Last night was absolutely amazing! I’m sitting here on my couch, in the same spot I just watched the Cleveland Cavaliers win an NBA Championship. It is still slowly sinking in as I watch ESPN all day long just listening to them talk about my team, and my city as CHAMPIONS!!!
I say my city, but no I’m not FROM Cleveland, I live a little over an hour south of Cleveland, but if you’re from Ohio, then you know that no matter what part of Ohio you’re from, Cleveland is YOUR city when it comes to major professional sports. (Kentucky can have the Bengals and the Reds, Sorry Cincy fans) I’ve been watching Cleveland sports for as long as I can remember. Last night easily ranks as one of the greatest moments of my lifetime. I was fortunate enough to be able to watch it with a few of the people who matter most to me (Aric, Alex, Branden, Ty, Evan, Brandon, Kristen and of course my girlfriend Rachel) I wish there were a few more there to celebrate the moment with, but I was able to reach out to most of them when it was all said and done.
The game couldn’t have been any better! After the Cavs were down 0-2 in the series I couldn’t escape the thoughts of “damn, this is gonna be a 4 or 5 game series” but, I held out hope that once it returned to Cleveland we would be able to even the series. I’m not gonna bore you with all the details, but after the Cavs won game 5 to make it 3-2 I felt deep down, that if we can get it to a game 7 there’s no way that LeBron is gonna let us lose. Then again I look at the history of Cleveland sports and half expected to get to game 7 and then get beat by a Steph Curry buzzer beater to add another “the ______” to the long list of Cleveland sports heart-break.
Watching game it was back and forth the entire time, with no obvious outcome. The last 3 minutes of the game were some of the greatest moments probably in Finals history. With LeBron having that epic block on an Andre Igoudola layup attempt, Kyrie Irving’s amazing shot over Steph Curry with 53 seconds left giving the Cavs a 3 point lead, and then the ‘almost’ best dunk of all time by LeBron that would have clearly went on every highlight tape ever made for the NBA and NBA Finals. Also, Kevin Love is not getting enough credit for his amazing defensive effort when he was guarding Steph Curry when he was trying to tie the game as the clock was closing in on 0:00. I was literally standing up, interlocking arms with my brothers just watching, hoping, dreaming, praying that finally something would go in Cleveland favor. When the Warriors missed that shot, and Mo’ Speights grabbed the rebound over, LeBron I started screaming and yelling realizing what just happened. I knew regardless if Speights made that shot the Cavs still won, and they were the Champions of the NBA. It was an incredible thing, I just kept screaming “We’re Champions!, We’re Champions”
If you’re not from here, or not a sports person, I literally can try and try and try, to explain to you why I am including us as fans as part of being the Champions, but unless you have been invested into Cleveland sports, the way that so many fans have been, I will never truly be able to fully get through to you and be able to explain why this is as much a championship for the fans, than it is for the players. What LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers did last night is truly historic. The only thing I can tell you, if you are reading this thinking to yourself ‘you’re crazy, you don’t know what you’re talking about’ then I will simply ask you to look at the videos. Look at the Video of LeBron when the game is over, and how he falls to the floor crying so many tears of happiness, Look at the video of LeBron as he screams “CLEVELAND THIS IS FOR YOU”. Look at the video of the city of Cleveland celebrating when they won, look at the video of the THOUSANDS of fans that showed up at the airport just to greet the team as they got off the plane. Most of all watch Wednesday, when the city of Cleveland will hold a Championship parade watch and see the crowd that shows up FOR OUR TITLE.
I have LOVED Cleveland sports my whole life, I remember watching the 97′ World Series when I was just 6 years old, I remember the Browns first when coming back as an expansion franchise in 1999 with the Hail Mary vs. the Saints. Last night as I was standing in my living room in the middle of a group hug with my brothers, celebrating the greatest moment of my life in terms of sports, my phone started ringing, and it was a call from my dad. The convo went a little something like this;
Dad-“Hey buddy, I just wanted to call you and say congratulations”
M-“Thank you, I can’t believe they did it!”
D-“I was just telling people that I remember taking you to your first Cavaliers game when you were 4-5 years old”
M-“Yep, and i still remember the score, it was 90-88 over Grant Hill and the Detroit Pistons”
D-*chuckles* “Well I’m happy for you guys, enjoy it and be safe”
After that we said our I love you’s and hung up the phone as we went and continued celebrating.
My mind is still running a million miles an hour, just watching highlight after highlight, and celebration video after celebration video knowing that this could be the only time in my life that I get to witness this. After a 52 year drought, it’s over!, it’s finally over! So to LeBron James even though you will never read this Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. Not just from me but from every single Cleveland fan out there we Thank You from the bottom of our now extremly joyus heart! Thanks to you, and Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love, Ty Lue, J.R. Smith, and every other Cavalier for fulfilling your promise you made to us. We can finally say, “We Are The Champions”