The infamous “Cleveland Curse” is no more. In a stunning three game stretch agains t a team poised to become the best NBA team of all time, the Cleveland Cavaliers pulled off one of the biggest shockers in sports history. This is right there with the 2004 Boston Red Sox. Like that team, this Cavs team was facing an impossible uphill battle against a team that was a proven champion. Both had to go do it on the road the clinch the title.
Think about what we just watched last night in Oakland. We saw Cleveland become the first team in NBA Finals history to come back form a 3-1 deficit to win the title. We saw them win two of those three games in Oakland. We saw them hold one of the most prolific scoring teams of this post-1970s NBA to under 90 points in the deciding game. We saw Steph Curry, who regularly knocks down three-point shots like they are layups miss some wide open threes that could have possibly won Golden State the title. We saw the Warriors waste a brilliant performance from Draymond Green which was supposed to be the reason this series went seven games, after Green was suspended for Game Five and did not play well in Game Six. He was great in Game Seven and the Warriors still lost.
At no point, even with the scored tied and under 2L00 to go, did most of us think the Warriors would not find a way to win this game. They had to. They always do. These guys were down 3-1 against Oklahoma City in the Western Conference Finals but still found a way to win that series. Surely they were not going to lose three games in a row for the first time all season, right?
But Kyrie Irving and Lebron James kept making plays. They made big shots. They made big defensive plays. They smelled blood in the water and they kept playing until finally, the clock ran out and they were ahead. And the “Cleveland Curse” was over. Cleveland had not won a championship in any of the major sports since 1964. The “Curse of the Bambino” occurred in an era when the Celtics won 16 NBA Championships. Not to mention the Patriots won a few Super Bowls.
Chicago Cubs fans can complain about their 108 year old curse, but most Cubs fans have seen the Blackhawks win a couple of Stanley Cups in recent years, not to mention the Bulls six NBA Championships. Cleveland wins at nothing. Until last night.
But this championship will be talked about in the future as much because of who lost it as who won it. Whether they like it or not, the 2016 Warriors will be talked about whenever any future team threatens to get to 73 wins in a season. But at the end of that conversation it will be pointed out that that Warriors team was also the first to cough up a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals. Championships are won every year in every sport. But sometimes history is made. That’s what happened last night.