By Jeff Brown
The Cleveland Cavaliers have done it. They have ended the 52-year championship drought in an unbelievable fashion, as only Cleveland could.
Even the most optimistic of Cleveland sports fans couldn’t have seen this coming after the Cavaliers went down 3-1 against the Golden State Warriors, the best regular season team of all time.
After all the years of heartbreaking, improbable and seemingly impossible losses, it seems fitting that the drought would be brought to an end in an unbelievable fashion.
The Warriors hadn’t lost three games in a row since Nov. 20, 2013. No team had ever comeback from down 3-1 in the NBA finals. And only three other teams have won a game seven in the NBA Finals on the road. The Basketball Power Index, BPI, gave the Cavaliers an eight percent chance after going down 2-0. And somehow through all of this, the Cavaliers were able to find a way — in large part due to an unreal performance by LeBron James.
James was electric during the finals and led both teams in every major statistical category —points, assists, rebounds, steals, and blocks — throughout the entirety of the Finals. James earned his third NBA Finals MVP award after averaging 29.7 points, 11.3 rebounds and 8.9 assists.
Say what you will about James, he is a once in a generation basketball player the likes of which may never be seen again. He may come across conceited at times, but why shouldn’t he be. After all the criticism he receives, it’s about time that people start appreciating his game rather than always being quick to bash him.
James ended his postseason social media blackout with an Instagram post with him holding the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy with a comment bashing his critics.
“They said u lost a step, wasn’t explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don’t have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won’t work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won’t work, love your teammates to much, there’s no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc…. But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS,” James said in the Instagram post.
Who could blame the guy for going after his critics after the greatest accomplishment of his career to date? Never has a superstar received so much criticism for remarkable performances night in and night out. James had the greatest Finals performance ever, but when you turn on ESPN or other media outlets that’s not what you hear. You hear Skip Bayless saying Kyrie Irving was the real MVP of the Finals or other members of the media complaining how James was overdramatic when trying to draw fouls and will never be as good as Michael Jordan.
Maybe it’s the era we live in today, where we over analyze every single thing celebrities such as James do, but as a basketball player, James should be judged by his actions on the court. And his on the court actions leave little to criticize.