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A Preview Of The NBA Finals

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The NBA Finals start tomorrow, the Golden State Warriors against the Cleveland Cavaliers - for a third consecutive year, the same two teams. Not to embarrass our friend David Greene, but when he spoke with Bay Area sports reporter Marcus Thompson the other day, Marcus correctly predicted the Warriors-Cavaliers rematch, and then he asked David his prediction.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

DAVID GREENE, BYLINE: I'm going to go with the Warriors. But I'm going to say this - it's not going to be against the Cavs.

INSKEEP: OK, 50 percent right, 50 percent. We called Marcus back to preview the NBA Finals matchup and hear David fall on his sword.

GREENE: Marcus Thompson, I got that wrong. You were right.

MARCUS THOMPSON: Wow, I forgot you said that.

GREENE: Is this getting a little boring, having the same teams in the finals for the third year in a row?

THOMPSON: The lead-up was boring. Like, getting to this moment that we all knew would happened - well, all of us except for you...

GREENE: Right.

THOMPSON: ...Was boring.

GREENE: Thank you.

THOMPSON: But now that we're here, it's great. Like, it's the rivalries and the back and forth. And - this is what I grew up on. Whether it was Lakers-Celtics or Bulls-Pistons, that's what I remember. So I'm glad that I get to see this in my adulthood.

GREENE: Is it getting to that point, like, where you can - it's almost like you have two dynasties that we're looking at?

THOMPSON: I mean, without question. One of the things that I think can get lost is that we are watching one of the greatest players of all time, maybe even three of them. Like, if you're watching LeBron James, you are watching a living legend. And Kevin Durant and Steph Curry are also Hall of Fame players. Throw in Draymond Green, maybe Kyrie Irving - I mean, this is the epitome of star-studded basketball. And here's the crazy part - it might be like this for another two or three years.

GREENE: Which would not be bad for basketball fans, as you've said. But - so what would this mean - this championship, this year - for LeBron's legacy and his place in history and his place in conversations with, you know, names like Michael Jordan?

THOMPSON: I think that's all that's left for LeBron is he's chasing the ghost of Michael Jordan. I think if he beats these Warriors - this loaded Warriors team now, it's like - OK, Jordan's never done that before. He's never taken down a team with two MVPs and four All-Stars and been a major underdog and somehow willed his way to victory. So I think this legitimizes LeBron's legacy as probably the best of all time if he can pull this off.

GREENE: All right. Marcus Thompson covers sports for the Bay Area News Group, and he's the author of Golden: The Miraculous Rise Of Steph Curry.

I'll talk to you on the other side of the finals. Thanks, Marcus.

THOMPSON: Hey - keep the predictions coming, though. We all miss them here and there. You'll be all right. You just keep doing it.

GREENE: I appreciate that. Got to take risks if you're in this business, right?

THOMPSON: That's correct.

INSKEEP: (Laughter).

GREENE: Thanks a lot.

INSKEEP: The whole point is just to forget the prediction after you make it. That's David Greene. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.