Sunday was a turning point in my life as a wrestling fan. I purposefully missed watching a major WWE PPV in lieu of watching Game 7 of the NBA Finals that pitted the Golden State Warriors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers.
Not only was it the best game of their series, but it was an historic occasion as the Cavs became the first team in NBA Finals history to come back from a 3-1 deficit to win the championship. Even more gratifying is that it was the first major sports championship the city of Cleveland has won in 52 years.
A year or so ago I never would’ve chosen basketball, or any other sport for that matter, over professional wrestling. But it just goes to show how much my wrestling fandom has changed.
These days, watching WWE’s weekly flagship, Monday Night Raw, has become a chore. Keep in mind that this is coming from a guy who religiously watched Raw from its inception in 1993 up until 2013 (ironically my viewing started falling off after I got married in 2014). But aside from choosing my newfound love of basketball over my lifelong love of WWE, last night’s game taught me a valuable lesson about perseverance.
Although LeBron James is widely regarded as one of the greatest NBA players of all-time, his team entered the series as something of an underdog.
After all, they were competing against a Warriors team captained by the 2x league MVP Stephen Curry, who led his team to an NBA regular season record of 73-9.
Their series was a rematch of the 2015 Finals where the Warriors beat the Cavs 4-2. The biggest difference between this year and last year is that the Cavs starting lineup was much healthier. Two of their key players, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, missed much of last year’s Finals’ due to injury.
Following an historic regular season, the Warriors tore through the playoffs, even coming back from a 3-1 deficit to defeat Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference finals.
The Cavs had a relatively easier route through the Eastern Conference Finals before encountering the Warriors.
After being down 3-1, it could’ve been easy for them to mentally throw in the towel. A pair of incredible performances in Games 5 and 6 forced a conclusive Game 7. Against all odds, the Cavs prevailed on the Warriors’ home turf at the Oracle Arena. This was even the more spectacular since the Warriors rarely lose at home.
The Cavs would not be denied their moment. Not only did they win the championship, but they restored hope to the entire city of Cleveland.Their win in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds should be a testament for us all to persevere through whatever obstacles come our way.
So although I was desperately pulling for the Warriors to come out on top, I must give credit to the Cavs. They earned my respect and then some.