The 2018 NBA Finals Are Expected To Bring As Much Drama As Jaws 4

    Theres a dirty little secret about the NBA Finals that most dont want to talk about.

    And thats probably because it involves two of the biggest stars in the league: LeBron James and Steph Curry.

    They are to blame for the upcoming terrible matchup in NBA Finals, which starts on Thursday night in Oakland.

    Its the fourth straight year that the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers will meet in the championship.

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    Yawn.

    Unless you live in those two cities, the idea of yet another repeat pairing leaves a lot to be desired for the rest of NBA America. Especially this time around because the Cavs are so bad.

    Hence, most are expecting as much drama as Jaws 4.

    Bigger and deeper than just a non-compelling, best-of-seven series is how we got here.

    James, with his team-hopping, turned the league into an AAU free-for-all. Its now cool to chase rings, even at the sacrifice of good old competition.

    And Curry affected the game, how its played. His success of taking wild three-pointers from different area codes en route to back-to-back MVPs turned the game into a gimmicky Three Ring Circus.

    Before these two did their damage to the Association, you never saw the same teams in the Finals more than two years in a row.

    And while the Lakers and Celtics dominated the sport back in the day, way more teams were in the mix and actually had a chance to compete for a title.

    Not anymore. Most picked these two teams – again – before the season. The 82-game season was basically a waste other than selling over-priced concessions.

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    And with all the player movement in the offseason, some – even those in the media – tried to convince fans that this season was different and that both the Cavs and Warriors could be beat.

    Somehow, people believed in Toronto and Houston as possible contenders. Instead, both turned out to be pretenders.

    Thats why we are here watching the same movie and probably the same ending again.

    Blame James. Blame Curry. 

    First, James.

    He is mostly the reason why this once great league is just a mere shell of itself. James started this mess when he decided to form his Super Team in Miami and both disrupt and destroy the competitive balance in the Eastern Conference.

    That damage lingers to this day. Thats why James is going to the Finals for the eighth year in a row. Theres no competition, no one to stand in his way.

    When James decided to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh – all free agents in the prime of their careers – it changed the league. Sadly, in a bad way.

    This wasnt a 29-year-old Charles Barkley, in pursuit of a championship, after spending the majority of his career in Philly. Or longtime Jazz forward Karl Malone, so desperate in his final season, that he joined the hated Lakers after 17 seasons in Utah.

    Oh, no. Make no mistake about it.

    This was the star of the league walking out on his team and hometown, in his prime – no less – and changing the course of three franchises in the process.

    And since its a copycat league, other players following LeBrons lead. If the best player on the planet wants to play on a stacked team, why wouldnt others want to do the same thing?

    Enter Kevin Durant. You get the feeling that Durant would have never left OKC had LeBron stayed in Cleveland and never went to Miami.

    And the 2008 Celtics wasnt a Super Team. Kevin Garnett, after 13 seasons in Minny, was traded to Boston to join Paul Pierce and Ray Allen.

    Garnett wasnt in his prime or a free agent like LeBron.

    The best part now is that James suffers from what he started.

    Its like James started MySpace and the Warriors created Facebook. He started it, but Golden State one-upped him when they got Durant to join a record-setting 73-9 team.

    Now, Curry.

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    His three-point shooting that landed him back-to-back league MVPs changed the league for the worse.

    A perfect example was in both conference finals this postseason.

    In losing to James and the Cavs in Game 7 in Boston, the Celtics missed 31 of 37 three-point shots. Just horrible basketball, almost unwatchable.

    As bad as it sounds, Houston outdid Boston.

    In losing Game 7 in Houston to the Warriors, the Rockets at one point missed 27 straight three-pointers and 29 of their last 30.

    This is the mess Curry has created.

    He and James have definitely left their marks on the league. When its all said and done, however, it will ultimately be a legacy of damage, not greatness.

    Rob Parker is a columnist for The Shadow League. He is also an analyst for Fox Sports 1 in Los Angeles. He co-hosts The Odd Couple on Fox Sports Radio and is also an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California.