Senators from Ohio, California make wager on NBA Finals

Ohio’s two U.S. Senators hope to continue their winning streak in bets made against colleagues in the Senate.

Republican Sen. Rob Portman and Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown have made individual bets with the two senators from California, Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer.

Portman and Brown bet Oregon’s Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley on the outcome of the National Championship game in the inaugural college football playoff this past January. The four Senators spelled out “O-H-I-O” on the Capitol Steps following Ohio State’s National Championship when the Buckeyes beat the Oregon Ducks in January in the inaugural college football playoffs.

The NBA Finals begin Thursday night with Game 1 set to tip off at 9 a.m. This is the first trip to the NBA Finals for the Golden State Warriors since 1975, when they swept the Washington Bullets.

The Cavaliers last made the NBA Finals when LeBron James led the team in 2007, as they were swept by the San Antonio Spurs.

Here are the details of the wagers:

The Portman-Feinstein bet

Would you rather have two nice bottles of California wine or a six-pack of one of Cleveland’s best IPAs?

That’s what’s on the line in a friendly wager as Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., reach across the aisle to bet on who will win the NBA championship this year.

The bet comes on the cusp of the NBA Finals between Ohio’s Cleveland Cavaliers and California’s Golden State Warriors. If the Cavs win, Portman will receive fine California Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon wines from Feinstein. But if the Warriors win, Feinstein will receive a six-pack of Sharpshooter Wheat IPA from Cleveland’s Great Lakes Brewing Company.

“LeBron said it best when he said, ‘In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned,’ and the Cavs have certainly earned this trip to the NBA Finals,” Portman said. “We’re proud of what the team has done for the city of Cleveland and their loyal fans, and look forward to LeBron, Kyrie (Irving), and the team bringing home a championship.”

But Feinstein has a reputation of winning bets among colleagues.

“As mayor of San Francisco, I wagered with my fellow mayors on the Super Bowl and my 49ers came out on top four times. As senator, I bet on the World Series with my colleagues, and my Giants have been victorious three times in the last five years,” she said. “Now, I’m looking forward to yet another streak as the Golden State Warriors play the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals.”

The Brown-Boxer bet

Not only would the loser in a friendly bet on the NBA championship among Democratic senators deliver a wagered beverage, but they must do so wearing the winning team’s colors.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said his Cleveland Cavaliers will win him some of California-based Peet’s “Warriors Grounds” coffee, but Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said she expects to be cracking open her prize of Linden Street Brewery’s “New Oakland Glow” pilsner from the Hoppin’ Frog Brewery in Akron.

Whomever loses, however, must deliver their respective beverage to the winner’s Senate office while wearing a jersey from the victor’s team.

Brown said Cleveland Pride will take root and his Cavaliers will be celebrating across the state.

“Like many fans, I go back to the days of the Cavs playing at Richfield and remember watching Bingo Smith, Mel Turpin, and Dick Snyder, World B. Free, and Nate Thurmond,” Brown said. “This year, it’s going to be different - we’re going to win it all. This Cavaliers team is the pride of Cleveland - showing perseverance through adversity and true grit throughout the season.”

Boxer said despite LeBron James being “a huge talent,” he’s no match for her Warriors led by Stephen Curry.

“The Golden State Warriors have been the best team in basketball all season long because of their selfless style of play and some of the best shooting that the NBA has ever seen,” Boxer said.

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