NBA legend sends harsh message to Draymond regarding Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals saga

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Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas had a harsh message for Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green regarding the Warriors’ 2016 NBA Finals loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Golden State blew a 3-1 series lead against the Cavs, even though the team set the regular season record for wins in the 2015-16 campaign, going 73-9. Thomas believes that the Warriors might have been remembered for their epic collapse in the Finals if Kevin Durant did not join the team the ensuing offseason.

While NBA fans will never know what would have happened to Golden State had the team not signed Durant, the Warriors certainly needed to redeem themselves in the 2016-17 season.

Luckily for Warriors fans, the franchise did just that, winning the NBA Finals in the 2016-17 season and the 2017-18 campaign before losing in the Finals in the 2018-19 season, with injuries playing a major role that year.

Even with two losses in the Finals on its resume, the team won three titles in that span, making it one of the best runs in recent memory.

Thomas, a two-time NBA champion during his playing career, certainly knows what it takes to win a title, as the Detroit Pistons won back-to-back championships with his help in 1989 and 1990.

Golden State’s collapse in 2016 is something that will always be cherished by Cavs fans, as it allowed the franchise to win its first title in its history.

Led by LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, Cleveland took advantage of a Green suspension (who missed Game 5 of the 2016 Finals) and an injury to former Warriors big man Andrew Bogut (who missed Games 6 and 7 of that series) to upset Golden State.

The Warriors did end up showing that they didn’t need Durant to win a title in 2022, as the team – led by superstar Stephen Curry – won the NBA Finals over the Boston Celtics. Curry captured his first NBA Finals MVP award in that series, and the team showed that it could overcome adversity after Klay Thompson missed consecutive seasons with injuries before returning in time for the 2022 title.

For the Cavs and their fans, they can always look back fondly on the 2015-16 season for multiple reasons. First off, the team finally won a ring with James – arguably the most important figure in franchise history – after he returned to the organization that drafted him.

In addition, the Cavs can always hang their hat on the fact that they upset the team with the greatest regular season record in NBA history.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.