The weather in New York City has been strangely cold. Overcast, threatening to rain. I had a plan to watch the game with two of my oldest friends, Ryan Snow and Matt Nelson. Both musicians. Both from the Bay.
It was fifty-seven degrees last night and it made the three of us feel like we were back home.
So what did we do?
We hauled a goddamn TV on to the roof and watched the game like a bunch of pros.
Earlier in the evening, I stopped in a deli to pick up some beer. There was an older Jamaican man waiting his turn at the cash register to check some recently purchased lottery tickets.
When the young attendant ran them underneath the scanner, a loud bleeping sound blasted through the store.
"Oh shit!" yelled the young man. "Look at that! You won again! Two thousand dollars! Look, papa, look he won again!"
The old man smiled imperceptibly, took his ticket, and stood unmoved in a corner, waiting for them to cash him out.
I took it as a good omen.
A few minutes later, I was upstairs in my friend's house, recounting the story of the old man, when a roommate walked in and put a forty pound block of cheese on the counter.
"Look at this!' he exclaimed. "Look what I found in my storage at the shop! Ha! Had no idea this bad boy was still in there. It's about five years old or so. Had to cut off some blue mold, but it's still good."
"Holy mother... Look at all that cheese!"
"It's beautiful, huh?'
"I think I'm in love with you," I said. "Or, rather, in love with this cheese."
"Normally it takes people about thirty seconds to fall in love with me, so you're running a little behind schedule."
"I apologize for my transgressions."
He laughed and we cracked open the block with a sharp knife.
Another good omen.
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We hauled the TV up a ladder, through a small crawl hole in the ceiling of the stairwell. We set it on pallets of mulch and gardening dirt that were on the roof. Matt had brought the TV from his house, some four blocks away, complete with digital antenna.
We set up beach and lawn chairs, bundled up against the unseasonably cold night, and watched one hell of a heart-stopping, insane, frustrating, glorious game.
I'm still processing everything.
The Warriors dared LeBron James to beat them all by himself. And damn if he didn't come close to pulling it off.
The Warriors played sloppily throughout the majority of the game, making stupid mental errors, turning the ball over, looking jittery. It seemed like Cleveland would blow them out, and yet there they were, only down three points at the half (thanks to a particularly bat-shit insane J.R. Smith shot, which, incidentally, as my dad pointed out led him to start chucking up shot after shot in the second half. "Keep shooting, J.R.! Keep it coming!" my dad remembered screaming at the TV. "As the great Tommy Lasorda once said, 'that asshole couldn't hit the water if he fell out of a boat.'").
On the final possession, with a chance to win the game, Andre Iguodala, who had played inspired, valiant defense all night, forced LeBron into a tough jumper. Miss.
But, wait, oh no! Iman Shumpert got the carom and threw up a shot as time expired. I thought it was good. Matt and Ryan thought it was good. Bob Myers thought it was good. Oracle thought it was good. Turns out we were all prematurely heartbroken.
Ahhhhhhhh HE MISSED! AhhhhhhhhhHHHHHHHhhhh how did he miss??
Matt jumped out of his chair and footstomped across the roof, screaming into the cold Brooklyn night sky.
"OOOOOOOOOOOVERTIIIIIIIIME BABY! FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK YEAH!"
In overtime, the Cavaliers ran out of steam. Kyrie Irving got hurt. Their spirits sagged. The Warriors were too deep, too rested, too fresh. The Cavs, playing basically six men all game, had no answer.
They didn't score until LeBron hit a meaningless layup with a few seconds left.
Exhalations and deep wonderment.
What in the hell just happened?!
What a strange, strange game. I'll take it.— Bram Kincheloe (@BramKincheloe) June 5, 2015
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Andre Iguodala was the MVP of this game.
Capped by the game-long brilliance of THIS:
X-Factor @Andre held LeBron to 4/13 (30.8%) shooting in direct matchups LBJ hit 14/25 (56%) on all other shots pic.twitter.com/qKg37VUWUJ— NBA.com/Stats (@nbastats) June 5, 2015
He is so smart. He is so humble. And he so doesn't want to kick Steve Kerr's ass. But he will if they lose.
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When it was all over, we packed the TV back into a Macgyvere'd moving case of cardboard and shuttled it back through the hole in the roof. We sat in Ryan's living room, shooting the shit, in a daze, processing the game.
Post game attitude:
Holy shit. There's at least three more of these games?
Maaaan. Okay then.
This rooftop thing might just become tradition.
I walked out into the night. The streets were deserted and lonesome. I was jacked on adrenaline, angry that I had to wake up in five hours. So it goes.
The cold air felt cool and refreshing on my flushed cheeks. I missed home. Missed the Bay.
Damn I wish I could be there to celebrate this craziness with y'all.
Game two Sunday.