April 24, 2014

Where Do The Cavaliers Go From Here?

Before we even start, let me first apologize. I asked everyone to believe and I dared to try to offer us hope, and it turned out to be nothing more than a fool’s errand. The Boston Celtics are a better basketball team than the Cleveland Cavaliers, especially when LeBron’s elbow is so injured he can’t even dribble a basketball without losing control of it. It seems easy to see now in hindsight, but the Celtics are such a complete team with at least 3 future Hall of Fame players (who are all still capable of playing at a high level) and 4 real All-Stars. The Cavaliers had the oldest player in the league in Shaq (and we laugh at the Celtics’ age….hah), 2 underperforming and nonproducing pseudo All Stars in Antawn Jamison and Mo Williams, a couple role players in Anderson Varejao, Anthony Parker, Delonte West, and Jamario Moon, and a high energy, promising young player who started 73 games this year but suddenly lost his playing time once playoffs started in JJ Hickson. Oh, and they had about 50% of LeBron James. That’s why yesterday I was all “Rise Above” and today I’m all “Bloodbuzz Ohio”.  

This one hurts. Deeply. I can’t get my head out of this rut and I’m physically sick to my stomach as if the girl I was madly in love with just told me “listen, we need to talk”. Here I thought this relationship was great. Maybe not perfect, but we were working on it all the time and I was sure we were going to spend the rest of our lives together. And in the course of a week, everything fell apart and I realized our relationship was nothing but a sham. A facade. An illusion wrapped in misguided reason.

In a world where Vince Carter lasts longer in the playoffs than LeBron James does, nothing seems to make sense. Just 5 days ago I was positive the Cavs were ultimately going to win this series and that the Cavaliers were a Championship caliber team. Had LeBron James left the Cavaliers, I felt good knowing that the Cavaliers as an organization did their part. Now? I’m not sure what to think. The illusion that LeBron has a better chance to win here than in New York is shattered. If LeBron stays and the Cavs want to contend for a title, this roster needs a complete overhaul, no different from where the Knicks are right now. But at least the Knicks have already trimmed all the fat.

And the Bulls? Forget about it. There’s no comparison between what he could have there and what he has here. You throw LeBron James on that Bulls team that gave this Cavs team fits for 5 games, and you instantly have a team infinitely better than the Cavaliers. Sure, if Mo Williams, Delonte West, and Antawn Jamison played to their normal levels, the Cavs might be better than the Bulls, better than the Knicks…..even better than the Celtics. But at some point you realize guys are who they are. There’s a difference between regular season players and postseason players. The Cavaliers lack postseason players.

So LeBron is gone, right? Well, not so fast. That’s not what I’m saying. LeBron still has plenty of great reasons to stay in Cleveland. I’m just saying that for the first time, I can see that Cleveland doesn’t offer him the best chance to win a Championship. So if Cleveland wants to become the team that LeBron needs in order to stay, then we’re about to see some major changes.

First of all, I don’t see any way Mike Brown keeps his job. And as much as I support Mike Brown and think he’s an excellent basketball coach overall, he has some major weaknesses that are preventing him from getting the job done. The Cavaliers passed on Amare Stoudemire in part because they didn’t want to give up JJ Hickson, and Mike Brown proceeded to throw him on the bench for the vast majority of the playoffs. That move alone completely disrupted the flow and momentum that these players had. The 4 games of rest was misguided in retrospect. Not realizing that Jamison can’t defend Garnett sooner than Game 6 was a major misstep. Coach Brown has been given ample time and plenty of tools, but he’s lost this team and it’s time for a new voice to take over.

As for the roster itself, nobody should be secure on this team. While I think Anderson Varejao and maybe JJ Hickson, Delonte West, and Jamario Moon are serviceable rotation guys, the Cavaliers must do anything and everything to improve the quality of players on this team. If you have to give up a Varejao or Hickson to make a major upgrade, you have to do it. Nobody needs to tell you how important keeping LeBron is.

So if we take LeBron out of the equation for a second, let’s examine the roster and salaries for next season again. Here are the players with fully guaranteed contracts (including Sebastian Telfair, who has a player option that he will without question pick up):

PLAYER SALARY
Antawn Jamison $13,385905
Mo Williams $9,300,000
Anderson Varejao $7,031,818
Daniel Gibson $4,015,334
Jamario Moon $3,000,000
Anthony Parker $2,855,769
Sebastian Telfair $2,700,000
JJ Hickson $1,528,920
Danny Green $762,195
TOTAL: $44,552,941

In April the NBA announced they are projected a $56.1 million salary cap for the 2010-11 season. That leaves the Cavs with $11,547,059 to spend. Until you factor in LeBron’s cap hold, that is. Even though he’s a free agent, LeBron’s salary (actually, 105% of his previous salary) still counts against the Cavs until he either signs elsewhere or the Cavs renounce his Bird Rights. So if LeBron stays, his max salary will be 105% of his previous salary, which comes out to $16,568,908. No matter what else happens, if LeBron stays in Cleveland, the Cavs are over the cap and are at the mercy of trades and the Mid Level Exception to make improvements to the roster.

There are a couple guys missing from the roster above. Shaq and Ilgauskas are both free agents. Delonte West’s contract isn’t guaranteed, the Cavs have a team option on Leon Powe ($915,852), and they can make Jawad Williams a qualifying offer of $1,029,000. The Cavs have Shaq’s Bird Rights, but they lost Z’s Bird Rights when they traded him. This means that unless Z is willing to come back for the Veteran’s minimum, we’ve almost certainly seen Z play his last game in Cleveland. As for Shaq, while he says he wants to come back and the Cavs could bring him back with his Bird Rights, I don’t see any reason for the Cavs to do so no matter what LeBron does. It’s time to admit that bringing him to Cleveland didn’t work and to move on.

What the Cavs do with Jawad Williams really doesn’t matter all that much. We know he can play a little, but he’s not going to ever be a playoff player. There’s no reason not to pick up Leon Powe’s option. At that salary he’s a bargain and it will be nice to see what he can give when fully healthy and has training camp to work his way into the rotation. As for Delonte, if LeBron stays I think the Cavs should and will bring him back. However, if LeBron leaves, Delonte’s $4,500,000 salary isn’t worth hanging on to.

We can talk about free agents later once we have more info on who is staying and who is leaving across the league, but one thing stands out to me. The Cavaliers’ primary problem is that they went for broke this season and failed. Last offseason, they had a choice. They could save cap space and make a run for another major free agent to bring in with LeBron, or they could use all their assets to make a Championship run in 2009-10. They went for the latter, and I still think that was the right decision. You have to strike while you can, and the best way to keep LeBron was always going to be to win a Championship and prove to him it can be done in Cleveland.

So they spent a lot of money to keep Varejao in Cleveland, they traded for Shaq, they used almost all of their cap exceptions to sign Anthony Parker, Jamario Moon, and Leon Powe to multi-year deals. They traded for Antawn Jamison and took on his contract long term. They did all this to build a deep roster with the versatility to match up with anyone. Once the playoffs came, though, and Mike Brown shrunk the rotation and refused to use the team’s depth and versatility to adapt to the Celtics, and other players flat out disappeared, it left the Cavaliers stuck with what they have this year. Which makes the grass on the other side appear all the more green.

Had Danny Ferry known this would be the result, I’d imagine he would have done things differently. So as much as it’s tempting to say shame on him for putting the Cavs in this position, it’s fundamentally and factually wrong for us to do so. Ferry gave LeBron a great roster. He gave LeBron the best regular season team in basketball. And almost everyone bought into it, from fans to the media. Everyone thought the Cavs were a great team who would be facing off with Orlando to fight a great battle to see who got to play for a title. I hope LeBron can remember that as well.

I’m not going to speculate at all on what LeBron’s actually going to do. I have no clue, and I have no inside information. I have absolutely no idea what LeBron truly wants and where his head is at. Scott pointed out that LeBron has plan, and we have to just wait it out (side note: isn’t it funny that LeBron hasn’t thought about it at all, yet he has a game plan that he is going to carry out?). If LeBron wants to remain loyal to this area and to define his legacy here with a franchise that will never stop supporting him (and building around him and striving to improve the team) and fans who will love him (as long as he’s winning), then staying in Cleveland is a great option for him. If LeBron wants instant gratification and a chance to win a Championship in 2011, he’s going to leave and go someplace else. It’s really just that simple.

The Cleveland Cavaliers franchise as a whole is about to go through the roughest offseason in team history. Coaching changes, possible front office changes, roster overhauls, and the specter of LeBron James walking out on us all. It’s too overwhelming to think about, and yet the reality of it is so palpable. I mentioned yesterday that “in the flash of a moment everything can change forever”. I meant it in a different, more positive context, but life doesn’t always work like that. Understanding how everything came crashing down like this defies explanation.

They say it’s always darkest before the dawn. I hope that’s true, because I’m ready for the dawn of a new day. I’m ready for the next era of Cavalier basketball, whatever that may entail. I hope it’s the next era of LeBron James. Losing LeBron will be the most painful sports loss of my life. But it’s important to remember, we were Cavs fans before LeBron, and we will be Cavs fans after LeBron. Life will go on, and the team’s quest for a Championship (no matter how successful or unsuccessful that may be) will go on as well with or without LeBron.

And hey, at least we still have Christian Eyenga to look forward to someday, right?

  • Clown Baby

    I wonder how the Cavs roster would look if LeBron would have committed long term and what effects that may have had on our free agency signings. I think Ferry wanted to sign some younger talent (Ariza) but a lot of those types of guys didn’t want to commit to a potentially LeBronless Cavs team. I think the signings that we saw were more of a Plan B.

  • beaverfever

    “If LeBron wants instant gratification and a chance to win a Championship in 2011, he’s going to leave and go someplace else. It’s really just that simple.”

    Is it really? The roster you have above isn’t all that different than the Cavs roster of a few monthes ago (sans two overpaid, slow, big men) when they were a heavy favorite to make it to the finals. Unless Boston, Orlando, or the Lakers can pick him up, then its not that simple.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Denny

    I also was carried to Ohio in a swarm of bees.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Denny

    And Clown Baby – I really think LeBron’s killed a lot of opportunities at free agent targets. He really has.

  • sam

    Love that song.. I downloaded The National’s new album just yesterday

  • http://shakesthesnowglobe.blogspot.com EZ

    Quite frankly I truly believe that if the Cavs had a coach that was able to get over his own pre-determined game plans and had the stones to bring Shaq off the bench in favor of JJ Hickson I think the Cavs could have given the Celtics a real series even if James’ elbow was bothering him.

    I’ve been supportive of Brown in the past because of his defense first philosophy but this year his defense was exposed (too much help in the paint consistently left outside shooters open both this year v. the Celtics and last year v. the Magic) and the Cavs were a terrible rebounding team in this series (except for James last night). If his pillars of defense and rebounding are not standing his deficiencies in offense and game plan adjustment are a weight on the team. He’ll consistently get a good record and go to the playoffs but when good teams and good coaches get time to examine his system they will pick him apart.

  • nobody

    Looking at that roster (+West & Powe), I hope I’m not the only one who thinks Lebron moving on would not matter. I feel this roster could get us where we ended up with Lebron this year (next year)…

  • CK

    As much as LeBron has been a blessing, he’s also been a curse, at least in terms of building a championship-caliber team. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been overjoyed to watch him play as a Cav since he was drafted, and would love nothing more to see him stay, but he’s done as much to stunt the Cavs growth as help it.

    When he came into the league the Cavs were a 17-win team. Within two seasons they’re a perennial playoff team, with no real shot of improving though the draft, leaving mostly cap-exceptions and trades. We’re suddenly at the mercy of every other GM in the league in terms of talent-acquisition, which means we’re more than likely getting nothing but players on the other side of their peak in return for cap relief.

    Then LeBron resigns with a three year contract, in an attempt to keep the front office “on their toes”. The main problem with this is that we’ve become a highly reactive team in terms of roster moves (e.g. Shaq to fight the Magic because we lost to them last year, Jamison to focus on Lewis, etc) and this makes it hard to build a strong core of a team. The core has essentially been LeBron and no one else (see: roster from ’06-’07 to current one). I’ll give Ferry credit for doing a bang-up job in acquiring the talent he could, but how many players are we realistically going to sign/ accept a trade over the last few years when there’s a good chance that LeBron bolts at the end of his contract? I think the fact he wasn’t dedicated to this team longer term contract-wise and didn’t allow for a concrete plan to be put in place hurt this team more than people realize.

    Then there’s this team, built for/ around LeBron and his talents. They’re all highly complimentary players and without him, they aren’t really a balanced team. I’d be shocked if it were a .500 team if he leaves and the rest of the roster stays intact. My fear is that they attempt to keep the team intact over Gilbert’s pride or something of the like, and we then become a perennial 8th seed in the east, always just staying out of the lottery.

    If LeBron does leave, I sincerely hope we blow up the roster and start stockpiling picks and cap space and attempt a rebuilding effort in the mold of an Oklahoma City/ Charlotte/ Atlanta. I’d rather see a dedicated plan in that we as fans have realistic expectations (lottery) about our team in the short term for potential long-term gains and the chance to build a championship TEAM.

  • Turk

    “Here I thought this relationship was great. Maybe not perfect, but we were working on it all the time and I was sure we were going to spend the rest of our lives together. And in the course of a week, everything fell apart and I realized our relationship was nothing but a sham.”

    Exactly how I feel today

  • http://shakesthesnowglobe.blogspot.com EZ

    @sam

    It really is quite a good song. The whole album is good, and after yesterday’s Black Flag mention I’m thinking Andrew should put music themes in all of his articles going forward.

    FYI for any vinyl geeks (like me) the vinyl version of the album is a 180-gram, violet colored double disc. The record fits into the sleeve a bit too tightly, but other than that it’s a great purchase.

  • stin4u

    nice write up Andrew.

    I think it’s important to approach this in a positive manner. There is a very real chance of losing Lebron, but I still cannot shake the feeling that he’ll be in a CAVS uniform next year. Dan Gilbert has proven he’ll go above and beyond to bring a title to this city, and that has to be a huge factor in Lebron’s decision.

    On the flip side, IF Lebron leaves it’s going to be extremely painful, but it won’t kill us. If this team gets blown to bits because of his departure, it won’t kill us. When you step back and look at the situation there are positives to fall back on including the fact that we have one of the better owners in all of the NBA (in my opinion). We still have some young talent that we can develop. And, were likely to see a fresh face coaching the team. None of this leads to us winning a ring in 2011 but there is no reason to just toss this team in a dumpster and forget it ever happened.

    For me this whole situation boils down to the fact that if we lose Lebron, I know this franchise will do everything in it’s power to put this team in a great position to win in the future.

  • http://www.twitter.com/azv321 Amin

    Great post.

    Looking towards an Eyenga-at-the-3 future!

  • Du

    @Andrew – You just went up by about 1000% in my book for your taste in music! Love The National and what a fitting song for today.

  • Lloyd Braun

    I do beleive Mike Brown needs to go. I have been a defender of his too and I think it is too easy to just blame the coach when things don’t go right. However, Brown did a terrible job in managing this roster. He played Shaq way too much, kept Jamison on Garnet way too long, played Moon and Hickson way too little, etc… He had all these options available to him, yet chose not to use them.

    I still beleive the Cavs have a good roster. They ran into a motivated, sharp, healthy Boston team (only two years removed from a title) who played great. Couple that with the fact that LeBron (for whatever reason) was not right and Mike Brown refused to use the depth of his roster, and it is not surprising that they lost.

    The roster you detailed above, with Lebron,West, and Powe added in, given time to play a full season together and with a coach willing/able to make proper adjustments, can compete for a title.

  • SFCavFan

    I haven’t felt this bad after a loss since Byner’s fumble at the goalline… I knew at that moment the Browns’ window had closed, and now the Cavaliers’ window (as we know it) has closed, regardless of whether LeBron comes back or not.

    I don’t know… something seemed wrong with LeBron from the start of this series. He just didn’t show the leadership and energy a superstar should… no rallying of the troops or getting in anyone’s face or even smiling. For the first time, he played like it was his job and not his passion.

    After Windy, there is no one else whose Cavs articles I enjoy more. Great job as always Rock. In my opinion, the best Cavs blog writer anywhere.

  • Matt#2

    I am, in this moment, opening to the idea that Lebron’s 3-year-itch plan was a bad move all around.

    I hope the same thinking does not prevail again, not even to re-sign Lebron.

  • matt tag

    true cleveland fans here – you should all be commended. For me, if LeBron leaves, I can see taking a break from the entire NBA for a long time. Watching a mediocre .500 team (at best) puddle along for 6 months with no shot at a title? I’ve got plenty of other places I can do that.

  • 5KMD

    With Brown’s shortened bench style, it would be better to scrap the ideas of great depth and do whatever you have to in order to get 2-3 start players and roster filler otherwise. Getting Amare would have been the better bet if Brown was going to play it this way.

    Cavs should have lived and died with that small, quick lineup after in worked so well earlier this year.

  • 5KMD

    I kind of liked it better when the common man didn’t have all this inside access to the teams. You had no idea how the roster got assembled, you just showed up and rooted for the jerseys when they played.

    The last two years have been exhausting.

  • MattyFos

    I Still think we have good enough guardplay to be a playoff team. We will have to revamp our Bigs for next season. But I think Mo, AP, JMoon, Dwest and Boobie may be the best combination of guards in the league. DWest is the slasher. Mo is the midrange guru. Boobie and AP are pure shooters. JMoon can be all of the above.

    Our bigs next season will be Andy, JJ, Powe and Antawn. A good combination of role players and a future star. But this is where our team needs to be addressed. There are two good role playing 2010 free agents.

    Amir Johnson- He is a defensive minded player. He can be like a Samuel Dalembert. Limited offensively, but he can be a defensive game changer. Young, 22, and stands 6’9″ so maybe he’ll be closer to Ben Wallace than Dalembert. But I think we could get Amir on the cheap.

    Ian Mahinmi- He is on the Spurs but spent most of the season in the NBADL. He is like the Spurs JJ Hickson. Left out of the rotation and Mahinmi was like a man playing children in the DL. He’s 23 years young and stands 6’11″. He’s listed as a power forward. But I think he has the versatility to play Center.

    These two guys will be cheap bigs with a ton of talent and upside. The bonus is they will probably sign for MLE. I’d like to get them both. Play Amir with Andy and we’d have two energetic bigs who will contest shots. Play Mahinmi with JJ and we’d have two bigs crashing the boards and add Antawn into the mix we can have a very underrated front court.

  • TBrown

    In a weird way, now that I’ve had a chance to sleep on it, I’m glad it’s over. Now, we can look forward to the future without the spectre of LeBron leaving hanging over our heads, because one way or another we’ll finally know what’s coming.

    And I’m ok with our roster after Shaq and Z walk, but it’s not a championship caliber team yet. If JJ develops into a reliable paint player, then maybe. We’ll see what the new coach does with the talent he’s given, but I think we need a consistent low-post scorer if we’re ever going to get back to the Finals.

  • 216in614

    LeBron was one turnover away from a quadruple-double.

  • SeanZ

    Jameson. should go. his shots were so weak, there are so many talented guys at that position.
    West. should go. he hasn’t gotten any better since he came.
    Shaq. should go. he cant jump. he doesn’t intimidate. he got old

    Brown. out. Lenny Wilkens drove me crazy when he would not play Ehlo in playoffs. Brown drives me crazier. His rotations are pointless. Outside the opening play of the game, I didn’t see an offensive “play” run.

    LeBron. If he goes anywhere other than Chicago, I’d say he’s not going to get that championship in the next five years barring great luck. Chicago is pretty much perfect for him. He is MJ and Rose is Pippen and you can fill out the rest of the big dance card yerselves.

  • Eric

    Dan Gilbert is having a 2:30pm press conference. Hmmmm I wonder what that will be about.

  • http://mrrklaw.com tsm

    In retrospect, with 7 years to build a team, the front office did a terrible job. In the first 3-4 years, they should have obtained and developed young talent that could grow with LeBron. Instead they signed Damon, Donyell, Larry and others as a quick fix. This is why we are where we are today.
    If LeBron leaves, I think we are a lottery team, and we would be better off trying to rid ourselves of the veterans, keeping the young guys and picking up lottery selections the next 2 years. Anyone who thinks we have a point guard on the roster who can help the team compete for a championship is kidding themselves. Rose & Rondo killed us and Nelson would have done the same.

  • Clown Baby

    It’s somewhat comforting to know that a man with deep pockets and who stands to lose more money then any of us can comprehend is going to be responsible for wooing LeBron to stay. Gilbert will do anything and everything to make Cleveland LeBron’s home for the next 3 years. I’m sure that means even hiring Calipari. If LeBron leaves it’s going to be cause he wanted to be somewhere else, but we are in capable hands.

  • http://www.nologoneeded.com Z_NoLogoNeeded

    Rock…nice write up…I actually had the cap numbers written on my work notepad trying to crunch them and see what the roster would look like. Glad you broke it down and I didn’t have to keep using math on a Friday

    My personal feeling on the whole situation is that Dan Gilbert will not be held hostage by LeBron. If LeBron goes into Gilbert’s office and asks for the world and to hand pick the Coach and GM, I can’t see Gilbert going for that.

    I think the key to this whole off season will be Gilbert. With good ownership/front office (Ferry needs to stay) you can turn a team around quickly by making the right moves.

    Hopefully if LeBron is going to leave we are savvy enough to push for a sign and trade to give us some building blocks for the future and pieces for Ferry and Co. to work with. But I do know that all is not lost if LeBron does leave because Gilbert is not the type of guy that takes losing lightly. LeBron leaving will fuel Gilbert to commit even more to winning (wish Gilbert owned the Tribe). LeBron is going to try to play hardball with a guy that built an empire from scratch. LeBron may think he is a global business man with LMRM, but he is going to be negotiating with the real deal and Gilbert isn’t going to just lay down.

    Should be an interesting month in a half….either way it goes, GO CAVS!

  • http://Www.msblsim.com BOogeyman

    TSM I agree Ferry deserves blame too after all he put the roster together.
    Outside of LeBron James the other thing Cavaliers fans have going
    for them is owner Dan Gilbet. Although Gilbert is the one who chose
    both Ferry and Brown.

    I don’t expect some major move this afternoon but will be tujning in to hear
    for myself.

  • http://www.60bpm.com/ Robbie

    @TBrown — I’m feeling that way, too. The relationship analogies are accurate. If it’s not going to work-out, let’s just blow it up. Which is why LBJ picking-up that 1 year option wouldn’t make me happy. Commit or leave.

  • AMC

    Chris Mannix tweeted that two league sources have told him Mike Brown will be fired today:

    ChrisMannixSI

    Two league sources say the Cavaliers will announce that Mike Brown has been fired today

  • Clown Baby

    AMC – Makes me think Ferry may not be far behind. He’s not going to stick around if he feels he reports to a coach/player.

  • Tommy

    If LBJ decides to leave, the Cavs should immediately look into trading JJ and Andy particularly. And this is coming from a guy that has considered Varejao his favorite player for the last few years. I absolutely love watching the hustle and the selflessness even down to the interviews. His attitude and play are great for a team. However, the more games these 2 guys play without Lebron, the more their value will drop and everyone in the league will see that they can’t score without LBJ. Varejao will always have rebounding and drawing charges, but that isn’t worth anywhere near 7 mil

  • Harv 21

    Brown is already blindfolded and bound in front of the wall with the cigarette in his mouth, but since I’ll miss your imminent breaking news wanted to share a few deep MB thoughts:

    - He’s a good man, handled himself with dignity, never embarrassed his players or his org, and in an egomaniacal profession always deflected credit to others. If you say he had no reason to take credit, listen to some of the other mediocre, self-promoting coaches who never met a mic they didn’t like.

    - Always somewhat reminded me of a roundball version Wedgie. Decent at instilling a certain general attitude, horrible at in-game adjustments, not respected too much by the veterans because he hasn’t won anything yet can be stubborn beyond comprehension when refusing to do the obvious, ultimately losing his team.

    - Guys like Brown interview really well because they’re hard-working and energetic, reek of good organizational values, and appear to have big coaching upsides. But the reality is that there are only a few good x’s and o’s coaching geeks who can also effectively challenge filthy rich young players to be better and play as a team. Many of these guys are better assistant coaches. Problem is,the FO doesn’t know that they aren’t “can’t miss head coaches” until they get the job and miss.

    - Mike Brown has his weaknesses all exposed now and it’s time to go, for sure. All coaches have weaknesses, and there will be a stupid public spat or DUI or something which makes us fondly remember how atleast Brown never did that. Even the sainted, Hall of Fame Lenny Wilkins had a hard time getting his guys to play hard and tough, and was the King of Excuses.

  • TSR3000

    @1- I hate how right you are. In retrospect, I always thought it was fair for him to wait and then decide. Really he hurt everyone’s chances to get a title in the long run.

  • the greg of 90

    I dont think Lebrons elbow was that bad. I truly believe he threw the series so he has a viable excuse to get out of town. Think about his actions and mood all last year playoffs compared to this one. Last year he was supposed to win it all and was pissssed off when we lost to Orlando. Then this year he got us bounced so he could bolt. Last year was supposed to be the year to deliver us a title then he could have that burden off his back for the city of cleveland and this year he could bomb it so he cant catch heat for going to another team. Look, he isnt worried about winning a title this year, he will get one or more down the road.
    Just my conspiracy thought. Its not out of the realm of possibility. Anyone who admires that slime ball Calipari is capable of doing just this.

  • Clown Baby

    LeBron’s departure would have been a lot more cheerful if he had left after winning a championship. It makes no sense for him to throw the series. It’s an idiotic theory put forth by people more interested in the X-Files then the Cavs. It’s complete garbage.

  • flea

    Keeping with the National Theme

    “Sadness, it’s in my honey, it’s in my milk”

    The rest is just speculation. That is all.

  • Mark

    Our main export is crippling depression.

  • Ramon J. Sanchez.

    I hail from L.A. I fell for you.Really.Maybe you can offer coach Jackson 15 million/yr. . And make his girlfriend the G.M. .

  • Dave

    Tell me what is wrong with this logic. Dan Gilbert figures losing Lebron might cost the team 100 million. Figures better to lose less keeping him, and ignores the salary cap. Sign two guys like Bosch and Johnson or whoever. There are a few other possibilities, Iggy, CP3. Maybe Gilbert figures he’ll make a few bucks with the casinos, so he can afford to spend his money.

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