The Return Of The King: LeBron Brings NBA Trophy Home To Cleveland
Surrounded by his teammates just a few steps off the airplane, LeBron James hoisted the NBA championship trophy and bellowed out a happy roar to a crowd of 20,000 screaming fans. J.R. Smith appeared to have lost his shirt somewhere during Sunday night's celebrations. Kevin Love was sporting a giant professional wrestling belt. And the party in Cleveland is just getting started.
It has been 52 years since Cleveland won a major sports title. And that was enough to get a veteran Cleveland sportscaster celebrating like a member of the team. Cleveland.com reports:
"Austin Carr, the Cavs TV broadcaster and former player in the 1970s, said he was still stunned at the Cavs, who are the first team in history to overcome a 3-1 deficit to win a championship.
" 'I still can't believe it,' he said after riling up the crowd before the Cavs arrived. 'I haven't slept. I feel like I've been walking on air for 20 hours.' "
There's a parade planned for Wednesday in the city. But with the triumphant return of James and the Cavs, Cleveland.com talked to a lot of people who couldn't wait until then to spill out into the streets and then to the airport to greet their team:
"Nick Toler and Cassandra Wheeler of Macedonia said they partied downtown, stopped at Denny's and got to the airport about 5 a.m.
" 'I never realized the city could come alive like that,' Wheeler said.
" 'We had to come down here,' Toler said. 'It's never happened before. We don't know if it will ever happen again. It's worth missing a day's sleep for this.' "
After coming down off the airplane stairway, James walked the golden trophy past the crowd so people could snap photos of it.
GOAT level trolling by @KingJames #NBAFinals pic.twitter.com/cgrNSq2Hl5— Danny Real Estate (@DJ_illAdvised) June 20, 2016
It seems though that the trip home from California to Cleveland was too long a flight for the Cavs to make without a pit stop. The team's plane landed in Las Vegas around 2 a.m. PT for some dancing and partying at a casino nightclub:
J.R. Smith is the star of the party at XS. pic.twitter.com/aGJWrH94DT— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) June 20, 2016
But now that the Cavs are home, it's a safe bet that many fans won't be getting quite enough sleep for at least another day.
Oh you talking teams? The fellas are back in #Cleveland. #YBFSports pic.twitter.com/62VHvK8jI2— YBF CHIC (@TheYBF) June 20, 2016
City officials say they'll soon be announcing more details about the parade.
Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.