On June 12th the Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers to win the NBA championship for the second time in three years. However, that is not where this story starts, it starts with the Cleveland Cavaliers 2016 NBA championship parade. After the Cleveland Cavaliers famously came back from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA finals to thwart the 73 win Warriors attempt at a repeat, the pettiness begin. The bad blood was apparent during the 2016 finals, especially with the behavior, and eventual suspension of Draymond Green. To celebrate finally bringing a championship back to Cleveland as he said he would, Lebron James brought a little irony and a whole lot of pettiness to the Cavaliers championship parade. His "Ultimate Warrior" t-shirt did more than just celebrate his favorite old school WWF wrestler, it sent a message about what he had just done and who he had done it against.
If that added fuel to the fire, Kevin Durant signing with the Warriors in the off season added c4 to it. Both on the court and off the court, the hostility and pettiness raged in this fledgling rivalry. Whether it was Draymond Green declaring that he wants to destroy the Cavs or Draymond Green mocking Lebron's "flopping" after a hard foul in January, the antics added to the intensity and Draymond Green was most often on the front lines.
As the finals approached and both teams dominated their way to the NBA finals, the pettiness and passive aggressiveness grew ten fold. Comments about super teams and doing things the right way added to the narrative as the third part of the trilogy built momentum. The games came and went, the Warriors won, but the hostility engulfed the series. Technical fouls were given out, David West almost fought everyone, Draymond Green mouthed off at people on the court, Dahntay Jones mouthed off at people from the bench and Lebron and Durant got in each other's faces. Off the court, Lebron made comments about doing things the right way and never having played for a "super team" and the Warriors made comments about winning the title. Once the series was over, it felt like the culmination of a rivalry three years in the making.
It was only destiny that the blow-off would not be during the finals, but instead it would come to fruition during the Warriors championship parade. That day happened to be June 15th, and it did not disappoint in the slightest. The NBA news came early with a video of Lebron rapping along with Detroit rapper Tee Grizzley, but more importantly it showed off his newly shaved head. For years, Lebron James' hairline has been at the forefront of NBA humor, and today he took the final step in his constant journey to trying to be Michael Jordan, or so said NBA twitter anyways. The real news however, came when Draymond Green got to the Warriors parade wearing a "Quickie" shirt showing both the Larry O'Brien trophy and the "Quicken Loans" logo famous for being both the namesake of the Quicken Loans Arena as well as the company that made Cavs owner Dan Gilbert so rich. In an interview with Rachel Nichols, Draymond Green was happy to flat out say "I'm petty" when discussing how long he has been planning on wearing this shirt. Lebron James was quick to respond to Draymond's petty shirt with a classic middle school joke via an Instagram post captioned "That's what she said, huh?!? https://www.instagram.com/p/BVXx2ddh_kA/?taken-by=kingjames. Not only was it posted quickly by Lebron James, it was liked just as quickly by both of Kevin Durant's MVP candidate former teammates Russell Westbrook and James Harden. Draymond Green, never the one to keep his mouth shut, was quick to rebuttal at "King James" with a picture of his newly shaven head saying "Them dubs finally made him go bald!!! Congrats bro @kingjames" https://www.instagram.com/p/BVX0v36lYJV/?taken-by=money23green.
Clearly the Warriors are in on the party, posting a picture of Draymond smiling with a crying Lebron fathead at the parade on their official Snapchat, and Draymond added to the fun with a picture of fans wearing shirts with JR Smith's infamous "Cavs in 7" tweet on his own personnal Snapchat. If all that wasn't enough, Steve Kerr delivered the petty cherry on top giving a speech saying "Every one of you are Ultimate Warriors" during their celebration in Oakland. We are only in the very beginning of the NBA off season but already the #PettyWarz are in full effect. It is only a matter of time until more bombs are dropped and more comments are made both passive aggressively and openly, and I for one cannot wait to see what the pettiest league in the world will bring to us.