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Cleveland Cavaliers Win NBA Championship

Fans outside the Q watch LeBron James accept the O'Brien Trophy

Cleveland’s more than half century championship drought is over.   The Cleveland Cavaliers are the NBA Champions after defeating the Golden State Warriors last night 93 to 89 in game seven of the Finals.  

It was an historic outcome for a city that can barely believe it.  

Ideastream’s Mark Urycki reports.


Tens of thousands of fans packed the streets of downtown Cleveland last night watching the game in Oakland from large outdoor screens or even peering through windows of packed bars and restaurants

With less than a minute to go Cleveland guard Kyrie Irving sunk a three pointer to put the Cavs on top and Cleveland fans could were ecstatic when time ran out. 

“The monkey is off the back!”  

Rick Chrapowicz is referring to what many believe was a 52 year curse that was preventing Cleveland’s three major professional sports teams from winning a championship.   Dwayne Spencer of Canton could name the unfortunate athletes in Cleveland who had victory snatched away in the final minute. 

“This is for the Browns defense on The Drive, this is for Ernest Byner, This is for Bernie Kosar,  We got a championship.“   

The Finals’ MVP is LeBron James, who grew up in nearby Akron and can himself rattle off Cleveland’s famous losses

 “You can look back to  the Ernest Byner fumble, Elway going 99 yards, Jose Mesa not being able to close out in the bottom of the ninth,  to the Cavs going to the finals – I was on that team 2007 and then last year us losing 4-2 and so many stories.  Our fans, they ride or die,  no matter what’s been going on.”  

Author David Giffels from James’s hometown of Akron wrote a book of essays called “The Hard Way on Purpose” because that tends to be the way things are done in the industrial Midwest.   

Cavs fan Robert Datewood said it only made sense that the Cavs would dig themselves a hole against the Warriors, who set a record for wins this season 

“We got down 3 to 1 and the only thing it made me feel like was the storybook finish was going to happen.  It wouldn’t have been fun if we won 4 to 1 or .. It HAD to be like this.   We don’t win anything else if it’s not like this.”  

The Cavs became being the first NBA team ever to win the Finals after being down 3-1 and they did it on the Warriors home court.  Kyrie Irving, who scored  26 points,    said he was imagining every possible way to win or lose.

“I’ve barely slept in the past two day.   I was up just really, really…  I don’t think my mind has really contemplated so many scenarios ever, in the past 48 hours. “

Now his last minute 3 point shot may replace “The Shot” that Michael Jordan made to defeat the Cavs a generation ago.  The tears could tell the story,  Nearly every player and even Coach Tyronn Lue had trouble composing themselves.   Fans like Dave Jaber were also choked up  .

“It’s been a long wait, 52 years, but you know what? I’m proud of this city and I’m proud of that team.  Today is my birthday and Father’s Day.  I’ve   got three daughters so it’s quite special for me.” 

Many fans, like Robert Datewood.. find this whole winning thing  disorienting. 

“We honestly don’t really know how to react at this point.   Our life – we’re used to losing.  We know how to pace that.  It’s a new tomorrow; I don’t know if anyone knows what tomorrow means now.  Everything is different.   It’s only a sports team win but I think our mindset, as much improvement as we’ve been dealing with , now it can be real.” 

The Cavaliers returns to Cleveland today.   A championship parade seemingly in the planning for 52 years, is scheduled for tomorrow.