Pictured are Cleveland Urban News.Com Sportswriter Karl Kimbrough (wearing sweatsuit) Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (in headband), and Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors
By Editor-in-Chief Kathy Wray Coleman, a-23-year journalist who trained at the Call and Post Newspaper in Cleveland, Ohio for 17 years, and who interviewed now President Barack Obama one-on-one when he was campaigning for president. As to the Obama interview,
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CLEVELAND URBAN NEWS.COM-CLEVELAND, Ohio-Led by Stephen Curry, the most valuable player for the last two consecutive seasons, the Golden State Warriors on Monday outed the Oklahoma City Thunder, winning Game 7, 96-88 and thus the Western Conference Finals title, a win that advances the Warriors to the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers for the second year in a row. (Editor's note: Game 1 of the NBA Finals is Thursday night in Oakland).
The win also pits Curry, 28, against Cavs megastar LeBron James, 31, in a championship series rematch that Cleveland is hungry to win, particularly after losing last year's NBA Finals to the Warriors, 4-2, a heated contest in fact.
Curry finished Game 7 against the Thunder with a game high 36 points, including seven three- pointers, and Klay Thompson, who broke an NBA playoffs record with 11 three pointers in Game 6, added 21 points.
"We were able to pull it off and we are moving on," said Warriors head coach Steve Kerr after Monday's celebrated win for his team.
Curry said that he and his teammates are quite familiar with Cleveland and that the rematch "will be fun."
Kevin Durant, 35, led the Thunder in scoring Monday night with 27 points, and said during a press conference afterwards that "it hurts to lose."
This year the Cavs were a team in waiting after James and head coach Tyronn Lue led Cleveland to an Eastern Conference title win on Friday night against the Toronto Raptors, Cleveland winning that series 4-2.
And waiting they did as the Western Conference Finals series went all seven games, the Warriors overcoming a 3-1 deficit to take the series 4-3.
Like the conference finals the NBA Finals are the best of a possible seven games, but between the winner of the Eastern Conference title and that of the Western conference title.
Popular television sports commentator Charles Barkley predicts that Cleveland will win the upcoming NBA Finals.
"I think that Cleveland is going to win the championship, and I am not changing my mind," said Barkley, a former NBA player himself.
An Akron, Ohio native and NBA's most valuable player in 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013, James was drafted by the Cavaliers in 2003 as the first overall pick and led Cleveland to its first NBA Finals appearance in 2007, though they lost to San Antonio Spurs. He joined the Miami Heat in 2010 and brought home two consecutive championship titles in 2012 and 2013 before rejoining the Cavs last year.
Interestingly, Curry too was born in Akron, though few know it, and James has made the city of roughly 200,000 people that is located some 35 miles south of Cleveland part of his NBA legacy.
Speaking during a televised post-game press conference, James said Friday after the Cavs won the Eastern Conference Finals that Cleveland must win the championship to be deemed great, and that team togetherness is key.
"We truly care for one another both on and off the floor and this is the results of it," said James relative to the conference title win.
Coach Lue said at the start of the series that his strategy for the Cavaliers team is "to be aggressive and attack."