Below is video I shot of LeBron James and company in the post-game press conference. By company, I mean his two best buds that were there to support him. How awesome. I was sitting in in the first row for the presser, and the thing I'm most pleased about this video is the fact that I have a ton of other footage too, and I wasn't sure I'd figure out how to get any of it from my new flip cam to the site. But I did, it's pretty easy actually. So more to come I guess if you care.
But first, LeBron speaks:
Well after the game and press conferences, Dan Gilbert weighed in with the following via twitter:
"Cavs Fans, words don't express my feelings so I won't even try. Know this: there's nothing you are feeling that I'm not. The best basketball player ever once said: 'My pain is my motivation.' And so it will be for us."
Ton more in the next few days...more below from earlier too.
I mean this was some kind of historic scene leading up to this one. Surreal.
LeBronJames once said he was going to light Cleveland up like Las Vegas, and he finally delivered on that promise. Today. It is, and was, an historic evening to be sure.
Here's a couple pics of LeBron and Z returning as members of the Heat. I made the pictures black and white to stress the historic thing...that work?
I was standing right next to them when I took these, which was crazy. I have a ton of pregame video on this flip cam I just picked up too. After I took the pictures above I started rolling tape, and if I ever figure a way to edit it smoothly, and put something together worth posting - and watching (hopefully better than my still shots) - I did have a brief exchange with Z which was funny.
That's the Z who got a standing ovation. Big time cheers for Ilgauskas. Not so much for the other guy.
Byron Scott said pregame that he hoped his team "would not be over-hyped." He said he knew what to expect from his guys, only I'm wondering if he ended up getting what he expected in the first half.
The Cavs trailed by 8 after an emotional 1st quarter for everyone in the arena. LeBron had 10 in the first on 4 of 8 shooting, with 4 boards and 4 assists. Wade had 8.
I talked to Joey Graham in the locker room about 5 minutes before he took the court for shoot a around and asked him about being the guy matched up against LeBron James with the eyes of the sports world watching.
Graham said, "I've guarded LeBron James for six years now. Ever since I came into the league, I've always been matched up against LeBron. Summer League too, this is just another night I'm matched up against him."
Maybe it is. LeBron has 14 at the break. Joey Graham hasn't scored.
For the Cavaliers, J.J. Hickson had 6 in the first quarter after the intros led by Bernie Kosar, the Browns, Dan Gilbert and a ton of energy from the fans.
Mo Williams, after walking into the arena tonight alongside LeBron James - meaning he walked in with LeBron, they were together, I was standing right there and saw them walk through the door together, I couldn't believe it until I could believe it - has 9 in the first half to lead all Cavaliers.
The Cavaliers lost that first quarter by the aforementioned 8 though, and then they lost the 2nd one by 11...down 19 at the break.
Lotta media in the house too pregame, obviously. I talked to Adrian Wojnarowski briefly, who's real cool. I didn't talk to Rachel Nichols - pictured above prior to filming an ESPN pregame spot - because I'm not that cool. I did get this picture of her though, off the flip cam, which I kinda feel creepy about, but I was taking pictures of everything I saw.
Update: I was sitting in the first row, early, for the post-game presser with LeBron and his two bffs. Rachel Nichols sat down next to me, and she was real cool. Little bit of small talk, she was real nice, and had the Thursday night Eagles game fired up on her computer as we waited for the press conference to start (read: waited for LeBron, Wade, Bosh to arrive) - for what seemed like an eternity. She said she didn't mind if I watched, seemed real down to earth. I walked away thinking, that's a quality sideline reporter right there.
Which leads me to another quality sideline reporter. Mr. Sager.
This picture was taken when I was standing in the basement area of the Q waiting for the Heat to enter the building. Craig Sager was standing across from me. While standing there I said, "Hey Craig, good to see you." To which he replied, "thanks, you too." What a conversation, right? Sager seemed cool, but I was disappointed in the lack of bright colors he was wearing tonight. This ensemble kinda fit the mood though I'd say. Well played, Craig.
Another couple guys that were well played all night were Charles Barkley, and Kenny "The Jet" Smith. The Jet gave me some dap walking through the hallway when I said "what's up Jet" - similar to how he's showing love to Ernie in the picture above - except he has no idea who I am, actually.
I happened to be standing around by TNT's green room pregame too and couldn't help but laugh as the Jet was jamming out to cell phone music pregame like he was about to take the stage for a concert. Which is what it was kinda like when they did. Rock stars in CLE.
This was also at the same time I heard Barkley tell Kenny, and the 15 or so other people within earshot, about his plan with the chalk toss pregame.
He said, "where's my powder?" Which he got, and then used jokingly pregame.
It was funny...and if you follow me on twitter, you'd have seen I'd predicted that.
I can't predict a win right now though. Looks kinda rough on the court, and getting rougher. Fans are highly respectful though, and should be commended. All things considering that is.
Check back later for more.