If the NBA goes forward with a second "bubble" in Chicago this fall, the plan would include two teams who were innately familiar with one another last decade.
The Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers played one another in four consecutive NBA Finals from 2015 through 2018, but the league's once-mighty cross-conference rivalry has, uh, fallen just a bit over the last two years. The Cavs immediately returned to the league's cellar when prodigal son LeBron James left for the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Warriors joined them there this season after Steph Curry played just five games and Klay Thompson played none.
A rematch of the NBA's preeminent Finals matchup of the previous decade doesn't sound very appealing, especially for a meaningless set of exhibition games. Cavs forward Larry Nance Jr. attempted to drum up enthusiasm any way he could, and Curry responded with a (not really) bold prediction of his own.
Who’s ready for a Cavs V Warriors part IV... 😂🤷🏽♂️ https://t.co/JAqI9orUw5— Larry Nance Jr (@Larrydn22) July 2, 2020
Steph has the Warriors sweeping the Cavs yet again pic.twitter.com/IPCaMqE4Aj— Chris Montano (@gswchris) July 3, 2020
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The Warriors' second matchup with the Cavaliers this season never happened, since the NBA paused the season due to the coronavirus pandemic about a month before the Cavs' scheduled first trip to Chase Center on April 8. Golden State handled Cleveland without Curry on Feb. 1, beating Nance and Co. 131-112.
That bodes well for any lowly-anticipated rematch, as it's hard to imagine Curry making the trip to the Windy City. The Warriors reportedly wouldn't have let Curry play in Orlando had Golden State been asked to finish its season, and those games would have had some meaning. Curry -- or Thompson and Draymond Green, for the matter -- participating in a reportedly voluntary training camp with exhibition games doesn't seem realistic.
It's also unclear if a second bubble will actually happen. NBC Sports' Tom Haberstroh tweeted Thursday that a source said they'd be "surprised" if the eight teams not participating in Orlando actually got together, and another said there was "definitely no consensus" among the Warriors, Cavaliers and their eliminated peers.
In the meantime, at least we have jokes.