I’m going to keep writing it, saying and shouting it until it sinks in: Opponents are not enemies! Without them, there would be no game.
The Cleveland Cavaliers defied the odds Sunday night and became the first team to come back from a 3-1 deficit and win the NBA Championship. LeBron cried like a baby as the emotion of fulfilling a promise to his hometown rushed to the surface.
As the throngs of teammates, reporters and VIPs rushed LeBron in the aftermath, one particular hug came from a person very few expected. Golden State forward Draymond Green approached James and gave more than an obligatory hug as the Cavaliers celebrated a championship win on Green’s home floor.
These two guys battled throughout the series. Green was suspended for game 5 after a flagrant foul on James. Green committed the last foul on James in Game 7; sending him to the floor in a fall that had all of Cavs Nation holding its breath as James rolled around in serious pain.
All of that ended with the above embrace. There was James who gave everything he had to bring Cleveland a title. There was Green who gave everything he had to keep the title in Oakland. Both men respect each other, the game and the effort.