The Cavs were finally able to close the chapter on their 2016 championship run when the NBA season opened Tuesday night inside Quicken Loans Arena. Before the game began a pregame ceremony took place in which the championship rings were handed out to the members of last year’s team that were present and the banner was raised to its’ home in the rafters at The Q.
Before the rings were handed out, a video was produced recapping The Finals from last season. This ceremony as a whole allowed the players and coaches to relive those thrilled moments from last June and reflect upon them.
“[I thought about] when I was skipping down the floor and I just didn’t know where I was going.” Head Coach Tyronn Lue told the media postgame.
Becoming a champion is something that can change your mindset. Tuesday solidified that for several Cavaliers. Having the ring is their own personal trophy to commemorate what they were able to accomplish as a team. Having the opportunity to hold a special ceremony to celebrate that victory one last time was icing on the cake.
“Everything it took to get to this point made it a happy ceremony tonight. It was great to reflect on everything that we have done. There was a lot of joy and happiness in this moment tonight,” Kevin Love said. “It was an unbelievable experience that is tough to put into words, it was special.”
Love also had his stop of Steph Curry prominently featured in the pre-ring ceremony video, along with the block LeBron James had on Warriors’ forward Andre Iguodala and the three-pointer Kyrie Irving knocked down to take the lead in Game 7.
“It’s great to be a part of those three plays but the most important block I’ve ever witnessed, and Kyrie’s play was an unbelievable play, and stopping a guy that was a unanimous MVP, and back-to-back MVP, it was a big play and I was happy to be a part of it,” Love said.
James echoed other members of the franchise with his thoughts on tonight.
“I’m fortunate, humbled, and blessed all at the same time just to be a part of a celebration like there was tonight. I work my tail off every day and I know where I come from. When I’m rewarded like that in front of these fans and my teammates and we can all share a moment like that it’s special. You don’t take nights like this for granted,” James said.
After 52 years of waiting, it’s safe to say Cleveland did anything but take this night for granted.
“It was a great feeling overall to be a part of this and to be a part of this organization. Tonight was a great night,” Lue said.
A great night indeed, one Cleveland surely won’t forget anytime soon.