It finally happened. The Cleveland Cavaliers met with President Obama in the oval office on Thursday afternoon, continuing the celebration of their historic win in the NBA Finals over the 73-win Golden State Warriors. The Cavs fell behind in the series 3 games to 1, but ultimately became the first NBA team to come back from a deficit of that magnitude and win a title. In so doing, they won consecutive elimination games in Oakland in the famous Oracle Arena, where the Warriors will play for just one more season.
President Obama is a basketball fan and understood the momentous occasion. He joked about the team overcoming chemistry issues and LeBron James’ cryptic tweets. He told J.R. Smith to put his shirt on. And he gave the city of Cleveland and its fans credit for the faith shown in the midst of a 52 year championship drought.
Obama: "I just wanted to say world champion and Cleveland in the same sentence. That's what we talk about when we talk about hope & change"— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) November 10, 2016
The Cavs themselves clearly enjoyed the trip, flocking to Instagram to document the day. The First Lady, Michelle Obama, was on hand and posed for pictures with several Cavaliers, including LeBron James.
I’ll take the heat for this, but this meant a lot for me too. I respect and admire President Obama, even if there are a bunch of issues I could point to where I disagree with him. He worked hard, respected the office in which he was entrusted, and had a temperament that I will miss. The example he set for kids and families of all backgrounds was something I personally both valued and benefit from. Seeing my favorite basketball team get to share this moment with him was really cool.
I’ll miss President Obama. We get to keep watching these Cavs.