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.