President Barack Obama recently sat down with Sirius XM’s Shade 45 radio show to discuss who he believed would win the NFL and NBA titles.
Obama is an admitted sports fanatic who has traditionally lent his hand at filling out an NCAA tournament bracket for both the Men and Women live on ESPN every year. He also has made it a tradition to invite every championship winning pro sports, college or even some youth teams to the White House to be honored. Coming from Chicago, he lives for Chicago sports.
In regards to the NBA, Obama stated that he believes that the Golden State Warriors will win it all because of the addition of Kevin Durant.
Via Mike Reiss/ESPN: “I’m going to go with the Warriors just because of [Kevin] Durant, that addition. I think they just have too much firepower,” Obama said. “Although they just got spanked in their first game, so it will take a while to figure things out.”
The President’s pick is not a bold one as many people also believe that the Warriors just have way too much talent to really lose in any seven game season. We’ve seen super teams before with three big stars on one team, but this is one of the first times that we have seen four players who are young and entering. or already in their prime, together on one team.
In 2004, the Los Angeles Lakers, in Kobe and Shaq’s final season together, formed an older version of this team with Hall of Famers Karl Malone and Gary Payton joining forces with Shaq and Kobe. Now, although the Lakers had formed one of the most dominant dynasties in sports history and added to other star players, Malone and Payton were at the ends of their careers and Shaq and Kobe had just about reached each other’s boiling point. That team ended up making the finals, but got swept by the 2004 Detroit Pistons, one of the greatest defensive teams of all time who had their own version of a Big Four with Chauncey Billups, Richard Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace, and Ben Wallace.
This 2016 Warriors team is much different because the core three of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green have already established a rapport with one another and a championship pedigree. With the addition of Durant, who is a dominant scorer and player in this league, but more inept to fit in with this group of guys than maybe Payton and Malone were on that Lakers team.
Do I agree with the President? No.
I believe that the Warriors will have a tough time making the Finals, not because I don’t think this experiment can work, but because there are two teams in the West who represent great threats to them: the San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Clippers.
Both the Clippers and the Spurs have traditionally matched up well with and played the Warriors extremely tough. Even with the addition of Durant, both the Clippers and the Spurs have developed their own rapport for years now and barring injury, will each be great tests for the Warriors in a seven game series. Both teams can shoot the three and most importantly, play physical in the paint with the Warriors, which is their Achilles heel. Both have multiple top scoring options, great point guard play, and deep benches that can match up with the Warriors depleted bench.
Even if the Warriors do make it back to the Finals, I still believe that the Cleveland Cavaliers will still win the title. Kyrie Irving will have a breakout, MVP-caliber year, even in his standards, and the Cavs will make one big pickup during the trade deadline or through free agency that will prove to be huge. The Cavaliers have a mental edge over the Warriors and they will be well rested by Finals time. Kevin Love, who has been assertive on the offensive end to start this year, will have his confidence and provide the Cavs with the legitimate third scoring option inside and outside, that they didn’t even have in last year’s series.
The President also picked the the New England Patriots to defeat the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl 51.
“At this point, you’d have to put your money on [Tom] Brady again. I don’t see any real strong teams. Seattle and Patriots have a rematch [from the 2014 season]. That’s my call.”
Now, I do agree with this pick, but not the NFC team represented.
It’s hard to disagree with the Patriots taking it all this season. Every since Brady has returned, the offense has been damn near perfect and Brady is on his way to having the best season of his career. The defense is very opportunistic and seem to come up with big plays in big situations in big games (Malcolm Butler interception in 2014 Super Bowl). The AFC has some teams making noise this season with the defending champion Denver Broncos, the Oakland Raiders both at 6-2, but with all due respect to what the Raiders are doing so far, especially on the road, the Broncos are the only real threat. Despite their dominant defense, I don’t believe that their offense has the firepower to keep up with New England.
On the NFC side, it’s really a toss up.
The Seahawks have had a poor last couple of weeks tying with the Cardinals and losing to the Saints. Their offense is stagnant right now after the injury to running back Thomas Rawls and their defense has displayed some vulnerability. Teams like the Dallas Cowboys, Atlanta Falcons and even the Green Bay Packers are at the top of their respective divisions and have proven to be right there and in the Cowboys and Falcons mind, better than the Seahawks so far. You can sprinkle the Eagles in there as well and please do not write off the Carolina Panthers.
I believe the Seahawks will get it together, but if they don’t get homefield throughout the playoffs, which is very likely, I don’t see them matching up well with those teams, especially the Panthers if they build off their last win and get settled in.
So, Mr. President, I agree with your NFL pick and respectfully disagree with your NBA pick.
Do you agree with President Obama’s predictions? Let’s talk about it here or find me on Twitter @Phenombc3.