2017 NBA Offseason Free Agent Tracker

NBA Free Agent Tracker

Free agency in the NBA is a time for fans to dream – their team could sign almost anyone! Well, if they have the available cap space, strong pitch to the prospective player about the club’s vision for winning a title, and legions of fans ready to rally at airports to welcome them to their city. With the rise of player-controlled media communication from social networks, like Instagram and Twitter, NBA free agency has morphed into a media circus.

We went ahead and looked at the teams who’ve re-signed their star players, those who will be suiting up in different colors next season, and those who still have an uncertain future about where or if they’ll be playing in the NBA on Friday, October 20, 2017.

Veterans With New Beginnings

NBA Free Agent Tracker

With four free agent signings already complete, the Houston Rockets are looking to give MVP finalist James “The Beard” Harden complementary players to push for postseason glory. While Tarik Black and P.J. Tucker are nice pickups, their largest acquisition came in springing Chris Paul out of Los Angeles in a blockbuster trade. Seven players, over $600,000 in cash, and a top-three protected first-round pick in the 2018 NBA draft was the hefty price the Rockets were willing to part with to bring CP3 to the Lone Star State.

 

The Oklahoma City Thunder are one of six teams who have signed three free agents as of this writing. They’ve acquired Raymond Felton, Joffrey Lauvergne, and Patrick Patterson in the hopes of keeping the NBA’s MVP Russell Westbrook feeling supported. He’ll at least be receiving a cinephile in Patterson, whose Twitter account is devoted to sharing his opinions on film and television he’s consumed.

Gordon Hayward had many teams and their fans – the Celtics, the Heat, and the Jazz – wondering where he’d land. He ended up choosing the Boston Celtics for a chance to chase an NBA championship with his former college coach Brad Stevens. He did, however, thank Utah and all of the Jazz supporters in a letter in The Players’ Tribune.

They Can’t Leave Home

NBA Free Agent Tracker

“Don’t break up a good thing” may be the Golden State Warriors new team motto – they’ve re-signed six players during the free agency period, including issuing the first supermax contract in league history to Steph “Chef” Curry. Even after being bested by Curry and the Warriors in the postseason, the king himself, LeBron James, had to tip his hat to his rival. This is on top of Kevin Durant taking less money to stay with the Warriors for another two years!

The Miami Heat have also been busy working to retain talent. Udonis Haslem, James Johnson, Josh McRoberts, and Dion Waiters are all staying in the sunshine and waiting for some much-needed additions to their roster. So far they’ve only been able to add Kelly Olynyk to their roster. Pat Riley seemed rather happy they were able to keep Haslem in the red and white as he heads into his 15th season in Miami.

Still Searching for Their Spot

NBA Free Agent Tracker

While the biggest players available in free agency have already found new homes or stayed put, there are still a few interesting options out there for teams still looking. Sports Illustrated said the best remaining individual player is restricted free agent Nerlens Noel, formerly of the Dallas Mavericks. But with the Mavs making cap room available to pay him a larger deal and ward off suitors, it may be difficult for Noel to find his way to a different team before the start of the next season.

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Indiana Pacers put themselves in the most precarious positions, as each team has six free agents yet to re-sign to new contracts. The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers landed right behind the Cavs and Pacers, each with five free agents still unsigned for the 2017–18 NBA season. Perhaps they’re still questioning how much to pay these players, or are pondering if better options remain on the market for various off-the-bench positions.

Shootaround

Your favorite team may be celebrating a big signing like Gordon Hayward or rejoicing that the franchise kept the team together like Golden State, but you can still be cheering on your team in the best officially licensed NBA merchandise and apparel, available right now on Fanatics.com.

Sources

http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/19758509/la-clippers-trade-chris-paul-houston-rockets

http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/19779626/golden-state-warriors-star-stephen-curry-inks-super-max-contract-five-years-201-million

https://www.si.com/nba/2017/07/03/kevin-durant-warriors-contract-discount

https://www.si.com/nba/2017/07/24/nba-free-agents-best-players-available-derrick-rose-nerlens-noel

The Big3: Professional 3 on 3 Basketball

The Big3 Basketball League

A stocky veteran point guard moves the ball up the court. His jersey ripples across the arena as the fans roar his name. This all-star has had an acclaimed career. He’s a mentor and a captain.

He’s a legend … but his knees can’t take it anymore. He retires. He loves the game, and he swears he’s still got something in the tank. What does he do?

If he’s got his finger on the pulse, he calls West Coast rap icon and movie star Ice Cube. In early 2017, Ice Cube and his business partners founded BIG3 basketball, a 3-on-3 professional eight-team league comprised of NBA greats.

The Half-Court Story

The inaugural 10-week season kicks off June 25, 2017, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The BIG3 operates as a touring travel league, playing in arenas across the country. Sundays will be game days, structured as a league wide event with all eight teams competing (four games per day) under the same roof. Game format will be played on a half-court, with three players to a side. The creators of the BIG3 have done away with the tip off and instituted a “do-or-die” half-court shootout to determine initial possession.

So how did the BIG3 come about? Ice Cube dreamed up the idea of getting his favorite retired NBA stars back on the court. The generation of players involved in the BIG3 includes some of the most electric competitors the NBA has ever seen. These are players Ice Cube followed throughout their entire careers, all of whom are still vibrant enough to compete on a national stage. The league will become a reality this June thanks to co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz (media production CEO); president and commissioner Roger Mason Jr. (former first deputy executive director for the National Basketball Players Association); and CEO Amy Trask (former Oakland Raiders CEO).

The Ballers

As the league tours around the country, teams are not designated by a hometown host city. Instead, each five-man team has a moniker and head coach. The founding eight teams, coaches, and star players of the BIG3 are:

With a league packed with former All-Stars and NBA champions, the BIG3 has created a new platform for fans to reconnect with the players they grew up cheering. Some of the league’s human highlight reels include:

Allen Iverson, who played 14 seasons in the NBA, primarily with the Philadelphia 76ers. Iverson, the 1997 NBA Rookie of the Year and 2001 NBA MVP, was a transcendent ballhandler and clutch scorer.

Chauncey Billups is a 17-year NBA veteran and 2004 NBA Finals champion and MVP.

Mike Bibby played a storied 14-year NBA career but failed to win a championship. Bibby’s most memorable moments were played in Sacramento, with a very talented supporting cast.

Kenyon Martin was a member of the 2001 NBA All-Rookie First Team and was selected for the 2004 Eastern Conference All-Star team.

Jermaine O’Neal battled in the paint for 18 years in the NBA, racking up six All-Star team selections.

Jason Williams is known for having the best “handles” of all time. His talent for ballhandling and deception were unparalleled for 12 seasons in the NBA.

It’s also worth noting one of the most mythic performers in NBA history – Dr. J himself – is coaching team Tri-State, led by the aforementioned big man Jermaine O’Neal.

The Rulebook

The BIG3 has a unique set of rules and points system. Some of the more interesting league rules include:

  • Exclusive 4-point shots when a player is touching ANY PART of the “4-Point Circle”
  • The first team to 60 points wins
  • Halftime happens after a team scores 30 points
  • A team must win by four points
  • The ball is cleared when the player with the ball establishes both feet behind the 3-point line

The Schedule

This summer is going to be a nonstop highlight for basketball fans as the BIG3 league rolls across the country. Here’s what the inaugural 2017 schedule looks like

June 25: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
July 2: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, NC
July 9: BOK Center, Tulsa, OK
July 16: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
July 30: American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX
August 6: Rupp Arena, Lexington, KY
August 13: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
August 20: KeyArena, Seattle, WA (playoff round)
August 26: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV (Championship Finals)

With international celebrity Ice Cube at the helm of the BIG3 basketball league, its inaugural season beginning this summer is guaranteed to excite. He’s assembled a rock star roster of players and coaches ranging from NBA legends to former Rookies of the Year to career All-Stars and NBA champions.

Catch the Action

With the BIG3’s first tour making stops in nine major cities, fans around the country have the opportunity to see the action firsthand. Imagine sitting down to Allen Iverson versus Jason Williams again, in a battle of crossovers and pull-up jumpers! Who doesn’t want to see Bibby and Billups battle beyond the arc one more time? Grab your vintage gear at Fanatics.com and be sure to tune in June 2017 to catch all the star-studded 3-on-3 action.

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Golden State vs. Cleveland Rivalry

The Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers made NBA history with their third subsequent appearances in the Finals, a feat that had yet to occur in the league. The highly anticipated series had fans rallied on both sides of the court, and shaped one of the greatest rivalries the NBA has ever seen – especially this season, with Golden State’s addition of Kevin Durant.

Recent memory evokes a Golden State Game 5 victory against a group of hopeful Cavs. Considering the California-based squad intentionally crafted a superteam specifically to contain LeBron James in hopes of dethroning the defending champs, it wasn’t much of a surprise that the series did not make it to a Game 7 finale.

Golden State’s ascension, along with a supercharged roster, sets them light-years ahead of other teams. That being said, Cleveland is faced with making some difficult roster decisions in the offseason to prevent a potential Golden State dynasty.

Read on to see how this fierce rivalry all began and what events led to each team’s claim of national basketball supremacy.

NBA Finals Three-Peat

2015 NBA Finals: During the summer of 2014, King James abandoned the surf and sand offered by Miami’s beaches and returned to Cleveland for a heartfelt homecoming. The Ohio ballers were anticipated to be a dominant force in the league, but the Warriors shattered all expectations.

The Dubs took the league by storm with newly hired Steve Kerr at the helm of the team. The Cali-based squad was led by the NBA’s most valuable player, Steph Curry, as well as breakout baller Draymond Green. Needless to say, each “superteam” cruised their way into the Finals.

As history tells, karma doomed King James and his beloved Cavs. The first blow was delivered when Kyrie Irving incurred a broken knee during Game 1. James attempted to carry the undermanned team and even secured two victories for the Cavs, but it wasn’t enough. Chef Curry and the Warriors powered through to down the once-feared Cavaliers in Game 6 to end the franchise’s 40-year championship drought. Andre Iguodala was crowned as the 2015 Finals MVP.

2016 NBA Finals: Revenge was the Cavs’ theme this season and fueled them into another Finals appearance. The Ohio-based squad endured a rough regular season, but a new coach, Tyronn Lue, ignited a new flame at the core the franchise. Curry became a dominant force in the league and launched the Warriors to another level by posting a 73-9 record – a first in the NBA.

The outmatched Cavs were on the verge of defeat for the second year in a row, as the end of Game 4 marked a 3-1 Warriors lead. But one Game 4 incident between Draymond Green and LeBron James changed the trajectory of the entire series.

Green was suspended for Game 5, and the Cavs pounced on this “golden” opportunity. Dominant performances by James, Irving, and Kevin Love ultimately led to the Cleveland players hoisting the Larry O’Brien Trophy over their heads. And of course, King James was rightfully named the 2016 Finals MVP.

2017 NBA Finals: The Warriors and Cavs meet for a third clash in the 2017 NBA Finals. The first two games of the series resulted in unexpected blowouts, with Golden State crushing the Cavs at home and again at Quicken Loans Arena.

It wasn’t until Game 4 that the Cavs secured their first victory against the NorCal superteam – giving Cleveland fans hope for another 3-1 comeback. Unfortunately, the Cavs fell short. Between KD’s unstoppable form and Chef Curry’s impressive performance, the Curry-Durant tandem came full circle.

The Cleveland Cavaliers were poised with a challenging Game 5 at Oracle Arena. Between the hostile environment and the Dubs energized lineup, the Cavs fell short – handing the Warriors another championship title. Kevin Durant emerged as the Finals MVP and made a point to heap glory on his new partner in crime, Steph Curry.

All They Do Is Win

While the Finals come jam-packed with buzzer-beating moments and heated courtside exchanges, the regular season primes the pump for the drama to unfold later.

The rivaling Cavs and Warriors compete in different conferences and have only faced off against each other 127 times – easing stress levels of diehard fans. (The Cleveland Cavs contend in the Eastern Conference Central Division, while the Warriors play in the Western Conference Pacific Division).

Golden State leads the rivalry with the most regular season wins – posting 68 victories – and NBA titles. Cleveland trails behind their West Coast rivals with a modest 59 regular season wins and one NBA Championship title.

Cleveland’s storied franchise boasts the longest winning streak between the two squads. The Cav’s downed their coastal rivals during 10 contests over a four-season span from 1992 to 1996. Golden State trails Cleveland’s feat by posting a seven-game winning streak during the 2015 season – sparking a newfound disgust between the franchises.

Steady Scoring

One cursory glance at the Warriors and Cavs match history, and two dates explicitly stand out: March 8, 1990, and Jan. 23, 1989.

Golden State takes the cake regarding the most points scored throughout previous matchups. March 8, 1990, marks the game day in which #DubNation conquered Cleveland by a 40-point margin (145-105). The Warriors exerted dominance over their future rivals, and rallied behind Hall of Famer Mitch Richmond and forward Terry Teagle as the all-star shooters ran the scoreboard up – swooshing 25 and 22 points, respectively.

Conversely, the Cavs stood in the spotlight a year prior after crushing their NorCal contenders at home by a 33-point margin – posting a final score of 142-109 at the end of regulation. Cleveland benefited from the play of three-time All-Star Larry Nance (22 points scored) and the “Ohio Flyer” Ron Harper (netting 21 shots).

The Heat is On

Between winning their second title in three seasons and boasting a youthful yet experienced roster, the Warriors are positioned for long-term dominance. If the Cavs wish to retake the throne, they’ll need to elevate their gameplay and make pressing decisions during offseason to nurture a sustainable roster. One thing is for certain – the budding rivalry is in its prime and more epic showdowns between the legendary teams are still to come.

Whether you support #DubNation or look to #DefendTheLand, be sure to take part in the rivalry yourself. Update your wardrobe by heading over to Fanatics.com, where you can browse a wide selection of replica jerseys and ultimate fan gear!

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WATCH: Golden State Warriors Minute-by-Minute Sales Following NBA Finals Win

It’s been quite a ride for the Golden State Warriors. Two years ago they climbed to the pinnacle of the basketball world, bringing an NBA title to the Bay Area and Dub Nation. A year later, they made history, winning 73 regular season games and storming all the way to the NBA Finals once again.

And then, up 3-1, one win away from repeating, the champs slowly began to slip. Game by game, they watched their fortunes change. From the highest summit to the crushing low of watching a 3-1 NBA Finals lead evaporate, the Warriors and their fans had certainly felt a range of emotions.

And then just a few weeks after losing the Finals, the Warriors signed Kevin Durant. The rest, as they say, is history. And while the 2017 Golden State Warriors did not quite match their 73 win season the year before, they are now, once again, the champions of the NBA. And they have achieved some history of their own: a near-perfect postseason. 16-0 and their second title in three years is a pretty good way to exorcise the demons of last year.

And Dub Nation is celebrating. Below, check out a heat map video breakdown of how Warriors sales across Fanatics platforms after the historic win.

NBA Kicks – Battle of the Shoes

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An NBA player is known for his ball-handling skills on the court, defense, and how he contributes to the team, but what he wears on his feet can be just as significant and noteworthy. One brand of kicks dominates the feet of pro-ball players, but there are plenty of others that are represented in the NBA. Let’s dive in and take a look at the shoe brands basketball players wear, and how these brands break down by team and style.

It’s Gotta Be the Shoes

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Nike brand shoes steal the show across the NBA, accounting for nearly 60 percent of players’ shoes. This comes as no surprise, though, as Nike is one of the most successful sneaker brands in the business, generating over $32 billion in revenue worldwide in 2016. They’ve sponsored many NBA athletes, and it’s unlikely that will change in the future.

The next most popular shoes worn by NBA players come from Adidas (nearly 17 percent) and Jordan (almost 14 percent). Under Armour footwear rounds out the top four at 4 percent, while a flurry of other brands makes up the rest, including Li-Ning, And1, Anta, Reebok, BrandBlack, and K1X.

The golden standard. @StephenCurry30 breaks into the top 10 all-time 3PT list rockin' the LTD Gold #Curry3Zer0.

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Teams and Their Preferences

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Check out the breakdown above to see the most popular shoe brands on each team, as of early March. Boston, for example, favors Adidas more than the other brands, even Nike. The rest of the Atlantic Division looks to prefer Nike, with other brands making an appearance. The Nets, in particular, are pretty rounded out with different shoe brands, while the Raptors heavily favor Nike.

The Bulls in the Central Division are also pretty rounded out, favoring Nike above all, but three players wearing Jordan make their mark. Cleveland is 11 Nike to one Adidas wearer, and the Pistons also enjoy Nike, with four players wearing Jordan and one wearing Peak.

In the Northwest Division, while Nike yet again makes the biggest impact on the home courts, other brands, such as And1, Under Armour, and Li-Ning show up, and while the Adidas number isn’t as strong across the board, they do show up in every Northwest Division team.

There are a few different brands that show up in the Pacific Division, such as Anta for Golden State and BrandBlack for the Clippers. Adidas, Jordan, and Nike remain the most consistent in the division.

In the Southeast Division, there are a few brands aside from the most popular among the five teams, including Li-Ning, Peak, and Under Armour. The Magic, in particular, wear two brands of shoes – Nike (9) and Jordan (3). The Wizards follow suit, with eight players wearing Nike and one Jordan.

The Southwest Division is similar to the others, with Nike and Adidas leading the way, but there are a few outliers here and there, such as Under Armour for the Mavericks and Grizzlies.

These Brands Have it

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Some shoe models are more popular than others among NBA players. Sixteen players wear the Adidas Crazy Explosive. Although the Air Jordan XXXI is the most popular among Jordan wearers, the brand is really well-represented by many players who wear other models.

As for Nike, there are a few that stand out. The Nike Kobe A.D. grabs the top spot and is worn by 38 NBA players, while the Nike Hyperdunk 2016 follows closely with 33 players. The Nike Kyrie 3 and the Nike LeBron Soldier 10 are next with 19 wearers each.

The other brands are pretty widely distributed, with many models being worn by one or two NBA players each.

Shoes of the Stars

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While signature shoes are fairly common these days, they weren’t always. Walt Frazier was one of the first NBA players to be sponsored by a brand in the ’70s, but sponsorships and signature kicks are far more prevalent now. They really got a big push in the mid-1980s when Nike released their first Air Jordan shoe, and now there are more signature shoes out there for players and fans alike, which you can see evidence of here.

Today’s biggest NBA stars wear a variety of footgear. Isaiah Thomas, who plays for the Boston Celtics, rocks Nike Kobe A.D.s on his feet. As you may imagine, these are the signature shoes that were made for Kobe Bryant. Dwyane Wade, who now plays for the Chicago Bulls, rocks Li-Ning Wade All-City 5s.

The LeBron 14 'Out of Nowhere,' now available in SNKRS. #NikeBasketball #LeBron #LeBron14

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King James has his own long line of Nikes, including the LeBron 14s that he currently wears when he plays for Cleveland. Stephen Curry, of the Golden State Warriors, also has his own line of shoes and wears Under Armour Curry 3s. James Harden, of the Rockets, wears Adidas Harden Vol. 1s, and Giannis Antetokounmpo, of the Milwaukee Bucks, dons Nike Kobe X Elites.

While the Nike brand dominates in the NBA, players wear quite a few other brands, including Adidas, Jordan, and Under Armour.

If you’re an NBA fan, make sure you check out Fanatics to grab some awesome basketball fan gear – from tees and replica jerseys to hats and beach towels, no matter which team is your favorite.

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Best Places to Watch The NBA Finals

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Watching The Finals

Thinking about going to watch the third match-up between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors? With ticket prices averaging around $2,000 to see an NBA Finals game in Oakland or near $1,250 in Cleveland, you may consider a different venue to watch these games in person.  

Fans in Cleveland and Oakland, fear not! Here are some researched recommendations of the best possible places to take in the games with fellow fans. Just remember to come wearing your team’s colors; you don’t want to be the odd one out!

Cleveland, Home of the Cleveland Cavaliers

Not just “Believeland” anymore, fans of the Cavaliers know their team is capable of winning it all. Here are just a few of the best locations in the Rock ‘N’ Roll Capital to watch the game, if you can’t score a ticket to see it live.

City Tap

You can #DefendTheLand at the City Tap, which is close to the Quicken Loans Arena, affectionately referred to as “The Q” by locals. They have an average rating of 4 out of 5 on TripAdvisor.

Winking Lizard

As one of the top restaurants in Cleveland, the Winking Lizard is a prime location to take in the game and enjoy some food with your friends! There are plenty of options to enjoy, especially if you go multiple times over a four-, five-, six-, or even seven-game series!

Butcher and the Brewer

Nearly 100 reviewers on TripAdvisor gave the Butcher and the Brewer 5 out of 5 stars and mentioned it was a “fantastic meal” before the game. With a ton of meat available, in addition to several different styles of brew, this could be the best choice for those who consider themselves carnivorous Cavs fans.

Oakland, Home of the Golden State Warriors

Mad Oak Bar

Here we go again… let's close this out Warriors!!

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If you’re looking for a place to enjoy the game with other Warriors fans, look no further than the Mad Oak. With over 320 reviews and an average of 4 out of 5 stars on Yelp, it’s a fine establishment to grab a drink with friends. They’re selling tickets to catch the game here – don’t get caught trying to get into the Mad Oak without one!

More meet ups here please. #flightdesignhappyhour #oakland #madoak #🍻

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Blind Tiger

Come join us tomorrow as we watch the Warriors go for 69 wins! #dubs #firstfridays #kono #asianfood #tgfi #happyhour

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For a different type of venue to enjoy seeing the Dubs play the Cavs, check out the Blind Tiger. They have over 400 reviews on Yelp with an average of 4 out of 5 stars, and as one reviewer mentioned, “three large projector screens which makes for … the ultimate location for checking out Warrior games.” Their Asian fusion menu also includes a healthy helping of oysters – not your typical sports bar menu!

Happiest hour. 🐷

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The Double Standard

#titletuesday at #THEDOUBLESTANDARD #OAKLAND #bayarea #soontobenbachampions

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This patio bar, equipped with picnic tables, is a perfect spot to watch the NBA Finals. They have a truly “backyard atmosphere,” which makes for a “grand old time watching the Warriors put the beat down on the Cavs,” according to one reviewer. If you’re looking for a casual, more laid-back location to take in the finals, this may be the spot for you.

The Venues of Champions

Whether you live near your favorite team and plan to watch the NBA Finals from these wonderful restaurants and bars or plan to support your team from a couch hundreds or thousands of miles away, don’t forget to look the part. Get the best officially licensed NBA merchandise and apparel from Fanatics.

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Trilogy Matchup: Warriors vs. Cavaliers, Part III

The NBA Finals matchup that fans have essentially been waiting all year for is finally here.

The Trilogy that is the 2017 NBA Finals, a third-straight showdown between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers, marks the first time in NBA history that the same teams will meet in the Finals three consecutive years. The storyline that has peaked fans’ interest all season is now coming to fruition.

Golden State has been fueled all season by the hope of avenging last year’s historic Finals defeat, in which the Cavaliers snatched a repeat from the Warriors’ grasp and completed the first comeback from 3-1 down in Finals history. That’s been on full display throughout a perfect 12-0 run to the Western Conference Championship, easily dispatching the Portland Trail Blazers, Utah Jazz and San Antonio Spurs.

Warriors offseason acquisition Kevin Durant has been a man on a mission despite a delayed playoff debut due to injury. Durant is shooting a scorching 56 percent from the field en route to a 25.2-point average in this postseason, second to Stephen Curry‘s 28.6-point playoff average.

As for the defending champions, the Cavaliers have been no slouches in their own journey to the Eastern Conference Championship. Cleveland has only lost once in the postseason after cruising past the Boston Celtics in five games, preceded by consecutive sweeps of the Indiana Pacers and Toronto Raptors.

Both teams have essentially been pitting themselves against one another, from personnel changes to scheme adjustments, in the expectation that they would meet again in this so-called Trilogy. This postseason has proven that the only true competition the Cavs and Warriors have in their championship bids are one another, and it sets up for another memorable battle.

A depleted Cavs squad in LeBron James‘ first season back in Cleveland couldn’t get it done in 2014-15 when the Dubs won their fourth championship, but they delivered the very next season by dethroning the 73-9 Warriors squad in historic fashion. The bad blood harbored over the last two years is sure to come to a boil as two seemingly all-time great teams get ready to duke it out again for the ultimate prize.

Browse Fanatics.com for the best officially licensed NBA Finals Apparel.

Mapping NBA Teams: Cleveland Cavaliers

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The Cleveland Cavaliers are still riding the high of bringing home the NBA championship for the first time in their 47-season history when they overcame a 3-1 deficit in the 2016 NBA Finals to win the series against the Golden State Warriors.

The Cavaliers date back to 1970 when they were admitted into the NBA along with a couple of other teams. While they’ve had plenty of postseason appearances (20 so far), their history also includes spells of difficulty, including the mid-1980s and the early part of the 21st century when winning seasons were scarce and the postseason didn’t happen.

Upon the drafting of LeBron James No. 1 overall in 2003, their fortunes turned, and the team soon returned to postseason play. The four years during which King James played in Miami were marked by a string of losing seasons. Once he returned to Cleveland, however, they went to the finals two straight years in a row and won it all in 2016.

As the Cavs battle their way in hopes of returning to postseason play (and possibly a third-straight finals appearance), let’s take a look at where the current roster comes from, and what college conferences led to today’s Cleveland Cavaliers.

Heading to Believeland

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LeBron James, arguably one of the NBA’s most recognizable players, not only plays professionally in Ohio but also is a native Ohioan. Hailing from Akron, he was highly touted as the next Michael Jordan, and his draft stock was so high he went No. 1 overall to the Cavaliers in 2003.

Other Cavaliers stars include Kevin Love, who calls Lake Oswego, Oregon, home, and played college ball at UCLA. His father, Stan Love, also played pro-ball for the Los Angeles Lakers and Washington Bullets. Kyrie Irving is from West Orange, New Jersey, and attended Duke. Iman Shumpert comes from Oak Grove, Illinois, and went to the Georgia Institute of Technology. DeAndre Liggins also hails from Chicago and attended the University of Kentucky.

Kyle Korver, Creighton University alumnus, is from Pella, Iowa, and Channing Frye, who is from Phoenix, went to the nearby University of Arizona.

Cavaliers’ College Conferences

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When looking at the Cleveland roster as a whole, the Pac-12 Conference contributed the most players (30.8 percent). Three players came from the University of Arizona (Frye, Richard Jefferson, and Derrick Williams), and the other Pac-12 player, Love, came from UCLA.

The Atlantic Coast Conference isn’t far behind, with 23.1 percent of the Cavaliers coming from schools in that conference. In addition to Irving and Shumpert hailing from the ACC, James Jones, from Miami, Florida, attended an ACC school (the University of Miami).

There are also a few players who were the sole contribution from their university conference, such as Tristan Thompson, a Big 12 player from the University of Texas (Austin), and Kay Felder, who shot hoops at Oakland University, which is part of the Horizon League.

While the Pac-12 makes up a large portion of the Cleveland squad, there were contributions from several others as well. As you root for your Cavaliers to continue their quest for another shot at the national title, be sure to check out Fanatics to get the best Cavs gear around.

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Mapping NBA Teams: Golden State Warriors

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The Golden State Warriors got their start in Philadelphia in 1946 as one of the charter members of the Basketball Association of America (BAA), which eventually became the NBA. In 1962, they split from Philly and headed west. They were known as the San Francisco Warriors for nine seasons, but they adopted their current moniker, Golden State Warriors, in 1971.

The franchise has won four national titles (most recently in 2015). These days, they’re working to get back to the postseason and possibly a third-straight-Finals appearance. Some might say this team has been all over the map.

Let’s look at the roster to see which cities and universities helped form today’s Golden State Warriors.

Forming the Warriors

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The Golden State Warriors are well known for a few feats, including last season’s NBA-best season record of 73-9. The most identifiable player is, of course, Stephen Curry, who hails from Charlotte, North Carolina, and went to college at nearby Davidson College, where he helped his college team go on a pretty great Cinderella run in the 2007-2008 NCAA Tournament, reaching the Elite Eight. Klay Thompson, another standout player, attended Washington State University after he left his home in Rancho Santa Margarita, California.

Klay! 👏🏽✌🏽

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There are a few Warriors who hail from the Midwest, notably Andre Iguodala, who came from Springfield, Illinois and played college ball pretty far from home at the University of Arizona. Then there’s Shaun Livingston, from Peoria, Illinois. JaVale McGee also calls Illinois home (Chicago), and Kevon Looney came from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, although he headed to California to play ball for UCLA.

Other players include Zaza Pachulia (Tbilisi, Georgia), Patrick McCaw (Rockville, Maryland, who attended UNLV), and Draymond Green (Saginaw, Michigan, who went to Michigan State University).

Pac-12 Shines in Oakland

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When it comes to the NCAA conferences that contributed to Golden State’s current roster, the Pac-12 stands out as the biggest piece of the pie. Players from the Pac-12 include Klay Thompson (Washington State), Andre Iguodala (Arizona), and Kevon Looney (UCLA). Also represented: the Mountain West Conference, with alumni such as Patrick McCaw (UNLV) and Javale McGee (University of Nevada, Reno).

There are quite a few smaller conference slices of the Golden State pie, including Kevin Durant (Big 12, University of Texas, Austin), Draymond Green (Big Ten, Michigan State), Damian Jones (Southeastern, Vanderbilt), and two-time NBA MVP, Steph Curry (Atlantic 10, Davidson).

🔒

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Today’s Golden State Warriors roster is made up of players from both coasts, the Midwest, the Mountain States, and the South. Have you watched Curry grow from a member of an improbable Elite Eight college team to his stardom in California? Or are you just hoping your Warriors head back to the Finals?

Keep it Golden

Fanatics has all the Golden State gear your heart desires. Before heading out Oracle Arena to take in the action, dress for success in a brand new Durant or Thompson jersey.

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Mapping NBA Teams: Boston Celtics

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The Boston Celtics are one of the original Basketball Association of America (BAA) teams, dating their debut back to the 1946-47 season. When the BAA merged with another fledgling professional basketball league, the NBL, the NBA was formed. By 1969, the Celtics had had a massive postseason rampage and racked up 11 championships in 13 years, thanks to players like Bill Russell and Bob Cousy.

The team added a couple of more trophies in the mid-1970s, and the Larry Bird era – which began in the late ’70s – brought three more championships to Boston. Most recently, the Celtics won the finals in 2008 with the Big Three (Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen), bringing the team’s total to an NBA record of 17.

Today’s Boston Celtics find themselves in second place in the NBA Eastern Conference as they work to get back to the postseason, hoping for an 18th championship trophy to add to the shelf. Let’s take a look at where the team’s players hail from and what colleges they attended.

The Celtics Come From Here

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Isaiah Thomas, a two-time NBA All-Star, was born in Tacoma, Washington, but played high school basketball in South Kent, Connecticut. He attended the University of Washington for college ball, closer to his birthplace, and was drafted by the Sacramento Kings in 2011. Teammate Avery Bradley was also born in Tacoma but went to the University of Texas at Austin for college.

#CelticsWin over the Bulls 100-80 ✅

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Jaylen Brown, the No. 3 overall pick in 2016, is from Marietta, Georgia, but attended college on the other side of the country – at the University of California, Berkeley. Jae Crowder, who hails from Villa Rica, Georgia, headed northwest for college ball at Marquette University.

Jonas Jerebko doesn’t hail from the U.S. at all – he’s from Kinna, Sweden. Al Horford wasn’t born in the U.S. either (he was born in the Dominican Republic) but attended college at the University of Florida. Same with Kelly Olynyk – hailing from British Columbia, Canada, he played ball at Gonzaga University.

From the SEC and ACC to Boston

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Two college conferences make up the bulk of the Celtics roster. The Atlantic Coast Conference and Southeastern Conference each contribute over 27 percent, or more than half, of the team’s players. From the ACC, we have Demetrius Jackson (University of Notre Dame), Terry Rozier (University of Louisville), and Tyler Zeller (University of North Carolina). From the SEC, Boston features James Young (University of Kentucky), Al Horford (as mentioned above, he was a Gator), and Jordan Mickey, who played for LSU.

Two conferences contributed two players. From the Big 12, Avery Bradley played at the University of Texas at Austin, and Marcus Smart suited up for Oklahoma State University. The Pac-12 produced both Isaiah Thomas and Jaylen Brown.

Other conferences represented are the West Coast Conference (Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga) and Big East Conference (Jae Crowder, Marquette).

Heading Up to Boston

If you’re headed to TD Garden to catch your Celtics in action, check out Fanatics.com where you can grab a jersey of past and future greats.

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