Monday June 20th, 2016

Your teams. Your favorite writers. Wherever you want them. Personalize SI with our new App. Install on iOS or Android.​

Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving said that he channeled his inner Kobe Bryant during his team’s 93–89 win in Game 7 of the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors. 

During the postgame press conference, Irving admitted that he started off slow in the game because he had barely slept over the previous 48 hours. He says that was the result of him going over the scenarios of what could happen in the game.

Irving said that early in the game, he told his teammates he just needed to settle in, and that happened around the end of the first half.

“That moment right there happened, and I was like ‘ok, I’m fine’ ” Irving said. “And all I was thinking about in the back of my mind was Mamba mentality. Just Mamba mentality, that’s all I was thinking.”

• GOLLIVER: Ultimate Triumph: Ohio’s LeBron James delivers Cavs’ first title

Irving finished the game with 26 points and six rebounds as the Cavaliers claimed their first title in franchise history. It is also the first major championship in any sport for the city of Cleveland since 1964.

The Cavaliers came back from a 3–1 deficit in the series, becoming the first team in NBA history to accomplish that feat. 

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.