August 1, 2014

While We’re Waiting…Eric Wright’s death threats, Baron’s debut, and trusting Dan

Eric Wright said he received death threats last season: “Browns cornerback Eric Wright, who received a second-round tender from the Browns on Thursday, is determined to rebound from his poor 2010 season and the sting of death threats from fans.

“I went from people expecting me to be a top cornerback in the league to receiving death threats,” Wright said. “It was a lot to deal with.”

Wright’s career, which featured a stellar 2009 season, took a drastic turn in Week 3 when he gave up three touchdown passes to Anquan Boldin in a 24-17 loss to the Ravens. Suddenly, a player many expected to make the Pro Bowl in 2010 was under siege by fans and media.

“It’s hard to dig yourself out of that type of hole when you have the worst game of your career,” Wright said. “Then, the team’s losing and we had a young corner in Joe Haden who looked great playing. There was a lot of negative attention around my struggles and it was hard to overcome.”

The next week against the Bengals, Wright was blamed for many of Terrell Owens’ 10 catches and 222 yards, though, few were his fault. Five games later against the Jets, Santonio Holmes beat him on a short slant that turned into the 37-yard game-winning touchdown in overtime as Wright, T.J. Ward and Eric Barton missed tackles.

“Whether others were there or not, it didn’t matter,” Wright said. “By that time, it’s going to be Eric Wright’s fault.” [Mary Kay Cabot / The Plain Dealer]

On Baron’s debut:  “I think we got the full Baron Davis experience in this game. On his first play as a Cavalier, he casually fired a perfect no-look alley-oop to J.J. Hickson from half-court. It was almost certainly the most spectacular play a Cavalier guard has made this season. On the very next possession, he jacked up a contested three and missed it badly. Still, when the ball is in his hands, he’s in control in a way that no other Cavalier is. It’s almost impossible to make him pick up his dribble, and he’s always creating angles with his dribble while looking for open three-point shooters or cutters. Ramon is a scorer who can play point guard. Baron is a point guard who can score.

There’s still plenty to be concerned about with Baron. The three-ball has always been Baron’s biggest vice, and that was what he was most effective with on Friday. Baron was 2-8 from inside the arc, and two of his four threes were of the ridiculous clock-saving variety. Baron can do things that no other Cavalier can do, but they will have to pay a possession tax, just like every one of his teams always has.”  [John Krolik / Cavs The Blog]

On Dan Gilbert expediting Cavs rebuild:  “If one thing is clear after the moves that General Manager Chris Grant made last week at the trade deadline, it’s that this organization is chomping at the bit to get back into the postseason.  Consequently, they’re not about to wait around and endure another season or two of this emotional brutality.

Yes, like it or not, Dan Gilbert has not-so-subtly put his foot down, drawn a line in the sand, whatever cliche you want to use. Gilbert’s a proud man, and publicly, he is displaying an unyielding, calculated determination that may surpass that of any owner in professional sports.

Let me start by saying I do not necessarily think this is the best way to build the team. In a “perfect” world, the Cavaliers would finish in the bottom two or three of the league this year and the next two years. In that time, they would avoid taking on major salary except in the case where it yields them further draft picks. Then, when the time is right and the draft picks are ready, free agent signings and taking on salary for the sake of talent can take place. That’s the ideal rebuild for the small-market Cavaliers.

But, humans are impatient, Cleveland fans are impatient, and son of a gun, I am too! That’s why Dan Gilbert gave the green light to Chris Grant for a win-win trade for the Cavaliers with Baron Davis and the unprotected Clipper first round pick.” [Kirk Lammers / Stepien Rules]

Questioning Dan’s rebuild philosophy:  “I remember the aftermath of Price-Daugherty-Nance teams: a Cavs squad filled with vets like Hot Rod Williams, Tyrone Hill and Michael Cage rounded out with decent-but-not-great young guys like Terrell Brandon, Bobby Phills and Chris Mills. That’s a team that wasn’t good enough to win a playoff series but wasn’t bad enough to draft guy who could win them said playoff series.  After a few years of treading water, eventually fans lost interest and the team bottomed out anyways.

If Gilbert’s goal is for people to attend Cavs games and spend money at his casino afterwards, I understand wanting to field a playoff team. But if a small market team wants to be really good for a long time, they’re going to have to draft high (and not just once). Sure, you could get Tim Duncan, but you could also get Andrew Bogut (good, not great) or Michael Olowokandi- it all depends on the year.

Plus, if there’s ever a time to suck to get great later (and that is the goal, right? To be a great team?), wouldn’t you want that sucking to occur while the casino is being built rather than in three years when it’s up and running?

I hope Gilbert’s plan works. I really do. I like watching the Cavs and watching the Cavs is much more fun when they don’t suck. But I really, really, really hope that someone in the organization is taking the long view. Because Dan Gilbert isn’t.”  [Ben Cox / Ben's Blog]

Cleveland State wins, plays Butler tonight at 6:  “Norris Cole’s points came late, and Aaron Pogue’s almost not at all. But Cleveland State was able to get its coveted third matchup with Butler behind a late-charging 73-59 victory over Wright State Friday evening in the second round Horizon League Tournament game at Milwaukee’s U.S. Cellular Arena.

A  44-42 game with 11:48 to play became a blowout as Cole heated up down the stretch to score 13 of his 15 points in a 24-5 run by Cleveland State that put the Vikings on top, 68-47. Before Cole’s eruption, the Vikings were being carried by the supporting cast of Jeremy Montgomery, Tre Harmon and Tim Kamczyz, who finished with 16, 14, and nine respectively.

CSU now plays Butler at 6 tonight, looking to avenge a pair of losses to the Bulldogs during the regular season.

“Now is when it matters,” Cole said of the third matchup. “Now is when it’s one and done.””  [Elton Alexander / PD]

  • http://www.60bpm.com/ Robbie

    Last night’s game was fantastic. The Cavaliers played with some attitude. Maybe they didn’t like the comments Carmelo made prior to the game about it being personal and all.

  • Mmonast

    Win win trade? I was told Gilbert made that tade because he hates cleveland

  • JNeids

    I’m truly torn. On the one hand, I think we have some solid young assets in Boobie, Ramon, Eyenga, Manny, SamSam, and JJ, some possible potential from Harangody and Erden, plus Andy has proved he is still valuable when many thought Lebron was the source of his skill. Now maybe only 2 or 3 of those guys have starter potential, but I wouldn’t mind having the rest on the bench playing behind the 3 or 4 lottery picks we have in the next 2 years. And the fact that they’re all getting quality minutes now can only help them down the road. But on the other hand, I’m trying desperately not to get my hopes up again, at least not just yet, even for the 2012-13 season.

  • MrCleaveland

    Ah Jeez, another drama queen plays the “death threat” card.

    1. People who issue death threats to people they don’t know never carry them out.

    2. People who DO kill people they don’t know don’t give them advance notice.

    So can we stop with the “death threat” nonsense already?

  • bobby

    I dont like Wright’s “wo is me” attitude in that, but I can see where hes coming from. Fans, including people here, turned on him instantly. Hopefully next season he comes back with his psyche in place… if he gets over his mind games I hope to see big things. Maybe it will help getting out of Ryan’s system which is very complex.

  • JM

    Wow death threats? Stay classy Browns fans. Wright was just one of the many problems this team had along with Delhomme, the receivers, the defensive line, etc.

  • jim

    Did some of these bloggers not listen to Gilbert during the second quarter of the Spurs game? He was emphatic that the worst position for an NBA team is to be in the middle; just good enough to make the playoffs but not good enough to win it all. He clearly understands that to get back to contender status this team is going to have to build through the draft which is going to entail another year or two of painful losses. I do not believe his intent is to put a decent team on the floor and just try and stay in playoff contention. He wants to win and he knows what that will take.

  • Sam B

    @ #4

    So if someone sent you a death threat randomly in the mail or via email it wouldnt concern you at all? I would imagine that such a thing would cause a wide gambit of emotions.

  • Shamrock

    Dear Mr. Wright,

    You aren’t important enough to warrant a death threat.

    P.S. Those were suicide threats after hearing you were still on the team

  • Gauntlet

    @#8, gambit might work, but maybe try gamut?