CLEVELAND, Ohio– It’s been almost exactly two years: two years since LeBron James‘ announcement that he was coming back home to play basketball in Cleveland; two years since his soul-baring letter gave fans chills and a new reason to believe in the possibility of a championship.
Now, nearly two years later, the promise The King made in that letter– “bringing one trophy back to Northeast Ohio“– has been kept. He and the Cleveland Cavaliers won the 2016 NBA Championship Sunday night, beating the Golden State Warriors in Game 7. It is Cleveland’s first championship in more than 50 years.
In July 2014, James told Sports Illustrated that he decided to come home. The announcement followed his decision to leave Cleveland for the Miami Heat.
He told Sports Illustrated, “My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now.”
His letter announcing his big homecoming began:
“Before anyone ever cared where I would play basketball, I was a kid from Northeast Ohio. It’s where I walked. It’s where I ran. It’s where I cried. It’s where I bled. It holds a special place in my heart. People there have seen me grow up. I sometimes feel like I’m their son. Their passion can be overwhelming. But it drives me. I want to give them hope when I can. I want to inspire them when I can. My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now.”
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) June 20, 2016