(Reuters) - Profile of the Cleveland Cavaliers, who play the Golden State Warriors in the best-of-seven NBA Finals starting on Thursday.
* NBA titles: One (2016)
* The franchise joined the National Basketball Association in 1970 as an expansion team along with the Buffalo Braves and Portland Trail Blazers.
* The NBA instituted what is commonly known as the “Stepien Rule,” forbidding teams from trading their first-round draft picks in successive years, due to Ted Stepien’s propensity for trading away high draft picks during a disastrous three-year tenure as owner of the Cavaliers in the early 1980s.
* Cavaliers are on the wrong end of “The Shot,” the name of a famed series-winning basket hit by Michael Jordan in the 1989 Eastern Conference quarter-finals that is one of the most replayed NBA plays in history.
* Franchise had a 26-game losing streak during the 2010-11 NBA season that tied the record for longest losing streak in major North American professional sports.
* The team used the first pick in the 2003 NBA Draft to select native Ohioan LeBron James, who averaged 20.9 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game just out of high school in his debut campaign and was named the league’s Rookie of the Year.
* James eventually led the Cavaliers to five consecutive playoff berths, including a trip to the NBA Finals in 2007, but he infamously left Cleveland as a free agent in 2010 to sign with the Miami Heat, where he went on to win two championships.
* Cleveland were the first team to draft a Canadian player with the first overall draft pick when they selected Anthony Bennett in 2013.
* James rejoined the Cavaliers in 2014 determined to bring a championship to his home state and brought the team back to relevance after four consecutive losing seasons.
* Cavaliers in 2016 became the first team to rally from a 3-1 NBA Finals deficit and win the title, which was the first in franchise history.
* 2016-17 regular season record: 51-31, fifth overall
* Path to Finals: Won Central Division; beat Indiana 4-0 in Eastern Conference quarter-finals; beat Toronto 4-0 in conference semi-finals; beat Boston 4-1 in conference final.
Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Larry Fine