The emergence of WWE iconography was a curious feature of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ NBA Finals comeback. LeBron James sporting an “Ultimate Warrior” shirt upon arrival back in Cleveland with the Larry O’Brien trophy was the cherry on top of this trend, but as Kevin Love explains, it goes much deeper.
On The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Monday night, Love appeared and talked about how the Cavs are pretty much “obsessed” with ’90s wrestling (much like everyone else their age). He said they loved Steve Austin (which we already knew) and Undertaker (which we ALSO already knew).
Of the Finals, Love said, “We knew it was a going to be a wrestling match, we knew it was going to go the distance.” He also smiles with Colbert as the two admire the title belt that WWE had custom-made for them.
In non-wrestling news, Love confirmed that President Obama asked coach Tyronn Lue to make J.R. Smith finally put a shirt back on. “I live vicariously through [J.R.],” Love said.
Love also called his famous hug with LeBron, right when the Game 7 buzzer sounded, a “warm, cuddly embrace” before Colbert asked him whether the Cavs will repeat as champs. “That’s the goal,” Love said. “If we bring everybody back, we feel like we can do it.”
It will take a lot for Cleveland to make good on that mission after a totally exhausting two seasons. Which fighters will they look to for inspiration next?