By: Jake Mackey
Game seven of the NBA Finals will more than likely be the most hyped sporting event of 2016, and for good reason. The storylines are endless. The best regular season team of all-time is trying to cap off their perfect season at home where they have been so successful all season, against Lebron James and the Cavaliers for the second year in a row.
You have the two best players in the world squaring off in one game for the games most elusive trophy. Curry trying to put his team in the pantheon of some of the great team’s to win back-to-back titles, and Lebron trying to pull off an improbable comeback and give his hometown that he triumphantly returned to their first professional sports championship since 1964.
A brief history of the last 50-years in Cleveland sports
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While fans of both teams will be walking on eggshells all day and frantically walking back and forth, outsiders like myself have a chance to dissect the storylines and comparisons that this game and series have created. One of the main ones that stands out as a Boston sports fan is the comparison between this year’s Cavaliers team and the 2004 Boston Red Sox.
While it may be tough for Boston sports fans to admit, yes there can be another comeback that is as improbable as the Sox comeback in the 2004 ALCS. Would this Cavs team coming back against the Warriors after down 3-1 would be just as big?
The 2004 Yankees were a 100 win team, and yes their lineup was stacked with the likes of Alex Rodrigues, Derek Jeter, Gary Sheffield, Hideki Matsui, and Bernie Williams. However, the Red Sox, while they were thought of as the lovable losers, had the best roster the franchise has ever had with the three-four combination of David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez, along with a stellar rotation of Curt Schilling in his prime with Pedro Martinez. While it may not have seemed like it at the time down 3-0 and after losing 19-8 in game three, the Red Sox had more than enough talent to pull off a comeback.
If the Cavs were to pull off this miracle comeback (that is a monumental if) the most impressive part of it all would be the fact that when Cleveland was down 3-1, they were facing a elimination game five at Oracle Arena where Golden State was 39-2 this season. Lebron proceeded to put a damper on the Warriors celebration by dropping 40 points in games five and six pushing the series to a seventh game.
I am certainly no Lebron fan, but if he were to pull off this comeback it would be a more impressive individual accomplishment than we have ever seen from an NBA player. yEs he has had great help from Kyrie Irving, but that is it. Jordan had hall of famers all around him, and so did Larry Bird. Lebron is putting this team on his shoulders and is on the verge of brining a championship back to his hometown that for so long has been laugh at for being perennial losers in sports and life in general. Those are the stories that make sports so great.
Yes, the Red Sox comeback in 2004 ultimately seems like a more impressive one because it was all team, and this is more about Lebron. Nevertheless, if Cleveland comes out on top in game seven it will go down as the second best comeback in sports history.