Lebron James will win an NBA title for Cleveland

Lebron James

When LeBron James made the decision to stop chasing rings with buddy Dwyane Wade and return home to Cleveland, it became pretty clear to me that the only thing LeBron James cares about is making good on his promise to deliver a championship to the city of Cleveland.

At the time, LeBron had a better chance to win more championships and cement his legacy among the all-time greats by staying in Miami instead of bolting for Cleveland. They did just go to four-straight NBA Finals in his four years there. As unselfish of a basketball player that LeBron James is, he made the ultimate unselfish decision to leave the beaches of South Beach and return home to the cold and snowy state of Ohio. At the end of the day, this decision could damage his legacy and hurt him in the standings amongst the all-time greats when talking championships, but winning just one in Cleveland could trump the six that Michael Jordan won in Chicago.

Labeled as the most tortured sports city in America, it has been over 51 years since Cleveland has won a professional championship.

The entire 2015-16 NBA season has been all about Steph Curry and the defending champion Golden State Warriors. They started out winning their first 24 games of the season en route to an NBA record 73 wins in the regular season (most all-time), and last season’s MVP drained an absurd 402 three pointers, shattering his own previous record of 286 the season before. Yes, Steph Curry just won back-to-back MVPs, but most people already crowned the Warriors as champs before the playoffs had even started.

As I sit here and write this, the Cleveland Cavaliers have yet to lose a game in this postseason, becoming just the ninth team in NBA history to win their first eight playoff games. As they completed their sweep of the Atlanta Hawks, they are playing more dangerous than ever. They are shooting more three-pointers than anyone else in the playoffs, and their offense is looking unstoppable. We saw the blueprint when LeBron James played in Miami. Surround James with as many shooters as possible and let him facilitate. Adding shooters they did. In four games against the Hawks, the Cavs drained 77 three-pointers; that’s an insane 19.25 per game. If need be, the Cavs can slow down the tempo and play physical basketball. They can also lock you down defensively. They held the Warriors to a season low 89 points on Christmas Day in Golden State. (The Warriors averaged 110.8 points per game this season.)

While the Cavs keep winning, they are going to be well rested for the Finals. I don’t think any team left in the East (Miami or Toronto) can take Cleveland past five games, though wouldn’t it be great to see LeBron James go head-to-head against his former team and best friend Dwyane Wade?

The road to the Finals in the West will not be as easy as last year. The Warriors took out the Rockets in last year’s Western Conference Finals in five games. This year, they will have to beat either the San Antonio Spurs or the Oklahoma City Thunder. Whichever team survives will come out all battered and bruised, while the Cavs will be well rested sitting at home.

As great as those teams are, they don’t have LeBron James. He is still the best basketball player in the world, and he can take over any series. People forget that he won two Finals games last year all by himself because Golden State came out on top.

I have said it all year, and I will say it again: The Cleveland Cavaliers will win the 2016 NBA Championship. The tortured city of Cleveland will be tortured no more. The Shot, The Drive, The Fumble, The ’97 World Series and The Decision will all be forgotten as The King hoists the Larry O’Brien trophy and wins the first ever NBA Championship in Cleveland, making good on his promise and validating his decision to return home to Cleveland.

Elie Neufeld is the founder of DHTK. DHTK’s clothing line integrates brand affiliation with positive athlete role models and an active lifestyle that pursues excellence in mind, body and spirit.


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