How’s your hump day, C-Town? Are you lined up outside the Q yet? Considering most of you weren’t alive the last time Cleveland was a champion, tomorrow night is the biggest sports night of your lives.
Game 6, you’re at home, you’re healthy, you’re coming off the biggest win in franchise history, and you’ve got a chance to get a Game 7 in Oakland- where you just rolled the Warriors.
There’s so much on the line tomorrow, so much pressure, and so much to prove for Cleveland.
If the Cavs roll out in Game 6 and get their head kicked in… The emails just write themselves. It’s the entire country having a cheap laugh at the lowest-hanging fruit in the world: Cleveland falling on their faces again.
Get blown out in that game, and I get flooded with potshotters referencing The Drive, The Fumble, The Decision, and cracking horrible jokes about the flaming river and B.O… Same stuff I’ve gotten since I started in radio. Same darts that have been thrown at Cleveland since the 1960s.
But if the Cavs ball up tomorrow, if they get that game, if they get back on the team plane – Cleveland actually has a shot at shutting some mouths for the first time ever.
That’s why there’s so much pressure. And in a town that doesn’t exactly have a reputation of dealing with it well – they’ve never felt more.
Legacies are going to be sealed tomorrow night. Whatever happens in Game 6, we’re all going to remember it.
Kevin Love. Another aimless no-show in a loss tomorrow, and that’s how he’ll be remembered. Right or wrong. He’ll be the guy who never truly fit in, who was the max player who evaporated in the Finals. He may stay in Cleveland, he may leave Cleveland, but disappear again tomorrow and that’s how he’ll be remembered in Cleveland.
Same deal for J.R. Smith. For real- did you even remember that J.R. Smith was on this team and playing in this series? He doesn’t. He’s using this series to change his legacy from a guy who shot too much to a guy who didn’t even show up. He needs a big game.
And nobody needs one more than LeBron. I don’t care if he had 41 points last game or 81 points. Game 6 is the reason he came back to Cleveland. This is the night he left Miami for. He put the team together. He’s the best player. He’s the guy who left the Heat and told Lee Jenkins “What’s most important to me is bringing a trophy back to Northeast Ohio.”
If he is “the Chosen One” like he claims, then he can’t roll out in a Game 6 and get stomped in front of his own fans. The Cavs drafted him 13 years ago for moments like tomorrow night. A city’s savior doesn’t lose this game. The Chosen one takes over this game. He says in northeast Ohio, nothing is given, everything is earned. It’s time to earn a Game 7 and “take his talents” back to Oakland.
Biggest game in Cleveland history tomorrow night, and he’s never needed to strive for greatness more in his life.
This post brought to you by Jim Rome.