Ohio is the recipient of attention on a national scale once every four years as a swing state. When it’s not an election year, Ohio is more of an afterthought. Ohio has fickle weather and it is not a common vacation destination or a place people dream about living in one day.
But now, Ohio is in the center, and we applaud our neighbors to the East as Cleveland’s 52-year-old championship drought is over. When the final buzzer sounded Sunday night in Oakland, the Cleveland Cavaliers came out on top 93-89 over the Golden State Warriors and clinched their first NBA title.
Even if you don’t care about basketball or sports, this is a win for Cleveland citizens and everyone in Ohio. Often described as an up and coming city, Cleveland proved Sunday night that they are a force to be reckoned with. Fans of Cleveland have faithfully stood by their teams for decades, enduring ridicule and numerous defeats.
King James returns
An Akron native, LeBron James started his career in Cleveland and played there for seven seasons before playing for the Miami Heat for four seasons—dismaying fans, who responded by burning his Cavaliers jersey, or burying t in the bottom of their closets as they felt as though James betrayed them. People thought Cleveland had no chance of ever winning a championship and feared the “Cleveland Curse” would continue.
Not for long. Two years ago, James came back home to the Cavaliers and promised Cleveland a championship. Fans dusted of their old LeBron jerseys and re-ignited their championship dreams. Last night, he was the named the Finals Most Valuable Player and racked up 27 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in Game Seven of the NBA Championships.
Last year, the Cavaliers could almost taste the championship as they made it to the NBA finals, before losing to the Warriors. This year’s NBA final was a rematch of the 2015 final. It was looking as though history was going to repeat itself as the Cavaliers found themselves down three games to one.
Basketball fans started to write off the Cavs and didn’t think they could pull off the victory. Cleveland pushed it to Game Seven and America watched, expecting to see the Cavaliers fall short again. With all bets against them— they were on the road, and no team in NBA history had won the championship after being down 3-1 in the NBA finals.
Defying the odds, the Cavaliers won the championship. Fans wept and grown men sobbed as they never thought they would live to see a Cleveland championship.
The last Cleveland team to win a championship was the Browns football team in 1964. Cleveland needed this win and Ohio needed this win.