Kent Bazemore had a decision to make in free agency last offseason, weighing contract offers from the Warriors and Lakers. While Golden State’s offer was more lucrative, Bazemore ultimately chose Los Angeles, feeling the Lakers, anchored by All-Stars LeBron James, Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis, had a better chance to win the championship.
In the end, the 32-year-old couldn’t have been more wrong. His Lakers missed the playoffs entirely while the Warriors now stand four wins away from what would be their seventh Larry O’Brien Trophy. Bazemore, who spent last year in Golden State (he also played for the Warriors from 2012-14), congratulated his former team on clinching its sixth conference title in eight seasons Thursday night, lamenting that he wasn’t a part of it.
Bazemore’s FOMO is understandable, though he shouldn’t beat himself up over it. Entering the year, only Brooklyn had better odds to win the championship than Los Angeles (+425). Meanwhile, the Warriors, after missing the playoffs their previous two seasons, began the year with little in the way of expectations, ultimately finishing third in the Western Conference behind Memphis and top-seeded Phoenix.
Who among us isn’t guilty of choosing poorly (cue the Gob Bluth "I've made a huge mistake" montage), whether it’s overthinking an outfit or ordering from a new restaurant? Of course, an overcooked steak is admittedly much easier to swallow than laboring through a miserable year, sacrificing millions of dollars to play for a dead-end team that couldn’t even beat the Zion-less Pelicans for the final play-in spot. Remarkably, it’s not the first time this has happened to Bazemore, who the Warriors traded to Los Angeles in 2014. A year later, the Warriors, led by the core trio of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, were NBA champions.
Bazemore can’t be feeling good about himself right now, but if it’s any consolation, Cabo is supposed to be beautiful this time of year.