James said he has always wanted to face Bryant in the Finals. “It would have definitely been great. I think I wanted it, I think he wanted it. I didn’t do my part one year, we lost in Orlando in the conference finals, so I didn’t do my part to meet him there. And I’m not quite sure what happened in ‘07 with the Lakers, but I ended up facing San Antonio. It would definitely be great to go against him in the Finals, but it never happened, and I don’t know if it will happen or it won’t. He’s one of the greatest competitors that we’ve seen. He has five championships … his resume is … a lotta people would love to have that.”
LeBron added: “Obviously we all get older every year, but the caliber of player he is, he can put up 20 every night if he wanted to. He’s going to get healthy and he’s going to play the game he loves. When he gets back, he’s going to play at a high level. I been hearing people giving their stupid opinion on what he should do. He’s not going to sit. That’s not him. I’ve got much respect for him.”
My dad taught me at a young age, that when it comes to baseball, basketball, and especially football, the phrase “there’s always next year” is always on the tip of a true fan’s tongue. A Cleveland sports fan is typically disappointed, annoyed, and frustrated all at once. Despite that, though, we are hopeful, and we are faithful.
Tonight, all our hopes and dreams, the years of anger and close calls and crushed potential all came down to Game 7, and a hometown hero. Years of waiting, years of clinging to hope, years of “there’s always next year” finally came down to this year.
We made it. We earned it. We are finally champions.
And hey, even with all the joy and excitement that come with this long denied championship, true Cleveland fans are still saying one thing.