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Tuesday, June 12, 2012
A full dance card at the NBA Finals

By Adena Andrews

Prom night, with its helium balloons, papier-mâché streamers and hormone-filled air, is a time many love to remember or try hard to forget. Either way, it's a milestone in the journey to adulthood.

However, some people, among them Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder, didn't get to experience their prom. Durant missed his high school prom to focus on basketball, according to a recent interview with Hannah Storm.

In fact, Durant's whole life has been devoted to reaching the NBA Finals, so much so that he has missed out on big events. In a way, Durant's first NBA Finals appearance at 23 is like his prom. In the end we're just waiting to see who'll be crowned NBA prom king.

In order to let Durant know what he missed and to bring others up to speed on some of the major players in this series, I've designed an NBA prom filled with characters for everyone to enjoy.

Mr. Popular: LeBron James

Even after his ill-advised decision, premature celebration in Miami and unclutchness in certain situations, LeBron is still "The Guy" in the NBA Finals. He is the polarizing figure everyone loves or loves to hate. His stature, experience and the crew around him say he should be crowned NBA prom king, but Durant and his boys have something else in mind.

Guy who took his mom: Kevin Durant

After the emotion Durant displayed for his mom as Game 6 of the Western Conference finals ended, there's no doubt he adores her and she will be front and center for the NBA Finals. There's nothing wrong with him giving his momma a little bit of sugar at the end of every game. Let's just hope this time he's got some hardware in hand when he throws his arms around her. Just because his momma is his date to the prom doesn't mean he can't capture the elusive title of NBA prom king.

Super seniors: Derek Fisher, Juwan Howard

Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook will play a couple of roles in the NBA Finals. Look for his eye-popping ensembles in the postgame.

With the combined age of a cave man, Fisher and Howard will be schooling whippersnappers with their knowledge and stinking up the locker room with Bengay. Fisher is likely to be the only super senior to get any valuable playing time as Howard sits on the bench telling stories about how James Naismith stole his idea for this whole game.

The alternative guys: James Harden, Russell Westbrook

With a beard large enough to swaddle a toddler and the wardrobe of a colorblind teenager, Harden and Westbrook are the odd couple of the NBA Finals. Make sure to stay up after the final buzzer for the postgame news conference where Westbrook will treat us to an eyeful with his newest Garanimal ensemble.

Foreign exchange students: Serge Ibaka, Thabo Sefolosha, Ronny Turiaf

Hailing from the Republic of the Congo, Switzerland and France, these players possess that hip-yet-mysterious vibe that only the foreign exchange student in school owned. But don't let their origins fool you; their game is a real as the rest, just with an international flair.

The hot couple: Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union

Every high school had a couple that was so gorgeous together it made you want to vomit. Expect to see shots of Wade's beautiful actress girlfriend Union in the crowd cheering her man. She may not be courtside due to her inability to control her heckling.

Guy in the middle of the dance circle: Russell Westbrook

There's always one guy starved for attention who thinks he knows the latest dance moves and wants to show them off. There may be one game where Westbrook chucks shots like he's getting paid to miss. Really he's just trying to establish his position as "The Guy." Unfortunately for him, Durant has the job on lockdown.

The wallflower: Eddy Curry

After playing in 14 games and averaging 2.1 points a game this season, you have to wonder why Curry is even here. Barring some supernatural, freak event, Curry won't see much time on the dance floor at the NBA Finals prom.