Every morning, we'll give you five things from the night before in the NBA to start your day.
1: Miami, and LeBron, is your champion
In the end, it made sense. It took a season to build a championship chemistry in Miami.
Last year's hesitance and confusion was replaced by utter dominance as the Miami Heat cruised past the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 6 to capture their second title in franchise history, and first for LeBron James... and a few other guys on the team.
But yeah, LeBron's the story here (sorry, Chris Bosh). We'll get to more of his performance from last night in a minute. First, we bury the jokes. I joked on Twitter that LeBron's title is to us what George W. Bush leaving office was to late-night comedians. The easy jokes are over.
LeBron has been a victim of unreal expectations and poor decisions (that pun was intended). At 27, the prime of his playing career, LeBron James finally figured it all out, took over when he had to, deferred to others when necessary, and he led a very good team to a title that it should have won. Yes, he got plenty of help, but all champions do. But when it mattered most, LeBron pulled his team from the bring of elimination against Boston and he buried the Thunder with a triple-double to emphatically claim his title.
You don't have to like LeBron personally. But LeBron James the basketball player has earned respect.
2: OKC will be back
How do you know a good plumber or mechanic? Check for the calloused hands of experience. The Thunder's soft, pink palms are now raw with a Finals flub. But those blisters will soon heal, and the wrinkles caused by the stress of failure will only serve to distinguish the appearance of these young men as they grow into place atop the NBA's elite.
All but four Thunder (Derek Fisher, Nick Collison, Royal Ivey, Nazr Mohammed) are under 30. Nine of them are under 25. Their three best players are 22 or 23 years old.
Durant will learn to defend better. Westbrook will learn to be more judicious. Harden will learn to rise to the moment.
There are no guarantees in sports. Plenty of teams seem like they'll be perennial contenders but fade. But the Thunder are different, from top to bottom. This wasn't a flash in the pan. This is a team whose success was built to last.
Durant with the vicious dunk off the baseline drive