When the Cleveland Cavaliers came back from a 3-1 Finals deficit to beat the Golden State Warriors, the basketball world was shocked, to say the least. After multiple superhuman performances by LeBron James, “the block” on Andre Iguodala, and “the shot” from Kyrie Irving, the Cavs made NBA history.
The victory was so fulfilling that numerous members of the Cavaliers told ESPN’s Brian Windhorst that they have watched re-runs of the thrilling clincher. Irving had a lot to say about it which included touching on the biggest shot in Cavaliers’ history:
I was rewatching the games and talking to my teammates about it, sending them snapchats of me watching. I got chills. My stomach was dropping knowing the ball is going in but knowing exactly, emotionally how I felt at the time. It still gets me excited thinking about it. It’s such a huge moment for not only Cleveland but our team, our families, our friends.
Even LeBron, a three-time champion who’s already focused on next season and potentially going back-to-back, has said that he’s “seen it a few times.” James would elaborate, “it was on NBA TV throughout the summer. I watch it from a fan’s perspective. I see what we could’ve done better, but I also watch it for enjoyment, to see those three zeros on the clock.”
For James to watch it as a fan is expected. More than 50 years had passed since Cleveland’s last championship and LeBron, Ohio’s golden boy, was able to bring the Larry O’Brien trophy to his home state after doing wrong in the eyes of so many when he left for the Miami Heat.
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As training camp gets underway, the season kicks off in less than a month, and the Cavaliers are going to have their hands full as they attempt to repeat. Most of the roster has returned except for J.R. Smith, a huge piece of their championship puzzle. The Eastern Conference is drastically improving, and a LeBron James-led team getting to the Finals is no longer a cakewalk.
“I watch it from a fan’s perspective. I see what we could’ve done better, but I also watch it for enjoyment, to see those three zeros on the clock.”
– Lebron James
Then, there’s a beast in the Bay. The Golden State Warriors’ title odds are inflated after Kevin Durant elected to sign with them, and, should the Warriors and Cavs meet up in the Finals, Cleveland will need to be prepared and focused to the fullest extent, because they wouldn’t win that series on talent alone.
It was the first championship for all but two members of the team, and, fortunately, they have LeBron as their leader. As someone with repeat experience, James won’t allow himself or his team to live in the past, and he knows that all everything they have must be exerted if they want to bring a second title back to the ‘Land.