July 11, 2014:
"I'm Coming Home:" the article posted to SI.com, courtesy of Sports Illustrated writer Lee Jenkins, were the words of LeBron James: Northeast Ohio's Hero turned Villian turned Prodigal Son.
After winning a pair of titles in South Beach with his cast of characters, LeBron James vowed to bring the Larry O'Brien Trophy to Cleveland... To Akron... To Northeast Ohio...
June 19, 2016:
The final seconds had ticked off of the Clock in Oakland, California. Cavs 93, Warriors 89... Tears streamed down the cheeks of the two-time champion, four-time MVP, Kid from Akron...
Meanwhile, more than twenty-four hundred miles away, Cleveland, Ohio was swarmed with fans sharing the same tears, hugging perfect strangers, dancing on police cars while officers watched in shared jubilation.
He did it; he kept his promise. LeBron had returned to Cleveland and brought the title with him.
(Photo Credit: Justina Bucceri, Rubber City Radio Group)
June 8, 2018:
With still more than four minutes remaining on the game clock in Game 4 of the 2018 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena, LeBron James walked off the court wearing number 23 for the Cleveland Cavaliers. While giving congratulations to members of the Golden State Warriors, who would go on to win Game 4, completing the sweep of the Cavs in the Finals, The Kid from Akron was met with a standing ovation and chants of "MVP! MVP! MVP!" from 20,562 fans, most, if not all of whom were on their feet.
Respect for the man who had put an entire team..., an entire city on his shoulders, and carried them all back to the NBA Finals for the fourth year in a row. A little help from his friends, sure; but "a little" doesn't begin to stress the perceived solo mission LeBron embarked on throughout the 2018 NBA Playoffs.
July 1, 2018:
The daylight was dwindling, but the heat still sweltered. With most of the region wrapping up the day, the news broke, just about 8 p.m.:
Just hours into the NBA Free Agency, LeBron's decision was made, speculation could rest, and a fanbase could be content with a superstar's decision and begin to move forward (or not).
It didn't take Cavs owner Dan Gilbert too long, much like after LeBron's first exit, to respond to LBJ's decision, but the difference in those two responses was night and day:
"We will always remember the evening of June 19, 2016 as the Cleveland Cavaliers, led by LeBron James, ended the 52-year drought delivering the long elusive championship that many thought they would never see... A championship that united generations of Clevelanders, both living and passed.
Virtually anyone with roots in Northeast Ohio paused and felt the memories of the past and the utter joy that the burden of the so-called 'curse' was finally a thing of the past. Cleveland, Ohio was the home of a championship team for the first time since 1964. Words do not express the meaning and the feeling this accomplishment brought to the people of Northeast Ohio.
None of this would have happened if LeBron James did not agree to come back home and lead the Cavaliers to the promised land. The entire Cavaliers franchise thanks LeBron for that precious moment and for all of the excitement he delivered as he led our team to four straight NBA Finals appearances.
LeBron is a family man, first. We wish his kids, his wife Savannah, his mother Gloria, and LeBron himself nothing but the best in the years and decades ahead. LeBron's connection to Akron, Cleveland and all of Northeast Ohio will most certainly endure as his commitment to the region and his support of many important causes has been impactful to so many kids and families.
LeBron, you came home and delivered the ultimate goal. Nothing but appreciation and gratitude for everything you put into every moment you spent in a Cavaliers uniform. We look forward to the retirement of the famous #23 Cavs jersey one day down the line..."
July 2, 2018:
A deep breath.
A moment of reflection.
A realization that most of us in Northeast Ohio do not wake up with the presumption that an athlete or a sport is going to dictate how our day goes. For so many of us, there are our families, our friends, our pets (Hi Amos!), our careers, our hearts and our souls, our love, and the list goes on and on.
Taking solace in that, I tip my cap to you LeBron. I thank you for giving Northeast Ohio that moment on the night of June 19, 2016, when we cried tears of joy, alongside family, friends, and fellow fans; when you swelled a community with pride, love, and unrelenting joy.
FS1 NBA reporter Chris Broussard spoke with Sam and Brad ahead of Game #3 of the NBA Finals here at Quicken Loans Arena.
Golden State holds a 2-0 lead over the Cavaliers in this series.
NBA writer and insider Sam Amico joined Sam Bourquin and Brad Russell to talk about the NBA Finals Game #1 tonight between the Cavaliers and Warriors.
Amico says the Cavaliers have a chance because you can never know what can happen in a seven-game series.
They're back at it again for the fourth consecutive year.
The Golden State Warriors will be facing off against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals.
Tom Withers of the Associated Press talked about the perspective from the home side of things, as LeBron and the guys defeated Boston in Game #7 Sunday with Sam and Brad.
On the other side, Ryan Leong of the Associated Press caught up with the guys to talk about things from the Warriors perspective. They defeated Houston in 7games on Monday.
NBA TV Host Matt Winer joined the Sam and Brad Show live from Quicken Loans Arena on Monday, as the Cavs prepare to take on Golden State.
Former NBA veteran Eddie Johnson and Sirius XM Radio Host Eddie Johnson joined Sam and Brad Friday ahead of Game #4 between the Cavaliers and Warriors.
Greg Papa from 95.7 The Game in the Bay Area joined Sam and Brad live on site at the Q ahead of the Cavaliers and Warriors in Game #4 of the NBA Finals.
It's finally here. The NBA Finals starts tonight at 9pm and the Cavaliers and Warriors are ready to hit the hardwood for the Larry O'Brien trophy.
"Mr. Cavalier" Austin Carr from Fox Sports Ohio joined the Sam and Brad Show Thursday to break down the series and Game 1 tonight.
Catch the game here on 1590 WAKR with pregame beginning at 8:30pm.
For the full interview, click here.
Kelli Johnson from NBC Sports Bay Area joined the Sam and Brad Show to talk about the latest edition of the Cavaliers and Warriors squaring off in the NBA Finals.
For the full interview, click here.
Former NBA veteran, Cleveland Cavalier, and Golden State Warrior Antawn Jamison spoke with Sam and Brad ahead of the NBA Finals, discussing how LeBron James has grown as a player heading into his seventh straight NBA Finals.
Sam and Brad offered their take on the Cavaliers' loss at the hands of Golden State last night in the Oracle, saying they needed to show more fight against their rivals.
Cavs' beat writer from Cleveland Scene Chris Parker also joined in on the conversation as well, saying the game meant more to the Warriors than it did to the Cavaliers.
Sports columnist Brian Dulik from the Medina Gazette spoke with Sam and Brad ahead of the Warriors and Cavaliers tonight.
For the full interview, click here.
Campy Russell from FoxSports Ohio joined Sam and Brad to break down the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors as well as discuss the budding rivalry between the two teams.
The game can be heard at 8pm on 1590 WAKR. The full interview can be heard here.
After much speculation and courting from other NBA teams, Kevin Durant has decided to join the Golden State Warriors after spending the first nine seasons of his career with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Vern Glenn from KPIX-Channel 5 in the Bay Area spoke with Sam Bourquin Tuesday to talk about the move and how it makes the already-formidable Warriors even better.
"It's all everyone's talking about out here," Glenn said. "I thought he was going to stay with OKC, but at the end of the day, he wants a chance to win a championship.'
Durant announced his decision via the Players' Tribune on July 4. The 4-time scoring champion and the Thunder lost to the Warriors in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals after racing out to a 3-1 lead before Golden State took control.
For the full interview with Vern, click here.
One more game here at the Q tonight, and the question remains: Can the Cavaliers keep their title hopes alive and force a Game 7?
Chris Parker from Cleveland Scene joined the Average Sports Show live from Quicken Loans Arena to break down Game 6 and talk about tonight's matchups.
Aside from the usual suspects LeBron James and Kyrie Irving providing their usual solid play, Chris is looking for Iman Shumpert to provide a spark both offensively and defensively.
The Cavaliers strong showing in Oakland during Game 5 of the NBA Finals has many fans in Northeast Ohio and beyond very optimistic about their chances as the series shifts back to Cleveland.
Former Cleveland Cavalier coach and NBA Hall of Famer Lenny Wilkens joined the Sam Bourquin Show to talk about last night's game, especially the fantastic play of point guard Kyrie Irving and forward LeBron James.
"I thought they played really well," Lenny said. "I thought Kyrie Irving played outstanding."
The two combined for 82 points in the 112-97 win. Game 6 is back at the Q on Thursday night at 9 p.m. For the full interview with Sammy B and Coach Wilkens click right here.
The Cavaliers will be going up against the Draymond Green-less Golden State Warriors tonight, and many think the Dubs will get it wrapped up tonight, but there is a sliver of hope in Northeast Ohio.
Rick Noland from the Medina Gazette joined the Sam Bourquin Show Monday to talk about what it will take for the Cavs to win tonight in Oakland.
"LeBron has to be a dominant LeBron from beginning to end," Rick said. "A lot of people thought this series was over before the Draymond news."
Vern Glenn from KPIX in the Bay Area had his own theories about the Draymond Green suspension and how the league handled it.
As the Cavaliers get ready for Game 3 tonight at the Q, one former Cavalier and Golden State Warrior talked about what adjustments the Wine and Gold need to make in order to pick up the win.
Antawn Jamison joined the Sam Bourquin Show Wednesday ahead of tonight's matchup.
With Kevin Love being out for tonight's game due to a concussion, Jamison says adding center Timofey Mozgov will give the Cavs the rim protector they need, despite a lack of playing time over the last couple of months.
There is no word on Love's availability for Friday's Game 4 at the Q. Tip time is at 9 p.m. on 1590 WAKR.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are down 0-2 heading into Game 3 at Quicken Loans Arena, and the Wine and Gold need an infusion of renewed toughness when they take on the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday.
Hakem Dermish from News Channel 5 Sports joined the Sam Bourquin Show to talk about the Cavs and what they need to do to get things going in the NBA Finals.
"They're (the Cavaliers) a better basketball team, they just have to figure out a way against this team," Dermish said.
The Cavs will try and get it right against Golden State Wednesday night at the Q at 9 p.m. on 1590 WAKR.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are going back to the drawing board after Thursday night's loss to the the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the NBA Finals 104-89.
Former 10-year European league veteran and current WEWS-Channel 5 basketball analyst Chet Mason joined the Sam Bourquin Show on a Friday afternoon to talk about the Wine and Gold and what they need to do to turn it around.
Mason said the Cavs missed a lot of easy shots that they're used to making.
"That's tough to miss 28 chip shots like that, especially on that stage," Chet said. "You're not going to get chance after chance like that."
Mason also thought that there was two big stories from last night, the Cavaliers lack of bench scoring as well as their defense against the backcourt tandem of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.
"That's a testament to Coach (Tyronn) Lue and the coaching staff," he said.
In addition to his work with Channel 5, Mason was a four-year starter at Miami University in Ohio, and is the current coach of the Brush Arcs boys' basketball team.
It's finally here. The rematch is set as LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers take on the Golden State Warriors, led by Stephen Curry.
Terry Pluto from Cleveland.com joined the Sam Bourquin Show to talk about the game and weigh in on what the Wine and Gold is looking to do in the series in order to capture an NBA title.
"I talked to Steve Kerr yesterday and he told me these Cavaliers are a completely different team than last year," Pluto said. He also it was the coaching change from David Blatt to Tyronn Lue, and the contrast in coaching styles there.
Over in the Bay Area, Vern Glenn from KPIX out west, says that excitement in Dub Nation is at a fever pitch and the vibe from the Warriors team is focused and determined.
"They (Golden State) are acutely aware that the Cavaliers are at full strength," Glenn said.
The Wine and Gold will be squaring off against NBA Champion Golden State in Oakland for Christmas Day, and the Cavaliers will have a little extra motivation to go against the team that defeated them in the NBA Finals last June.
Greg Swartz from the Bleacher Report joined the Sam Bourquin Show to talk about the contest.
He thinks LeBron will have a little extra juice himself for the Warriors, given their history and how they fought hard against each other in the Finals.
"You're not going to forget that (as a player), especially when you take winning so seriously as LeBron does," Swartz says.
"These guys were celebrating on your home floor, spraying champagne bottles just down the hall from you."
Aside from the Christmas Day game, one of the key elements for the Cavs is the depth at point guard with Kyrie Irving, Matthew Dellavedova, and Mo Williams.
"He (Dellavedova) has been that good, he's earned it, and he's been more agressive," Swartz says.
As the presents are being unwrapped and the family gathers for the Christmas holiday, there will be a real gift for basketball fans on Friday.
One of the five Christmas Day matchups will feature a rematch of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Vern Glenn from KIPX-TV in the Bay Area joined Brad Russell in the Average Sports Show to talk about the game and what LeBron James and Stephen Curry will bring to the court at the Oracle Arena.
Glenn says he most looks forward to the matchup between the point guards, Kyrie Irving and Steph Curry. Glenn says he's more anxious to see how Kyrie's knee holds up going against one of the league's premier players.