LeBron James and the rest of the Cleveland Cavaliers made a history on Sunday as they bring home their city’s first pro sports championship win since 1964 and its first NBA title in franchise history.
The Cavs also become the first team in NBA history to come back from a 3–1 deficit in the seven-game series, after defeating Golden State Warriors 93-89 on Sunday at Oracle Arena.
The Golden State Warriors couldn’t take advantage while playing Game 7 on their home court. Stephen Curry hit some early shots and Draymond Green flirted with a triple double. But neither were enough to stop LeBron James, who finished with 27 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds to join Jerry West and James Worthy as the only players to record a triple double in the NBA Finals. James delivered on his promise of two years ago to deliver an NBA Championship and end Cleveland’s 52-year championship drought.
“I set out a goal two years ago when I came back to bring a championship to this city. I gave everything I had. I gave my heart, my blood, my sweat and my tears to this game,” James said.
James took home the Finals MVP for the third time after making a triple double performance in Game 7, which was followed up by an amazing outbursts in Games 5 and 6, when he went off for 82 points, 24 rebounds and 18 assists combined.
James led all players on both teams in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks in series. He is the first player in NBA history to lead all players in all five categories for an entire playoff series. He becomes the 5th player to win three Finals MVPs; the others are Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’ Neal, Tim Duncan and Magic Johnson.
The King, once again, reminded the whole world that he is still if not the best NBA player of all time, the best player of this generation.
James wasn’t the only catalyst behind Cavs remarkable performance, Kyrie Irving scored 26 points including that game-winning three pointer that was heavily defended by Steph Curry. J.R Smith chipped in 12 points while Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson both made 9 points.
Green carried the Warriors with 32 points, 15 rebounds and 9 assists. Curry, who promised the best game of his career, only scored 17 points on 6-19 shooting , while Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes added 14 and 10 points respectively.
The Warriors won the 73 regular-season wins to break the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls’ mark, but the record rings hollow after failing to win the ultimate prize. Indeed, 73-9 does not mean a thing without that championship ring.
For now, the history that matters the most is the Cleveland are the champion and they can now pop bottles for a well-deserved title, one that will be remembered for the ages, at last.