Cleveland’s Year of Professional Sports
The year 2016 was an unprecedented year for Cleveland sports; the Cavaliers are NBA Champions and the Indians are American League Champions.
After a disappointing finish to the 2016 NBA season, LeBron James and the rest of the Cavaliers were determined to bring a title home. Faced with a historic juggernaut, in the form of the Golden State Warriors and unanimous MVP Steph Curry, the Cavs did not have an easy path to the title.
In fact, according to a USA Today article titled “Betting odds for the 2016 NBA Finals” published on June 2, 2016, the Warriors had 1:2 odds to win the finals, or about a two-thirds chance to win. But, that would not deter the Cavaliers, nor would falling behind three games to one, a deficit that nba.com reports no team had ever recovered from.
Thanks in part to a Herculean effort by James, clutch shooting by Kyrie Irving and a critical defensive stand by Kevin Love, the Cavaliers defeated the Warriors in seven games, bringing Cleveland its first title in 52 years, just 35 days after ESPN aired Believeland, a documentary chronicling the futility and failures of Cleveland sports, past and present.
But the city was not done winning just yet. Perhaps prompted by their city mates’ success, the Indians went on a 14 game win streak after the title, the longest in franchise history, according to an October 26 Sports Illustrated article titled “Indians, Cavaliers creating a winning culture in the city of Cleveland”.
It seemed as if any hope of winning another championship was dashed after star pitchers Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar were injured toward the end of the regular season, but the Indians showed their resiliency, defeating both the favored Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays in three and five games respectively, according to an October 21 USA Today article titled “Indians could have started Salazar back for World Series”.
Facing a heavily favored Chicago Cubs team, the Indians battled to a 3-1 lead, but could not finish off the Cubs. In an exhilarating game seven, the Indians were defeated 8-7 in 10 innings.
Even though the Indians and Cavaliers had different ends to their seasons, they have one thing in common: both are primed for another championship run.