You Can’t Really Expect the Cavs to Lose on Purpose

We officially need to talk about the Cavs, losing and the lottery.  Last night the Cavaliers won back-to-back games as Minnesota took over the “lead” for the number of ping pong balls in the lottery with a loss to Phoenix.  Immediately after Baron Davis and the Cavs closed out the Raptors the whining started on Twitter about what could be the worst acronym in the history of attempted gimmicks: APPBITH.  In case you don’t know, it stands for “Another Ping Pong Ball in the Hopper” as coined by Kenny Roda at WKNR.

I don’t mean to pick on Kenny because I have enjoyed his show at times in the past, but let’s get something straight.  Acronyms are used to make phrases simpler, marketable, catchy, entertaining or something other than cumbersome.  Before I ever speak “APPBITH” aloud even once, I would prefer to say “Another Ping Pong Ball In the Hopper” ten times.  The acronym aside, let’s talk about the concept that the Cavaliers should lose for more chances at winning the lottery.

I understand anyone who wants to root for the Cavs to lose so they have a better chance at a draft pick.  I don’t really choose to think that way, but I am not so naive that I don’t understand.  There just seems to be a strange disconnect as to where this obsession with badness should stop.  You can root for it if that is what you think is right, but it stops at the Cavaliers’ locker room door.  The minute you expect the Cavs or their coach Byron Scott to play along, you’ve officially lost your head.

I figure the Cavaliers will lose just as many games as they are supposed to lose.  It isn’t healthy to ask professionals to throw games.  In fact it might also lead to an even bigger scandal if the motives leaked out to someone who could place large wagers on the games in Vegas.  You know Pete Rose?

Look, I know Roda is just trying to entertain people.  I know he is just running a gimmick that his listeners find entertaining.  Still, he was Twitter-screaming “Put manny harris back in to help close this game out!” followed by, “Get baron davis the hell out of there!”

The Cavaliers can’t actually do that.  The Cavaliers can’t build a culture like that where they think for a second that their job isn’t to play basketball as well as they possibly can play it.  You can’t expect Byron Scott to deliver that message one year and then expect him to get a team ready to compete once some talent is imported onto the roster.  Not all the guys here are pieces of the future, but some of them undoubtedly are.

While I am guessing that Roda and company at WKNR are doing what they do for entertainment purposes only, I truly hope they don’t literally (like literally literally) believe that the Cavs should purposely tank games.  The team could seriously lose a lot more than games by dumping on purpose.  They could lose some wins in the future.

  • GhostToMost

    I’d be all for them tanking games if there was another LeBron James in this draft. But clearly there is not. If Kyle Irving is the #1 pick, then the #1 pick is nothing to get worked up over. Not that Irving is a bad player or anything, but is he a “franchise” player? I could see him becoming an all star level player in the NBA, but will he be the centerpiece of a championship team? Ehhh, I doubt it, but thats just my opinion.

  • jimkanicki

    100% agreed craig. (including the foolish acronym mis-use.)

    note 1: team with worst record has not gotten top pick since orlando in 04.
    note 2: adding the clips-pick pct to our existing pick and we _will_ have the most ping pong balls.
    note 3: losing becomes a habit. i always think of the colts when they put in jim sorgi in 2nd qtr vs titans in 07. titans win, browns knocked out of playoffs. and colts? first round loss. served you right dungy/polian.

    the only exception to the rule that comes to mind was the browns’ last loss this year. a win there and the browns pick 13 or 14 vs #6. that loss was most fine by me.

  • Swig

    You turn the acronym into a word. Ah-pppbth.

    You make this second sound by placing your tongue between your lips and exhaling forcefully.

  • masonjarjar

    I lost all interest in anything Kenny had to say this past season when he started on his whole APPBITH thing. He might as well have said straight up that he was not interested in contributing anything meaningful to the discussion of the Cavaliers.

  • JM

    Roda is still on the air? Oh wait they combined him and Reghi because both shows stunk, so they went from 2 bad shows to 1 bad show. As far as losing goes, they still will get a high pick so it works out.

  • mgbode

    look, I doubt many are expecting the Cavs to lose on purpose. however, evaluating injuries becomes one area where the team could potentially knock the team down a win or two (he could play 60%, but decide to give him more rest, he might be able to come back at some point, but put him out the year, etc).

    especially in the NBA, losing doesn’t guarantee the pick. we’re going to have the 2nd most ping-pong balls with ‘our’ pick at the very least. and at worst, the 10th most ping-pong balls with the ‘Clips’ pick.

    that’s alot of ping pong balls. hopefully, they both come up.


    oh, and the ‘not a franchise player’ argument is a bit annoying to me. if he’s one of only a few guys that are seen as surefire allstars, then don’t you still want to make sure you get one of them? isn’t that better than the 2nd tier of guys who are boom or bust?

    you always want the higher picks and then it’s up to your scouts/FO.

  • mgbode

    speaking of the lottery, they better send Tait as the team representative.

  • Denny

    APATPPHHHT was my nickname in college.

  • forrealmccoy

    @swig… hahahahahha. And as far as “the road man” is considered. Take your act to Pittsburgh. OIC (acronym) is one of our main sports talk hosts a hated rival teams’ fan (Steelers).

  • LJL2

    simple statistics question –
    how do the outcomes of the past have any affect on the probabilities this year?
    answer –
    they don’t.

    the use of lotteries from the past have no bearings on this year’s lottery just as this year will have no bearing on any other one. flip a coin and get heads 10 times straight and you still have a 50/50 chance of getting tails the next time.

    whether you want the team to tank or not, don’t use this as an argument. it has no substance.

  • 5KMD


    I’ve been using this example with my wife who seems to think that since we are having our third boy this summer there is a better chance we get a girl if we go for #4.

    Also, a guy on the radio the other day thought he had less of a chance at winning the power ball because it was a huge jackpot and there were likely more people playing. The other two news people agreed with him.

  • CoachA12

    TBDBITL has a problem with this post. FWIW!

  • jimkanicki

    @ljl2#10 that’s true.

    here are more valid data points:
    sam bowie, #2; michael jordan #3.
    greg oden, #1; kevin durant #2.

  • Titus Pullo

    What a shock that Roda would be the author of some lame acronym.

  • Hash

    They have to lose on purpose. Let’s say the clippers remain the 6th worst team, that’s 316 balls vs. 230 balls. That’s the difference of two top 5 picks and two top 10 picks.

  • Hash

    Granted its not guaranteed that we get two top 5 picks, but I got my point across. The more balls we have the greater the chances our two picks will be higher.

  • Ben

    Is this where I get Tribe playoff tickets?

  • dwhit110

    Many Red Sox fans think that they should tank the rest of the season so Boston can secure the first pick in the MLB Draft. Granted it’s still a little early for that, but after all, there’s no lottery in baseball, it’s just done in reverse standings order.

  • false~cognate

    How pathetic are the Timberwolves that they stand a better chance of finishing with the worse record than a team that was one overtime win away from a 37 game losing streak?

  • Foghorn Leghorn

    Roda is a complete waste of anyone’s time. As someone who has moved, I came home a little while back and while driving around town, tuned in to listen to Cleveland sports radio, something I never listen to (Im not going to stream it on the internet). His show is 50% commercials, 30% fluff and him making fun of some idiot his call board operator let through, 15% more in-show commercials, and 5% actual substance. If you dont believe me, turn him off for a month and then tune in one time to listen to how ridiculously awful his show is.

    Craig, good article. Id rather win than go into the off-season with our tail between our legs. Statistically yes, we’re hurting our lottery odds but there are positive takeaways from the Cavs’ recent efforts as well.

  • Christopher


    Due of this article I tuned in to the 6-7pm show on my way home for the first time in a year or so…..needless to say I got 4 minutes in before declaring him and LeCharles Bentley idiots for trying to claim that agents get in bed with media writers to help their clients improve their draft board status.

    Because the night before the draft Holmgren, Heckert, Bellicheck and every other NFL GM/Scout are checking Kiper’s Big Board to make sure theirs is on par with his.


  • Stinkfist

    It isn’t even worth getting worked up over. The T-Wolves don’t really even need a point guard. Ricky Rubio should be there soon

  • Hype

    One of my friends has bought into this “Proverbial Koo-aid” of losing out the rest of the year. He even went as far to say “make Ryan Hollins play point guard.” GReat stuff. lol