Two broad shoulders, one giant monkey removed

I had no reason to cry Sunday night but the tears welled up for certain and it wasn’t just because basketball season was over.  What can I say, I’m an emotional guy.

I’m not a Cavs fan and I’ve never been to Cleveland.  But everyone loves an underdog.  On Sunday night, that underdog barked loudly.


With only one minute left in a season that began back in October, basketball fans had no idea whether Golden State or Cleveland would be victorious.  As we’ve already discussed, there was a little bit of history on the line.

By now, you all know how it ended and for those of you who couldn’t turn away, that Game Seven was exactly why we watch sports.

JR Smith bawls

Sport teaches us numerous lessons about life, one of which is to never judge a book by its cover.  JR Smith, a man who I once thought incapable of winning a championship, could barely get a word out during his post-game press conference, tearfully thanking his father for being his guiding light.  Tyronn Lue, a coach who had just taken over the responsibility of coaching the team, came up with a game plan strategic and inspirational enough to shut down one of the most high-powered offenses to ever play the game.  He too, sat weeping uncontrollably as the final buzzer sounded.  Kevin Love, who most fans has written off as trade bait, played one of the most clutch games of his career, finishing with an astounding plus 19 in a game that was decided by only four.  And the man who many can’t stand, LeBron James, finished with a triple double and a block that will be showed over… and over… and over again for posterity’s sake.  Crumbling to the floor, he was overjoyed.

James cries

In this Game Seven, you had to take a side.  You were for either Golden State or Cleveland; there were no impartial viewers.  But even if you did root for the Warriors, if you didn’t at least feel for LeBron as he laid there on his knees and elbows, exhausted and bawling, if you weren’t in any way moved or consider what this man has given, not for himself but for an entire city, well, there might just be something wrong with you.

LeBron James is an insanely talented basketball player who continues to write his own fairy tale.  He’s 31 years old and is already in the top five in post-season scoring and assists and top ten in rebounds.  By the time next post-season ends, he’ll be second only to Michael Jordan in post-season scoring.  He owns four league MVPs, three finals MVPs and three championship rings.

He is the better at his sport than any other athlete playing in any of the other major professional sports is in theirs.  He may be the most complete basketball player to ever lead a team to a championship.  These Cavs were good but they were a far cry from Magic’s Lakers, Bird’s Celtics or Jordan’s Bulls.

If you’re under thirty, LeBron is the best basketball player you’ve ever seen.  If you’re over thirty, he’s top five easily.  He might rub you the wrong way but the guy did what he said he was going to do.  It may have taken him a while but I’m pretty sure Cleveland is okay with that now.

Never has there been a man who’s understood his role, his city, his duty on the basketball floor and who has worked so tirelessly to bring a title to a town that so desperately yearned for one.  LeBron and northeastern Ohio are the perfect match.

In one post-game interview, and trust me, I watched plenty of them, Cavaliers minority owner and Grammy award-winning artist Usher was asked how he felt about the title.  Grinning from ear to ear, he eloquently replied “This is the story that represents us in America: Belief that it can happen.”

2016 NBA Finals - Game Seven

These 2016 Finals provided not only closure to the NBA season but to LeBron’s decade-long quest to bring a title to his home state.

LeBron and company believed when so many didn’t.  And that’s why they’re the ones crying well-deserved, tears of joy.

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20 Replies to “Two broad shoulders, one giant monkey removed”

  1. I figured you started building the LeBron shrine when he made a FT with 10 seconds left. I kid I kid. Good job to Lebron and the Cavs. I am no fan of the NBA in general, but I watched bits and pieces last night. I honestly didn’t care who won at all. GS does nothing for me either.

    That said, Congrats to the city of Cleveland for enduring below average results for the past 50 years. Their fans have waited. Good for them!

  2. I knew you’d be happy. Another heartfelt & insightful post dear SC. And PJD was sobbing too. It was a great game.

  3. he he, that guy’s an old softy.

    I think there is something to be said, however, for what it took LeBron and how long it took for him to get there.

    Must have been an incredible, unbearable weight lifted off his shoulders.

  4. I mistakenly watched the ESPN 30 for 30 “Believeland” about the pro sports championship drought for Cleveland dating back to Jim Brown in 64 the day before this game.

    Then found myself actually rooting for the Cavs.


  5. Wow, Bleed, they really sucked you in, didn’t they?

    Look, you’re a sports fan like me and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with rooting for greatness to complete its legacy, its fate.

    That’s exactly what we saw last night.

    At only 31, I want to see how much he has left in him. How many more titles/MVPs can this man rattle off?

    If now, the only legacy he’s chasing is Jordan’s, how inspired will he be to actually catch that?

  6. Who’s your Daddy LeBron ? Not Delonte West ? This has to be one of the most embarrassing Finals’ series in recent NBA history. Seventy-three and nine just got ‘Jacked ‘ up . 4

    The Bulls’ 95-96 team , they’re now laughing their @ss off at the Golden State Warriors . ‘nough said !

  7. Al…

    I don’t think Jordan and those Bulls went all ’72 Dolphins last night by popping bottles. I picture them as a far more confident team.

    That being said, I’m sure they weren’t all that upset with the outcome.

  8. A few of the Cavs stopped in town(LV) for a little strip club R & R on their way back to Cleveland. The cliche “party like rock stars” will become obsolete. J.R.Smith celebrated as if his 12pts were the difference.LOL

    Chris, I hope u took my advice(about 10 blogs ago) about fading this Warrior team. Big plus odds make the Canadian Club taste even better.

  9. Well, Bets, when the Warriors were down three games to one against OKC, I took them to win the title at +300.

    When the Cavs were down three to one against Golden State, we took them at +1200.

    So either way, I was a winner.

  10. Crap…

    That’s exactly the comment I was looking for and what real sports fans should understand about last night’s ball game.

    There have been a lot of long-suffering Cleveland fans that hoped and prayed one day LeBron would get it done.

    And he did.

    Now only if you can get your Browns in order.

  11. Good job Chris. Betting big dogs like ur M.O. makes bookmakers pay attention.

  12. Chris

    How different could the Finals have been had Draymond Green not been suspended for game six ? Do you honestly believe it was the right decision by the league hierarchy with regard to his suspension. Look , Green lit up the Cavs in game seven and it tells me how this series could’ve ended up differently had the officials been more consistent in making their calls . This seems to be lost on many of the so called clued-in observers of the game.

  13. Now let the fun begin – who’s staying where and who’s going? D-Rose already up outta Chicago – hope the Knicks have both a psychiatrist and a leg specialist on retainer to deal with him.

  14. Bets…

    I highly doubt they’re using small stakes gamblers like me to adjust their numbers even though the thought is somewhat flattering.

    Perhaps I should ease off on the gambling posts just in case, huh?

  15. Al…

    Like I mentioned, I didn’t think the Green incident was suspension-worthy BUT he was treading on thin ice.

    He wouldn’t have been suspended had his technical count not been so high.

  16. Moose…

    I wanna know where Noah ends up.

    He’d be a huge addition to a team that just needs that little extra.

    Barring any unforeseen Rose injury (he he, that’s funny), I say the Knicks make the playoffs next season.

  17. The books don’t mind the Kershaw/Arrieta bettors regardless of amounts. OTOH, BMs hate when you try to build a lumber yard outta toothpicks……

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