According to legend, at least, Hall of Famer Bill Russell wound up with the Celtics in 1956 after coach Red Auerbach got Boston owner Walter Brown, part-owner of the always-popular Ice Capades, to commit to several ice-dancing shows in Rochester, allowing owner Les Harrison a big payday.
The catch? Harrison had to pass on Russell, allowing him to slip to No. 2, a pick Boston acquired from St. Louis. Harrison agreed, Auerbach picked Russell, and 11 of the next 13 championships followed in Boston.
Another legend (OK, a mostly debunked legend) held that Wayne Gretzky, playing as a 17-year-old in the World Hockey League, wound up in Edmonton after his franchise in Indianapolis folded because the owner of the Winnipeg franchise lost a game of backgammon to the Oilers' owner. The Oilers won five Stanley Cups in seven years soon thereafter.
Babe Ruth was sold by the Red Sox to the Yankees after a tough 1919 season at the Fenway Park turnstiles. Vince Lombardi wound up in Green Bay in 1959 only because he could not get the Giants - the team for whom he was the offensive coordinator - to give him a clear line of succession for then-coach Jim Lee Howell.
We know how things turned out for the Yankees and Packers, respectively.
On Friday, with a 108-85 victory and a sweep of the Cavaliers, the Warriors won their third NBA championship in four years, and with it, ascended into the hallowed hall of American sports dynasties. They're hardly on the level of the 1950s-60s Celtics, the 1980s Oilers, the 20th century Yankees or the 1960s Packers. But they're only just beginning.
That's a major put-off for a slew of fans. This can be blamed on Kevin Durant. It has already been blamed on Kevin Durant, in a wide range of media outlets and broadcasts. Durant chose to join the already-stacked Warriors in the summer of 2016, when he hit free agency. He could have gone to Boston or San Antonio or Miami, teams he met with before picking his free-agent destination. He could have stayed in Oklahoma City after coming up just one game short of the NBA Finals.
Instead, he joined the Warriors - a move made possible by the rise in NBA television revenues that summer, which created enough cap-space wiggle room to make the deal happen. Golden State wiggled itself right into Durant's good graces and got him to sign a contract.
The outraged among us vent over Durant's choice of the easy path. The Warriors had won 73 games the year Durant signed with Golden State and were within one game - just four minutes, really - of winning back-to-back NBA titles. Drop Durant into a mix like that, and of course Golden State was bound to dominate. The Warriors went on to win eight of the nine games played in the past two Finals series.
But don't hate the Warriors. Dynasties almost never have a neat, clean origin story. Often, they come together because of the Ice Capades or backgammon or a terrible decision on a coach. The most iconic dynasties in the history of sports are the products of flukes in the rules, a bending of rules or a complete disregard for rules.
Also, remember this about the Warriors: They're set up for a fall. Their streak of success will only, in the end, yield a more spectacular takedown of this dynasty. And that day is coming - it always does. It could be Boston next year, or Houston. It could be Philadelphia two years from now. It could be (who knows?) Sacramento or Phoenix in three or four years.
Likely, it will still be the Warriors on the Finals stage and hoisting the Larry O'Brien Trophy, at least for one more year, perhaps two. In the meantime, they're a dynasty now, with or without public approval. If you don't like how it all came to pass, how Durant hooked up with the Warriors' 73-game winner, then look closer at all the most revered dynasties in American sports.
There were good teams that became great thanks to one or two flukes in the rules. That's how it went for the Warriors in the last two years - a very good team that became great with the addition of Durant, which was allowed under the new CBA.
There's a long way for this Warriors team to go before catching up to, say, those legendary Yankees. But they're likely to keep Durant (who is a free agent this summer), which means the anti-Warriors venom will keep flowing.
It shouldn't, though. Check your recent dynasty history on that.
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