April 20, 2024

Hey, Cleveland… What a great day to be a fan…am I right? The miracle at the Oracle broke the curse and we are free to party like it’s 1964! It’s amazing to see the effort and commitment the players put into this championship run. Turns out the team had a little secret motivation that helped keep them together and all in through these playoffs.

Veteran guard/forward James Jones created a second Larry O’Brien trophy which traveled with the team throughout the playoffs. It was actually a golden puzzle in the shape of the trophy made up of sixteen different pieces, one for each game the team needed to win to achieve their championship goal.

Jones, who played few minutes for the Cavs, is an established NBA Champion with two rings of his own and is a valuable asset for his ability to be a locker room leader. Jones told the media, “Every guy was a piece. We assembled this team. So we had to assemble this puzzle.” This was an inspired idea for sure.

The puzzle was essentially hidden from everyone except for players, coaches and other staff. It stayed in a case and traveled with the team throughout the playoffs. After each win, a different player placed one more piece in the trophy puzzle. It sounds simplistic, but the only way the team would power through the playoffs and emerge victoriously was if they did it together. In a game of intangibles, do what you need to do to stay all in no matter what.

On a warm Sunday night, in Oakland, California, Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue picked up the final puzzle piece. In a locker room filled with cheers and flowing champagne, Lue placed the Ohio-shaped piece and completed the puzzle. Every individual piece had come together and formed the perfect symbol of excellence and effort. Thank you, James Jones and thank you, Cavaliers!

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