Monday, June 20, 2016

The Cavs are NBA champs! Road to the championship: Meme me up edition

Wow! The Cleveland Cavaliers are the NBA champs.

I made this my Facebook profile picture just before Game 7
of the 2016 NBA Finals. All in, man, all in!
Selfie and meme by CARY ASHBY/CARY'S COMICS CRAZE
They pulled off the seeming impossible. What I called in the Cavs' "minuscule chances of winning the championship" in my preview of Game 6 has become reality.

Cleveland's defeat of Golden State 93-98 in Game 7 last night has quickly become known as the Comeback. It might even also be called the Miracle -- as in you can't spell "miracle" without "CLE."

Or better yet, sports historians and fans will call the Cavs' 2016 championship -- the first pro sports title for the city of Cleveland since the 1964 Browns -- both the Comeback and the Miracle. Because it was both.

Not only have the Cavs given Cleveland its first pro championship in 52 years, they did what no NBA team has done in the previous 32 years; the Cavaliers overcame a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals to win it all. From now on, they will always be the exception to the rule.

Taken Feb. 26, 2015 outside Quicken Loans Arena after the Cavaliers beat the Golden State Warriors 110-99
at the Q. And LeBron James jacked up the so-called Warriors for a season-high 42 points.
It was my first time seeing LeBron play in person -- bucket list, baby!
Photo by AARON DEES/Meme by CARY ASHBY/CARY'S COMICS CRAZE
Cleveland also is the first NBA team since the 1978 Washington Bullets to win Game 7 in the Finals on the road.

After an embarrassing loss in Game 1 this year, I wrote a post with bullet points of specific things the Cavaliers needed to do to beat Golden State. And after an even uglier Game 2, I asked if the Cavs had any fire in their belly and I delivered another rant on what they had to do to step up their game.  It was tough being "all in" with a team you knew could beat the Warriors when it looked like they would get swept.
I created this meme during the 2015 NBA Finals when it looked like
Cleveland had the momentum in the series. 
Regardless, this year's message is the same -- everyone -- fans and sports
analysts -- counted the Cavaliers as the underdog.
Meme by CARY ASHBY/CARY'S COMICS CRAZE

When the Cavs tied the Finals at 2-2, there were still the doubters even though the momentum shifted toward Cleveland. Fans and sports analysts still counted the Cavaliers as underdogs.

Even with the series tied at three games each -- and despite the momentum of the series clearly in the Cavs' favor and Golden State looking like anything but Warriors, the best Cleveland fans could ask for was wishful/hopeful optimism.

The storylines could go on and on.

I'll let the sports historians and professional writers tell such grand, Greek drama-esque stories as LeBron James delivering on his promise of delivering a championship -- the reason the King  returned to Cleveland, welcomed home with all sins forgiven like the prodigal son after four controversial years with the Miami Heat. ...

Me? I'm still processing that the Cavs are the NBA champs -- world champions who will defend their title next season. I can't even begin to imagine what lifetime Cleveland sports fans are feeling; if they're anything like me, we're still in a state of shock, feeling like it's unreal.

Meme by CARY ASHBY/CARY'S COMICS CRAZE (based on a T-shirt I bought at Goodwill several years ago!)
So like I said, I'll let the professionals write the 2015-2016 Cavs' grand, you-can't-believe-it-until-you've experienced-it storyline.

Me? I'll share my all-in road-to-the-championship story with one of the things I do best -- with memes. Hey Cavs, meme up! (Feel free to share them on social media; all I ask is you give Cary's Comics Craze credit and a shout-out.)

This selfie was taken at the Q before the March 4 game when the Cavs gave the Washington Wizards a 25-point beatdown.
Selfie and meme by CARY ASHBY/CARY'S COMICS CRAZE
I created this meme during the 2015 NBA Finals. But for Cleveland fans, this message is timeless!
Meme by CARY ASHBY/CARY'S COMICS CRAZE
Facebook took my great, hammin'-it-up selfie before the March 4 Cleveland-Washington game
and improved upon it with the All For One logo.
Selfie by CARY ASHBY/CARY'S COMICS CRAZE; Logo courtesy of Facebook
Seeing the Cavs in the final game of the four-game sweep at The Palace of Auburn Hills was another bucket-list moment.
Who knew watching my first professional playoff game would be during Cleveland's first-ever championship run?
Selfie and meme by CARY ASHBY/CARY'S COMICS CRAZE
In the immortal words of comic book legend Stan Lee: Nuff said!
Meme by CARY ASHBY/CARY'S COMICS CRAZE

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