By: Trey Walker
“CLEVELAND, THIS IS FOR YOU!”
After 52 long, and sometimes disappointing years, the “Cleveland Sports Curse” has finally been lifted.
The Cleveland Cavaliers accomplished a feat that many thought was impossible: coming back from a 3-1 deficit(CLE is the first team to ever do this in the Finals). Coming off of a 6-game series victory against the pesky Toronto Raptors, the Cavs had the luxury of getting up to 6 days of rest while the Warriors were still fighting for survival against the Thunder.
It’s undeniable. The Cavs were rolling, and it didn’t look like anything would stop them-(Cleveland didn’t lose a playoff game until Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals). But they experienced a rude awakening in the first game of the Finals. Cleveland’s inability to shoot the ball well (.381%) and contain Shaun Livingston(20 pts) came back to haunt them, as they dropped to an early 0-1 series disadvantage after a brutal 104-89 loss.
Golden State kept the ball rolling in Game 2, and held their ground on their home turf. The series was now headed to Cleveland with the Cavaliers facing a 2-0 series deficit.
Northeast Ohio did all they could to root their team on to victory. A sold out crowd in Quicken Loans Arena helped sway the luck to the Cavaliers, as they responded in bold fashion, taking Game 3 from the Dubs 120-90.
A statement win was needed in Game 4 for the Cavs, for if they dropped it, they would have their backs to the wall, and would have to win 2 games in Oracle Arena, a place that only hosted 9 losses the entire regular season.
It was a close game all the way until the end. Kyrie dropped 34, but his efforts were not any match for Curry’s 38 points and the rest of the Warriors. Gameplay became increasingly chippy as time went on, and at the end of the game, Lebron James and Draymond Green had to be separated by officials after James disrespectfully grazed his groin across Green’s body. James claimed he was simply “returning to the play”. Green retaliated(and we all know who gets penalized in these situation, always be the bigger man kids…) and was suspended later. The Cavs fell to 1-3 and many people had given up hope.
Chris Thorburn is a sophomore at Cardinal Gibbons High School in Raleigh, NC. Chris and I came up through the ranks in middle school, and I have never encountered an individual so passionate for Cleveland sports. On many occasions we would butt heads, for I am a die-hard Cincinnati Bengals fan. Nonetheless, Chris was fortunate enough to attended Game 6 at Quicken Loans Arena, and shared his experience with me.
Question: As a die hard Cleveland fan, What does this championship mean to you?
CT: I can firmly say this is one of, if not the greatest moments in my life. I cant think of a time in all the sports I’ve watched or even played in where I’m in such a state of astonishment and joy, and in all that joy I literally had no idea what to do once they had won because I’ve never come close to being in that position as a Cleveland Fan. So in short, It really does mean the world for a championship to come back to Northeast Ohio.
Question: What were you thinking when the Cavs went down 3-1?
CT: I’ll be honest, after Game 4, I thought there was 0% chance we were winning this series, with how the bench of GS was playing and all the role players. Also, they have been in close out situations before and it looked pretty clear they would close it out again. After the Game 5 win I was feeling pretty confident for a Game 7, but after attending Game 6 and just being in the atmosphere of Quicken Loans Arena, I just felt that Lebron and the Cavs were literally going to do anything possible to come out with the series. So heading into Game 7, I was feeling pretty confident he could bring it home.
Question: Can you now forgive LeBron for when he left for Miami?
CT: Oh no doubt, I forgave him the moment he came back.
Cleveland exploited Golden State’s weak paint protection and won in an elimination situation. Andrew Bogut was taken to the locker room mid 3rd quarter to get his knee examined after some awkward contact. Bogut was later ruled out for the remainder of the Finals, which only exacerbated the interior defense of the Warriors. James and Irving went berzerk and tallied 41 points apiece.
LeBron did everything in his power to win the Final two games.
And on June 19th, 2016, King James fulfilled his promise to the city of Cleveland: bringing home an NBA Championship…….