LeBron James thanked DeAndre Jordan for his role in the Cavs' title win

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Football News

Exactly what the achievement of the Cleveland Cavaliers winning an inaugural NBA championship meant for the city was realised on Wednesday as the team enjoyed a memorable parade. 

1.3 million people took to the streets as the entire city came to a standstill to salute their heroes who ended a 46-year wait for the franchise to finally hoist the Larry O'Brien trophy. 

The city of Cleveland as a whole has waited 52 years for a championship of any kind in professional sports and the outpouring of emotion and jubilation was clear for all to see in Northeast Ohio. 

Hometown star LeBron James delivered on his promise of bringing a title and received the biggest reception as he soaked in the adulation yesterday. 

In the final stage of the parade, the King delivered a speech in which he paid tribute to each one of his teammates who contributed to the success. 

Along with the Cavs players, the three-time Finals MVP also decided to thank an unlikely figure for his role in the team's title-winning campaign; L.A. Clippers center DeAndre Jordan.

"I want to thank DeAndre Jordan," he said. "Because if DeAndre Jordan did not decide to go back to the Clippers, we wouldn't have RJ (Richard Jefferson) on our team. You can Google the story, I'm not going to tell you the rest of it.

"But if it wasn't for that guy, we wouldn't have him and from day one we got RJ, I knew I finally had a guy who was playing behind me that I could trust, that I could count on. But I don't think he realised that he was going to eventually end up playing 35 minutes in Finals games. And that's eventually why he said he was going to quit the other night."

So here's a little more background information to that story. As many are already aware, Jordan agreed to join the Mavs last summer but eventually reneged on the deal to re-sign with the Clippers after some seriously persuasive tactics by several members of the L.A. franchise.

Jefferson had also committed to joining the Mavs after he was sold on the idea of playing alongside Jordan, Dirk Nowitzki, Chandler Parsons, and Wes Matthews.

But once he had learned that DeAndre chose to remain in the City of Angels, RJ also made the decision to back out of his deal with Dallas and pursue an offer that was on the table from the Cavs. 

As reported by ESPN's Ramona Shelburne the 36-year-old said: “When it went sour, I called my agent and was like, ‘I can’t go there'. And he was like, ‘Richard, now is not the time to tell them that you can’t go there either.’ So we let it wait a couple weeks.

"There was a conversation about maybe offering me some more money. I was like, ‘Look, if Cleveland goes to the Finals and I stay in Dallas for a little more money, I’ll kill myself.'”

After making a big contribution to the Cavs' title win, as they say, the rest is history. So in a way, LeBron should also have thanked Mark Cuban and the Mavericks for allowing RJ out of his deal.

The veteran is now a champion and can call time on his career having achieved the ultimate prize. 

After announcing his retirement immediately after the game seven win over the Warriors, Jefferson had a slight change of heart at the team's parade, promising the Wine and Gold fans that he'd return for another year if they wanted him to.

He has certainly endeared himself to the Cleveland faithful and will forever be remembered for his role in ending the franchise's arduous wait for glory.

Eastern Conference
Kyrie Irving
Cleveland Cavaliers
Central Division
LeBron James
Richard Jefferson

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