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.
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.
After the Golden State Warriors came back from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals, it set the stage for a rematch in the NBA Finals that everybody wanted to see. The Cleveland Cavaliers breezed through the first two rounds of the playoffs, sweeping the Detroit Pistons and the Atlanta Hawks, before finishing off the Toronto Raptors in six games. The road wasn’t as easy for the defending champion Golden State Warriors after completing the best regular season in NBA history.
No disrespect to Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder, but this is the best match-up for the NBA. It’s the top seed from each conference, it has the revenge factor from last season, and it will feature the best player in the NBA, LeBron James, and the league’s back-to-back MVP in Steph Curry. Together, they have won six of the last eight MVP awards, and three of the last four championships.
Sometimes, a person’s name says all you need to know about them. Steve Smith accomplished everything a basketball player could and was so smooth doing it that he never needed a nickname.
After growing up in Detroit, the 6-8 point guard attended college at Michigan State. He was named an All-American as a junior and senior, and hit a game-winning shot in the 1991 NCAA Tournament.
A couple months later, Smith was selected by the Miami Heat with the fifth overall pick in the NBA Draft. His NBA career spanned 14 seasons. He was named an All-Star in 1998, won an Olympic gold medal in the 2000 Sydney games, and won an NBA championship in 2003 with the San Antonio Spurs.
In this video, the current NBA TV and CBS NCAA Tournament analyst spoke to us about his partnership with Harley Davidson and the Live Your Legend campaign, the experience of being an oversized point guard at Magic Johnson’s alma mater, running into the buzzsaw of Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in the late ’90s, and where he keeps his NBA championship ring.