Iman Shumpert says Stephen Curry was scared to guard Kyrie Irving during 2016 Cavs-Warriors series

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Without question, the greatest season in Cleveland Cavaliers history was the 2015-16 campaign. That was when they overcame a 3-1 series deficit in the NBA Finals to win their first championship, which came against Stephen Curry and the 73-win Golden State Warriors.

Kyrie Irving had a sensational Game 7, and teammate Iman Shumpert feels Curry was scared to guard him.


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In that fateful contest, Irving had 26 points and hit the go-ahead 3-pointer in the final moments as Cleveland won 93-89 on the Warriors’ home floor.

To that point of his career, Irving had been a good player, but it seemed as if that series was his coming-out party.

The Cavs had lost the world title to Golden State the year before after he missed most of the Finals with an injury, and when the 2016 series began, it looked like it would end in that all-too-familiar feeling of disappointment again.

They lost three of the first four games, which included a 110-77 Game 2 drubbing, and most figured they were done.

But LeBron James got his teammates to believe they were going to shock the world, and Cleveland got an assist from Draymond Green, who was suspended for Game 5 after committing a flagrant foul on James.

After winning that championship, things soon became unhinged for the Cavs. Irving demanded a trade the following offseason and was sent to the Boston Celtics, while James left in the summer of 2018 to join the Los Angeles Lakers.

Since departing Cleveland, Irving has put together some extremely productive individual seasons, but his teams have had little success. He was traded to the Dallas Mavericks midway through this past season, and although some expected them to become contenders, they fell apart and didn’t even reach the play-in tournament.

There have been rumors that Irving may reunite with James on the Lakers, but he instead received a new contract to remain in Dallas.

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Robert is a native of Santa Monica, Calif. and a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has been an avid NBA fan since he was a little kid in the mid '90s and has seen the Cavs go from NBA laughingstocks, to contenders, back to laughingstocks and finally world champions. He feels strongly that the NBA and sports aren't just entertainment, but also a means for learning life lessons.