Tears. So. Many. Tears.
That’s what I found myself doing both last night and again while waking up this morning after realizing that, it’s true, the Cleveland Cavaliers are NBA champions.
You have to understand, this kind of stuff just doesn’t happen to us, guys.
There was “Red Right 88,” “The Drive,” “The Fumble,” “The Shot,” “The Blown Save,” “The Decision,” and now? Let’s just go ahead and add three more—”The Block,” “The Trey” and “The Title.”
Gone are the years of skepticism and doubt. The negativity and “not agains,” because this feeling, right here, is what Cleveland sports fans have been longing for since 1964—and it took a King to get us there.
Proclaimed as “The Chosen One” at just 15 years old, it took 16 more years for us to see the LeBron James we all, one day, had hoped to. He’s a man who, at 6’8″ and 240 pounds, just carried the distressed weight of an entire city by willing himself and his teammates to a title that, just a week ago, seemed like it was going to be another crushing defeat.
And for that, LeBron, thank you.
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Thank you for those early years in Cleveland when you turned a sorry franchise into a perennial playoff team. Thank you for breaking our hearts and taking your talents to South Beach to grow as both a person and basketball player, realizing what it takes to become a champion. Thank you for proving that your body may have been in South Florida, but your heart remained in Northeastern Ohio. Thank you for putting the challenge of winning a championship for #TheLand onto yourself and never relinquishing your determination to get it done.
I find myself grateful and in shock, still, at what happened last night. I’m in foreign territory as I look for the right adjectives to describe this feeling. And when I take a deep breath and think about it, joyful tears fill my eyes.
This is the sweetest championship you will ever win. Cherish it. Embrace it.
In a career full of accomplishments and reminders that you are the most uniquely gifted basketball player we’ve ever seen—where we take your greatness for granted and put our hopes, our passions, our defeats on you—this is the single-most impressive feat that you will have ever done in your basketball career.
You gave us a moment that we’ll never forget. A story to tell our kids and grandkids, one day. You stayed true to your promise and brought a title to The Land—finally letting us all feel what it’s like to be a champion.
Thank you, LeBron.