Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Cleveland Cavaliers celebration parade draws a million people and the NBA championship title win has put the majority Black city of Cleveland on the map in a positive vain.......LeBron James and Kyrie Irving had the most memorable NBA Finals moments and Kevin Love came through to help with the Game 7 NBA Finals win....Cavs coach Tyronn Lue, who is Black, is a brilliant coach whose talent, patience and unifying personality served him well in leading his team to victory....By sportswriter Karl Kimbrough of www.clevelandurbannews.com, Ohio's Black digital news leader

Cleveland Cavaliers megastar LeBron James addresses a crowd of nearly a million people at a celebration and parade in downtown Cleveland on June 22, a follow-up to the 2016 NBA championship title win by the Cavs Sunday night against the Golden State Warriors, the defending champs


Cleveland Cavaliers ballplayers from left: Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving and megastar LeBron James


Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue

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Cleveland Urban News.Com
Sportswriter Karl Kimbrough
BY CLEVELAND URBAN NEWS.COM- CLEVELAND, Ohio-Nearly a million people poured into downtown Cleveland on Wednesday for a celebration and a parade to mark the championship title win Sunday night where the Cleveland Cavaliers, led by megastar LeBron James, won the NBA Finals by taking Game 7 against the Golden State Warriors, 93-89.

Let's not pretend that all of Cleveland believed the Cavs would finally bring home the first NBA championship title in franchise history. 

What was the negative connotation that many Cleveland fans were thinking before Game 7 of the NBA Finals?

Although they may not admit it now, there is no doubt that there was a negative narrative among some Cleveland folks, and others, of what the outcome would be before Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue brought his team on to the floor at Oracle Arena Sunday night. And it was partly because the Cavs had come back from a three games to one deficit to tie the series 3-3, and because Golden State, led by Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, had the best NBA record of the 2015-2016 season and were the defending champs.

No doubt, there were other reasons for the apathy and nightmares of Cleveland losing a shot at the title once again, and behind the heartbreaking loss to the mighty Warriors in 2015.

June 19, 2016, the night the Cavs took the championship title, put those nightmares to rest as  dreams came true, legends were made, and the largely Black major American city of Cleveland, often depicted in a negative sense across the nation, had something positive to brag about.  

Cavaliers forward LeBron James and guard Kyrie Irving soared and scored to make the plays in Game 7, a conclusive game, and one that will be remembered for years to come.

They did what was needed to be done in crunch time to send the Golden State Warriors home with a loss.

With one minute and 57 seconds left and the score tide at 89 in the fourth quarter, Warriors forward Andre Iguodala grabbed a rebound from an Irving missed shot and then passed ahead to guard Stephen Curry.

As Iguodala raced down the court Curry returned a perfect bounce pass to Iguodala for what appeared to be an easy layup off of the backboard, and an anticipated two point Warriors lead with one minute and 53 seconds remaining. 

But James, who trailed the play all the way down court on the left side, jumped across the free throw lane and above Iguodala to smash his layup attempt against the backboard. And Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith claimed the rebound.

The Warriors, in turn, came up goose eggs, taking four poor shot attempts on three empty trips down the floor after the  now famous block by James.

Meanwhile, and during a timeout with one minute and nine seconds on the game clock, coach Lue drew up an isolation play for Irving, who would be matched up with the 6' 7'' Klay Thompson. 

To take away Klay Thompson's five inch height advantage Smith set a blindsided pick on Thompson, which resulted in Curry having to switch over to cover Irving. That posture did not serve well for the Warriors.

Irving, while behind the three point arc, set Curry up by coming towards him while taking three crossover dribbles between his legs and then taking a step back  for a three point shot. Bang. Irving drilled the three pointer and gave the Cavs a staunch 92-89 lead, only one more point added to take home the 93-89 win.

Game 7 was the only game in the series that did not end with the winner ahead by double digits.  It was a record setting and history making as were the series in general. 

The Cavaliers became the first team in NBA history to come back from a three games to one deficit to win the championship and James became the third player to record a triple double , which he accomplished in Game 7, replete with 27 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists.

Game 7 also featured tough defense and tired legs, which accounted in part for the mediocre shooting percentages from both the Cavs and the Warriors, and the final game scores of the  two respective teams.

The Cavs shot just 40.2 % from the field and were just six- of -25 from the three point arc for 25%. They, however, made 21 out of 25 free throws, a plus by all measures. 

Golden State shot 38.6% from the field and was 15- for- 41 in three point shots for 36%.

This game also featured spectacular lay up after layup by Irving, with both the left and right hands, and while he was under tough pressure defensively.

Irving finished Game 7 with 26 points. 

Draymond Green was likely the best asset for the Warriors Sunday night. He scored 32 points and had 10 rebounds and nine assists. 

Curry and Klay Thompson, together dubbed 'the splash brothers'  for their talent in making three-pointers, and who were up and down throughout the finals, were not at their best, the duo combining for just 31 points on Sunday.

After criticism from sports commentators, Kevin Love stepped his game up a bit and was a factor on the boards with 14 rebounds in Game 7, which were coupled with his and nine points, a contribution that helped to clinched the championship.

And Love played good defense, especially against Curry, 

Other Cavaliers players cannot be overlooked relative to the finals, including Tristan Thompson, Mo Williams, Richard Jefferson, and JR Smith.

Smith has been a bonus for the Cavaliers in the playoffs and otherwise, and  he came up huge at the start of the second half of Game 7 in scoring eight of his 12 points. 

The Cavaliers won the championship due to talent, and a spectular team effort, not to mention the brilliant coaching of Tyronn Lue, who is Black.

But the NBA Finals moments that will be remembered most were the Game 7 performances by James and Irving, both of whom came through when it counted most.

James and Irving have given Cleveland fans new memories and something better to dream about, and James, an Akron, Ohio native, says he is ready to defend the championship title in the coming year for his "hometown."