Basketball

Golden State Warriors - are the recently crowned NBA Champions also World Champions?

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The t-shirts and hats say NBA Champions - as they should.  Best team in the World...quite possibly.  World Champions...not so fast.  The rest of the world might have something to say about that.

The Warriors won the NBA Championship and anyone in their right mind, myself included, would be crazy to argue that the Warriors weren't the best team in the NBA this season.

I enjoy watching basketball and live in the San Francisco Bay Area, so it was a lot of fun hopping on the Warriors bandwagon during their epic run.  

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I'd be lying if I said I've been a die-hard fan during their 40 year championship drought - I've attended a few games- but this year the Warriors had everything a sports fan needs to get behind them.

A team-first attitude from the NBA MVP Steph Curry to the last player on the bench meant it was the the type of team you would want to take home to meet the family.

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So why all the fuss about the World Champion moniker?

I recently was given Phil Jackson's new book, "Eleven Rings" and the cover features his 11 NBA Championship rings, many which also bear "World Champions".  It got me thinking...

American sports leagues have long anointed their winners as World Champions. Fair enough, as in many years, American teams might have been the best professional teams playing these sports.   

However, the global standard is soccer, the game which has no borders, so the "World Champion" term, whether with club or country, isn't one which soccer throws around loosely.  

Quite simply, when you stage a World Championship, or at least an event that will crown a world champion, you invite the world.  Currently, Germany and Spain's Real Madrid are the unquestioned World Champions in soccer, as they qualified and won events which invited the entire globe.  Any other clubs or countries to stake that claim would be laughed at.  

Wouldn't you think Real Madrid's basketball team or Brazil's Bauru might be interested in a game with the NBA Champion to decide the basketball World Champion?

It's quite possible the Warriors would win the World Championship title, or the NBA team in most years, but isn't that why you play the game?  Wouldn't that be exciting?

I appreciate that the NBA and the sport of basketball in general, has enjoyed more global attention over the past 20 years.  I understand that many of the top players in the world, now aspire to and relocate to compete in the NBA.  

According an article by Bill Barnard, which appeared in The Los Angeles times way back in 1989, the NBA moved away from the NBA World Championship Series title as far back as 1986 and began calling it The NBA Finals.

So Warriors fans and basketball aficionado's, let's keep it real.  NBA Champions...absolutely.  World Champions...prove it!

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