Before the Warriors coughed up a 3-1 series lead in the NBA Finals, they were on the other end of a 3-1 series turnaround.
In the Western Conference Finals, the Oklahoma City Thunder held a 3-1 lead over the Warriors, only to watch Golden State win three straight to win the series.
For former Thunder power forward Serge Ibaka, who spent the first seven years of his career in Oklahoma City, it took a while for the pain to go away.
Ibaka shared his thoughts this week in a first-person article posted on The Cauldron.
"It took me a long time to get over our loss to the Golden State Warriors. Up 3–1 in the Western Conference finals, we had them. Honestly, I’m still not over it, but I couldn’t talk about that series, or basketball, for a couple of weeks afterward. During the NBA Finals, friends came over to watch one of the games, but seeing the Warriors on the screen got me so upset I had to leave."
Ibaka explained how he finally broke out of his funk.
"It was actually my 10-year-old daughter who finally snapped me out of my funk. We were out at dinner one night, and a TV was showing the Finals. I kept turning my head, trying to avoid watching, and my daughter saw how unhappy I was."
“It’s OK, Daddy,” she said. “You did everything you could.”
"Hearing that from someone I love brought me back to life. I realized it was time to get on with my life, and take advantage of the summer. NBA players don’t get that much time off, so it’s important to take advantage of what little vacation we get to spend time with our families and refuel our souls."
Shortly after the conclusion of the NBA Finals, Ibaka was traded by the Thunder to the Orlando Magic for Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova and Domantas Sabonis.