‘The NBA has been a model for positive change’ – 10 Highlights of President Barack Obama’s Cavaliers Championship Speech


Hello everybody! Welcome to the White House and give it up for the world champion Cleveland Cavaliers.

That’s right, I said ‘World Champion’ and ‘Cleveland Cavaliers’ in the same sentence. That’s what we’re talking about when we’re talking about hope and change.

We’ve got a lot of big Cavs fans here in the house, including Ohio’s governor John Kasich, and his daughters Emma and Reese. We got some outstanding members of Congress here.

Obviously we want to recognize Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, who puts so much of himself into trying to make sure this thing worked.

I also, before I go any further, want to give a special thanks to J.R. Smith’s shirt for showing up. I wasn’t sure if it was going to make an appearance today. I’m glad it came. You’re a very nice shirt.

They start winning their first 10 games in the playoffs, setting record after record for three-point shooting. But obviously, what this all comes down to is a team that, for the first time in NBA history, comes back from being down 3-1 in the Finals. The first team in history to dig themselves out of a hole like that.

The comeback was remarkable and you learn about people when they’re down. Against a historically-good Warriors team, the Cavs won Games 5 and 6 by double digits.

Michelle’s brother, who was an excellent basketball player, always says that you can learn a lot about somebody’s character by the way they play basketball.

The NBA has been a model for positive change. The fact is that it’s not just a government initiative to make change. It’s all of us. Businesses, nonprofits, athletes, role models, working together to achieve the progress that we seek.

I know that Cleveland could not be happier and prouder of having this trophy. But this was always a championship group of guys even before last year, and you should be very proud of them.

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