Welcome to our Decade of Basketball series, reminiscing about the greatest moments in the sport in the 2010s. Through video, we will relive the times from the last 10 years that bring goosebumps to the arms of those who witnessed them. Let’s celebrate the last decade of basketball and look forward to the next one we’re about to experience.
2016 NBA Finals Game 7
How many storylines can you fit into one series, let alone one game? The 2016 NBA Finals had it all.
The Cleveland Cavaliers were seeking their first NBA championship in their third-ever trip to the NBA Finals. The city of Cleveland hadn’t won a title in any major sport in 52 years. LeBron James, a transcendent player and local to Northeast Ohio, had returned to deliver an end to the sports suffering after getting the Cavs to their other two NBA Finals showings in 2007 and 2015. Not to mention, 2016 extended his NBA Finals streak to six.
The Golden State Warriors had back-to-back championships on their minds. They looked to be the next-great team in the NBA after finishing 73-9 in the regular season, setting an NBA record for the best record over an 82-game schedule, and another title would have sealed it. The Warriors completed a comeback in the Western Conference Finals to get to the ultimate series, winning three in a row to overcome a 3-1 deficit to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The rematch from the year before was as highly-anticipated as ever, and as the Warriors rose to a 3-1 lead over the Cavs through four games, it seemed like the repeat was on. But Golden State still needed one more elusive victory before it could call itself champions, and it wouldn’t come.
First, Cleveland won Game 5 on the road, 112-97. Then, it pulled one out in Game 6 at home, 115-101. It set the stage for perhaps the most hyped game in the decade of basketball, and it absolutely delivered in every way.
Dramatic doesn’t begin to describe Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals. Video is the best way to display such emotional highs and lows, and I won’t sully one of the best games ever played with my words. Just watch and enjoy some of the best displays of hoops you saw in the last decade of basketball and beyond.