One year ago, Jim Brown nodded in approval as LeBron James bowed in his honor before Game 3 of the 2015 NBA Finals.
On Wednesday, before a crowd of hundreds of thousands on a day in which an estimated 1.3 million people flocked to downtown Cleveland, Brown and James stood side by side on a stage in the middle of Mall B. After a lengthy, heartfelt speech from James that featured personal anecdotes about all of his teammates, Brown emerged with the Larry O'Brien trophy in hand.
Cavs play-by-play announcer Fred McLeod narrated the scene to the masses, saying it was time for Brown to "pass the torch" to James, who led the Cavs to an NBA Finals victory over the Golden State Warriors to end the city's 52-year championship drought. Brown passed the trophy to James and the two embraced.
The moment served as an exclamation point on a banner day for the city, as citizens came from near and far and notable members from Cleveland's three professional sports teams and Ohio State to help the Cavs celebrate their title.
"I'm so proud of the city and the fans for their loyalty and the way they're expressing themselves. They feel it's been worth it," Brown told Fox Sports Ohio during the parade. "You see how sports can light up a city. This city is happy and I'm happy."
Brown rode in a car near the front half of the parade and addressed fans with a microphone in his hand throughout the entire route. Former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar rode on the same float as local rapper Machine Gun Kelly and Earnest Byner rode with members of the Cavs coaching staff. Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden -- who was with his close friend, Cavs forward Tristan Thompson -- and former Browns special teams ace Josh Cribbs also rode in the parade.
Here's a sampling of the reaction on social media during and after the parade.