Will Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert make the same mistakes?

Dan Gilbert

As we hit the two year anniversary of “The Decision”, I sit here and wonder to myself, will Dan Gilbert make the same mistake? Did he learn his lesson the first time around? Will this time be different?

Dan Gilbert took over a Cleveland Cavaliers team in 2005 that had come off its first winning season since the 1997-98 season. A Cleveland Cavalier team that had just drafted LeBron James just two years prior. With the addition of just LeBron James, Cleveland went from winning 17 games a season to going 66-16 in just five short years. The only losing season the Cavaliers experienced with LeBron James was his rookie season.From 2005 to “The Decision” all Dan Gilbert had to do was move some talent into Cleveland. Give the self-proclaimed “chosen one” some support. Instead of doing that, he brought in the likes of Mo Williams, Delonte West (who slept with LeBron’s mom), Shaquille O’Neal (who was years past his prime), Antawn Jamison (give me a break), and other no talent players. After years and years of LeBron James asking for a supporting cast, he finally got fed up and took his talents to South Beach. Miami jumped on the opportunity, got him a supporting cast, got a championship and a happy LeBron James.

After two horrible seasons and many great draft picks later, the Cleveland Cavaliers have found themselves in the same fork in the road.

The Cavaliers drafted Kyrie Irving, Dion Waters, and Tristan Thompson over the last two drafts. These players will be key pieces of the present and future in Cleveland. For some reason they are still paying and playing the biggest flopper and actor in the NBA, Anderson Varejao. Then the Cleveland Cavaliers traded away some draft picks to get a back up center at best, Tyler Zeller.

With all this talent, youth, and potential, it is time for Dan Gilbert to step up, grow a pair and be aggressive. The Cleveland Cavaliers have a chance to be a part of a three team trade that would land Andrew Bynum in Cleveland. Now granted he isn’t the best center presently in the NBA, but he could be ranked in the top five, EASILY. I am not a big Bynum fan, but I could learn to like him.  Read More….

NBA mock draft: 2012 1st round

Anthony Davis1. New Orleans Hornets- Anthony Davis PF (Kentucky): This is a no-brainer. It wasn’t a question of if Davis would be the first pick but who would get the lucky ping-pong ball to draft him. The Hornets will begin their rebuild with Davis, a future all-star, because of his defensive skills alone. If Davis continues to work on his mid-range jump shot and develop a post game…he could turn into a superstar.

2. Charlotte Bobcats- Thomas Robinson PF (Kansas): Although we have doubts on Robinson’s size, (6’8.75” with shoes) his heart, tenacity and strength will make him a good player. It is unlikely Robinson will be a bust but he isn’t the kind of player you build around. Barnes or Beal would be better picks here because of their ability to score. The Bobcats struggled mightily scoring last season. Also, look for the Bobcats to possibly trade out of this spot for more assets.

3. Washington Wizards- Michael Kidd-Gilchrist SG (Kentucky): Kidd-Gilchrist is a great talent but is inconsistent shooting the basketball. He is a fiery competitor and is excellent on the fast break however. He and John Wall would make an exciting backcourt.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers- Harrison Barnes SF (North Carolina): When the Cavs had the 1st and 4th picks last year, they were disappointed that Barnes had decided to stay another year. Well, there’s a very good chance he’ll be there this year for them at number four. Barnes is a great shooter and has even more talent than he showed in college. He might not be the next Kobe but I think he’s a rich man’s Danny Granger, and that’s a pretty good player to pair with Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson. Watch out for the Cavs in a few years, they seem to be on the verge of a Thunder-like rise.

5. Sacramento Kings- Andre Drummond C (Connecticut): The Kings apparently would like to trade back from this spot. If they stay, there are a lot of directions they could go. Despite the pick of Jimmer Fredette last season, they need a true point guard. Tyreke Evans is on the block. Marcus Thornton is producing at shooting guard and will be a King for five more years. So, the guard situation is a little messy for the Kings right now. Lillard would be a nice fit but I think they go for Drummond if he’s there. Drummond and Cousins would be dangerous together given their character issues. However, if both discover their potential (Cousins is well on his way) that could be a lethal duo. Read more here…

Cavaliers: Latest Cleveland team trying for 2nd overall pick

7156058667 b30372e171 Cavaliers: Latest Cleveland team trying for 2nd overall pick

The 2012 NBA Draft is on June 28, 2012 and it figures to generate a whole lot of buzz. After the lottery took place just a few days ago, everyone found out just how the draft would play out. Except, you can’t plan for trades and the Cleveland Cavaliers figure to be in the mix to move up.

According to the Cleveland’s Plain Dealer Mary Schmitt Boyer…

A lot could change between now and June 28, especially after teams attend the NBA combine in Chicago this week and start to hold individual workouts for players. I’ve heard Charlotte could be interested in trading the No. 2 pick, so I do think the Cavs will inquire about moving up.

The Cavaliers hold the 4th overall pick and the 24th overall in the first round. They have the fire power to move up if they need to. A similar Cleveland team had a similar choice just this year but didn’t pull the trigger. The Cleveland Browns had the opportunity to move to the second pick and select Robert Griffin III but instead moved to the third pick and selected Trent Richardson. Most fans at first didn’t approve of the Browns decision, will the Cavaliers follow the same path? Read more here…

Did Cleveland alter the careers of Jordan and Lebron?

Lebron James and Michael JordanCleveland, the abyss of the professional sports teams.  A place where great players and coaches are more often than not hidden on bad teams before opting to go elsewhere in search of greater glory.    In baseball during the 80’s there was Joe Carter and later Manny Ramirez.  Both went on to play key roles in championships with other clubs.  In football Cleveland was so bad that even Bill Belichick couldn’t win there as he compiled a not so impressive 36-44 record during his five-year tenure as the Browns’ head coach during the early to mid 90’s.  Everyone knows what he’s done with the New England Patriots.  And then there’s basketball.  Lebron James was a homegrown prodigy who was deemed the savior of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the successor to an NBA legend.  For the most part Lebron carried his own and lived up to the hype as the “Chosen One,” but his inability to get bad Cavs’ teams over the hump in the playoffs and his subsequent decision to abandon them for safer ground has threatened to tarnish his legacy.  But what about Michael Jordan?  No, “His Airness” never played for the Cavaliers but he did play in Cleveland, and there was one particular game that catapulted him into the legend that he would become.

The year was 1989.  Jordan had been in the NBA for six seasons and despite multiple playoff appearances he had yet to get the Chicago Bulls past the second round.   It was Game 5 in the first round of the NBA playoffs.  It was a best of five series back then and after Michael and the Bulls took a commanding two games to one lead, the Cavaliers tied the series at 2-2 and forced a Game 5 in Cleveland.

Like the Bulls 108-105 overtime loss to the Cavs in Game 4, the outcome of Game 5 would hang in the balance with just seconds remaining.    Jordan hit a jumper with six seconds on the clock to give the Bulls a one point lead.  Chicago’s elation quickly turned to deflation as Craig Ehlo scored immediately for the Cavs on a lay-up with just three seconds left.  For Bulls’ fans, it seemed as if the basketball season would again end in disappointment.  But Jordan had other plans.

Jim Durham made the call over Bulls Radio –

“The inbounds pass comes in to Jordan…Good! The Bulls win it! They win it!”  Jordan had hit a floating jumper over the defending Ehlo as time expired.  He finished with forty-four points in the game.

Jordan and the Bulls would go on to beat the New York Knicks in the conference semifinals before falling to the Detroit Pistons in the conference finals.  Despite the Bulls eventual playoff dismissal, “The Shot” Jordan made against the Cavs to propel the Bulls into the second round would later prove to be one of those magical moments in time when greatness was born.  Jordan would go on to win six NBA titles and arguably would have won eight had it not have been for his premature retirement following the tragic death of his father.

Two megastar players, one team, two different directions.  For Jordan, the Cavaliers created NBA royalty.  As for Lebron James, the Cavaliers created NBA public enemy number one.  Luckily for James, the beauty of life and professional sports is that time heals all wounds and winning cures everything.  So if Lebron can string together three or four championship runs over the next five years or so all will be soon be forgotten.

As for the answer as to whether or not Cleveland altered the careers of Michael Jordan and Lebron James; it’s an astounding Yes. But with that said, like Jordan, James has control of his ultimate destiny and I would like to believe that when it’s all said and done he’ll go down in NBA history as one of the Top 5 greatest players of all-time and have the championship pedigree to support it.  He might want to get a move on it however as he is currently 0-2 in the NBA finals. Only time will tell.

Aaron Moon is the CEO and a Featured Journalist for The Sports Blitz. You can contact Aaron on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @DA_Bear_Truth.

What if LeBron’s decision left Cleveland without a team?

Lebron James

Lebron JamesNot five, not six, not seven…not Championships for the Miami Heat, but years without a Cleveland  Basketball team?

The  Cleveland Cavaliers’ NBA record losing streak (26) tied them with the NFL‘s  Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the longest streak across all four major sports in the modern era.

Think LeBron James is the villain now? Imagine if the NBA removed the lovable losers from the city of Cleveland.

The NBA is talking contraction and what if “The Decision” of LeBron to take his talents to South Beach left the Cavs out in the cold without an NBA team?

The “super” team aspect has caused complete chaos, as the joining of LeBron, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh has caused a perfect storm on the shore of Miami, but left a natural disaster to clean up in Cleveland.

The Cavaliers went 0-16 in January, just the third time in the last 20 seasons a team went win less over an entire month and the only thing that stopped this streak from being 37 straight was an overtime win against the  New York Knicks.

While this losing streak will go down in history, it was the Cavaliers who also held the previous record for consecutive losses in 1981-82, losing 24 straight during two seasons.

Last season, NBA Commissioner David Stern held two days of meetings with league owners and stated that the owners are in a “diseconomic situation,” with projected league-wide losses of about $340 million to $350 million this season.

In order to somehow combat these losses, Stern has said that the NBA is looking to cut player costs by $750 million to $800 million.

Another option is contraction. According to Stern, the NBA is open to it.

With the NBA players joining forces and making these “super” teams, the NBA’s timing of contraction talk could be just smoke screens and mirrors to scare owners who are not pulling in a profit. But if it becomes a reality, could Cleveland be one of them?

More than half of the NBA teams are currently forecasted to lose money this season and a number that could be contracted including the Memphis Grizzlies, Sacramento Kings and Charlotte Bobcats.

The absence of James has undoubtedly reduced the number of tickets purchased, which has also affected the concessions and jersey sales and the Cavs are becoming one of many NBA teams struggling to survive.

Think LeBron is hated by Cleveland now? Wait until he is winning championships and Cleveland is losing a basketball team.

Reality check needed: Kyrie Irving the next LeBron James?

kyrie-irving-and-tristan-thompsonThe Cleveland Cavaliers may have another LeBron James in the making as Kyrie Irving may be a little full of himself as NBA2K released a statement on Facebook stating that Kyrie Irving thinks he should be rated 99’s across the board on NBA2K12 video game.

While there is no comparison to the style of play, there are a few comparisons that leave us scratching our heads and believing that both may be full of themselves.

Both Kyrie Irving and LeBron James were taken first overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers and both will look to revive the franchise.

LeBron self entitled himself as “The King” and Kyrie thinks that after eight games in college that he should have a “99” rating entering the NBA, but “The King” was missing during the 2011 NBA Finals and Kyrie’s actual rating should be “99” upside down.

Let’s not also forget that LeBron James took his talents to South Beach and announced it on ESPN, the same way Kyrie Irving announced that he would attend the University of Duke on ESPNU.

It’s hard to imagine a player with more hype than Kyrie Irving, especially only playing eight regular season games, but his predecessor LeBron James he didn’t play one college basketball game and was the most hyped athlete we have ever seen.

The NBA Draft is always filled with uncertainties and while it may be hard to find any imperfections in Kyrie’s game there is no telling how one makes the next step to the NBA but being a pompous ass usually helps.