Despite the odds and the history that suggested they couldn’t do it, the Cleveland Cavaliers managed to win the NBA Finals in game seven against the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors’ record-breaking 73-9 season wasn’t enough to earn them back-to-back championship titles, as the Cavaliers earned their first championship in franchise history on Sunday June 19th.
Since his departure to the Miami Heat back in 2010 LeBron James always promised he’d win a title for Cleveland, which he finally fulfilled after two playoff seasons with the Cavaliers.
“I came back for a reason,” James said. “I came back to bring a championship to our city. I knew what I was capable of doing. I knew what I learned in the last couple years that I was gone, and I knew if I had to — when I came back, I knew I had the right ingredients and the right blueprint to help this franchise get back to a place that we’ve never been. That’s what it was all about.”
James went for 11 rebounds and 11 assists for 27 points in 47 minutes. Because of his stellar post-season performances, James was named the unanimous 2016 playoff MVP.
“Best player on the planet,” said Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving who went for six rebounds, one assist, and 27 points in 43 minutes on Sunday. “I’m very thankful that I have a guy like that that’s leading our team that I can continue to learn from. And when my time does come of being able to lead a franchise and see the landscape of how it’s supposed to be composed, I watched Beethoven right now of LeBron James compose a game.”
And while Cleveland’s win was much deserved, it’s difficult to acknowledge the win without addressing where and why the Warriors collapsed at such a critical point in their post-season.
“It hurts, man,” said Warriors’ Steph Curry, postgame. “I mean, that’s all I’m really kind of marinating on right now.”
The Warriors just never seemed to find their stride, even after overcoming a 3-1 deficit against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the semi-finals.
“It’s not a good feeling, like I said,” Curry continued. “At the end of the day, we want to keep this memory so that it will fuel us as we stay together as a team.”
Golden State has already made it their goal to win it all next season. But for now, James and the Cavaliers definitely deserve the chance to bask in their hard-earned victory, and their first championship title in franchise history.