Yeah, I got nothing.
I’m supposed to write coherently about maybe the most improbable sports championship I’ve ever seen? I’m supposed to be coherent writing about the best basketball player I’ve seen in my lifetime, and that includes Bugs Bunny’s co-star in “Space Jams?”
A guy who did THIS last night, in a Game 7 with the score tied and the pressure of the world on his shoulders?
The Cleveland Cavaliers are NBA champions. The city of Cleveland, which has not seen a sports team win a title since another LBJ (Lyndon Johnson) was in the White House, is going crazy today and probably will for the next several months.
Down 3-1 to a Golden State Warriors team that’s an all-time great in history, an Akron native son led the Cavs to their first-ever NBA title. He dominated this series, he humiliated Steph Curry and all the cocky Warriors, and he did what he set out to do when he came home two years ago.
I don’t care what anyone says: LeBron James is the greatest basketball player of all time. To lead his team to this comeback… I mean, he should just announce his retirement at the championship parade in Cleveland. Because he’s never, ever going to top this moment.
Fifty-two years of frustration, of John Elway and Earnest Byner and Jose Mesa blowing Game 7 of the World Series and Art Modell stealing their team and LeBron leaving the first time … it’s all gone. It’s washed into Lake Erie now, replaced by joy.
The joy that Kyrie Irving (Duke!) brought with that game-winning 3-pointer. The joy of Kevin Love, basically useless for the first 6 games of this NBA Finals, coming alive in Game 7 and playing huge defense on Curry. Tristan Thompson, a man among men on the boards. Even Richard Jefferson was tremendous Sunday night.
I’m just so happy for the fans in Cleveland. I know sports isn’t all that important in the grand scheme of things, and I know life as they know it isn’t going to change just because some tall men with “Cleveland” on their jerseys won a championship.
But psychologically, man, what a boost. Just tremendous.
Couple other quick thoughts on a magnificent Game 7:
— So glad we got a nail-biter after six blowouts. It just had to come down to the end like it did.
— Lot of people going to say Curry and the Warriors choked, that a 73-win team couldn’t get over the finish line and was overrated. I don’t know, that Oklahoma City series took a LOT out of them physically, and when jump shooters like Klay Thompson and Curry miss shots like they did, it’s usually because they’re tired.
Also, the Draymond Green suspension for Game 5 was a big blow, and maybe, just maybe, they didn’t take the Cavs as seriously as they should. Curry shot 21-for-60 in the last three games. His reputation will take a while to recover.
— That LeBron block will be in the first 10 seconds of his Hall of Fame induction highlights video. Guaranteed. I mean, look how FAR he comes to block it. The athleticism, the timing, just incredible.
— I really thought LeBron broke his wrist on that fall with 10 seconds left, when Green fouled him. He landed so hard and looked to be in so much pain. And that would’ve been the most Cleveland way to lose, ever: Cavs up by 3, 10 seconds to go, LeBron gets seriously hurt, his replacement misses both free throws, Curry hits a three to send the game to OT, and with no LeBron, the Warriors win.
I guarantee you at least 25 percent of Cleveland fans watching that had that fleeting thought.
— Craziest stat I saw Sunday night: With the Warriors losing, none of the teams in all four major team sports who set records for most wins in a season won a title that year. (2001 Seattle Mariners, 2007 New England Patriots, and the 1996 Detroit Red Wings).
— Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop This Feeling” is everywhere these days, and even me, who hates most current music, finds it infectious.
**Finally, this is a very cute commercial from Amazon that aired in Japan, with a dog and a baby, but the ending leaves me perplexed: Wouldn’t the baby be totally freaked out and scared by what the dog looks like at the end?
Maybe the baby thought the dog was a lion all along.