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The Trailblazer

Reporting with Hills Pride

The Trailblazer

Reporting with Hills Pride

The Trailblazer

LeBron Delivers a Championship to Cleveland

LeBron James hoisting his NBA Finals MVP Trophy as he led the Cavs to their first NBA Championship and his third. Photo from ESPN.

Sports in Cleveland haven’t been relevant or exciting since 1964, when the Jim Brown led Browns won the Super Bowl in 1964. As a  matter a fact, that was the last championship in Cleveland sports history, until this Sunday when hometown hero LeBron James led a historic comeback in the 2016 NBA Finals against defending champions, the Golden State Warriors. James earned his third ring and erased a 52-year championship drought in Cleveland, giving the Cavs their first NBA Championship.

The Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Golden State Warriors, 93-89, in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals, winning the series 4-3 and getting their revenge from last year. They are the fourth team in Finals history to win a Game 7 on the road.

“I’m home…This is what I came back for,” said LeBron.

When the Cavs were down 3-1, the odds were stacked against them. LeBron James proved he wasn’t going to go down easy, having arguably one of  the best NBA Final performances in NBA history. In seven games he averaged 29.7 PPG, 11.3 RPG and 8.9 APG, becoming the only player to ever put numbers up that high in the Finals.

“The King” averaged 36.3 PPG, 11.7 RPG, 9.7 APG, 3 SPG and 3 BPG in the last three games of the Finals, simply unreal numbers for one of the all-time greatest players. He became the only player ever to lead both teams in the five major stat categories in an NBA finals. His Game 7 performance put him in elite company, as only the third player to record a triple-double in a Game 7. He had one of the most memorable moments in NBA finals history with an absolute insane signature chase down block on Andre Iguodala, keeping the game tied at 89 with a minute and thirty seconds left.

‘“There [were] a few writers this year, that said…‘this isn’t the guy who can bring a championship anymore, his title day are over.’ I guess I used it as a little motivation. And I guess I proved them wrong.” said James about his critics.

This is the same LeBron that left the Cavaliers in 2010 to join forces with All-Stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat. With James, Wade and Bosh, the Heat had a “Big 3” and were expected to win multiple championships. James earned his 1st ring in 2012 and then his second in 2013 with Miami, going 2-2 in the NBA Finals during his four-year run. Cavs fans were left heartbroken, but James never forgot them.

James was named Finals MVP for the third time in his career joining only Shaquille O’Neal, Tim Duncan, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan. LeBron’s sidekick, 24 year-old Kyrie Irving, had quite a Finals of his own. He averaged 27.1 PPG which was seven more than his regular season average. He scored 41 points in Game 5 and joined only Wilt Chamberlain as players to score 40+ points on 70 percent FG percentage or better in a Finals Game. Irving and James also became the only teammates to both score 40+ points in the same NBA Finals game.

Irving drained the go ahead three with 53 seconds left over the back-to-back MVP Steph Curry.

“All I was thinking in the back of mind was Mamba mentality. Just Mamba mentality,” said Irving, giving a shout out to an idol of his, Kobe Bryant, who retired after the season.

In 2014, the kid from Akron, Ohio returned and promised the beloved city of Cleveland a championship. In 2015, he came up just short, however in 2016 he delivered to his city that was way overdue for a championship. The Cleveland Cavaliers, who had one All-Star and one All-NBA player and won 57 games this season beat the Warriors who had the best regular season record of all-time at 73-9. They also had the first unanimous MVP, Coach of the Year, 3 All NBA players and 3 All-Stars.


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