By Moses Kamuiru.
An Emotional Win
There were tears, but this time round for the first time since 1987, they weren’t of heartache. It wasn’t like when the Cleveland Browns were uprooted to Baltimore, a blow to a football town that left a searing, civic void. It wasn’t also like Earnest Byner’s gut-wrenching mistake a year later (known as “The Fumble”) or John Elway’s 98-yard march in 1987 (known as “The Drive”) or when Cleveland Indians closer Jose Mesa couldn’t hold a Game 7 lead. This time, on a Sunday night in Oakland without the involvement of Charlie Sheen or voodoo bats, a Cleveland team won. The King LeBron James reeled off Cleveland’s list of heartache like he was reciting lyrics that he had practiced since childhood. He was conversant with them like the rest of Northeast Ohio knew them.
A Supportive Fan Base
King LeBron said that his team had a ride-or-die fan base in the wake of the Cavs’ historic 93-89 Game 7 win over the Golden state warriors. This victory secured the King’s standing among the NBA’s pillars. LeBron said that no matter what’s been going on, the Browns, the Indians, and the Cavs and so on, the fans continued to support them. He added that for the Cavs’ to be able to end that drought, their fans deserve it. Although he rarely acknowledges it, King LeBron knows he played a significant role in the misery. In 2010, “The Decision,” left an owner seething, teammates reeling and fans so emotional that they set his jersey on fire. LeBron added to the local embarrassment and contributed to the unhinged psyche. This was the reason why on Sunday’s Game 7, the end of a compelling series that hooked a national audience outside of the disparate fan bases, left James sobbing on his knees. This was contrary to the usual way James celebrated either of his titles when he played for the Miami Heat. That displayed relief and raw emotion that he had finally made good on his promise.
King LeBron hates playing inefficient basketball, but he was forced to last to the Finals. He was left with no other option with Love and Irvin both out. That the Cavs held a 2-1 lead and won the two games, which was mostly seen as a victory in and of itself. The Warriors were once again whole and just realizing their potential. Klay Thompson and Steph Curry were building impeccable reputations as shooters, and Draymond Green was emerging as one of the best second-round picks in the history of the NBA.
A Clash of Titans
The NBA superstars met again in a rematch in the Finals, and in Game 4 something happened when Green took another groin swipe after getting away with one in the Oklahoma City Thunder series. The idea of the Warriors’ phenomenon, built on electric passing, elite shooting, a free-flowing basketball formula and an endless supply of capable players, started to chip away. When King LeBron soared high in Game 7 to pin Andre Iguodala’s layup, it was as stunning as some of the majestic three-point bombs Curry had dropped this postseason. And it was James’ turn to douse the visiting locker room in champagne, a 13-year storybook ending that was most certainly earned, not given.
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