CANTON,Ohio- For so long I’ve been told by many people that I’ll never witness a pro title since I’m a Cleveland fan. They said you may get close every once in awhile but just remember your’re a Cleveland fan.
The city that I love and have so much passion and respect for has been called “The mistake on the Lake”. Whenever I watch a nationally televised game for the Browns, Cavs or Indians, they would always show the graphic of the title drought for Cleveland.
I’ve watched highlights of all the misery that has unfolded over the decades. I don’t need to name them because you already about them.
Truth be told ladies and gentlemen, I spent all day Sunday trying to keep my mind off the game. I tried preparing myself for the worst but hoping for the best. I prayed to be prepared both mentally and emotionally for whatever the outcome would be. I even ran downstairs during the longer timeouts in the 4th quarter and prayed with everything I had.
I knew this game was going to be close. It turned out to be one of the greatest Finals games in NBA history.
I was fist pumping every time Cleveland made their free throws. I didn’t freak out while Golden State was hitting three pointer after three pointer in the first half. I kept telling my family that if Draymond Green is going to be the leading scorer then the Cavs have a chance at this.
I walked away during halftime telling family that this game could be a tale of Two halves. What I mean by that is simple. The Warriors started missing shots in the second half that they were hitting in the first. Who would have ever thought that Cleveland would not allow the high octane Warriors offense to go scoreless with 4:39 left in the 4th.
When James ran down the floor and blocked Iguodala, I was having flash backs of Tashaun Prince’s chase down block of Reggie Miller in the 2004 Eastern Conference Finals.
Then with under a minute left, Kyrie Irving takes and hits the biggest shot in Cavaliers history. That shot reminded of the three pointer he hit to send the game in OT against the Spurs. He scored 57 that night.
When Irving drove to the rim and gave it up to James for the olley oop I thought for sure that he was going to tear the rim down but Green made a good defensive block and James went down.
Once LeBron got up all I kept saying was come on LeBron, just make 1 free throw. He missed the first and I said let’s go LeBron just one! He rattled home the sceond. Turns out we didn’t need it.
The clock ran out and myself along with everyone else went crazy.
Is this really happening? We are really champions!
No team in the history of the NBA finals has come back from a 3-1 deficit to win the NBA Finals. Cleveland is on the road. Golden State hasn’t lost 3 straight games under Steve Kerr as their head coach.
I was watching all the post-game on television until around 3:30 and a former player brought up the Jordan, LeBron comparison. He said what Jordan did was special but what LeBron did, in my opinion, you can’t say isn’t almost just as amazing. I will say this. Winning 6 titles and never losing a Finals series is unbelievable. But let’s think about this. The Celtics won 8 straight from 1959-1966. The Bulls won 6 with a 1 year gap in the middle.
No team in this history of the NBA has ever came back to win after trailing 3-1 on the NBA’s biggest stage. Oh, by the way, it was on the road against a team that won 73 regular season games. The record for teams down 3-1 was 0-31. The Cleveland Cavaliers now give every team that may find themselves in that same position in the future, to have hope.
I want to end on this note. I’ve always told my parents that I want to see a pro title in my lifetime. But more importantly, I wanted my parents and anyone that is 40 years of age or older to witness a pro championship from a Cleveland team.
So to all of you Cleveland fans that have lived through every heartbreak and have had to deal with all the negativity surrounding our pro sports teams, I thank you for your loyalty and passion, because all of you are the reason I am a Cleveland sports fan and I’m proud to say I was born in Northeast Ohio and I grew up in Northeast Ohio and I’m proud win, lose, rain or sunshine, in some cases snow, to be a life long Cleveland Browns, Cavaliers, Indians and Buckeyes fan.
THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS……THE 2016 NBA CHAMPIONS.
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Nick Broulis