June 20, 2016

LeBron Brings a Championship to Cleveland: Becoming the first team to overcome a 3-1 series deficit in Finals history, the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Golden State Warriors 93-89 in game 7 for the NBA Championship. It was the first sports crown for the Forest City since the Browns won the NFL title in 1964. LeBron James was the unanimous MVP.

posted by rcade to basketball at 12:03 AM - 15 comments

Loving a Fraze appearance.

On the NBA Finals front, quite a game (fairly sloppy, but plenty exciting) and quite a comeback. The cynical part of me would be inclined to say that LeBron was just playing it up for the cameras with the collapse and the crying, but really seems like he put his heart and soul into this. Just a pretty cool thing to see.

posted by holden at 11:31 PM on June 19

That was epic. Holding the Warriors to 13 in the final quarter, Irving sinking that 3, LeBron going for the dunk and getting Hulk smashed.

LeBron winning a title for Northeast Ohio is one of the great storybook moments in NBA history.

Congratulations to the Mistake by the Lake!

posted by rcade at 12:18 AM on June 20

Given the insane pressure he put on himself to bring a title to Cleveland, I fully expected an emotional meltdown from him if he pulled it off. What's left for him to do now? That was pretty much the single most important thing left in his career.

And imagine how impossible it will be for the haters to have anything to complain about the King?

He won without DWade. He won in Cleveland. He put up monster numbers in the finals. His team had the greatest series comeback in NBA Finals history.

He wins. He's clutch. He's resilient.

And that block! Oh. My. That's the signature play for him...it's like he's imposing his will against history repeating itself. No, Mr. Last Year's Finals MVP, you will NOT stop me from winning this time.

posted by grum@work at 12:18 AM on June 20

This is just bonkers:

LeBron James led all players on both teams in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks in series.

I mean, come on. That's some Konami code level craziness.

posted by grum@work at 12:29 AM on June 20

I mean, come on. That's some Konami code level craziness.

Agreed

posted by jeremias at 07:41 AM on June 20

Ty Lue after Game 4, heading back to Oakland for Game 5 down 3-1: "If you don't think you can win, don't get on the plane".

Steve Kerr after Game 5: "I still like our position a lot better than theirs".

That's what told me that Cleveland had a legitimate shot at doing this.

Barbosa and Varejao now have to regroup and go get ready to play host at the turbulent, insolvent, effluent Olympics. Varejao gets some sort of Dantley award for being traded out from underneath the title.

Crying Jordan meme, take the rest of the summer off. There's a new sheriff in town.

posted by beaverboard at 08:43 AM on June 20

The guy who wrote on June 11 that LeBron's window was closed to win in Cleveland is having an eventful morning.

posted by rcade at 10:53 AM on June 20

I can't stand Dan Gilbert and I think the Cleveland fans acted like a bunch of babies when LeBron left but that was awesome and I'm glad I got to see it.

This has to be the greatest block in basketball history, right? Does anything even approach it in importance + degree of dificulty? I've learned to seek out LeBron on the defensive fast break to watch him hunt but this time I forgot so it seemed like he came out of nowhere to get that ball. It's such an amazing play that Kyrie's cold-blooded series winner is going to be overshadowed by it.

posted by tron7 at 11:05 AM on June 20

This has to be the greatest block in basketball history, right?

I'm no expert, but it's go my vote. He is just gliding down the court behind the play and then BOOM!

posted by bender at 11:26 AM on June 20

I used that block as a teaching moment and told my two oldest boys (10 and 8 years old) last night that the block was an example of how you never give up on a play. What I neglected to tell them is that they will never have half of the size, speed, or general athleticism to pull it off.

posted by holden at 11:40 AM on June 20

The Block joins The Catch in the pantheon of proper nouns of sport.

It's a really nice call too by the play-by-play announcer. That's Mike Breen, correct?

posted by rcade at 01:12 PM on June 20

What I neglected to tell them is that they will never have half of the size, speed, or general athleticism to pull it off.

He was like a predator rushing out of the bushes to take down his prey.

You know he's out there. You know he can do that. You just don't think it's going to happen this time.

And then, with a furious flash, you're dead.

...

I've watched it a few times now and it still blows my mind. He changes speed three times during the run down the court. The first time is when he accelerates past Thompson. The second time is when he decelerates as he approaches Curry, because he's about to jump up to reject HIS shot (that never comes). The third time is when he accelerates again to go after Iggy, and he stutter steps to time his leap absolutely perfectly.

It's the perfect blend of athleticism, awareness, and adjustments.

...

I guess all that's left is for LeBron to go after titles 4 through 7...

posted by grum@work at 01:25 PM on June 20

Tayshaun prince block of Reggie Miller in Eastern Conference finals. 2004, I think. But, yes Lebron was awesome.

posted by mrk124 at 03:37 PM on June 20

Tayshaun prince block of Reggie Miller in Eastern Conference finals. 2004

That was my knee-jerk reaction, as well. Prince's block was a bit more difficult, IMO, but LBJ's is worlds more important. Prince's was in game 2 of the series, not game 7...

posted by MeatSaber at 04:33 PM on June 20

I've learned to seek out LeBron on the defensive fast break to watch him hunt

Having watched LeBron versus the Celtics a bunch in the Big Three Era, I wasn't even surprised in real-time. On replay, yeah, it's crazy but that kind of play is one of the reasons I think he's the best player I've ever seen.

That's Mike Breen, correct?

Yup. The Ringer had a nice piece on him recently that reminded me of how funny he was on Imus back in the day. I always knock Breen for having turned into an old fogey, but based on that piece it sounds like he's just different as an announcer. And it explains why he is forever defending the refs.

posted by yerfatma at 03:30 PM on June 21

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