This epic homecoming tale recounts one of the greatest sports stories in Cleveland history — how LeBron James and the Cavaliers took fans on a roller coaster ride from despair to hope and, finally, to glory as the 2016 NBA champions.
Fans felt gut-punched in 2010 when local hero and MVP LeBron James announced he was leaving the Cavaliers and Northeast Ohio for Miami. The Cavs nose-dived in the standings and struggled to recover.
Then, in June 2014, LeBron announced he was coming home. And he had a mission: Lead the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals and give Cleveland its first championship in 52 years.
But would LeBron’s return be enough to restore his reputation, revive the franchise, and reward long-suffering Cleveland fans?
Award-winning sportswriter Terry Pluto tells how it all happened.
How LeBron won back fans with a heartfelt message — and savvy PR . . .
How the Cavs’ front office crafted a championship-caliber team with a big three of James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love and a bench stocked not only with talent but character and chemistry . . .
How LeBron’s added experience from four seasons and two titles in Miami prepared him for this second chance in Cleveland . . .
How the Cavaliers reached the 2016 NBA Finals to face a Golden State Warriors team, led by MVP Stephen Curry, that had just set an NBA record for wins and had vanquished the Cavs in the Finals the previous season . . .
How LeBron and the Cavs, down a historically hopeless three games to one, sparked an unprecedented come-from-behind surge (symbolized by LeBron’s superhuman block in Game 7) to stun Golden State and bring home the NBA Championship . . .
And how the ecstatic fans joined the team in a joyful celebration that brought more than a million people together in downtown Cleveland.
Pluto tells it all with insightful analysis, extensive front-office details, and a deep empathy for the fans.