It’s over. The 52 year drought has finally come to an end. It took two years into his second Cleveland tenure, but LeBron James finally brought a championship to Cleveland. We can talk about legacies and such in detail later, but, let’s just look back at Game 7 as one of the greatest moments in NBA history, as Mr. James won his third NBA Championship.
The 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers won their first championship and are the first team to win the NBA finals after being down 3-1. Golden State’s hopes for perfect season came to an end yesterday, while Cleveland shines brighter than ever. Any talk of LeBron leaving the Cavs will (or at least, SHOULD) come to an end. He joins Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, and Tim Duncan as the only players to win 3+ finals MVPs. If we remove Jordan and his six MVPs of the finals, he is tied with three other people for second most finals MVPs. That is just phenomenal. Factor the above facts with the King leading in every major statistical category during the series, and it being against the best regular season team ever (record wise, at least), and that he won a game 7 in enemy territory, it’s more than fair to say that LeBron is one of the five greatest players in basketball history.
This historic landmark changes several narratives of players on the Cavs, for the better. No one will ever say that LeBron isn’t clutch ever again. No one will berate Kyrie Irving for his terrible defense (for awhile), because he hit the most clutch shot of the series, the playoffs, heck his entire career! At least for now, there will be no Tristan Thompson hot takes, because during those last three games, he played out of his mind defensively and grabbed rebounds worth 82 million dollars. Kevin Love had a pivotal 14 rebounds, and now there’s no way they they trade him this off-season. JR Smith hit back-to-back threes that were pivotal in bringing the game close during the third quarter. Iman Shumpert had played terrible all series, but his solid defense and crazy four point play was important as well.
Back to LeBron. This was without a doubt, the greatest finals performance ever, and as expected, he was the unanimous MVP of the finals. For the series, he averaged 29.7 PPG, 11.3 RPG, 8.9 APG, 2.6 SPG, and 2.3 BPG. This was all done with a .494./.371/.721 slash line, and playing 41.7 minutes per game. This will be a NBA Finals that will be remembered forever. Any negative opinions about LeBron do not matter anymore. We will remember The Decision, but we will never forget how LeBron James redeemed himself. All in 216. Congrats Cleveland, enjoy it.