Monday, June 20, 2016

167. Cleveland

It could have been easy not to care about the NBA championship this season. I hadn’t watched a whole lot of basketball outside of a few Timberwolves games. I liked both the Cavaliers and the Warriors, and my mind has about a million things to think about over the summer. Yet, after game two, where the Warriors creamed the Cavs, I really wanted Cleveland to win.

I love LeBron James. I suppose no superstar can be truly beloved, but he gets a lot of crap that’s underserved. He’s a whiner! (Well, Steph Curry had some pretty bad whining in game six.) He can’t get it done! (Well, he can get it done, but there’s a reason five people are on the court for a team.) He’s not as good as Jordan! (Honestly, who cares? They’re never going to face each other in real life, so it doesn’t matter. Enjoy the present and quit living in the past.)

If people are still frustrated over his 2010 exodus to Miami, I think you need to take a long, hard look at the decisions you’ve made in your life. If you were given a chance for more money, work in a nicer location, and work with your friends, I’m guessing most of you would probably take that opportunity.

But he came back. He came back home. I’ll admit that even I was a little tearful when he made the decision to return. Northeast Ohio isn’t the place with the highest quality of life right now, but he decided to come back. Good for him.

I think the reason I wanted him the most to win it was because of our collective inability to enjoy something truly great without criticizing it. (I suppose people did enjoy Steph Curry’s season.) However, the LeBron hottake industry never seems to have an off day. I thought it’d be nice to give them a break for a little while.

Luckily, he did. I ended up watching game five and seven, both of which the Cavs won (along with game six.) They were the first team to come back from a 3-1 deficit to win. I watched most of the game on my laptop, while I was sitting at my kitchen table. For some reason, I decided not to turn the air conditioning on, which caused me to perspire even more than I typically do.

Even though I was watching by myself, I definitely yelled and groaned throughout the game. Due to my Minnesotan fandom, I became slightly pessimistic after the score remained tied at 89 for what seemed to be about 20 minutes. Then, Kyrie Irving hit a pretty nasty three-point shot, and LeBron performed what is being referred to as, “the block”, where he ran from half court, caught up to Andre Igoudala, and slapped the ball against the backboard to prevent the Warriors from scoring. It was at that moment that I began to breathe a little bit more.

In the end, I could have been a impartial “fan of the game” but it’s nice to root for someone you like.

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