The 2016 NBA Finals will last a lifetime in the minds of Cleveland Cavaliers fans, and that’s due in no small part to the efforts of LeBron James and Tyronn Lue.
ESPN’s Doris Burke was on the scene when the Cavs clinched the 2016 title over the Golden State Warriors, and she recently told a fascinating story about what went down in a crucial huddle down the stretch of Cleveland’s Game 7 victory.
According to Burke, Lue did everything in his power to get James to empty the tank.
“I remember being in the last huddle, and Tyronn Lue in Game 7 is just pleading for more from LeBron James, and I wanted to go, ‘How much do you expect LeBron James to give you, dude? He’s giving you everything,'” Burke recalled. “He’s like, ‘Come on, LeBron. Come on, LeBron.’ And I don’t remember what specifically he was asking for, but man, that was just so great.”
Whatever Lue said in that huddle, it paid off, as the Cavs locked in down the stretch of the game and secured their Game 7 victory.
After the final buzzer sounded, James spoke to Burke and delivered his iconic speech in which he dedicated the title to the city of Cleveland.
James, of course, was named MVP of that series after averaging 29.7 points, 11.3 rebounds and 8.9 assists per game. The championship was the third of his career at the time and arguably remains the most meaningful title of his career today.
Cleveland’s 2016 championship put a serious stain on Golden State’s dynasty. Although the butterfly effect makes it impossible to know how the NBA’s following seasons would have unfolded if the Warriors had won the 2016 NBA title, there’s certainly a chance that Golden State would have won several championships in a row if not for Cleveland’s run in 2016.
To some degree, Lue was thrown into the fire during the Cavs’ 2015-16 campaign. He took over for David Blatt during the season and had to figure things out on the fly, but that didn’t stop him from coaching the team to a title.
These days, Lue and James are both in Los Angeles, but they’re no longer on the same sideline. When next season arrives, Lue will look to coach the Los Angeles Clippers to their first title in franchise history, and James will look to win his second title since joining the Los Angeles Lakers.