News for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

NBA Champion Cavaliers Parade Through Cleveland


Finally this hour, here's the sound of 1.3 million people joyously exhaling for the first time in 52 years.


UNIDENTIFIED CROWD: (Chanting) Let's go Cavs. Let's go Cavs. Let's go Cavs.

CORNISH: Thousands upon thousands upon thousands of happy Clevelanders came out to see the newly minted NBA champion Cavaliers on parade.


It's the city's first pro sports title since the Browns won the NFL championship game back in 1964. And, yes, that's the NFL championship game. The Super Bowl didn't even exist at the time.

CORNISH: 1964 is also when Francine Goldberg was born. The Cleveland native was among the throng today, and she was ecstatic.

FRANCINE GOLDBERG: You know, we're a city full of grit and determination and to see all of these people from all of these diverse backgrounds from really all over the city, all over Northeast Ohio and maybe all over the country and to see this coming together in celebration of the Cavs and of this championship, you got to love it. And the return of LeBron James - there's nothing better.

MCEVERS: Marylin Anderson of Chagrin Falls is a Cavs season ticket-holder, and she says she has never seen anything like it.

MARYLIN ANDERSON: On the way here, I felt like we were going to, you know, like the Lady of Fatima in Portugal or, you know - it was just a pilgrimage. It was crazy.

CORNISH: That craziness dragged out the festivities an extra couple of hours. The players on their floats made slow progress because fans kept clogging the route. Eventually, the procession complete with the Ohio State Marching Band made its way to the Cleveland Convention Center for a rally.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You're in Cleveland.


QUEEN: (Singing) And we ain't going to lose.

MCEVERS: Sure, the fans were happy to see game seven hero point guard Kyrie Irving.


KYRIE IRVING: So from the bottom of heart, man, this was a very, very special year. I wouldn't trade it for the world, man. I love all you all, man - real talk.


MCEVERS: But really we all know they were there for finals MVP and unofficial high ruler of Ohio, LeBron James - spread the love to his coaches his teammates and everyone.


LEBRON JAMES: I'm nothing without this group behind me, man. I'm nothing without the coach's staff. I'm nothing without the city. You guys are unbelievable, and these guys told me I got to turn around. So I'm nothing without you all. I'm nothing without you all. I love all of you all. I love all of you all, and let's get ready for next year.

CORNISH: So the city that could never win has finally won. Now Mike Peters who drove two days from North Carolina wants even more.

MIKE PETERS: I'll say I'll be back for the Indians World Series.

CORNISH: OK. An NBA title for the Cavaliers is one thing, but a World Series victory for the Indians? That's crazy talk.

(SOUNDBITE OF MIKLOS ROZSA SONG, "CIRCUS PARADE") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.