Video: Kyrie Irving reflects on the ‘adversity’ that made the 2016 Cavs title team ‘more special’

2 Min Read

The Cleveland Cavaliers won their first and only championship back in the 2015-16 season thanks in large part to their stars at the time, including LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.

Irving recently reminisced on that incredible title run.

“We just had a good group,” said Irving. “And that run was special because we had dealt with so much adversity in the regular season, internal stuff that we had to get right as teammates, and then going into the playoffs, we were like, ‘Man, we can deal with anything. We gonna sweep through a lot of these teams.’ But looking back on it, I think it just was more special because of the way we did it and the circumstance and situation that we were faced with.”

Going into the 2015-16 campaign, the Cavs were coming off an NBA Finals appearance in which they’d lost to the Golden State Warriors.

Ready to put that season behind them, the Cavs started the 2015-16 season strong. But in an interesting turn of events, they fired head coach David Blatt while holding the best record in the Eastern Conference in the middle of the season.

Cleveland promoted assistant coach Tyronn Lue to the head coaching position. He then helped lead the Cavs to the No. 1 seed in the conference. The team swept the Detroit Pistons and Atlanta Hawks in the first two rounds in the postseason before defeating the Toronto Raptors 4-2 in the Eastern Conference Finals.

The Cavs earned a rematch with the Warriors, who had posted a league-best 73-9 record in the regular season. The Cavs faced a 3-1 series deficit before storming back to become the first team ever in an NBA Finals series to recover from a 3-1 hole and eventually win.

Aside from the title being the first in franchise history, it also marked the first time since 1964 that a major professional sports team from Cleveland won a championship.

Share This Article
Orel is a freelance writer who is passionate about the NBA. He has followed the league since the late '90s and found increased interest in it in 2003 – when an 18-year-old prodigy from Akron, Ohio took the league by storm.