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Continued: NBA Finals rematch contains intrigue, history

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Last update: June 5, 2014 - 12:19 AM

4. Why should Timberwolves fans care?

What do Wolves fans know about the NBA Finals, or even the playoffs for that matter? Nothing recently for sure, but they should have a rooting interest in this respect: It could, conceivably, impact where Kevin Love plays next season and what their team gets for him.

Hear this out: Cleveland pursued Love before last year’s draft, offering the top pick in a package, and might do so again by dangling the No. 1 pick in supposedly a loaded draft. But why would Love ever agree to sign long-term to play in Cleveland?

One word (or name): LeBron.

If the Cavaliers hope to bring James back home to Cleveland to win a title for his native Ohio someday, they’ll need to give him real reason beyond money and destiny. A chance to play with Kyrie Irving and an Olympic teammate named Love just might convince him to leave South Beach and an aging Heat team.

That could come as soon as this summer if James chooses to opt out of his contract. But that would happen only if the Spurs end the Heat’s title winning streak at two.

If the Heat wins its third, James’ return home will wait at least another season because there’s no way he walks away from the chance to win four in a row, something Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal never did.

5. So … what would a third consecutive title mean for the guy they call King James?

Jordan won three consecutive titles twice and Bryant and O’Neal did it once together. None of them were able to make it four in a row.

“My legacy will speak for itself when I’m done playing basketball,” James said. “Last year is last year. This trophy this year belongs to nobody. It’s up for grabs.”

 

Jerry Zgoda • jzgoda@startribune.com

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