NBA finals: Reasons to follow Golden State Warriors against Cleveland Cavaliers

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King James & Chef Curry: How the Cavs & Warriors made the NBA finals again

So, here we are again: the NBA finals are almost upon us.

In a spooky case of déjà-vu, the Cleveland Cavaliers will face the Golden State Warriors for the fourth consecutive year, in what will be the NBA's best player versus the NBA's best team of recent times.

The rivalry between the Western Conference and Eastern Conference champions will see key players Stephen Curry and LeBron James battle it out on the court for the coveted NBA Championship once more.

Here are four reasons why you should stay up late and follow the seven-game series in all its glory.

It's a showcase of two of the best basketball stars

LeBron James Steph Curry
Curry and James may both hail from Akron, Ohio, but their careers have taken them to opposite sides of America. Now, they will face each other for the fourth year in a row in one of the NBA's biggest rivalries

Not the biggest NBA fan? Need converting? Or just fancy a new sport to get your teeth stuck into? Well, this week might be the best time to start.

Game one tips off in the early hours of Friday morning (02:00 BST), in what is set to be a battle of the sport's greatest stars.

You don't have to be an expert in basketball to appreciate the quality and skill of Cleveland's LeBron James, born and bred in nearby Akron, who has consistently been compared to NBA legend Michael Jordan over the years.

Equally, Warriors' point guard Stephen Curry shows time and time again why he is one of the game's greatest players. Think of it like a Messi v Ronaldo debate - they're both great at what they do, but you'll probably prefer one over the other.

Expect end-to-end action on the court, because this pair really do mean business.

You'll be watching a part of history

LeBron James collage
LeBron James is a three-time NBA champion and NBA finals MVP

Forget Real Madrid winning the Champions League for the third year in a row - LeBron is about to star in his eighth straight NBA finals.

2,901 days and 41 consecutive finals games. Yes, you read that right.

From 2011 to 2014 the finals featured James' former team Miami Heat, and every year since the Cavs have taken on the Warriors.

In fact, he's one of only six players in NBA history to play in eight consecutive finals - the other five featured in the Boston Celtics' run of 10 straight finals from 1957 to 1966.

'King James' has been to nine NBA finals in total, winning with Miami in 2012 and 2013, and Cleveland in 2016. Will this be the year LeBron gets his fourth championship?

It's a celebrity hot-spot

NBA collage
(Clockwise from top left) Rihanna, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Drake, Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott have all been spotted at NBA games

Major sporting events come hand-in-hand with celebrity sightings, but as basketball is one of the most popular sports in America, the clientele is cranked up a notch.

We're talking actors, singers, rappers, international superstars.

Rihanna was at last year's finals, ultimate power-couple Jay-Z and Beyonce were at the 66th NBA All-Star Game in 2017, and husband and wife Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis were at the 2016 finals.

Just this week, Kylie Jenner and rapper boyfriend Travis Scott were papped at game seven of the Western Conference finals between the Warriors and Houston Rockets - oh, and rapper Drake is a 'global ambassador' for the Toronto Raptors.

So, it's safe to say NBA is a pretty big deal. Let's be honest, anything that has Beyonce's seal of approval is a must-do really.

The end of an era?

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Given his achievements at Cleveland over the two stints he has been there, it's no surprise that LeBron is practically the city's adopted son.

Born in Akron, Ohio, 40 miles away from Cleveland itself, 'the King' enjoyed his first stint with the Cavs between 2003 and 2010 before moving to Florida, the sunshine state, where he won back-to-back championships with the Heat.

He returned to the Cavs for the 2014-15 season and has practically single-handedly carried the team since, winning the 2016 championship to give the city their first major sports title since 1964, when the Browns won the NFL Championship.

But despite his achievements, this season has left question marks surrounding James' future at the Quicken Loans Arena.

NBA reporter Chris Sheridan - who was the first reporter to announce James' return to Cleveland in 2014 - revealed before this season that the 33-year-old's future was all-but-decided, sending the rumour mill into overdrive.

He's expected to opt out of the final year of his contract, but nobody really knows where he will go from there.

So if he does leave, these finals will be his last appearances for the Cavs - and he's sure to want to give the city a good leaving present.

The seven-game finals series is due to run from 1 to 18 June (BST)

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