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LeBron James.

LeBron James realises a dream and ends the Cavaliers' 46 years of hurt

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For the second time this year, history was made at the Oracle Arena. This time, though, it wasn't the Golden State Warriors etching their names into the record books, it was the Cleveland Cavaliers. 

In the final game of the regular season, the Warriors defeated the Memphis Grizzlies to secure a record 73rd win of the campaign to surpass the 72-win mark set by the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls.

In the last game of the postseason, the Cavs became the first team to overturn a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals and won the first title in the franchise's 46-year history with a 93-89 win over the defending champions.

They also became the first team to win a game seven on the road in the Finals since the Washington Bullets in 1978.

It was the stuff dreams are made of and with this accomplishment, superstar LeBron James realised a dream of his own as he finally brought a championship to his hometown. 

LeBron's legacy

The headlines in the aftermath of the hugely anticipated game seven were already decided before the ball was tipped; either LeBron would cement his legacy or tarnish it severely. Luckily for the King, it's turned out to be the former.

Multiple media outlets have today ran with the story of James writing his legacy and so they should. He didn't just end the city of Cleveland's long wait to hang a banner in the rafters, he did it in style.

2016 NBA Finals - Game Seven

The 31-year-old was named as the Finals MVP for the third time in his career, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the only players to win the accolade with multiple teams.

James was also the first to lead all players in all five categories (points, assists, rebounds, steals, and blocks) for an entire playoff series and he logged only the third ever triple-double in a Finals game seven - 27 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists.

ESPN's Mark Jackson, who was commentating on the game, called it the greatest achievement by an individual player in the history of the league. 

Back-to-back league MVP Stephen Curry, who had his back and forth moments with the Cavs superstar during the series, showed his class after the game by acknowledging what he achieved.

2016 NBA Finals - Game Seven

“There’s no denying what he was able to accomplish this series,” a dejected Curry said post-game. “He played great basketball.”

If the four-time MVP was to retire today, he can look back on an incredible career that culminated in the one thing he craved more than anything. 

"Cleveland, this is for you!" James proclaimed as he gave his post-game interview to Doris Burke of ESPN.

“This is what I came back for. I’m at a loss for words. It doesn’t feel real right now.”

2016 NBA Finals - Game Seven

There can be no debate, the Akron, Ohio native is among the greatest players to ever grace the hardwood and will be a deserving Hall of Famer when he eventually calls time on a memorable career. 

From this moment onwards he can only add to his legacy and further his greatness and standing among the elite players of past and present. 

With three rings under his belt, it's not impossible for him to reach five like Kobe Bryant or even six like Michael Jordan. 

The shackles are off, King James doesn't have the weight of a city on his shoulders anymore. 

2016 NBA Finals - Game Seven

Superstar status

While LeBron will deservedly get many of the plaudits, the contributions of Kyrie Irving cannot go unnoticed. Without the All-Star point guard by his side, James may not have fulfilled a lifelong dream. 

He averaged 27.1 points per game, the most by any teammate of LBJ in a Finals series. Irving made the transition from a good player to a superstar right before our very eyes.

Despite being just 24, the Duke product has often been criticised for his score-first approach and failure to get his teammates involved. 

That approach allowed the Cavaliers to win the Larry O'Brien trophy. Head coach Tyronn Lue had no plans to restrict Kyrie and encouraged him to play his game and be aggressive. 

2016 NBA Finals - Game Seven

He answered the call from his coach and showcased his plethora of offensive skills as he elevated his game to new heights and outplayed his rival at the one spot in Curry. 

It is scary to think that this was just the second playoff campaign of the silky ball handler's career. He has not looked overawed by the occasion, instead, he seized the occasion. 

This time last year he was watching the Finals in a hospital bed after fracturing a kneecap in game one and was helpless as his short-handed team ran out of gas and lost 4-2 to Golden State. 

He vowed to come back stronger after his injury and do everything he could to help his teammates erase that bad memory and reward the franchise that drafted him with the number one pick in 2011.

2016 NBA Finals - Game Seven

Kyrie Irving has arrived and is capable of following in the footsteps of LeBron and creating a legacy for himself in this league too.

The wait is over

Rejoice Cleveland, the pain is over. The NBA trophy will finally be making its way to Northeast Ohio. 

Talk of curses and jinxes can now stop and the 46-year wait for a celebration can begin now (though it's already been going on for an entire night). 

The entire city is expected to come to a standstill as the Wine and Gold have scheduled a parade to show their appreciation to their adoring fans on Wednesday. 

It's a moment the natives thought would never arrive. They had convinced themselves that the basketball gods didn't want good things to happen to their sports teams.

That can all be put to rest now after their prodigal son vowed to change it and delivered. 

A statue of LeBron James will be in the works and all of the other honours that come with it such as a jersey retirement.

'The Decision' now seems like a distant memory for all Cavs fans just like the 46 years of hurt. Here are the words you have been waiting so patiently for; the Cleveland Cavaliers are the NBA world champions.

Topics:
Eastern Conference
NBA
Kyrie Irving
Cleveland Cavaliers
Central Division
LeBron James

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