April 17, 2014

While We’re Waiting… Little Cavs, little Tribe, little Browns for a Monday morning

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

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Good news for Cavs fans or extreme overconfidence- “SI: Can you get this done? And is it hard that after winning five championships you’re battling to make the playoffs? Bryant: It’s not a question of if we make the playoffs. We will. And when we get there, I have no fear of anyone — Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Denver … whoever. I have zero nervousness about that.

SI: OK, that’s you, who has never been known for lack of confidence. Bryant: But I’m not talking about just me. Us as a group. We will make the playoffs. And we will compete. And part of the reason I have that confidence is the Miami game [a 107-97 loss in Miami on Feb. 10]. We had control of the game. That was no fluke. We were playing very, very well. We were reading the defense, making the extra pass. OK, they have two great players [LeBron James and Dwayne Wade] who scored eight straight buckets and took control of the game. But we were right there. We can do it.” [McCallum/SI.com]

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Fun read about Luke Walton’s rookie experience- “Was there any one veteran who was extra-tough on you or one that took it easy? Walton: No. They all took turns. They all took turns being hard on us. And they all took turns of really helping us. I remember one game: Kevin Willis was trying to rough me up. I think he was with San Antonio at the time. And he kept dirty-fouling me – the way vets do rookies sometimes when they get in the league. So I’m trying to fight back with him, but I don’t know if I’m stepping over the line or what.

So Shaq tells me: ‘Run him off me, young fella.’ So I say alright and run him off a pick. And I don’t see what happened; I just hear the whistle blow. And I turn around and look at Willis and he’s just lying on the floor. They called an offensive foul on Shaq and he just looked at me like: ‘I got your back.’ And I thought when Shaq tells you that, that’s a good feeling.” [Cavaliers.com]

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“You’re not alone in your skepticism of Lombardi. But you’re going to have to get used to him for a while. When Banner introduced Lombardi at the introductory press conference, Banner showed his commitment to this hire when he said, “There’s no question he’s near or at the top of quality talent evaluators.” So it would look bad on Banner if this marriage ended quickly.

My skepticism of Lombardi is based on a couple of instances. When he was with the NFL Network, Lombardi bashed Tom Heckert’s last draft as well as the addition of wide receiver Josh Gordon in the supplemental draft. This is the same draft that produced seven promising prospects (and three immediate starters): running back Trent Richardson, quarterback Brandon Weeden, offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz, defensive linemen Billy Winn and John Hughes, linebacker James-Michael Johnson and wide receiver-returner Travis Benjamin. The other part that puzzles me is the fact Lombari has only received one interview over the past five years and that was the 49ers two years ago. It just doesn’t add up for me.” [Hensley/AFC North Blog]

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Rekindling, reminiscing about what Bill Selby did to Mariano Rivera on that fateful day [Buckeye Nerd]

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“In other words: what if a franchise brand did not deliver a consistent product? What if the brand’s best product was only available in select geographies? Well Cleveland would support their local Dunks for awhile because it’s a good national brand and the advertising is compelling and it’s got cachet and we haven’t figured out quite what the other options are. But ultimately, if the product sucks, consumers find the other options.

The brand suffers. Franchises fail. It’s true with coffee. It’s true with ‘competitive sporting events.’ If Dunks should adopt a policy where Supremo is only served in glam locations while less happening locations get Sanka, the result will be less franchises. Less franchises mean less revenue. All partners see less dollars. Bringing this back to the NBA, the predictable outfall of truly free player movement is a league where the best teams are in, say, eight cities. The other 24 will get suck. After a steady diet of suck, those teams will fold.” [Kanick]

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If you didn’t yet, check out Jacob’s piece on potential Browns picks at #6. [WFNY]

  • mgbode

    anyone who has seen the Lakers since the ASB knows that Kobe is serious about this statement (the one way that he’s like Derek Anderson though is that “nothing’s funny”).

    and, don’t look now, but LAL is 11-4 over their last 15 games. Long road ahead but only 2.5GB of Houston (who just hurt themselves short-term w/ the T-Rob trade even though it helps them in the long run), 3.5GB of Utah, and 5.5GB of fading Golden State.

  • BenRM

    I love the jimkanicki piece. I couldn’t agree with him more on the issue.

  • mgbode

    I agree with alot of his points, but disagree with the overall premise.

    The NBA has seen it’s largest popularity eras when there are dominant teams. The common fan that drives ratings seems to like to have Avengers’ style super-teaming. It used to happen through shady trading and the fact that only a few FOs actually understood the only important things were superstars (LAL, Boston) – and obtaining them through high draft picks or trades (and “through shady means” cannot be underscored enough).

    Boston, LAL, then Chicago, LAL again and now Miami. The Spurs don’t get the same treatment because they are not a collection of superstars (though their initial championship was Robinson+Duncan) but a team that plays within a system to perfection. I don’t like it, but it is what it is.

    What does that mean for the future? Well, teams like Utah, Golden State, Phoenix, Cleveland, Portland, Sacramento (for now), and Seattle (future) all have among the most rabid fans in the entire country. None of them have seen anything more than a 3year window of championship contention that ultimate came up short (outside 1 Lenny Wilkins Seattle champ).

    As much as it stinks, I don’t think you are killing the NBA to keep the big market teams with a competitive advantage as long as you offer some margins of hope to the smaller market ones. Currently, OKC and Indiana are those marks of hope. Proof you can build competitive teams within the confines.

  • dwhit110

    OKC, Indiana, and Denver.

  • mgbode

    Denver is fascinating. First, because I love George Karl. He revolutionized the NBA and never gets enough credit for it (emphasizing passing/shooting from forwards to pair with fast-pace offense and defensive intensity).

    Iggy was a huge get for them as well as their wing defense was terrible in the postseason last year. Their net efficiency rating currently is ranked 7th in the NBA (Indiana 5th, OKC 1st).

    http://stats.nba.com/leagueTeamGeneral.html?MeasureType=Advanced&PerMode=Totals&sortField=NET_RATING&sortOrder=DES

  • mgbode

    MLB note: Granderson fractures arm.

    Yankees now have lost: Nick Swisher, Russell Martin, Raul Ibanez, Andruw Jones and Eric Chavez, A-Rod (at least 1st half), Granderson (out April). And are depending a ton on Jeter repeating his big year at the plate last year.

    Yankees added: Kevin Youkilis, Travis Hafner, Juan Rivera and Matt Diaz

    I’m not shedding any tears. But, it sure seems like TB is the favorite in the AL East now (NYY and Boston down, Toronto unknown and noone trusting Baltimore to repeat last year).

    And either Detroit or Anaheim is the favorite in the AL now. And, I’m only putting Anaheim there because I didn’t want to just list Detroit (who should be the heavy favorite overall). The AL Central may be the weakest overall division, but I think we have the heaviest heavyweight in the AL as well.

  • Natedawg86

    I have been looking. Only time in my life I have been looking for LAL in box and happy for Ws.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    like button!

  • mgbode

    yeah, it’s so weird. I feel icky. and, my wife is a Laker fan, so she is giddy about it.