The party's just starting for Cavaliers' triumph
Updated: 2016-06-22 11:48
Cleveland Cavaliers Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, Kevin Love, JR Smith and Tristan Thompson arrive home to a welcome party in Cleveland, Ohio, US, June 20, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]
LeBron James stepped off the plane and into a blizzard of red-and-gold confetti before hoisting the Larry O'Brien trophy.
It gleamed in the bright summer sun, a symbol of hope and history.
As promised, James brought home an NBA championship, the one that was on hold for 52 years.
"This is for you, Cleveland," James shouted into a microphone.
The superstar, born and raised in nearby Akron, powered the Cavaliers to an unprecedented rebound in the NBA Finals, bringing them back from a 3-1 deficit to stun the Golden State Warriors.
On Monday, more than 10,000 fans gathered at Hopkins International Airport to welcome James and his teammates, who made a pit stop in Las Vegas for late-night partying before completing this unlikeliest June journey.
The Cavs not only defied the odds to make history, but they ended Cleveland's pro sports title drought stretching to 1964, when the Browns won the National Football League title.
It's been a surreal ride for Cleve-landers and shortly after showing fans the trophy from afar, James, the four-time league MVP, paraded it around the perimeter of the parking lot so fans behind the chain-link fences could see they weren't dreaming.