What a night, huh? What a game…what a series…what a year! Grown men crying in their Barcaloungers. Women who don’t even know what a basketball is are jumping up and down because, if nothing else, they realize that history, on a number of levels, has been made! Like LeBron said in his “coming home” letter, “In Northeastern Ohio nothing is given…everything must be earned”! And earn it they did!
The Cavs were formed in 1970, the year I graduated college and, like so many of you, I’ve been on board ever since. And, over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to have some direct involvement with the team. In 1992, at the team’s’ request, Bob Pelander and I wrote a song for them called “Tonight’s The Night” and then years later, another called “Rock You Tonight”. I also got to host their “Fastbreak” TV show for several years in the early 90’s. One day while we were waiting to shoot some player interviews down on the court I decided to try my hand at the NBA 3-point line and, much to my own surprise, I nailed my first three from the corner. I turned around and behind me was their coach, Lenny Wilkens. He gave me a thumbs up and asked, “What are you doing tonight? We could use a little of that stuff!” And that’s as close to an NBA career as I ever got!
And sure we had the great “Miracle of Richfield” year and the-hey-we’ve-got-a-great-team-but-Michael Jordan-has-a-slightly-better-team Price, Daugherty, and Nance years…all close but no cigar. So that’s what makes this one even sweeter, The Cavs weren’t suppose to do this…the East wasn’t suppose to beat the West…Steph Curry was suppose to be the MVP…No one was suppose to (or ever had) come back from a 3-1 deficit and defeat the team with the greatest regular season record of all-time…but they did. ‘Cause like the song says, “hard workin’ town, hard workin’ team”!
This morning I spoke to my good friend Dave about the game and he said it was amazing but that he was really, really, tired because he had stayed up to watch all the festivities and post-game shows. But he said the real reason he had stayed up was that somewhere in that Cleveland-sports-fan-mind he was waiting for NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver, to come on screen and say, “We’re sorry…but after further review the NBA has decided to give the Championship trophy to the Golden State Warriors”.
But that was just a bad dream…and now we get to live the good one…the real one…the NBA Championship one! So thanks to the Cavs for bringing so many grown men to tears… and to LeBron for keeping his promise. I can’t wait till we do it all again next year!