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LeBron James did it for Cleveland

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Good morning. We have that -- just that -- in Monday's NBA newsletter.

Good morning. That really happened. Let's basketball.

BELIEVE: The Cleveland Cavaliers are NBA champions, storming down from a 3-1 series deficit to win the tightest Game 7 possible on the road against the Warriors. LeBron is your obvious Finals MVP (a triple-double in Game 7? sure!) but Kyrie Irving hit the biggest shot and Kevin Love availed himself well and J.R. Smith and Richard Jefferson and ... man. What a finish.

Paul Flannery's epic recap implores you to believe in LeBron.

Rodger Sherman wrote about the mistake of doubting LeBron.

I wrote about this validating every bump in the road the Cavaliers have experienced since LeBron returned. He's worth it. He's sooo worth it.

After the game, after holding the trophy, LeBron yelled "Cleveland, this is for you!" They heard you, man.

Kevin Love went full Stone Cold Steve Austin.

J.R. Smith's tearful press conference was a beautiful ode to his family.

The celebratory Nike ad was everything.

LeBron had three blocks in each of the four final games of the finals, and his last one was the most important and most spectacular: A chase-down block on Andre Iguodala in the waning moments.

The Obamas, returning from a brief vacation, stayed on Air Force One to watch the final minutes.

Michael Lee on the Warriors' wrong kind of history.


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Chris Mannix asks if LeBron is best of all time.

Zach Lowe on how the Cavaliers can get even better.

Draymond Green was not satisfied with his brilliant Game 7.

Rob Mahoney on the Cavaliers doing the unthinkable.

This Brian Windhorst story on the Cavs' amazing replica trophy puzzle is great.

That wasn't tension so thick you could cut it with a knife. That wasn't tension that required a jackhammer. Both teams felt it -- they went a combined 1-for-17 once the Warriors tied the game at 89 with more than four minutes left. The only points scored after that: Kyrie's unforgettable three and LeBron's clinching free throw. We all felt it in the arena, at the bar, in our living room, on the plane or the bus, in the middle of downtown Cleveland. That's the kind of tension we live for, the moments etched into our souls. The moments that make being a sports fan, the moments that make caring so much so worth it.

We'll have months to look back and look ahead. For now, though, revel in that feeling Game 7 brought, win or lose, and hope this sport brings it again next year. Basketball forever.

See you next time.


Get news, links and Ziller's #hottakes in your inbox every weekday morning.

Watch: LeBron James' postgame interview