NBA Finals 2018-19: From Steph Curry's secret to vacation LeBron James, everything we have learnt this season

As we count down to the 2018-19 NBA Finals, it’s time for a look-back at the season that was, warts and all.

FP Sports May 29, 2019 13:37:46 IST
NBA Finals 2018-19: From Steph Curry's secret to vacation LeBron James, everything we have learnt this season
  • The Toronto Raptors are in their first-ever NBA Finals

  • The Golden State Warriors have been there each of the last five years

  • As we count down to the 2018-19 NBA Finals, it’s time for a look-back at the season that was, warts and all

The Toronto Raptors are in their first-ever NBA Finals. The Golden State Warriors have been there each of the last five years.

What happens next, we can only guess. But given how the season has panned out so far, it promises to be a rollicking series.

As we count down to the 2018-19 NBA Finals, it’s time for a look-back at the season that was, warts and all.

Here’s our list of everything we learnt about the NBA this season:

Beer’s the reason Andrew Bogut’s back this season

Cast out of the NBA into basketball purgatory ― or Australia, as we call it ― Andrew Bogut has made his way back to the glitzy league. That too into the books of the two-time reigning champions, the Golden State Warriors. What was the reason behind his rejuvenation? Beer!

Michael Jordan still hates losing!

You would have thought that having walked away from playing basketball, Michael Jordan would have mellowed down. But the basketball legend still clearly hates losing.

Poor Malik Monk!

The secret behind Steph Curry's success? Contact lenses

Steph Curry is possibly the best shooter the NBA has ever seen. But earlier this season, he found himself in a slump right after the All-Star game.

That's when doctors found that he suffers from a degenerative eye disease called Keratoconus, which is essentially blurred or distorted vision. Let that sink in! The most feared sharpshooter in the history of the sport has an eyesight problem?

But Curry's found a fix for the issue, and his slump: contact lenses.

"It's like the whole world has opened up," said Curry.

Magic Johnson thought he could cure the Lakers' fractured morale with...hugs!

This would have been funny, it it was not so tragic. With the franchise dangling almost all of their players at some point or other as bait in exchange for Antony Davis in the trade window, uncertainty and insecurity reigned in the Lakers' locker room. It was no surprise that they did not make the Playoffs. It was even less of a surprise that some veterans like Michael Beasley, Lance Stephenson and JaVale McGee all exchanged words with coach Walton after another one of their energy-sapping defeats. As one of the men responsible for the mess President of Basketball Operations, it was Johnson's duty to mend fences in time for the Lakers to see through the season with at least a Playoffs appearance. His strategy to do so: hug everyone!

Clearly, that did not work as the Lakers find themselves sitting out the Playoffs for the sixth consecutive season. Johnson, on the other hand, finds himself without the job he once called his dream job.

Warriors’ rite of passage for newcomers involves…buying candles!

‘Conduct detrimental to the team’ is the official crime that got Jordan Bell suspended without pay for one game earlier this season. But according to reports that surfaced later, the murky true story is that Bell decided to purchase a $15 candle and bill it to assistant coach Mike Brown as part of a longstanding prank in the Warriors dressing room. Unfortunately, Brown and the Warriors management refused to see the funny side and Bell was made to sit out a game (which cost him a cool $9,505). That's quite a burn!

It’s Jimmy Butler. Not James Butler!

With the Philadelphia 76ers’ season crashing and burning at the hands of the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference, a sword hung over the head of coach Brett Brown. But it seems as though Brown will be at the helm of the Sixers for another season after all. It’ll be a good opportunity for him then to learn the correct name of all of his players.

Kyrie Irving could be headed to the LA Lakers. Why? Cause LeBron James liked a post!

With only two teams left with any real stake in the season and the 2019 Free Agency heating things up, fan bases of the remaining 28 teams seem to have resorted to drinking an unhealthy concoction of wishful thinking and conspiracy theories. Given the dismal season that the LA Lakers have just endured, you could hardly fault their fans for clutching at straws, no matter how wispy! Yet, many of their fans seem to have noticed that a certain LeBron James ‘liked’ a morphed image of teammate-turned-enemy-turned-friend Kyrie Irving in a Lakers jersey and assumed that the duo will be reunited at the flagship franchise.

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I like how this feels

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Vacation LeBron

While on the topic of LeBron, in case you’re wondering what a man who was in the past eight NBA Finals has been up to after his team did not even make it to the Playoffs this season, here’s a glimpse.

Maybe he's just glad to put this season behind him. After all that's happened:

...and...

When Enes Kanter thinks about the Playoffs, his n*****s get hard

That’s right. That’s what Kanter said earlier this season with the Knicks enjoying some good early season form.

Unfortunately, the Knicks finished at the bottom of the Eastern Conference ― their 17 wins in the regular season was the worst record among all 30 teams.

But Kanter did make it to the Playoffs, having been traded to the Portland Trail Blazers. That must have chafed!

Boban Marjanovic tried to kill John Wick!

Boban Marjanovic is many things.

He's a man whose reach dwarfs even a guy whose wingspan is unrivalled in the NBA.

But you can now see him don a new hat: an enemy of John Wick.

Bad officiating or not, Warriors leave Rockets bloodied and bruised… AGAIN!

The Houston Rockets’ Western Conference semi-finals clash against the Golden State Warriors was never going to be anything less than fractious. Ratcheting up the stakes was a news report which showed that the Rockets had audited their Game 7 defeat to the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals the previous season to point out ‘81 potential missed calls and non-calls’.

The 2019 series between the Warriors and Rockets too had its fair share of controversy, none bigger than a story that Chris Paul kicked off Steph Curry from the practice court at Houston before a game.

Curry, on his part, did nothing to douse the flames, screaming this after their Game 6 victory:

The Warriors eventually edged past the Rockets in six games, breaking the Rockets’ spirit in the process.

“Well, this one’s going to leave a mark,” said Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni, correctly summarising the mood of the team in one line.

The Warriors’ good luck charm could be…a journalist!

It started with Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals, when the two-time reigning champions used Geoffrey Arnold, a sports reporter from The Oregonian, to fill in for the injured Kevin Durant in their pre-game huddle.

After the Warriors won, Draymond Green called Arnold their good luck charm, even going as far as to offer to buy him a plane ticket for the NBA Finals.

McCollum’s Portland made it to the Western Conference Finals, where they were snuffed out by the Warriors.

And it was on the sidelines of the game that Jennifer met McCollum.

Brook Lopez wants to be bitten by a bat

Brook Lopez has clearly been seeing way too many superhero movies. So much so that the centre has started to believe that should he be bitten by a bat, he could turn into a superhero!

"If you've learned anything from the modern superhero myth, if you see a bat around and it bites you, you have a 75 percent chance of ending up a superhero," Lopez told SB Nation. "Otherwise, you'll probably get really sick. But it'd be cool to be a superhero. You don't need to be too afraid. I'd say give it a shot."

Lopez came close to finding out whether that's actually true when he was at the AT&T Center in a game against the San Antonio Spurs in March. The AT&T Center is prone to bat invasions during games, and while Lopez "made himself available" the errant bat was in a mood to bite.

Draymond Green Jr helped his father grow up!

Draymond Green’s shenanigans are now the stuff of legend. Just earlier this season, he got into a spat with Kevin Durant ― a fight which had the potential to derail the Warriors’ run to their third consecutive title.

But Green, the league’s enfant terrible, says it was while playing with his two and a half years old son at home that he realised that he was picking up traits like stomping around, flopping and roaring in celebration after scoring.

“I realised how impressionable the kids are at the ages they’re at. Just really want to be a good example for them and show them the right things,” Green said.

Is this the best NBA banner this season?

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That’s one way to spell it. 😂

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