Cleveland Cavaliers parade: LeBron James and teammates celebrate franchise's first NBA title

The championship parade begins at 11am

Justin Carissimo
Cleveland, Ohio
Wednesday 22 June 2016 12:27 BST
(Jason Miller/Getty )

The city of Cleveland is throwing the biggest party its sports fans have ever seen on Wednesday to celebrate the Cavaliers' first NBA championship in franchise history.

After defeating the Golden State Warriors 93-89 in the NBA Finals, the Cavaliers have ended the city's 52 year drought of claiming a professional sports title.

The city, which has seen its population decrease with one of the worst poverty ratings in the country, had experienced major salt in its wounds during a monumental decline following the relocation of tax-based businesses in the area.

Now, successfully fulfilling the prodigal son trope, Akron native LeBron James and his band of teammates have helped him keep his biggest promise to fans—bringing the NBA's Larry O'Bryan Championship Trophy to northeast Ohio.

"Just knowing what our city has been through, northeast Ohio has been through, as far as our sports and everything for the last 50-plus years," James said on Saturday. "You could look back to the Earnest Byner fumble, Elway going 99 yards, to Jose Mesa not being able to close out in the bottom of the ninth to the Cavs went to The Finals—I was on that team—in 2007, us getting swept, and then last year us losing 4-2, and so many more stories."

"And our fans, they ride or die, no matter what's been going on, no matter the Browns, the Indians, the Cavs and so on, and all other sports teams," James continued. "They continue to support us. And for us to be able to end this, end this drought, our fans deserve it."

The city of Cleveland will celebrate the Cavaliers NBA Championship on Wednesday with a parade and rally at 11am EST. Crowds showed up early with some fans camping outside the Quicken Loans Arena as early as Tuesday afternoon.

Check back for updates throughout the day.

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