Cavaliers-branded 'Eastern Conference champions' gear went on sale after Game 4

The Cleveland Cavaliers came from behind on Tuesday to beat the Boston Celtics in Game 4 and take a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference finals, leading just about everyone to conclude the series was over, even before Thursday’s Game 5 in Boston. Dick’s Sporting Goods took that conclusion to another level.

The sporting goods giant began presumptuously selling Cavaliers-branded “Eastern Conference champions” and “NBA Finals” gear on its website following Cleveland’s 112-99 victory. As of midday on Wednesday, the Cavs apparel remained for sale on dickssportinggoods.com. The company has since removed the page from its retail site, but the wonders of Google cache have kept it alive much longer.

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Kudos to friend of the program and HERO Sports writer Joel Beck, a Massachusetts transplant living in Ohio, who on Wednesday morning was treated to a Dick’s advertisement for official “2017 NBA Finals” Cavs clothing, including a “THE LAND RULES THE EAST” T-shirt. He sent along a screenshot of the ad:


A quick search of the inter-webs brought me to the still-live “Cleveland Cavaliers 2017 Eastern Conference champs” page on the Dick’s website, and sure enough — Cavs gear everywhere:

Get your Cleveland Cavaliers “2017 NBA Finals” gear early. (dickssportinggoods.com)
While you’re at it, grab another Cavs “Eastern Conference champions” pennant. (dickssportinggoods.com)
And don’t forget to get that “THE LAND RULES THE EAST” T-shirt. (dickssportinggoods.com)

It’s always seemed super lame to sell anything less than “NBA champions” apparel, but if someone was desperate enough to order a “2017 Eastern Conference champions” pennant in the 12-plus hours they were for sale by Dick’s Sporting Goods after Game 4, you’ll have to wait until at least Game 5.

Of course, Boston fans will recall it was a Georgia-based Dick’s Sporting Goods that prematurely began stocking shelves with Atlanta Falcons “Super Bowl champions” gear when they led the New England Patriots by a 28-3 margin in the third quarter of Super Bowl LI, and we all know how that shook out.


We’ll have to wait and see if the Cavs can avoid the dreaded Dick’s curse, which, if the C’s were to win after losing the first two games of the East finals by 9,362 points, would be as painful as it sounds.

Also, if I remember correctly, Joel Beck is the only person I know who correctly predicted the Cavaliers would come back from their early deficit against the Golden State Warriors to win the 2016 NBA Finals:

See: Someone did actually believe LeBron James could pull it off. (Facebook)

Unfortunately for Boston fans, he’s not ready to pencil the Celtics in for a comeback. Join the club.

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Ben Rohrbach is a contributor for Ball Don’t Lie and Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at rohrbach_ben@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!