the cleveland cavaliers beat the golden state warriors on sunday 93-89, in game seven on the road to win the 2016 nba championship. this is the cavs' first nba title in franchise history. they are the first team in nba history to overcome a 3-1 series deficit; the previous 32 teams down 3-1 all lost.
lebron james was named finals mvp for the third time in his stellar 13-year career. james played 47 minutes and finished with 27 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists and three blocks. james became the first nba player in finals history to lead both teams in points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals.
"i don't know why the man above gave me the hardest road, but...the man above don't put you in situations that you can't handle...i just kept that same positive attitude. instead of saying, why me? i said, this what he wants me to do. and cleveland, this is for you," said james afterwards.
the cavs' improbable and miraculous championship ended a 52-year major title drought for the city. for over five decades, cleveland has collectively suffered 1) the fumble (browns); 2) the drive (browns); 3) the shot (cavaliers); 4) the single (indians); and 5) the decision (james).
in 1964, the cleveland browns defeated the baltimore colts to win the super bowl. and, they were the last major professional sports team in cleveland to win a title. the browns were led by hall-of-fame running back jim brown, who sent james a congratulatory tweet after the cavs' incredible win.
james was deemed the golden child after being drafted straight out of high school by the cavs in 2003 for their #1 pick. kyrie irving was also drafted #1 by the cavs in 2011 despite injuries limiting his freshman year at duke to 11 games. irving had 26 points and six assists in game seven - and outplayed unanimous regular season mvp stephen curry the entire series.
with just 53 seconds left in the fourth quarter of an 89-89 game, irving's three-pointer over curry's outstretched hands silenced a raucous crowd. james blocked andre iguodala's breakaway layup with about 90 seconds left to break the spirit of a team who set a regular season record with 73 wins. golden state opened the season 24-0, but finished the season 0-3.
early last year, cleveland' forward james jones developed an idea to unify their postseason run. the cavs would create a puzzle with 16 pieces - one for each win needed to win a title. when put together, it would form the larry o'brien championship trophy. jones said, "we needed something to bring us together. we assembled this team. so we had to assemble the puzzle."
the final piece of the puzzle was in the shape of the state of ohio. it was placed by rookie coach tyronn lue as the cavs poured champagne over each other in the visitors locker room at oracle arena in oakland, california. lue, their assistant head coach, became head coach after david blatt was unceremoniously fired halfway through the season, despite the cavs leading the eastern conference.
throughout the seven-game series, tristan thompson, richard jefferson and j.r. smith each played integral roles in the cavs' unlikely success. their collective defense, rebounding and scoring complimented the outstanding play of james and irving. also, the injured, maligned and under-achieving kevin love finished with a game-high 14 rebounds, four offensively.
- mark j. tuggle
- harlem, usa
- same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. firstname.lastname@example.org.