I used to be in the arguing business. At some point I will be again. For just over a month now, I have not. There is nothing to argue about. No points to hash out. No changes to make. The Cavs, a team in constant turmoil are suddenly at peace, as are their fans.
Sure, we could argue about Kevin Durant. He went to the Warriors, you know. If you didn’t know that, you clearly don’t know anyone from California. They have been stricken by the sudden and and selective amnesia one gets when you transition from the worst collapse ever in the NBA, maybe even in the history of sport to signing a top-three player in the NBA. That’s nice for them. I couldn’t care less. I don’t have to.
One of the things that even I didn’t understand when I made my way downtown (walkin fast, faces past, and I’m home bound) on June 19 was the gravity of winning a title in Cleveland. We had said it, repeatedly: “Just one. All we need is one then who cares if they win another game for the next five years”, but what did that mean? Did we even believe it? When I thought about it, I couldn’t really process the next steps after winning said title. I have rooted for two title teams in other sports, but I know maybe 3 other fans of said team closely, and they’re in a different state, there isn’t really a path you follow after that. Turns out it was better than I ever really imagined.
I’ll remember LeBron’s block for the sound of 200 pairs of buttcheeks in a crowded bar all un-clenching at the same time. I’ll remember Kyrie’s three for people spraying water and champagne all over the bar. The moment that victory for the Cavaliers felt like a tangible object more than something I’ve spent the better part of 29 years trying to picture in my head. I’ll remember every second after LeBron hit his final shot. A free throw giving the Cavs a 4 point lead. Arms around the backs of two of my friends in disbelief. I don’t know though, if any memory will be as vivid as the clock striking zero.
I don’t follow all Cleveland sports. I couldn’t care any less about the Browns, other than the laughs they provide me. I have mild interest in the local baseball team but not much. The emotions of so many failures are lost on me. They were not lost on my friends, and that is when they found their way to me as well. I’ll never forget jumping and screaming with everyone in the bar. Hugging. Freaking out. More than anything though, looking down at three of the guys and girl I had ventured out to meet and seeing tears in their eyes. That’s when the emotion of the moment fully caught up with me. (Weirdly enough it’s also right when someone sprayed allergy spray on me I swear it was allergies) We didn’t have to care anymore. Myself a small part, but for these people that have slogged through the failures of all three of these teams, especially the Browns, the weight of what felt like 1,000 of them no longer existed. Martin Rickman of Uproxx said it far better than I ever could, so I’ll let you read him on that subject.
The other side effect though, like I said, is it got me out of the arguing business. Cleveland is a what? Joke? No titles? Sorry fam, but I can’t relate. Oh, you think the Cavs can’t win a title with Kevin Love? Can’t play against the Warriors? No longer a care that enters my brain. Who even is Andrew Wiggins anyway? Kyrie dribbles you say? Allow me to play you this clip where he dribbles into winning the NBA Finals. Also, extra credit if you can find a playoff series he played in where the other point guard outplayed him (you can’t unless he wasn’t on the floor) Tristan Thompson overrated? two playoffs in a row of being an invaluable and sometimes dominant piece would disagree, my friend. LeBron is “irrelevant”, did you say? Window is closed? Maybe that’s what Klay Thompson had in mind before he poked at a man he clearly didn’t understand and wasn’t equipped to handle. So many hours, SO MANY, spent trumpeting the merits of these players, no longer needed.
You can still tell me these things of course, but that’s the beauty of having arguably the best Finals win of all time. Of each major and hotly debated Cavaliers piece playing a big role in it. I don’t have to ponder them. No need to give them my air. I can think about other things, things like an amazing Finals victory the last time someone brought these talking points my way, and I go on about my day. After all, if we’ve learned anything this year: We never speak in absolutes. We never know what will happen. And we never. Ever. Doubt LeBron.
Eventually we’ll get back to arguing. Maybe. Or not. This tea does taste pretty nice.