Category Archives: Cleveland Cavaliers

Some thoughts on LeBron James and the NBA Finals

The moment a large chunk of NBA fans were dreading has arrived. Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh are playing in the NBA Finals in their very first season together.

LeBron James became public enemy #1 in the eyes of many in the aftermath of “The Decision” but as I said it then I find that stance from people quiet funny. I said back in July that I had no problems with LeBron leaving for Miami and remains true to this date. Unlike most I always wasn’t rooting against them in the playoffs. What do you think of his decision to leave Cleveland now? Is it the same as it was back in July?

By the way how much crazier does Dan Gilbert’s rant sound now? Unless you count University of Virginia’s lacrosse title the Cavaliers will not win a championship before the Heat.

I actually wouldn’t have had a problem with any of the conference finalists from this year winning the NBA Championship. I don’t know if I am cheering for the Mavericks or the Heat because I honestly wouldn’t have a problem with either of the two winning. A Miami win would be fun because of uproar it will cause from hypocritical NBA fans. I call them hypocrites because very few of them would have had a problem with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh signing with their teams. Now I’m supposed to buy into their arguments for hating these guys? I have encountered plenty of Knicks fans here in the NJ/NY area who have knocked LeBron for his decision to sign with Miami but I can guarantee not one of them would be saying a thing. It becomes even more laughable when many of those same Knicks fans are fans of the New York Yankees who’s entire business model revolves around signing the big free agents from around the league! I’m not trying to make this into a New York thing at all. Most of the people knocking LeBron happen to be Kobe Bryant fans. Yet again though they don’t see the hypocrisy in their views. For whatever reason they have chosen to forget that Kobe basically forced his way to the Lakers after being drafted by the Charlotte Hornets. LeBron James honored his contract and took the franchise to heights it had never before seen.

Dirk Nowitzki has been one of my favorite players in the league for quiet some time. I definitely would like to see him win a championship and that is why part of me leans towards the Mavericks this year. The three guys in Miami will have plenty of chances to win a title, this could very well be the last time Nowitzki has a shot. Plus, how cool would it be to see David Stern hand the trophy to Mark Cuban? I couldn’t care less about Jason Kidd though. I get that he’s a future Hall of Famer and generally well liked player but that doesn’t change that he is an idiot.

Have you heard about the “Cavs for Mavs” fan group?

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Blogging Lebron vs Cavs.

Earlier today I blogged about Lebron’s return to Cleveland. I figured I’d keep a running entry.

  • Lebron boos drowned out when starting lineups were announced because Big Z got cheered
  • I mentioned earlier today that Lebron needed to be the better man, bad call by him to do his powder ritual.
  • LeBron James will either get 60 points tonight or go 2-20 from the field. 
First Quarter
  • Nice to see Cavs fans booing Lebron every time he touches the ball. Toronto STILL does this when Vince Carter comes to town
  • Tweet of the night? h/t @heavenlyskyes 
    • The Heat/Cavs game will be showed on TNT because ‘They Know Drama’
  • I feel bad for whoever is handing the delay for TNT tonight. These chants are getting ugly. 
  • Just realized that 40% of the starting lineups tonight are former Raptors (Arroyo, Bosh, Graham and Parker)
  • “Akron hates you” chant with about 3:40 left in 1st
  • Marv Albert just said they are only selling beverages in paper cups because of safety concerns
  • Creative signs so far:
    • Lyin’ King
    • Witless
    • Quitness
    • We should have draft Darko
  • At the end of 1 Miami leads 31-24. Solid first quarter for LeBron who quietly got 10 points (4-8 FG) , 4 Rebounds and  5 assists. 
Second Quarter 
  • Long rest for Lebron. He’s sat out most of this 2nd quarter. 
  • This Kia commercial is very strange.
  • Best game yet for the big 3? They are playing at a faster pace then usual. Don’t know why they haven’t played at this pace a lot more this season. 
  • Crowd was much tamer here in the 2nd quarter with LeBron’s extended bench time and the Miami heat pulling away to make this a 19 point game. Lebron has 14 points, 4 rebounds and 6 assists. Miami leads 59-40. 
  • Absolutely agree with Charles Barkley. He just called out Byron Scott for not having control over his bench. They’re joking around with Lebron while he is destroying them.
  • Ernie Johnson just said that the best chant of first half was “Akron hates you.” He obviously picked that one because it was the only he could repeat on TV!
Third Quarter 
  • Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times just made a good observation
    • Now we’re getting into the danger zone – game is becoming a blowout and the beers are still flowing.
  • They’re chanting “Scottie Pippen.”
  • This is just getting ugly now. Lebron is firing on all cylinders, he’s just toying with them
  • From Tim Reynolds, the Associate Press reporter who covers Miami Heat
    • 2nd time this year LeBron has embarrassed Cleveland on national television.
  • “Akron hates you” chant is back. 
  • 95-65 at the end of 3. Lebron has 38 points (15-25 from the field), 5 rebounds and 8 assists. That should be it for him. 
  • This is where things could get ugly. People who have been drinking all night sitting through a blowout. 
  • For ESPN’s streak for the cash game my pick tonight was LeBron total points over Cleveland field goals. It is 38 to 20 at the moment. I win!

I guess it is time to turn on NFL Nework?
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LeBron James returns to Cleveland

It is one of the most highly anticipated yet meaningless December basketball games in recent memory. Tonight, LeBron James will “take his talents to Cleveland” as a member of the Miami Heat.

As I said at the time, I have no problems whatsoever with the three of them deciding to team up. I was in the minority and didn’t really have a problem with the concept of “The Decision” prime time special. I also seem to be in the minority as far as their 2010-11 season is concerned. So many people have already written this team off. They are hovering around the .500 mark but why are people forgetting that the season isn’t even a quarter of way done yet? Would people really be shocked if they went 48-15 the rest of the way? This team has more than enough time to put together a good season and have a great playoff run.

I am not a Miami Heat fan, as a matter of fact I despise Pat Riley and never really liked Alonzo Mourning. I am a Raptors fan who lost Chris Bosh to this team. Yet, I find myself rooting for this team just because everyone else isn’t.

Even Barack Obama was asked about tonight’s game. 

How will the Cleveland crowd react tonight? Lets just hope they take somewhat of a high road and not embarrass their city. Don’t get me wrong, I want to see them boo LeBron all night long for the rest of his career (Vince Carter still hears boos in Toronto) but don’t disrupt the game. Keep your expletives to yourselves and don’t humiliate yourself on national television.

How will LeBron react tonight? He could go a long way towards calming things down today if he doesn’t come out in a confrontational mode. He needs to just let his play do the talking or it could get really ugly tonight. Who knows, if he goes off for 50 points tonight in a masterful performance he might even get some of the crowd back on his side. Regardless of the crowd reaction LeBron MUST act like the better man or he will face a major backlash from the media and possibly the fans around the league. He can not let the crowd get under his skin. LeBron James will either drop 60 points on the Cavs tonight or go 2–19 from the field. There is no middle ground.

There will be a heavier security presence tonight at the Q. How ugly do some in the league think tonight will be? The Heat travel plans for this have been kept secret.

In Cleveland, LeBron is now known as “Queen James”

Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert is on twitter. Looking forward to read what he has to say tonight. He did make a plea to the fans,

CavsFans: Remember 2 most import things 2nite: 1. That City, Fans, & all of us be our ‘finest’ w/eyes of world watching. 2. We get the WIN!

Who can forget his letter to Cleveland when LeBron left? 
Sports Illustrated provides a flashback to some recent “homecomings.” How about these pictures from Cleveland?
Any predictions for tonight? ESPN’s Streak for the Cash asks if LeBron will have more points tonight then the  Cavaliers will have field goals. I certainly would not rule that out as a possibility. It will be the first time this season that I will tune in to the start of an NBA game. The game tips off shortly after 8 PM Eastern on TNT. 

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Fathead suggests LeBron is the new Benedict Arnold – Game On!: Covering the Latest Sports News

The Dan Gilbert comedy tour has entered its second day. By now I’m sure you’ve read his tirade against LeBron James from last night. He’s tweaking LeBron some more this morning. I ran across the following headline a few minutes:
Fathead suggests LeBron is the new Benedict Arnold – Game On!: Covering the Latest Sports News

Turns out that Dan Gilbert owns Fathead so someone at Fathead thought it would be great to tweak LeBron by reducing the price of his fatheads to $17.41, turns out Benedict Arnold (the original American traitor) was born in 1741. This is just getting silly now isn’t it? For what its worth the prices on Amazon are still the same.

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Dan Gilbert’s comments make no sense. If he thought LeBron quit on the team in the playoffs why was he actively trying to sign him? If Dan Gilbert thinks sports are about loyalty why was he trying to get free agents from other teams who also have “loyal” fans? Gilbert is angry that he overpaid for the Cavaliers and without LeBron that team isn’t worth anything close to what he paid for it a few years ago.

What will Dan Gilbert do tomorrow?

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Cavaliers: Open Letter to Fans from Cavaliers Majority Owner Dan Gilbert

The owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Dan Gilbert just released an open letter to the Cavaliers fans. He rips into LeBron James repeatedly but never once mentions him by name. He also goes onto add that the Cavaliers will win a title before LeBron does (wishful thinking). Read the letter below. Thoughts?

Cavaliers: Open Letter to Fans from Cavaliers Majority Owner Dan Gilbert

Dear Cleveland, All Of Northeast Ohio and Cleveland Cavaliers Supporters Wherever You May Be Tonight; 

As you now know, our former hero, who grew up in the very region that he deserted this evening, is no longer a Cleveland Cavalier. 

This was announced with a several day, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up culminating with a national TV special of his “decision” unlike anything ever “witnessed” in the history of sports and probably the history of entertainment. 

Clearly, this is bitterly disappointing to all of us. 

The good news is that the ownership team and the rest of the hard-working, loyal, and driven staff over here at your hometown Cavaliers have not betrayed you nor NEVER will betray you. 

There is so much more to tell you about the events of the recent past and our more than exciting future. Over the next several days and weeks, we will be communicating much of that to you. 

You simply don’t deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal. 

You have given so much and deserve so much more. 

In the meantime, I want to make one statement to you tonight: 

“I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER ‘KING’ WINS ONE” 

You can take it to the bank. 

If you thought we were motivated before tonight to bring the hardware to Cleveland, I can tell you that this shameful display of selfishness and betrayal by one of our very own has shifted our “motivation” to previously unknown and previously never experienced levels. 

Some people think they should go to heaven but NOT have to die to get there. 

Sorry, but that’s simply not how it works. 

This shocking act of disloyalty from our home grown “chosen one” sends the exact opposite lesson of what we would want our children to learn. And “who” we would want them to grow-up to become. 

But the good news is that this heartless and callous action can only serve as the antidote to the so-called “curse” on Cleveland, Ohio. 

The self-declared former “King” will be taking the “curse” with him down south. And until he does “right” by Cleveland and Ohio, James (and the town where he plays) will unfortunately own this dreaded spell and bad karma. 

Just watch. 

Sleep well, Cleveland. 

Tomorrow is a new and much brighter day…. 

I PROMISE you that our energy, focus, capital, knowledge and experience will be directed at one thing and one thing only: 

DELIVERING YOU the championship you have long deserved and is long overdue…. 

 

Dan Gilbert
Majority Owner
Cleveland Cavaliers 

Thoughts?
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1000 games of Raptors Basketball

Friday night the Toronto Raptors played their 1000th game in franchise history. Of all the pro sports teams I’m a fan of…the Raptors have always been at the top of the list. From the Mighty Mouse era to the VC one….to the CB4 one, this definitely has been a roller coaster ride. Here’s my personal top 10 moments in Raptors history.

10)VC makes the guarantee.
It was the 5th of May in 1999 and the Raptors had just wrapped up a 97-86 win over the Cavaliers. Why is the date significant? It was the strike shortened season and the Raptors had just gone 23-27. After the game a rookie guard out of North Carolina grabbed a mic and addressed what remained of the crowd. Thanking the crowd
for the support all year he added a guarantee that the Raptors would be in the playoffs the next year. For the first time in their young history the team actually had a chance. With a 1-2 punch of Tracy McGrady and Vince Carter everyone in Toronto including me believed that it was the start of an era. Surely enough the Raptors made the playoffs the next year. They lost to the Knicks in a rather forgettable series for all the wrong reasons and with T-Mac’s quick departure out of Toronto at the end of the season that dream of a potential championship run died as well.

9)Raptors win first playoff series
First playoff win. Enough said. The 2nd trip to the playoffs was definitely a lot sweeter and this series was just the start of that and reflected the playoff run. The Raptors lost game 1 before coming back and winning game 2 by 20 at MSG. They lost game 3 at home but came back to win game 4. The win in game 4 was the first playoff win in franchise history. Game 5 at MSG….in another close game the Raptors finally did pull it off. I still remember that Alvin William jumper in the final seconds of the game that sealed the deal for the Raptors.

8)Playoffs vs Nets
Have a personal bias towards this one. I went to games 4 and 6 at the Continental Airlines Arena (now IZOD Center) in NJ. Even though the Raptors lost both of those games and the series those two games are the only 2 NBA games I’ve been to. The atmosphere at both of those games was electric. The amount of Toronto fans that had taken the drive down to Jersey was insane. VC getting booed every time he touched the ball…..it almost had a Canadian feel to it as by estimate at least 40% of those in attendance were rooting for the Raptors.

7)Raptors make playoffs for first time.
Enough said. The guarantee laid out by Vince Carter at the end of the previous year is followed through on. Of course that series is one I’d like to forget because of all the drama that went on.

6)VC Dunk Contest
Part 1

Part 2

Watching on TSN….I had the same reaction as the rest of the basketball world. The term “Half Man Half Amazing” was coined that night. It is a shame looking back that VC was at the peak of his career that night. He stole the show. The reaction he got from the crowd, NBA players all spoke volumes. He had arrived.

5)VC erupts for 51 on NBC
February 27th 2000. The Raptors are on their way to the first playoff appearance in franchise history and the US fan base starts to take notice. The stage was set on a Sunday afternoon, NBA on NBC. Noon tip off. It was the first time the Raptors appeared on national TV in the US. It was just days after his electric performance at the Slamdunk contest in Oakland, California. Anyone who didn’t know him by that point took notice that day as VC shot 17-32 from the field on his was to 51 points. No Raptor has touched the 50 point plateau in a regular season game since.

4)March 24, 1996
It was just the 67th game in franchise history…..but to me sticks out more then any of other ones that came before or after it The Raptors were 18-49 coming into the game. Respectable for an expansion team. Standing on the otherside were the Chicago Bulls who came into the game with an unbelievable 60-8 record. Trailing by 1 having last possession the Bulls in a year where it all went right for them…could not do it against the lowly expansion team. Both Steve Kerr and Michael Jordan (fadeaway…what else with time expiring that he could not get off in time) could not seal the deal. Playing shorthanded (the Raptors played just 7 men that night) against one of the greatest teams ever assembled the Raptors pull of a 109-108 win in front of more then 36,000 fans at the Skydome. For a moment time did freeze. For that split second no one had any idea whether that MJ fade away counted or not. When the realization did sink in…..the expansion Raptors were part of a small group of teams that defeated the Bulls (72-10) that year.
Highlights

Boxscore

3)Mo-Pete for 3
“Onions…Baby….Onions!” indeed. Chuck Swirsky’s reaction says it all. Why Mo-Pete even got a chance to make that shot…no one knows as the ball should just have been heaved to the other side.

2) February 24, 1999
Game 10 of the strike shortened year and Toronto loses by 20 to slip to 3-7 on the year. Why does this make the list? This is day Vince opened some eyes around Toronto. Mighty Mouse got traded too soon…….Camby was a dissapointment….no one knew what Mo-Pete or T-Mac were at this point….did the Raptors finally have a star to call their own?

1)Raptors vs 76ers
What a series it was. Seven amazing games one after other. The nightly battle between Iverson and Carter were epic. The ball was again in VC’s hands and he got his patented falling away 3 poing shot off which I was certain that shot was going in but it wasn’t meant to be. It certainly was the peak for the franchise to this date. I am confident this years team can give us a run to match that one but being 2 inches away from the Conference Finals….this is my #1 Raptors moment from the past

Alltime Raptors team.

This is purely based on what they did in a Raptors uniform

PG – Damon Stoudamire
SG- Vince Carter
SF – Tracy McGardy
PF- Chris Bosh
C – Antonio Davis

Bench
Charles Oakley
Alvin Williams
Morris Peterson
Doug Christie
Jerome Williams
Jose Calderon
Jalen Rose