The NBA Finals are fast approaching as the Golden State Warriors prepare to defend their title against the team they downed 4-2 last year, the Cleveland Cavaliers.
LeBron James vs. Stephen Curry is a matchup everyone is looking forward to and 'The King' will be hoping to get revenge on the franchise that inflicted the fourth Finals loss of his career.
One man who envisions LeBron getting his hands on the Larry O'Brien trophy for the third time is former Los Angeles Lakers and Warriors forward Vladimir Radmanovic.
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Speaking ahead of the Thursday night's game one, he said: “I think it could be their year. Last season they arrived at the NBA Finals with some of their big names injured and this year they are healthy and have had time to rest and recover.”
Radmanovic, who played for Golden State alongside Stephen Curry from 2009 to 2011, believes James' importance to the Eastern Conference franchise cannot be played down.
He added: “You cannot win an NBA Finals without your superstar. If Lebron was not playing the Finals we would all be saying that Cleveland wouldn’t have options.
"But it’s also true you cannot win the NBA Finals alone and everybody remembers what happened last year with Irving and Love both out injured. ”
The Serbian is one of the few lucky basketball players to ply their trade in the NBA Finals, ending up on the losing side for the Lakers in 2008 as they fell to the Boston Celtics. Despite his inability to pick up a ring, the 35-year-old appreciates the opportunity that was put in front of him.
He added: “For me it is a little bittersweet because I was there but we lost. With the years, you realise that not many players have the chance to play in the NBA Finals and how important it is.
"It is an achievement because it is the result of working hard during the season and you’re finally there. It is a different feeling from competing with your national team because it is a longer one and you know how much effort you made for months to be there”.
Despite backing Cleveland to win it all, Radmanovic believes the achievement of the Bay Area franchise to overcome their deficit against the Oklahoma City Thunder cannot be understated.
“In my entire career, I’ve never seen a comeback from 1-3 so it was a very difficult situation for GSW," he said. “During the entire season the Warriors had lost nine games and OKC won against them three times in ten days.”
Regardless of the result, the 12th pick from the 2001 draft, who made 47 playoff appearances during his career, encouraged the players to cherish every moment, insisting it “is one of the most amazing things in the world.”