The List: The Parade

The week has been amazing, and I likely won't be able to write about it with any context until a week or two has passed. Like many of you, I'm breathless, tired, and championship-drunk with your Cleveland Cavaliers.

My expectations for what it would be like seemed high. I felt like whatever I "thought" it would feel like, would far outweigh what I actually "would" feel like.

I was wrong.

It turns out what I thought I'd feel was selling it short.

The Cavs and Cleveland celebrated their first title in 52 years in a grand fashion, and much of it was by accident. The 1 1/2-ish hour parade turned into a melee, with literally 1.3 million people flooding the streets of downtown Cleveland. The City that I LOVE, was full of people from across the country, wanting to share in a moment that we know all too well, can be fleeting. While visions of multiple championships creep into the minutiae of the moment, I'm sure in 1964, there were similar feelings.

Cleveland, and the heartbeat of Cleveland sports, the fans, made their voices, and their feelings, and their joy known...and it was spectacular.

That 1 1/2 hours started 30 minutes late, because the lifeline of the parade was clogged with people, nonsensically standing directly in the parade route. It ended an hour-and-a-half late, because those veins were slowly nudged back by a group of Cleveland Mounted police. It created something so incredibly special, that honestly can only happen once.

The cars were swarmed by fans, but not in an unsafe way, at least for the players. The players reveled in it in different ways:

J.R. Smith spent much of his time on the roof of his truck, shirtless, and soaking everything in like a man truly grateful for something that 1 1/2 years ago, likely seemed impossible.

Kyrie Irving, whose speech at the rally soaked in a love for this city, and his teammates, that answered so many questions that folks had about the former first round pick prior to LeBron's arrival.

Tristan Thompson was busy with his own crew, finding his voice in the parade, to match his glue-in-the-crack performances on the court, that often go unheralded.

Mo "Gotti" Williams, who was as loud a Cleveland voice in 2011 after LeBron left, returned to grab that title that this team so richly deserved.

The two Arizona Wildcat alums, Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye were sharing everything together, counting their stars that everything aligned for them to be on this team.

Kevin Love, clutching his Broken Skull Title Belt, along with the WWE Title Belt that Triple H sent the team the night of their victory, was all about winning the title, and holding his titles. I'm not sure there's ever been a player so misconstrued in the history of the Cleveland organization. His 25-12 game has been slowly remodeled, and the fact that he seems to be doing whatever it takes should be enough for everyone.

And then there was LeBron, with his family and a Rolls Royce, taking it all in. He's a former champion, and in every shot, you saw a man (it still odd not saying kid anymore) who had been there before, who was then taken over by the sheer size of it all. He's been a champion, and had parades, but this was something more. This was a culmination of so many things for the team, for LeBron James, and for the city, and it all exploded before his very eyes.

You want to talk about a recruiting tool? If LeBron was ever playing with the idea of leaving Cleveland, how does that not send a message that for the King, the only court he ever needs is in NorthEast, OH, where nothing is given, and everything is earned.

No, it can't ever be the same again, can it?

Don't get me wrong, I think there are more parades in our future, but Cleveland will dial it in more, and the fans will dial it in less. While I can't believe I'm going to say this, if another team happens to win another title, the "We've been here before" attitude will start to seep in.

Of course, I was wrong before.

There were so many amazing moments in that parade, and while I didn't capture them all, today's list will attempt to showcase just a few.

Here's today's list (some of these pics are mine, and some I pulled off Twitter as it was happening, so just assume SOMEONE ELSE took the pictures)

1. The King, believing...

2. Kyrie...home...and joining the shirtless brigade

 3. J.R. basking in the shirtless love

4. Channing Frye and Richard "Lil Kev" Jefferson

5. Tristan, coming into his own

6. Mo Gotti

7.  Matthew Dellevadova, Timofey Mozgov and Iman Shumpert

8. Kevin Love, and those belts...

9.  The crowd...

10. LeBron

Will there be a better list than this? Nope...
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