King James back on his throne

Le­bron leads home­town club Cleve­land to thrilling fi­nals win over Golden State

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE -

Le­Bron James cra­dled the shiny gold tro­phy and strug­gled to sum up what might be his sweet­est cham­pi­onship yet. Later, flanked by his three chil­dren on Fa­ther’s Day, a cigar be­tween his lips and win­ning net as a neck­lace, James be­gan to un­der­stand the mag­ni­tude of his ac­com­plish­ment for Cleve­land af­ter a half­cen­tury wait.

“I came back for a rea­son,” he said. “To bring a cham­pi­onship to our city. I knew what I was ca­pa­ble of do­ing. I knew that when I came back I had the right in­gre­di­ents to help this fran­chise get back to a place that we’ve never been. That’s what it was all about.”

James and his re­lent­less, never-count-the­mout Cavs pulled off an im­prob­a­ble NBA Fi­nals come­back and Cleve­land are in title town again.

James de­liv­ered on a vow to his home state and brought the Cavs back from the brink as they be­came the first team to rally from a 3-1 fi­nals deficit, beat­ing the de­fend­ing cham­pion Golden State Warriors 93-89 to end a 52-year ma­jor sports cham­pi­onship drought in Cleve­land.

“I’ve never seen a man in my life tell an en­tire state: ‘Get on my back, I got you. Get on my back and I’m go­ing to carry you. I don’t care if we fail, I’m go­ing to wake up the next morn­ing and I’m go­ing to start work­ing out and pre­pare for the next year’,” said Cavs ace Richard Jef­fer­son. “He car­ried us the whole way.” The win­ner-take-all Game 7 pro­vided a thrilling fi­nale with James as the fi­nals MVP dis­arm­ing two-time reign­ing MVP Stephen Curry and his record-set­ting Warriors. Play­ing his sixth straight fi­nals, James al­most sin­gle-hand­edly car­ried the Cavs back into this se­ries and fin­ished with 27 points, 11 as­sists and 11 re­bounds as the Cavs gave their city its first ma­jor sports win­ner since the Browns won the NFL title in 1964. An emo­tional James fell to the floor when this one ended with a sec­ond win in a week on Golden State’s im­pos­ing home floor, sur­rounded by his team­mates.

While it was un­bri­dled joy for James, the Warriors’ own hero Curry was left dev­as­tated.

“I didn’t do enough to help my team win,” said Curry. “It will haunt me for a while. It hurts, man.

“Just proud of ev­ery sin­gle guy that stepped foot on the floor for our team this year. Hope­fully we’ll have many more op­por­tu­ni­ties to fight for cham­pi­onships and be on this stage be­cause this is what it's all about.”

A year ago at home, the Cavs had to watch Golden State win their first title in 40 years.

This time, it will be Cleve­land host­ing the vic­tory pa­rade.

“Now we have our own pa­rade,” said Kyrie Irv­ing (pic­tured left). “And we’ll cel­e­brate it the way it’s sup­posed to be cel­e­brated in Cleve­land.”

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