Cavs Celebrate NBA Title With a Massive Parade

by June 23, 2016
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The world champion Cavaliers, having broken a 52-year championship drought, were feted by their fans Wednesday in downtown Cleveland with a parade that featured thousands and thousands of deliriously-happy people.

Browns legend Jim Brown, who had delivered the city its last title all the way back in 1964, symbolically handed the Larry O’Brien trophy to LeBron James.

James confirmed his plan to help the Cavs defend their championship next season.

Per the AP:

“It still hasn’t hit me that this has happened,” said James, who delivered on his promise to bring a championship to his home state with a magnificent playoff performance. He said he’ll be back with the Cavs next season. “It’s so surreal. For some crazy reason, I feel like I’m gonna wake up and it’s going to be Game 4 again.”

 

The city’s first championship parade since the Indians won the World Series in 1948 will long be remembered for a crowd that halted the procession, forcing police to use bicycles and a horseback unit to create enough space for cars, bands and floats to pass. The swarm spilled off the sidewalks, people packed so tightly that fans could reach into the vehicles and high-five their heroes. […] Cleveland police did not have an immediate estimate on the crowd’s size, but the team and officials at the rally said more than 1 million people attended. Regardless, fans packed in 50 deep in spots along the 2-mile parade route, and snarled traffic badly enough to delay some outgoing flights at Cleveland’s airport because crews couldn’t make it to their planes.

 

Once he reached the stage and rally, James spent nearly 20 minutes thanking each of his teammates during a sometimes profane speech. He gave his fans even more reason to celebrate by telling reporters he intends to stay in Cleveland and go for another title next season. James is expected to opt out of his contract and become a free agent soon to take advantage of a new TV deal that will push maximum NBA salaries higher. […] “I’m nothing without this city. I’m nothing with you all,” he said. “Let’s get ready for next year.”