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Kevin Love calls himself, J.R. Smith, Tristan Thompson, Channing Frye as ‘Last of the Mohicans’

On Tuesday, as the Cleveland Cavaliers prepared for their annual Big Shots and Little Stars fundraiser, the four Cavs that remained from the team’s “Big 3” model NBA Finals teams had to commemorate the moment. “Last of the Mohicans,” said Cavaliers All-Star Kevin Love.

“Fantastic Four,” said Cavaliers shooting guard J.R. Smith, after Cavs fan favorite Channing Frye asked what they should call the group if one of them “left and then came back.”

That’s how the quartet that was a part of Cleveland’s championship squad in 2016 views themselves and it’s a perfectly fitting name.

If you don’t understand the reference, don’t feel bad.

I didn’t know what the “Last of the Mohicans” was either. I just knew it was an allusion to the fact that when Kyrie Irving and LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers, they left behind four players that had been through the wire with them in multiple NBA Finals series: All-Star power forward Kevin Love; former Sixth Man of the Year J.R. Smith; fan favorite Channing Frye; and Tristan Thompson, the franchise’s leader in consecutive games played.

Their departures have been met by mixed emotions from Cavs fans, media and teammates alike but for the four that actually experienced the triumph of winning the first championship in franchise history, being left behind is pretty similar to the plot of “The Last of the Mohicans,” a film directed by Michael Mann in 1992.

In sum, there were three Native Americans that were the last of a legendary Mohican tribe that triumphed over a cadre of British soldiers.

The odds were stacked against them, much like they were stacked against the Cleveland Cavaliers when they took on the Golden State Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals and mounted a historic comeback to defeat a 73-9 team that had a 3-1 lead.

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