (first since 1988) because I was at school back then (studying in the sixth grade).
- 2001: Same as previous year, I also missed to watch the Finals where LA Lakers won their second straight championship over Allen Iverson-led Philadelphia Sixers. This was the last NBA Finals that occurred before 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States.
- 2002: I didn’t remember if I did watch all the four games of the Finals where LA Lakers won again, securing their three-peat over New Jersey Nets. I think because my summer vacation was extended up to second week of June before the school opening.
- 2003: I also didn’t remember if I watched some games of the Finals between San Antonio Spurs and New Jersey Nets where the former, led by the twin towers: David Robinson, playing for his final season, and Finals MVP Tim Duncan, won their second championship in their franchise history.
- 2004: I didn’t watch the Finals between LA Lakers and Detroit Pistons because I was at school back then. It was unfortunate for me when my favorite team, led by future hall of famers (O’Neal, Bryant, Karl Malone, and Gary Payton), was upset by the underdog Pistons in five games.
- 2005: For the first (and only) time, I watched some games of the Finals live and in nighttime when I was in the U.S. during the exchange program (I stayed for my remaining days in June before my departure going home in July 2005). In that year’s Finals, the San Antonio Spurs won over the defending champions, Pistons, in seven games, capturing their third NBA title.
- 2006: I missed to watch some games of the Finals, including the deciding game where the Miami Heat led by O’Neal and Finals MVP Dwayne Wade beat Dallas Mavericks in six games to capture their first NBA title, because I think I was attending a class in college back then.
- 2007: While the school opening was not yet started for my sophomore year in college, I did watch the Finals where the San Antonio Spurs swept the Cleveland Cavaliers (LeBron James’ first Finals appearance), but it seemed to be boring at all.
- 2008: The LA Lakers and Boston Celtics revived their long-time rivalry as they faced for their 11th time and the first since 1987. I did watch some games that I cheered my favorite team, the Lakers. However, I missed to watch Game 6 of the Finals because I was at school with my beloved classmates that most of them were cheering for Lakers, but the Celtics massacred the Lakers in their home floor to capture their 17th
- 2009: While I was still in summer vacation, I did watch almost all the games of the Finals, including the deciding game 5 where my favorite, LA Lakers, won over the Orlando Magic.
- 2010: Despite of my busy job at a deaf travel agency where I was back and forth around the streets of Mandaluyong, I was still able to watch TV from an eatery, for a short while, the exciting Game 7 where I was so glad that my favorite, Lakers, won the championship and took a revenge from their defeat in 2008 over their rival, the Boston Celtics.
- 2011: Luckily, because I was in “force leave” or day-off from work during that time, I was able to watch Game 6 of the Finals at home where the Dallas Mavericks led by veteran and Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki upset the heavy-favored Miami Heat led by the “Big Three” – LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh. Honestly, this 2011 Mavs, considering as underdogs, were still my favorite to beat a team led by LeBron James, who surprisingly left Cleveland to join the Heat in 2010 offseason.
- 2012: Straight from my work after a night shift schedule, I was able to watch Game 5 of the Finals where the Heat, bouncing back from their loss in 2011, beat the Oklahoma City Thunder. On that day, after watching the game, I was preparing to go, travel alone to Nueva Ecija for my first ever meeting with my long-time textmate who became my girlfriend just days earlier.
- 2013: And again, while I was traveling for my date with my long distance girlfriend, I was able to watch the deciding Game 7 where the Heat won their second straight championship over the San Antonio Spurs. I watched it on TV of a provincial bus that I rode going to Nueva Ecija.
- 2014: Although I did watch some games featuring the rematch of last year’s finalists, I didn’t watch at all because I was at the office in San Pedro doing my designing works. The Spurs, regaining from their loss in 2013, defeated the Heat in five games to capture their fifth NBA title.
- 2015: For the first time, I watched all the games of the Finals live and straight from U.S. broadcast (ABC Network), thanks to the internet live streaming, while I was working at the office in San Pedro (except for Game 4 where I watched it on TV at home). I also watched the trophy presentation for the first time after the Golden State Warriors won in six games over the Cleveland Cavaliers led by LeBron James, who returned back to Cleveland after playing four seasons in Miami. This was the Warriors’ first championship after 40 years. I watched these games, however, just few days before the unexpected break-up with my long distance girlfriend.
- 2016: This was the second (and final) time that I watched all the games of the Finals (not as an entire 48-minute game though) thru internet live streaming (except for Game 4) at the office where I worked there for my beloved job. I really bet the defending champion, the Warriors, to win their back-to-back titles after winning the NBA record of 73 wins in the regular season. However, it’s okay for me to be happy after witnessing the Cleveland Cavaliers where they won in deciding Game 7 over the Warriors after coming back from 3-1 deficit and ending the city’s sports championship drought for 52 years.