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Tyronn Lue comments on budding Cavaliers-Warriors rivalry

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When it comes to rivalries in today’s NBA, most fans and analysts would place a matchup between the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors near the top of their list.

LeBron James usually downplays any talk of a rivalry between the Cavaliers and Warriors. Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue, however, begs to differ. This morning, coach Lue offered his opinion on an episode of ESPN’s Mike & Mike.

“I think any time a team plays back-to-back years in the NBA Finals, and a lot of fans around the country are looking to that third match-up, especially with those guys acquiring Kevin Durant, I think it’s a rivalry,” Lue said of a Cavs-Warriors rivalry.

“I think these two teams, they want to get there, they want to play each other, and it’s some dislike there,” coach Lue continued. “They want to compete and play well against this team, and it’s okay. That’s what sports should be all about. If you get a chance to have a rivalry and an opponent that you look forward to matching up with, that you want to play. If you go to three straight Finals, that to me is a rivalry.”

While it isn’t a classic matchup between the mighty Boston Celtics and “Showtime” Los Angeles Lakers, the budding rivalry between the Cavs and Warriors is real, and it seems to be growing with each passing season.

If the Cavaliers and Warriors manage to meet in a third straight NBA Finals, they’ll match the number of Finals meetings that Larry Bird and Magic Johnson had over the course of their careers. Furthermore, no two teams have met for three consecutive years in the Finals.

A healthy rivalry can be good for morale. If you’re a competitor in any sport, you strive to be the best — and beat the best. Only time will tell if these two teams are destined for June, but it’s nice to see coach Lue taking a stance.

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