Cleveland Cavaliers Bring a Championship to Their City for the First Time in 52 Years
After 52 long years, Cleveland has a championship team.
It was a comeback for the ages Sunday night as the Cleveland Cavaliers upset the Golden State Warriors in a nail-biting Game 7 of the NBA Finals.
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Ohio native LeBron James, the series MVP, was brought to his knees with tears of joy at Oracle Arena in Oakland.
“I gave everything that I had. I brought my heart, my blood, my sweat and tears to this game,” he said after winning the trophy.
It was an emotional night for the champions.
In the post-game presser, NBA badboy J.R. Smith was brought to tears while dedicating the win to his family.
“My family is still the biggest inspiration in my life,” he said. “I have had a lot of dark spots in my life and if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be able to get out of them.”
The Cavs staged an epic revenge match following last year’s finals loss to the Warriors. The team was down 3 games to 1 until last week when they fought to tie the series and force a game 7 in Oakland.
This season, Golden State was favorites to win following their historic 73-9 game season, breaking the record held by the 1996 Chicago Bulls’ (72-10).
In Cleveland, fans piled into the streets, rejoicing outside Quicken Loans Arena.
The Cleveland Fire Department urged fans not to come to the downtown part of the city where the o avoid a traffic nightmare.
PLEASE AS PEOPLE NOT TO COME DOWNTOWN (WAIT FOR PARADE)— ClevelandFire (@ClevelandFire) June 20, 2016
LARGE,LARGE,LARGE Crowds OF People
ASKING All to AVOID DOWNTOWN Large Crowds— ClevelandFire (@ClevelandFire) June 20, 2016
The Police Department even tweeted:
So far not many arrests, but a lot of happy fans. Stay safe Cleveland and keep it classy!— Cleveland Police (@CLEpolice) June 20, 2016
The city’s historic Terminal Tower, which is across the street from Quicken Loans Arena, was lit crimson in honor of the Cavs big win.
After the big game, the Cavaliers boarded a charter plane back to Cleveland but told the pilot to divert to Las Vegas instead.
They partied through the night and into the early hours of the morning, taking over the XS nightclub at the Encore hotel.
A bevy of celebrities congratulated the team.
Rihanna posted on Instagram:
She also showcased a shot of her in a bikini wearing James’ number in suntan lotion.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, whose team once famously beat James in the 2011 finals when the MVP was with the Heat, tweeted:
Can't say I was always a @KingJames fan, but I am today. Congrats LeBron.— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) June 20, 2016
Jay Z, who attended game 6 of the finals, posted:
Wow. One of the best finals ever. So proud of King James. Salute Warriors Happy Father's Day to all.— Mr. Carter (@S_C_) June 20, 2016
Justin Timberlake spread his love to James and the Cavs:
Lebron did it. Everybody be quiet.— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) June 20, 2016