The Cavs pulled off a feat no other team in league history had ever done, recovering from a 3-1 deficit against the Golden State Warriors to bring home the hardware. It was such a moving sight—players breaking down right there on the hardwood, tight bro hugs all around, up until each member of the team was given the chance to cradle the championship trophy like a baby.
These images define the perfect culmination of a title run, punctuated by the rare brush with the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy. FHM ranks these glorious scenes shot throughout the years of NBA championship revelry, in hopes of curing our severe Finals hangover:
Filling in at center for the injured Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (sprained ankle), Magic steered his team to victory over the Julius Erving-led Philadelphia 76ers for his first NBA championship. What made it more astonishing was the fact that he did all of that as a rookie.
Underdogs 'Sheed and co. revived the "Bad Boys" era and slayed a Lakers basketball superteam bannered by Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, Karl Malone, and Gary Payton to capture Detroit basketball's third trophy.
One of the league's most impassioned fanbases had to wait four decades to witness their team deliver its fourth world championship. Curry validated his first Most Valuable Player award and introduced himself to the basketball world in the best way possible.
Approaching the twilight of his career and coming off a heartbreaking loss the previous year, Timmy wasn't one to let this slip away. At 38, Duncan mustered up enough will to once again anchor the vaunted Spurs defense en route to his fifth ring.
6) Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal (Los Angeles Lakers)
Before they even ended up feuding, Kobe and Shaq won their first title together at the expense of the Indiana Pacers. Back then, neither of the two knew that they were at the onset of a dominating three-peat.
Unlike the LA superteam that imploded in its sole season, this All-Star alliance right away turned its stars' pipe dreams into reality the first year it was formed. Despite being unable to follow up on its lone championship, the original Big Three had a rather good run.
A Maverick ever since he was drafted, Dirk's loyalty and trust in the system was rewarded with the chance to bestow his franchise its first-ever title. It was also payback against the same team (Miami) that denied them a chip in 2006.
3) LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Breaking his hometown's 52-year-old curse and discrediting critics for good at the same time. 'Nuff said.
2) LeBron James (Miami Heat, first championship)
The Cleveland championship is actually only second in LeBron's multiple Larry O'Brien trophy moments. Finally shaking the monkey off his back, James breaks out a childlike glee in the face of the sole thing he had strived and endured for in almost a decade.
It may have taken seven years before the GOAT secured the first of his six trophies but it held greater significance; he was able to get over the hump that is the back-to-back champ Detroit Pistons, and bring down the final curtain on the Showtime Lakers.
Photos via Ballislife.com (Bryant, O'Neal), Getty Images (Duncan, Johnson, Jordan, Wallace), NBA.com (Curry, Iguodala), AP (Garnett, Allen, Pierce, Nowitzki)