- For players such as Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson, the championship is supposed to symbolize the beginning of something great in their careers.
- For Richard Jefferson, it is finally being part of a team that finishes the mission after being part of so many that fell just short.
- For LeBron ,it might signal a significant step up in his legacy that might only be rivaled by Michael Jordan.
- For Cleveland, a vindication of following and supporting 146 non championship sporting seasons with many ending in excruciating fashion.
Writers pouring out their hearts
Writing these words is a bigger struggle than I ever could have imagined. How can you possibly synthesize all these feelings and emotions into simple words on a page? As the game ended and the initial burst of uncontrollable joy gave way to a collapse of uncontrollable tears, one thing was clear … everything is different now.
The South Floridians that surrounded me on a daily basis couldn’t understand the pride I had for the city of Cleveland and its sports teams.
Even my parents at times wanted me to “be more like the others.”
As I grew older, however, they began to understand, as did I, that my love for Cleveland was more about family and my love for Grandpa than it was about sports.
My dad is the hardest-working man I know. He had a night-shift job for a good chunk of my childhood so my mother could be home with us during the day. Then while slaving away at that gig, he studied in his spare time to become a paramedic—the prerequisite to be a fireman—with the goal of following in his dad's footsteps of being a straight-up hero. He did this all while dragging me and my sisters around to various baseball games, oftentimes three-to-five nights per week, allowing the outside of his truck to get destroyed by the dirt that floated around those fields, and the inside by that which clung to our child-sized cleats.
Sports helped him navigate the choppy waters of his illness. He treasured the Indians, who finally proved worthy of his adoration in the late stages of his life.
I've been told that my father and I played catch all the time and that, when healthy, he never missed my T-ball or coach-pitch games. I had a new pitchback, cleats and a glove each summer.There's something special, something subtly extraordinary about a simple game of catch, whether it's a father and son, a mother and daughter, or the entire family.
So, yeah, cheer your heads off for LeBron James, J.R. Smith, Kyrie Irving, and the rest of the team of Cleveland Cavaliers that brought Cleveland its first major professional sports championship in 52 years. But understand the people with which you are sharing this memory is what makes it all worth it. But hey, you already knew that.