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Browns feeding off Cavs' energy, in their corner as NBA Finals begin

Mike Pettine tuned in to a recent Cavs game and had to do a double take.

There was Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden sitting right behind Cleveland's bench. At this moment, Pettine, who has made a handful of appearances at The Q throughout the season, couldn't keep his eyes on the court.

What on earth was that around Haden's neck?

"It looked like he was wearing a gold steering wheel," Pettine said. "I think it actually turned out to be a Browns helmet."

Consider it a moment of symbolism.

The Browns have been intertwined with the Cavs from the start of the season and are certainly in their corner as they open up the NBA Finals tonight against the Golden State Warriors.

"It's just great to see," Pettine said. "Our guys, how do you not feed off that energy? It's a tremendous thing for the city. I can tell you that our guys will be beyond fired up to see a parade here in Cleveland."

Haden, who also made a special trip to watch Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals in Atlanta, was on the scene for Game 4 at the Q when the Cavs closed out a sweep of the Hawks. He left inspired both for internal and external reasons.

"I was walking out of there and all you hear is, "Joe, it's y'all next, it's y'all next. This is what the Browns want,'" Haden said. "I say, 'I'm trying, I'm trying. We're going to get there.'

"Just having a city like that and seeing your boys coming together and being able to do this is something special. You can see it from afar. It's not going to make us better but it's definitely going to give us motivation to get where they are."

Haden said there's a running dialogue of sorts about the Cavs' chances in the NBA Finals inside the Browns locker room. Even players like defensive back K'Waun Williams, who grew up in New Jersey, have been enthralled with the title run.

Pettine offered up a popular prediction for the series' outcome -- among Cavs fans, at least.

"Cavs in six," Pettine said.

Haden sees it unfolding in a slightly more dramatic way.

"This sounds crazy but I keep going with Cavs in seven," Haden said. "We're going to go (to Golden State) and win Game 7."

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