Exhale, Cleveland — your fine city is finally home to champions again.
The Cleveland Cavaliers just handed the Ohio city its first professional sports championship in 52 years, and Akron native LeBron James returned to personally deliver it — just as he promised.
In return, No. 23 was unanimously named the Most Valuable Player of the NBA Finals — the third time he has been bestowed with such an honor.
The deciding Game 7 — a 93-89 clincher — was closer than the rest of the full-length series’ individual contests were to this point.
The Cavs are now the the first team in the history of the Finals to come all the way back from a 3-1 deficit in the best-of-seven series and win the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
These NBA Finals — a rematch from 2015 — have been mired in controversy.
First, key Warriors player Draymond Green was suspended for Game 5 following an on-court altercation with James. The Oakland-area power forward appeared to possibly deliver a low-blow to the Cavs star in Game 4, an illegal and dirty move that Green has a history of performing.
Golden State star and reigning NBA regular season MVP Steph Curry was ejected from
Many — including Mrs. Curry — have accused the NBA of purposefully favoring underdog Cleveland to extend the series, thus making more money for the league and its partners. The home crowd at Golden State’s Oracle Arena loudly booed NBA Commissioner Adam Silver during Sunday evening’s post-game trophy presentation.
Last year, the Warriors took six games to defeat the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals. That series was missing the then-injured Kyrie Irving, who played a big role in Cleveland’s postseason run this time around.
Golden State broke the regular-season NBA record for wins across 2015-16, netting 73 triumphs to just nine losses. Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls previously held the high-water mark, with 72 victories versus 10 losses.
James previously carried the Miami Heat to the same top podium — twice. He began his amazing career with the Cavs, before departing for South Beach. The so-called “Chosen One” and “King” came back to Cleveland for the 2014-15 season.