Next year is finally now for Cleveland Cavaliers fans.
Long-suffering Ohio basketball fans rejoiced Sunday as their team defeated the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors 93-89. And they did so in a way they couldn't when the franchise was founded 52 years ago: social media.
In a blizzard of tweets, diehards, like Patrick Ward, celebrated the nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat Game 7 thriller. Ward lost his mind tweeting in the moments after LeBron James & Co. battled back to become the first NBA team facing a 3-1 deficit to win a NBA title:
"Cleveland, this is for you!" said Finals MVP James. "Our fans deserve it. They deserve it. I came back to our city to bring a championship."
Even President Obama took to Twitter to offer praise. His tweet has been retweeted more than 32,000 times.
The Cavs' improbable feat brought Cleveland its first pro sports championship since 1964, when the Cleveland Browns won the NFL title. Browns' great Jim Brown -- arguably the greatest football player ever -- was elegant in celebrating the end of the drought:
More than 24 million tweets were sent during NBA Finals games, according to Twitter. Also, Game 7 had more than 8.4 million tweets, the most tweeted game in Finals history. And, with 11 million tweets, James was the player most mentioned during the Finals.
Meanwhile, the Warriors, who won an all-time NBA record 73 games during the regular season, also became the first NBA team to blow a commanding 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals.
"It's not a good feeling," NBA MVP and Warriors sharpshooter Steph Curry said postgame. "This isn't the last time you'll see us on this stage."
Maybe not, but that doesn't matter to "Mr. Cavalier" Austin Carr, the Cavs legend and TV color commentator, who cried on-air when James left for the Miami Heat six years ago. He joyously tweeted:
Cleveland should enjoy the celebration, because the next big event in town, the Republican National Convention, could prove to be a rumble. The convention, where Donald Trump will likely be named the party's presidential nominee, opens on July 18.
Updated June 20 at 9:45 a.m. PT: Adds tweet from President Obama.