After falling behind 3-1 to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, it seemed like the Cleveland Cavaliers fell into an insurmountable hole that they would not be able to climb out of. Then LeBron James flipped the switch. 32 teams tried, and 32 teams have failed. Until now. The Cleveland Cavaliers are the first team to overcome this daunting deficit and are now NBA champions. It feels like a dream.
King James fulfilled his promise and delivered Cleveland their first professional championship in 52 years while leading all players in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. And in the closeout game, LeBron got the best of Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors by finishing with 27 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists. It was his 16th career playoff triple-double and his seventh in the NBA Finals. He was also awarded the Finals MVP for the third time, but not before making the biggest block heard around the world. With the game tied at 89, Andre Iguodala had an open layup and James had his signature moment. He chased down the play from behind and out of nowhere pined the ball against the backboard preventing the Warriors from taking the lead. After a Kyrie Irving 3-pointer and Steph Curry missed 3-pointer, LeBron James sealed the game at the free thrown line and the Cavs become World Champions. Cleveland has endured The Drive, The Fumble, The Shot and The Move, but now that is all forgotten because of The Block.
The Golden State Warriors had a 3-1 lead against the Cleveland Cavaliers in this series and were getting pretty full of themselves as they called out LeBron James for being a baby. Since then, LeBron has responded by racking up 41 points in two straight games, and Steph Curry found himself in the locker room as the Cavs closed out Game 6 wondering what went wrong.
This has been a very strange series, as every game has been a blowout, but the Cavs and Warriors are also tied in overall points after six games.
Momentum is on Cleveland’s side, but the Warriors are still the favorites as they will be playing Game 7 at home.
The stakes are huge for this game as we all know. The Warriors will either cap off their record-setting 73-win season or suffer an epic choke job being the first team ever to surrender a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals. As for Cleveland, this game offers yet another chance to break a 52-year championship drought, along with a storybook chance of redemption for LeBron James.
When the guy on the tiny Delta plane that I was sharing a seat with told me about “Cincinnati chili,” all I could think about was the notorious “Cleveland Steamer.”
I mean, how was I to know any different?
Everything I knew about Cincinnati had been mainlined into my body via two sources: “WKRP in Cincinnati” and my favorite NFL head coach of all-time, former Bengals boss Sam Wyche. And this guy looked nothing like Johnny Fever. Or Wyche.
The man’s hands were strong – too strong. And when the flight attendant stopped in our row and examined a lanyard around his neck, he nodded at her — a slow, pronounced nod that was accompanied by the universal “shhhhh” hand signal of an index finger placed tenderly over his lips while making intense eye contact with the stewardess — it became clear he was some kind of TSA officer.
Needless to say, I crossed my legs and looked the other way. But all this guy wanted to talk about was chili.
“Yeah, so you can have a two-way Cincinnati chili, a three-way, heck, even a four-way.”
Old Spice is known for weirdness, and on the tarmac in Detroit en route to the “Queen City,” the weirdness was already cranked up to one billion percent. Old Spice actually came into existence due to a four-way of sorts.
With the Cleveland Cavaliers losing the first two games of the NBA Finals by a combined 48 points, everyone has already written their eulogies and buried the Cavaliers. It’s crazy how fast things change in the NBA. Not too long ago, the Warriors were down three games to one to the Oklahoma City Thunder and everyone had prematurely punched the Thunder’s ticket into the NBA Finals.
LeBron has climbed out of an 0-2 series hole before and can do it again. In 2007, the Cavs lost the first two games on the road to the Detroit Pistons, and in Game 3 of that series, King James scored 32 points, grabbed 9 rebounds and shot 57% from the field. He then went on to average 31.3 points for the rest of the series and the Cavs went onto win that series and advanced to their first NBA Finals.