CLEVELAND- Cleveland likes to tag itself as Believeland.
True belief was rewarded. The Cavaliers did what no team had ever done before in the NBA Finals; win the title after being down 3 games to one.
You know the phrase " Only in Cleveland"? That's meant to be derogatory, but in this case, it's a huge compliment. Only in Cleveland would a team break a 52 year major sports drought by doing something no other team in HISTORY had ever done.
Yep, Only in Cleveland.
As I took in the many different family celebrations in the locker room last night, I thought of the countless Cavaliers from years past. Bingo Smith,Jim Chones,World B. Free. Mark Price, Larry Nance, Brad Daugherty. So many to name. I thought of how the Gunds came along and helped rebuild the franchise after the disastrous Stepien years. I thought of Bill Fitch , the original Cavs coach,and of Lenny Wilkens, or our friend Mike Fratello. And as I thought of them, I sloshed through the pools of champagne on the floor to Austin Carr, Mr. Cavalier. Tears were mixing in with champagne on his face. He was overcome with emotion. He had played during the Miracle of Richfield and he was here, at this moment, enjoying the spoils of the Miracle of the Oracle. He was thankful, and proud, and like so many Clevelanders, not wanting the moment to ever end. And it was at that point I realized how this team of young men personified all that is Cleveland.
How mentally tough they were. How they worked harder than others. They checked their egos at the door and worked for the common good. No one expected them to topple the Warriors, but they did. They rallied together to win that elusive title.
LeBron James won his third career Finals MVP and should there be any doubt as to who is the best player in the world.
James averaged 29.7 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 8.9 assists in the Finals. He had a triple double in Game 7. It's doesn't get anymore clutch than that. Only two others in history have done that.
Tyronn Lue made general manager David Griffin look brilliant by leading the Cavs to the title after taking over from David Blatt halfway through the season. He told his team at halftime that they didn't give the maximum effort for a game seven. They responded. The rest is history.
Enjoy this one Cleveland. And get ready. Now that the so called curse has been lifted, maybe those fellas across the Gateway Plaza will keep the good times rolling deep into the fall.