The only thing similar for the opposing sides in the aftermath of Game 5 and Miami’s NBA championship was that they’d both played basketball for 48 minutes Thursday night. Afterward it was a scene of incredibly stark contrasts. While LeBron James and Dwyane Wade were defiant in defeat in 2011, Kevin Durant told reporters “it hurts man” and put his head in his hands in the postgame presser.
Even more incredible, at least in the sense that NBA superstars are so wrapped in body armor and self-confidence we rarely see raw sadness, was how Durant walked through a line of OKC personnel — including GM Sam Presti — holding back tears before seeing his mother. Meanwhile, back on the court at American Airlines Arena and somewhere under a stadium worth of red, yellow and orange confetti, LeBron told everyone how he felt. “It’s about damn time.”
Again, how does winning an NBA title feel to James? “This right here is the happiest day of my life.” That, and Durant’s emotional response to the win, tells us all we need to know about this year’s NBA Finals.
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