The 2016-2017 NBA season was one of the best years in league history. LeBron James led a Cleveland Cavaliers team that many considered to be better than last year’s Golden State Warriors squad. Kobe Bryant’s final game, which saw him score 60 points against Toronto Raptors, is still talked about today and will continue to make headlines for the foreseeable future.
The “2016 nba finals” is the best NBA season in history. The 2016 NBA Finals featured Kobe’s last game, LeBron leading Cavs to 3 and a new champion.
The NBA has evolved in terms of the type of play seen each night, but it hasn’t detracted from the high level of basketball played. In terms of what they do on a regular basis, whether it’s making clever plays on both sides of the floor or displaying worldwide athleticism, NBA players are still the top athletes in the world. The NBA, of course, is home to the best basketball players in the planet, and it isn’t even close. Fortunately, we’ve had some spectacular seasons in recent years.
The most recent one that springs to mind is the 2015-2016 season, a year in which legends were retired and history was created. The 2016 NBA season significantly impacted the legacy of some of the game’s all-time greats while also providing experiences that current NBA fans will appreciate for the rest of their lives. At the conclusion of the year, we watched an unexpected NBA champion hoist a trophy, the best regular-season team ever play unique basketball, and some all-time great performers say their goodbyes. Here are the top moments from the 2016 NBA season, which was one of the best ever.
The Retirements of Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett
Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett, two of the best power forwards in NBA history, played their last seasons in the league during the 2016 season. The San Antonio Spurs said their goodbyes to the greatest power forward of all time, as Duncan finished his 19th season with the team that drafted him and won five NBA titles. Throughout his career, the renowned big man excelled in all aspects of the court, including rebounding and defense. Duncan had won his fifth and last title two years before, but he was still a valuable big man as he reached 40. Tim made the All-Star squad in 2015 at the age of 38, with 8.6 points per game and 7.3 rebounds per game in his last season. Duncan’s retirement signaled the end of the greatest power forward career in NBA history.
Kevin Garnett, meanwhile, retired with the Minnesota Timberwolves, the team that drafted him fifth overall in the 1995 NBA Draft. Garnett has a CV that includes an NBA championship, 15 All-Star selections, 12 All-Defensive Teams, a Defensive Player of the Year award, and an MVP honor. His best year was undoubtedly 2008, when he shared Defensive Player of the Year honors with his NBA championship. Garnett’s tenacity and defensive skills made him one of the best power forwards of all time, and he retired at the age of 39 to cap off a remarkable career.
Dunk Contest 2016
The Dunk Contest 2016 might have been the greatest ever, barring the 2000 performance by Vince Carter. Zach LaVine and Aaron Gordon went ballistic at throwing down jams because we witnessed the unthinkable of what human beings could do in front of sold-out crowds. LaVine powered past Aaron Gordon thanks to some incredible dunks including a windmill jam from the free-throw line and a sensational between-the-legs reverse dunk. Zach was clearly focused on making his name known around the world, and he shined on the brightest stage in Toronto.
Even though Gordon lost against LaVine, he still put on one of the best performances in NBA history. The high-flyer had several memorable dunks, including one over a mascot and another that got everyone to their feet. Gordon could have easily won the Dunk Contest, and the winner should have been a tie between LaVine and Gordon. We also witnessed several other high-flyers, like as Andre Drummond and Will Barton, show off their hops, making it an unforgettable Dunk Contest.
The Legendary Farewell Tour of Kobe Bryant
Another retirement celebration took place during the 2016 season, this time for the legendary Kobe Bryant. The Black Mamba’s farewell tour ended at the age of 37, and he was plainly a shadow of his former self, as injuries and miles had totally worn out his legs. Bryant has been plagued by injuries throughout his career, but the Achilles injury he sustained during the 2013 season was the last straw. During the 2015 and 2016 seasons, Bryant never returned to superstar form and gave us everything he had left. He only averaged 22.3 points per game in 35 games for the Lakers in 2015, before scoring 17.6 points per game in 66 games for the Lakers in 2016. In his last season, Kobe was obviously not himself, shooting a low percentage (35.8%), but the Lakers understood that the fans wanted to watch the former MVP take all of the shots on the floor.
Bryant’s farewell tour was highlighted by a 60-point performance on 50 shots attempted in his last game. With the stadium packed and everyone’s eyes riveted to the screen, Kobe gave us one last taste of what we’ve come to expect by hitting a game-winning shot. After three disappointing seasons, Bryant’s departure seemed inevitable, but it was still heartbreaking to witness the great make headlines once more with a spectacular scoring performance.
Warriors’ record is 73-9.
Golden State broke the Chicago Bulls’ 72-10 record, which was one of the most remarkable performances of the 2016 season. The Warriors began the season 24-0 before going 73-9 to set a new season win-loss record. Stephen Curry was named league MVP after averaging 30.1 points per game on 50-40-90 shooting. Alongside him were All-Stars Klay Thompson (22.1 points per game) and Draymond Green (14.5 points per game), as well as Steve Kerr, the finest coach in the NBA at the time. Because no team had greater shooting and ball movement than the Warriors, the game was radically transformed. It’s no surprise that after missing the playoffs with Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant jumped at the opportunity to join them in 2017.
The Warriors got off to a great start with Curry and Klay shooting threes and Draymond Green playing like one of the greatest defenders in the league, and they never let up as the playoffs neared. The team’s goal was to improve its win-loss record, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Nobody could have predicted that Chicago’s 72-10 record would ever be broken, since the club was so good. They had Michael Jordan, the greatest player in NBA history, as well as a slew of other Hall of Famers on the team, including Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman. But the Warriors accomplished it, and they did it in the most spectacular manner conceivable. Of course, they carried that momentum into the playoffs, reaching the NBA Finals for the second year in a row.
The Unanimous MVP Award goes to Stephen Curry.
Curry is a three-time NBA champion and two-time MVP at this stage in his career, but his most significant personal triumph may have occurred during the 2016 season. Following one of the most iconic regular-season performances in NBA history, the greatest shooter of all time was awarded a very worthy unanimous MVP Award. Curry shot 50-40-90 on the floor and averaged 30.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 6.7 assists, and 2.1 steals per game. All season long, the point guard was flawless, and he deservedly won the game’s most coveted individual honor.
Curry’s performance, of course, was important in the Golden State Warriors winning 73 games this season. Curry’s shooting percentages, scoring championship, team record, and influence all contributed to his being the NBA’s first unanimous MVP. Since Michael Jordan’s great season in 1988, we haven’t witnessed an MVP season quite like that. Early in the season, Curry faced heavy competition for the MVP title from the likes of Kawhi Leonard (2nd place in voting) and LeBron James (3rd place), but the point guard cemented his status as the finest shooter in NBA history en way to his second consecutive MVP win.
LeBron James leads the Cavaliers to a 3-1 victory against the Warriors.
By rallying from a 3-1 deficit to win the NBA championship in 2016, LeBron James performed probably the greatest playoff comeback in NBA history. With a 3-1 deficit against consensus MVP Stephen Curry and the Warriors’ sharpshooting, James and the Cavaliers had their backs against the wall. LeBron’s legacy was in serious jeopardy, and many believed he would never have another chance at Jordan’s reign. But James pulled off the seemingly impossible.
In the Finals, he averaged 29.7 points per game, 11.3 rebounds per game, 8.9 assists per game, 2.6 steals per game, and 2.3 blocks per game. In Game 7, LeBron James made “The Block,” a game-saving move in which he went the length of the court to block an Andre Iguodala layup and kept the Cavs in the game. Nobody expected LeBron James to come back from this disadvantage, yet he achieved the unimaginable and won the NBA championship for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
LeBron’s triumph would be the first in Cleveland’s history, and it came only a few months after The King promised the people that he would bring a championship home. James was aided by superstar Kyrie Irving, a point guard who completed the 3-1 comeback by hitting one of the greatest shots in Finals history against Stephen Curry. During the series, Irving averaged 27.1 points per game, and his partnership with James will go down in NBA history as one of the finest ever. LeBron’s third championship capped off one of the finest seasons in professional basketball history.
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The 2016 NBA season was one of the best in NBA history. Kobe Farewell, LeBron Leads Cavs to 3. The 2017 NBA champions will be crowned on June 20th. Reference: 2017 nba champions.
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