The Cleveland Cavaliers stand just eight victories away from capturing the first NBA title in their 45-year history. While it would provide a storybook finish for LeBron James as the local kid who redeemed himself in the eyes of Cavalier fans after unceremoniously leaving five years ago, it would do even more to boost the collective psyche of Cleveland in general.
That’s because even before the team’s arrival in 1970, the city had begun a decline that, with few brief periods, has continued into recent memory. In the team’s first year, the city had a population of approximately 750,000, but that number has effectively been cut in half due to a variety of factors.
From a sports perspective, the picture has also been bleak for the most part, with no major Cleveland sports team winning a league championship since the NFL Browns in 1964. Even the few successes along the way have been undercut with incredibly painful twists of the knife. Terms like “The Shot,” “The Decision,” “Red Right 88,” “The Drive,” “The Fumble,” “The Move” and Game 7 in 1997 might draw blank stares from the rest of the world, but a Cleveland sports fan can recite what they mean by heart.
So what exactly could an NBA title by the Cavaliers do for the city of Cleveland and the surrounding fan base? Below are a list of five things that will be the direct result of a Cavs championship:
1. End of a Dry Spell
It might finally eradicate the “woe is me” philosophy of fans who claim that they’ll die before they ever see a Cleveland team win a championship. As previously noted, the last title in the city was won 51 years ago, which means that even the youngest fans who were old enough to enjoy it are just years away from collecting their first Social Security check.
(Continue on next page!)