On Thursday the Golden State Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first game of the 2016 NBA Finals but former Warriors power forward Vladimir Radmanovic believes that this could be the year LeBron James finally wins a title with Cleveland.
Radmanovic, who spent 12 seasons in the NBA including three at the LA Lakers alongside Kobe Bryant said: “I think it could be their year, last season they arrived at the NBA Finals with some of their big names injured and this year they are healthy and have had time to rest and recover.”
For Radmanovic LeBron’s importance cannot be understated. He said: “You cannot win an NBA Finals without your superstar, if Lebron was not playing the Finals we would all be saying that Cleveland wouldn’t have options. But it’s also true you cannot win the NBA Finals alone and everybody remembers what happened last year with Irving and Love both out injured. ”
Radmanovic knows a thing or two about playing in the Finals having been on the losing side with the LA Lakers in 2008 against the Boston Celtics. He said: “For me it is a little bittersweet because I was there but we lost. With the years you realize that not many players have the chance to play in the NBA Finals and how important it is. It is an achievement because it is the result of working hard during the season and you’re finally there. It is a different feeling from competing with your national team because it is a longer one and you know how much effort you made for months to be there”.
The Warriors’ comeback victory against Oklahoma City Thunder impressed Radmanovic. He said: “In my entire career I’ve never seen a comeback from 1-3 so it was a very difficult situation for GSW.”
He was full of praise for a valiant effort from Oklahoma City Thunder. He said: “During the entire season the Warriors had lost 9 games and OKC won against them 3 times in 10 days.”
Regardless of the result Radmanovic was adamant that each and every player competing should savour every moment of the NBA Finals as the experience “is one of the most amazing things in the world.”
You can watch the 2016 NBA Finals live on BT Sport or via NBA League Pass.
Source: Pitch London