When the Oklahoma City Thunder blew their 3-1 series lead against the defending champs, people outside of Cleveland and the Bay area, like myself, had a tough choice for who to root for in the NBA finals.
You have the Golden State Warriors who are looking to win a championship and cement their names in history as one of , if no
t the greatest team in history--a topic Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith will be yelling at each other about shortly. And then you have Lebron James coming home to win a championship for his very own Cleveland Cavaliers. The Warriors were the easy choice last year, Steph Curry was the new golden boy of the NBA and he was going up against the oft hated, Lebron James. But after the feel good story wins a championship, they become the unstoppable juggernaut, and everyone likes to see the unstoppable be stopped. And thus the easy reason to root against the Warriors. The Cavs however, are seen as villains too. Ever since Lebron televised, “The Decision,” back in 2010, he alone has become the New York Yankees of the NBA--every American’s birth requirement to hate. And thus the easy reason to root against the Cavs.
Cleveland has welcomed back Lebron with open arms, and who can blame them, but the rest of the sporting world still would like to see the King dethroned once again. So therein lies the tough decision, which is the better choice between these two evils? As soon as the Warriors locked up their spot in the finals, I knew in my heart I would root for the Cavs.
Now let me explain. Lebron James isn’t so bad. In fact, he seems to be a pretty good person to go along with his outrageous athletic ability. Lebron James looks like a MonSTAR from Space Jam, and that’s not a comment on his looks or his receding hairline, he’s just really good at basketball. Of course it is important to note for you history buffs out there, the Monstars, despite their obvious size advantage did lose the game to the Tune Squad led by his Airness, Michael Jordan. Though Buggs and Bill Murray played a heck of a game as well.
Lebron has matured since he said he would “take his talents to South Beach” on live television and it would be unfair to continue to harshly judge him for this mistake six years later. But you know what, throw the Lebron factor out the window, the real reason to root for the Cavaliers is one word: Cleveland.
The great Drew Carey used to sing to open “The Drew Carey Show, “Cleveland Rocks.” Drew Carey is a funny guy, but he is also a liar, because anyone who has ever been before knows, Cleveland does not rock. Cleveland’s proudest fact is that “it’s not Detroit.” If, in a terrible sequence of events, in some weather catastrophe or act of G-d your plane has to make an emergency landing in Cleveland and you have the option of spending a day in Cleveland, don’t. People will tell you, oh if you’re in Cleveland, for the unprecedented sequence of events mentioned above, go to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I’ve been, Rock and Roll is cool, the hall of fame, not so cool. Cleveland prides themselves on the Cleveland Clinic which is supposedly a top notch medical facility. An unfortunate series of events, let’s call it an act of G-d, led me to be in Cleveland and have an MRI on my shoulder at the Cleveland Clinic. According to the Cleveland doctors, the MRI was negative. After months of pain, I took that same MRI and showed it to real doctors at a real hospital in a real city (Chicago) and they informed me very quickly the MRI showed a full tear of my rotator cuff which would require surgery. Why did the Cleveland doctors miss this obvious tear? Because Cleveland, that’s why. And we all know it’s only appropriate to judge a nationally renowned medical facility on one, bad, personal experience. You’re welcome.
To be sure Cleveland would truly have a terrible existence, G-d made sure Cleveland would suck at sports. The three major sports teams have combined for 159 seasons without a championship, the last being the 1964 Browns. It’s not just they don’t win championships, but the teams have been brutal and they’ve found the most painful ways of losing.
On November 30, 2015 the Browns played the Baltimore Ravens on Monday night football. With three seconds remaining in the game and the score tied, the Browns attempted a 51 yard field goal to win the game. At this point, the Browns had about a 50% chance of winning the game before the end of regulation, a 49.9% chance of going to overtime and a .1% chance of losing in regulation. Percentages should be calculated differently in Cleveland. The field goal attempt was blocked and the Ravens returned it for a touchdown, game over, Browns lose, just like that. That type of devastation only happens in two places in the world, in Cleveland and in hell.
So after the Cavs got blown out in the first two games of the series, and have since bounced back in game three, I ask you to look inside your heart, find that compassion, look inside for the part of you who roots for those less fortunate than yourself and cheer for the city who needs it the most.
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