Times have changed for Cleveland. Not only did the Cavaliers complete their quest to win the NBA Championship, but the Indians finally got to take a swing at another World Series title, their first since 1948. Despite the Indians’ loss to the Cubs, the optimism of renewed belief has become an infection. On the same night as the World Series opener, the Cavaliers received their championship rings. They made it, but the journey to victory was a long one.
The Cavaliers received the number 1 pick in the 2003 draft. The Cavaliers chose 18 year old LeBron James from St. Vincent-St. Mary’s High School. LeBron was the chosen one, he was prophesied to bring a championship to the city of Cleveland. It took 13 years, but it happened.
The road wasn’t easy, it was grueling, gut wrenching. In 2015, LeBron took a broken team to the finals, a team without Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, to grandest stage of basketball. LeBron for the second time was unsuccessful.
The Larry O’Brien trophy was awarded in Quicken Loans Arena, but to the opposing team. Once it was time for the 2016 playoffs, LeBron had a complete team including a few acquisitions. James was determined to bring one home but there was an obstacle to overcome. The Golden State Warriors, the team with the best record in NBA history of 73-9, were determined to repeat.
If LeBron was to stand shoulder to shoulder with Michael Jordan, he had to take down the Warriors. The warriors dismantled every team that came their way. They boasted first time the first ever unanimous NBA regular season MVP, along with elite sharpshooter Klay Thompson, and all around forward Draymond Green. What the warriors lacked was a player like LeBron, an experienced player, who can bring the best out of every single person on the court. Golden State pushed LeBron and his cavaliers to a 3-1 deficit. It all seemed as if Cleveland would let another trophy slip from their grasp. Another year to the growing drought, Believeland would return to just being the “Mistake on the Lake”. LeBron refused, the Cavaliers took a one game approach to the next game. The first task was to win game five at the oracle and bring it home. The cavs were able to complete that. Once the Cavs brought it home, it was win and force game seven. Another check for King James and his squad. Game seven. Everything that before doesn’t matter anymore. The score is 3-3 and the Cavaliers had the momentum, similar to the way LeBron drives to the basket, nobody could stop the Cavaliers. LeBron has entered a new mentality, one that the best regular season team could not decipher. The drought was over, LeBron fulfilled his Promise. Cleveland was the 2016 NBA champions.
For the first time in many years, the city of Cleveland was the center of the sports world. The Championship rings sparkled like the eyes of those who watched the Cavaliers bring Cleveland a championship, the ones who waited decades, the ones who believed.