If NBA Finals viewers in many parts of the United States on Monday tuned into ABC well ahead of time, they were treated to that staple of the network’s affiliates, “Jeopardy.” Given the timing, it probably wasn’t a coincidence that the episode preceding Game 5 between the Warriors and Cavaliers featured a question about Kevin Durant.
Not only that, but the question (well, the answer) tweaked the all-star forward, in his first season with Golden State, just a bit. “After a loss to the Warriors in the 2016 Western Finals, this Thunder stud didn’t beat ’em, he joined ’em,” host Alex Trebek said.
Good job by contestant Tucker Dunn, a teacher from Tucson, for nailing the answer. Not that any less should have been expected from the show’s returning champion, who went on to his second straight win.
Durant, of course, generated plenty of criticism for defecting from the Thunder, which gave the Warriors all they could handle in that playoff series — even building the dreaded 3-1 lead — before succumbing in seven games. With Golden State now taking on Cleveland for the third year in a row in the Finals, having split the first two meetings, many think Durant has the most to gain or lose from the outcome.
Given that his Warriors were only playing in Game 5 because they failed to wrap up a sweep in Game 4, Durant needs to hope that, on some future “Jeopardy” episode, Trebek never poses this brainteaser to contestants: “As if blowing a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals wasn’t bad enough, this team blew a 3-0 lead the very next year.”