The Golden State Warriors took home the Larry O’Brien Trophy Monday night as they defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 4-1 in the NBA Finals. Expectations were high for Golden State following their offseason addition of free agent Kevin Durant, and the Warriors met those expectations.
One outside who had big hopes for the Warriors was San Francisco 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman. While Bowman is not a Bay Area native, Durant is one of his hometown friends. The two played basketball together at Drew Freeman Middle School in Maryland, where Bowman actually had to encourage Durant to take more shots.
On Tuesday, Bowman met with the media and was asked about Durant’s championship victory. Bowman was proud of him, mentioning how much he went through growing up and getting to this point in his life. Bowman pointed out how much hard work it took Durant to reach the ultimate team prize in his sport.
“To understand exactly where he came from, it says a lot about how hard he’s worked. Nothing is given to anyone. Especially on the side where we come from. Just to see the joy in his mom’s eyes. I remember going to their house and seeing his mom get home from work and putting in those hours and seeing her rejoice, see her son reach the pinnacle that he’s been working so hard for his entire life.”
Bowman sent Durant a text after the victory, but had not heard back from him yet. He laughed and said he had told Durant to have fun and enjoy the celebration.
Someone asked Bowman if the Warriors victory had him envisioning himself in a similar fashion. He said it did after the game, and he actually pulled out his playbook. He talked about how much it fired him up.
“It made me want to go out there and win my first ring even more. It’s the same thing with him making it into the NBA. He motivated me to get to this point, and he definitely motivated me last night.”
The 49ers have seen plenty of championships around them with the Warriors and Giants dominating much of the past handful of years. As they begin their rebuilding process under Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch, we’ll see how long it takes for them to get back into that kind of relevance.