MASSIVE CROWD SWARMS CLEVELAND FOR CAVS' NBA TITLE PARADE
CLEVELAND (AP) -- Cheered by a sea of wine-and-gold dressed fans spilling off sidewalks and choking the streets, LeBron James and the Cavaliers are parading as NBA champions.
The title drought in Cleveland is over. The party - and a procession slowed to a crawl by a mass of humanity - is just getting started.
And James gave his hometown fans even more reason to celebrate Wednesday by telling reporters he intends to stay in Cleveland, skipping the drama of previous splashy announcements when he decided to go to Miami in 2010 then come back to the Cavaliers four years later.
Hundreds of thousands of fans, some arriving Tuesday night to camp out so they could get as close as possible, overwhelmed downtown Cleveland to celebrate with James, Kyrie Irving and their teammates. The Cavs made history by overcoming a 3-1 deficit to beat the Golden State Warriors in the Finals, ending the city's 52-year championship drought.
This was the parade Cleveland has waited to throw since 1964, when the beloved Browns owned the NFL. There were lean years - and so many close calls - in between before James, born in nearby Akron, made good on his promise to bring home a championship.
He delivered it and Cleveland, where sports suffering has been a way of life for generations, and passionate northeast Ohioans are savoring every moment.
Fans stood on rooftops, portable toilets and hung out of office building windows hoping to get a glimpse of James, who rode in a Rolls Royce convertible with his wife, Savannah, and their three children. Near the start of the route and just feet from where his iconic, 10-stories-tall banner hangs, James stood and posed with his arms outstretched just as he does on the giant mural - life imitating art, the photo op of a lifetime.