The Warriors are a dirty team for what Zaza did to Kawhi in the Western Conderence Finals.
Media outlets all over the country, especially in Cleveland and San Antonio, are saying this. While I agree with the play being defined as dirty, this does not label a team or take away from their greatness they have achieved. The 2016-2017 Golden State Warriors had a terrific season, blowing through the playoffs and showing how good they were.
Yes, the Zaza close out was one that was intentional and should have been dealt with differently by the NBA. But, lets not forget that this close out method has been around the league for decades. DECADES. Just ask Jalen Rose, who used the same technique on Kobe when his Pacers played the Lakers in the Finals. This is not a new way of playing, or something that a player should be singled out for like it hasn’t happened.
The big difference? Media, cameras, and instant replay. Today’s basketball has all of these at an all-time high. This makes it very easy to replay thing over and over and examine if this really was an act of trying to injure someone. The good news is that Kawhi was not seriously injured or ruined his career
As the Bleacher Report article reads, every great dynasty or multi-championship team has some type of “enforcer”. This doesn’t have to be the hard foul guy, just the guy who you know is on the floor to get fouls or disrupt the rhythm of the other team. MJ’s Bulls had Rodman. Bird’s Celtics had M.L.Carr. The Showtime Lakers had Rambis. This isn’t anything new.
Unfortunately, the injury did have an impact on the rest of the series, as Leonard didn’t have a chance to play again in the series.
Haters of the Warriors and Warriors fans alike should read the article from Bleacher Report in the link above. It definitely sheds some light on the history behind the player and Role and why the Warriors are not the first team to do this.
Facts are, the injury happened and the Warriors won it all. Was it the way that all the fans would have liked for it to shake out? Definitely not, myself included. It happened and we go on from here.