August 26, 2014

Anthony Bennett isn’t being traded to Philadelphia after all

Anthony Bennett

As we await the final few days of the Kevin Love-Andrew Wiggins trade saga, word coming out of Philadelphia is that Anthony Bennett isn’t being sent to the City of Brotherly Love after all.

As Wiggins, this year’s No. 1 pick, and Love continue to be the focal points of what will easily be this year’s (decade’s?) biggest trade in the NBA, it was believed that Bennett, last year’s No. 1 pick, would be sent to the 76ers for forward Thaddeus Young. Bennett was atrocious during his first year in the league, averaging a meager 4.2 points, 3.0 rebounds, on 35.6 percent shooting from the field, but has since lost weight and appeared to be vastly improved during the recent Las Vegas Summer League.

Multiple other reports have since followed Zgoda’s, corroborating reports that the former UNLV star is going to be sticking in Minnesota. If he were to stay with the Wolves as a part of the Love deal, he would be heading to a team without a real power forward.

“I’m just a young man just ready to work,” Bennett recently told the Toronto Sun. “Wherever I end up, doesn’t really matter to me. I just want to play the game of basketball.”

The proposed (and allegedly accepted) trade is expected to be announced on August 23.

 

Matt Dery talks Cleveland sports vs. Detroit sports – WFNY Podcast – 2014-08-19

Matt Dery from 105.1 FM in Detroit jumped on the podcast to discuss lots of Cleveland sports topics.

  • Johnny Manziel vs. Brian Hoyer
  • The QB curse and Matt Stafford
  • Does Detroit appreciate Matt Stafford?
  • The Cavaliers getting LeBron James
  • The Dolan “cheapness” bit
  • The Cleveland Indians in 2014
  • Indians trade deadline

Check out this episode!

Complex reimages the Nike LeBron line as if he never left Cleveland

photo4

While many Cleveland sneakerheads await the release of the LeBron XI in a Wine and Gold colorway, Complex went ahead and redesigned the last few years of Nike LeBrons under the pretense that he never took his talents to Miami. Taking the LeBron VIII, LeBron XI, LeBron X, and LeBron XI, Complex’s Rajah Allarey gave each a lot of wine, a lot of gold, and a dash of navy blue.

Uniform wonks will quickly point out that the Cavs abandoned the navy blue for what was exclusively wine, gold and white under the “New Expression,” but the redesigns still look pretty cool. Check them out for yourself.

Kyrie Irving: “I haven’t been a leader”

DSC_0389

Though many yearned for Kyrie Irving to lead an otherwise fledgling franchise through a time of disarray, the two-time NBA All-Star admits that he was anything but.

“Everybody asks me if this is my year to be a leader … I haven’t been so far though, not at all,” Irving said in an interview with Real GM. “I’ve just been a kid trying to figure it out. There’s no perfect way to be a leader, and coming in as a 19-year-old kid and having everything bearing on your shoulders, there are a lot of ups and downs. Now it’s about being the best every single day and not being afraid.

“I’m more than excited with our new veterans. I’m really excited just from the standpoint of how the locker room is going to go and how to really be a professional. I’m not saying that the veterans that we had weren’t professionals themselves, but we didn’t have enough. Given the right and wrong things to do in the league, I’ve had to learn on my own and that’s what some of us been doing.

“Now, we have guys who’ve been in the league for years, guys who’ve won championships and have had to give a piece of their game for the greater good of the team. It’s something I admire and something I’m going to learn from.”

Possessing the ability to manicure box scores and highlight reels by the truck loads, the Cavaliers, and Cleveland, had asked the now-22-year old to be more than a basketball player. As the team was struggling, all focus pointed in the direction of a kid who didn’t appear to have the ability to take a team, put them on his shoulders, and carry them through turbulent times. Good news was that despite all of the losing and poor body language, Irving re-upped with Cleveland to the tune of five years and $90 million.

Now, with a litany of veterans and a head coach who appears ready to run his entire offense through the wildly talented point guard, it appears Irving is finally more comfortable in his role of 1A (or even 1B) behind LeBron James as the team looks to once again rule the Eastern Conference. Admission is the first step.

(Photo: Scott Sargent/WFNY)

#ESPNForecast thinks highly of LeBron James, Cavs

Kyrie LeBron Love Cavs Photoshop

This may come as a shock, but the folks at ESPN.com continue to think highly of Cleveland Cavaliers small forward LeBron James. Garnering 230 votes, James tops Kevin Durant and (a bit of a surprise) Derrick Rose in ESPN’s poll to predict the 2014-15 MVP.

The “yawn” bit, while harmless at this stage, can be a bit worrisome for those who care about the MVP award and it’s potential to reward storylines over season-long output. This said, is there any bigger storyline than James, Cleveland and the potential swing in win-loss fortune?

Not if you ask ESPNForecast, who gave 215 votes to the Cavs as “Team Turnaround” for the upcoming season. And it wasn’t even close—the New Orleans Pelicans were second with just 47 votes. The Wine and Gold are currently expected to win the East with a record of 56-26 (Note: This is pre-Kevin Love).

And if this wasn’t enough, James and Love are ranked Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, when it comes to the league’s “Best Newcomers.”

John Calipari doesn’t regret turning down Cavs’ $60 million

LBJ-and-Calipari

Prior to LeBron James’ return to Cleveland, Cavs majority owner Dan Gilbert was primed to make John Calipari one well-paid NBA coach—a $60 million offer which was eventually turned down. But now that James and a host of other quality players have decided to make their way to Cleveland through various channels, Coach Cal, who returned to the University of Kentucky, says he doesn’t regret leaving the money—or the wins—on the table.

“No. No. I don’t think so. Because he and I have a great relationship (with LeBron), but it’s not based on me coaching him,” Calipari told Kyle Tucker of The Courier-Journal. “We’ve got a relationship. I’ve known him for years and years. We’ve always been friends. But it was never based on that. I’ve said that. I’ve had a chance to coach Derrick Rose, John Wall and DeMarcus (Cousins), Anthony Davis and Michael (Kidd-Gilchrist). And I’m leaving names off, but I’ve coached some of the best players in basketball, and it is a thrill. There’s nothing better than that. Especially when those guys are all good guys.

“Well, LeBron is also that kind of player and that kind of person. But again, leaving guys who made decisions based on what’s right for their career was something I couldn’t have gotten by anyway.”

Calipari, always the warm soul, says he chose the relationship with his players over the NBA pay day. The Cavaliers ended up hiring David Blatt, a guy without the domestic popularity of Cal, but one who has impressed at every level he has coached. For his loyalty, however, Kentucky gave Calipari a $52.1 million extension through 2021. So fear not—there will still be a roof over his head and rumors of him making the leap to the NBA should subside for at least another 10 months.

(h/t Larry Brown)

Video: Kyrie Irving accepts ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Kyrie Irving Ice Bucket Challenge

Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving was one of the latest professional athletes to accept the “Ice Bucket Challenge” for ALS awareness. In doing so, he passed the challenge on to three other individuals, including R&B star Chris Brown.

Check it out below to see how the reigning NBA All-Star MVP handles the sub-zero water as it’s dumped on his head.

Jack from @wayneembryskids talks about LeBron James and Ferguson – WFNY Podcast – 2014-08-15

WFNY Podcast LogoWe had planned on talking about LeBron James and Kevin Love, but then he considered going down to Ferguson to try and help out with his legal skills.

So, we did end up talking about LeBron James and Kevin Love, but we spent a lot of time talking about what’s happening in Ferguson as well.

Check out this episode!

Cedar Point, Johnny Manziel, LeBron James, and the Indians playoff chances with TD – WFNY Podcast – 2014-08-14

WFNY Podcast LogoI got a chance to talk to TD about all three Cleveland teams. That’s always a blast for me. Today we spent a good amount of time talking about the Tribe and the season they’ve put together.

We also talked about LeBron coming home and what that means for a sports family like TD’s that is baseball, and football first.

Lastly we talked about Johnny Manziel, the Browns and what it must be like for Brian Hoyer to try and win the starting job. We talked about how even as we expected hype around Manziel that it’s surprising just how crazy things are around him.

Oh, and we led off talking about Cedar Point, which rules.

Check out this episode!

Video: What will the Cavs offense look like with Kyrie, Love and LeBron?

Cavs Offense Video

As if the addition of head coach David Blatt wasn’t enough, the 2014-15 Cleveland Cavaliers will (by all accounts) feature substantial upgrades and small forward and power forward as well. So how will all of this work? Coach Nick from BBALLBREAKDOWN takes a look at the Cavs’ summer league (coached by Blatt) in addition to some of the rookie NBA head coach’s former teams as to how he can best utilize three of the league’s top 30 players.

LeBron at the four? Kevin Love as a shifty, pick-and-pop five? Wide open corner threes? Do enjoy.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have LeBron and Kevin Love, Browns thoughts and Death Cab… While We’re Waiting

WFNYBanner www

Happy Friday folks. Here’re my weekly week-ending sports thoughts. Enjoy the GLC tonight!

Results aren’t guaranteed but…

Last week while on vacation I was a negative Nelly. Coming off what I consider to be a pretty miserable MLB trade deadline, that’s just where my head was. This week, things are very different. I’m still disappointed in the Tribe’s general direction, but I just finished looking at pics of LeBron James at Browns camp while soaking into the Woj bomb that Kevin Love is joining the Cavaliers soon via trade. Nothing is guaranteed, of course, but it’s time to really start enjoying these uneniably good things. Say it out loud a few times. “LeBron James and Kevin Love are going to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers this year … with Kyrie Irving.”

I was reading an article by Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune in Minnesota where he was talking about all the winners and losers in this Kevin Love situation. He took a small shot at Cleveland sports fans, calling us “whiners,” but that’s not important. The fact is that there’s a perspective out there that Cleveland fans have become giant whiners on the level of pre-World-Series-winning Boston. That perspective exists because at least some outward-projecting version of Cleveland sports fans do come across that way.

In this scenario, fair or not, like the burning of LeBron jerseys back after The Decision, perception is reality. We don’t have a ton of control over that, of course. Except that I think we do have at least a modicum of control. We can keep repeating what we know to be true. Cleveland Cavaliers fans have been absolutely treated in this off-season in a way that is so non-Cleveland that it might be time to start rejoicing in it. I know it’s easy to slip into woe-is-me Cleveland tropes, but what did all that worrying do for the pre-Decision Cavaliers?

In the end, nobody can guarantee results. All anyone can do is guarantee the effort of the attempt. This forthcoming attempt by the Cavaliers is a good one. Don’t be afraid of it. It’s a fact. Go ahead and say it out loud.

“LeBron James and Kevin Love are going to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers this year … with Kyrie Irving.” You’ll feel better.

I was down on the Browns a bit last week too but…

I haven’t been quite this geeked for a Browns pre-season game in quite some time. I’m always a bit geeked because I’m a Browns-first kind of guy, but this year is far more exciting. Here are a couple of reasons.

  • I’m not wishing on a star that Brandon Weeden is better than what I thought he already was. I’m wishing for a new superstar rookie named Johnny Manziel – who unlike Weeden, I actually wanted on the Browns – while also rooting for a potential starter with experience and a decent track record.
  • Instead of hoping for Trent Richardson to not get hurt while also hoping Brandon Jackson still had something left in the tank, I’m rooting for Ben Tate and Terrance West while being cautiously optimistic about Dion Lewis, Edwin Baker and Isaiah Crowell.
  • And those guys will be running behind Joel Bitonio and John Greco at the newly cemented guard spots that were question marks a year ago.

There are plenty of other reasons too, but most of all, I can’t wait to see what the jumping off point is for a Ray Farmer-built team. It’s been a painful time in Browns history, but even before they log a single real NFL play in the pre-season box score, this team has exorcised an awful lot of demons.

I still believe the process might be a bit painful in the W category this season, but my conversation with Zac Jackson this week made me feel safe to believe what my eyes are telling me. The Browns are finally on a realatively healthy organizational path. Just because I feel a residual distrust of anything orange and brown doesn’t mean that my eyes are lying to me when I see a night and day improvement in organizational leadership with Farmer, Scheiner and even Pettine.

I started watching this season of Hard Knocks and Thomas Dimitroff looks like the third Corey

Enjoy the rest of this season of Hard Knocks now that I’ve made this comparison!

Thomas Dimitroff is a Corey

And now a Death Cab for Cutie playlist…

This is “a” playlist. It’s not “the” playlist. It’s not a list of the best DCfC songs ever. It’s simply what I would consider a really cool Death Cab compilation for this fine summer August day. I’ll have to make one this winter too. Anyway, I hand-picked it specifically to be a little bit more upbeat and free from sorrow and angst than the Death Cab possibilities might normally create.

LeBron James attends Browns practice, takes photos with Joe Haden, Phil Taylor and Buster Skrine

LeBron picked a day to come to Browns camp when fans wouldn’t be there, but he took some photos with fans, just the same. It turns out that those fans are also professional athletes.

Watch highlights of soon-to-be Cavalier Kevin Love

Now that Woj has dropped his bomb, I finally feel it’s appropriate to see some Kevin Love highlights. I have admitted numerous times that even as I know Kevin Love is good, I haven’t actually watched him play a ton of games. Hopefully his buckets come far easier when he’s playing alongside LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.

No Art Modell, LeBron James front-running and sports movies with @dimoko – WFNY Podcast – 2014-08-06

The fine people at the Anything to Add Monty podcast were kind enough to have me on to discuss Draft Day a few months ago. I’m a disorganized fool and never reciprocated, but I was more than happy to have Dave Sterling on. When I did that podcast there was really good chemistry as we went from liking Draft Day to nearly despising it as we talked about it.

Here’s what else we talked about…

  • Dave decides to become an Uber driver
  • Anything to Add Monty and sports movies like Ladybugs and Goon
  • Art Modell doesn’t belong in the hall of fame ever
  • Being a Cavs frontrunner now that LeBron is back
  • How to root between Johnny Manziel and Brian Hoyer
  • General bitterness from Craig
  • Other Pleasantries

Check out this episode!

Tristan Thompson featured in Grantland’s look at NBA big men

DSC_0472

Is it possible that Tristan Thompson’s best asset is being represented by LeBron James’ childhood friend Rich Paul? Consensus around the league (as iterated by Brian Windhorst in his latest appearance with Bill Simmons) is that Thompson, the Cavs’ starting power forward for the last three seasons, is in line for quite a pay day despite not showing flashes of being much more than a 10-point, 10-rebound player.

In his latest feature for Grantland.com, NBA writer Zach Lowe discusses Thompson as the archetype of players NBA front offices are moving away from—guys who don’t protect the rim defensively and cannot consistently hit mid-range jump shots or corner three-pointers.

The price of shooting at all positions has gone up. And one player type has become less and less desired, to the point it may already be a market inefficiency: the power forward who can’t shoot 3s and can’t protect the rim or provide real fill-in minutes at center.

There are good reasons behind the price drop. Protecting the rim is a necessity for any team with championship ambitions. If one big man can’t manage, the other has to carry the load, and real rim protectors tend to be large humans who hang near the rim on offense. That means any big man who can’t protect the rim defensively had better be able to get the hell out of the way on offense, working as a long-distance threat around the pick-and-rolls that dominate the NBA.

Lowe states that players like Thompson (and Denver’s Kenneth Faried) have a fit deemed “unclear.” Cavs general manager David Griffin has long discussed “fit” as a code-word way of describing an offense that incorporates ball movement and spacing of the floor. Thompson has thrived as a rim runner at times, and cold very well get plenty of open looks at the rim as double- and triple-teams find their way toward James and point guard Kyrie Irving, but this skill set (converting due to being open) is one that the Cavaliers will have to give thought to come contract time.

Add in that Thompson could very well be the back-up power forward behind Kevin Love, and things get that much more interesting.

(Photo: Scott Sargent/WFNY)

Dion Waiters: I want to start, but…

dion_winner

As the Cleveland Cavaliers continue talks with the Minnesota Timberwolves about acquiring disgruntled power forward Kevin Love, one of the players who could potentially be dealt is reiterating that he wants his role to be as a starter. In an interview with CSNSW’s Chris Haynes, Waiters stated that not only does he want to be among the Cavaliers’ starting five, he thinks he should be despite the team using their recent No. 1 pick on a shooting guard in Andrew Wiggins.

Dion Waiters is enormously confident in his abilities to produce on the basketball court. It’s one of the main reasons why he’s one of the best young scorers in this league. [...]

On Monday, following Day 1 of TEAM USA training camp, when CSNNW.com followed up on the matter, Waiters didn’t back down from his stance to be inserted into the starting lineup come next season.

“I want to start and I believe that I should at the two,” Waiters told CSNNW.com.

Despite what many may make it appear to be, Waiters is not drawing his line in the sand by any means. He isn’t demanding a starting role, he’s just extremely confident in his abilities (he averaged over 18 points per game last season as a starter) and feels that he’s the best man for the job. The third-year guard also says that he has dropped 10-12 pounds since the last game of the season thanks to a new diet he’s dedicated to. The results, per Haynes, are a lighter, more athletic 6-foot-4-inch swingman. It should also be noted that his comments have the backing from head coach David Blatt who wants his players to have the confidence Waiters is showing.

High knees, ya’all.

Dion Waiters Dance

Waiters also addressed his recent use of Twitter wherein the two-guard has been interacting with fans almost on a nightly basis. ” I’ve always been a guy that gives it right to you,” he said. “I’ve never been a guy that plays that political stuff. I was brought up that way. I’m straightforward. I give my honest opinion. I’m not going to sit here and hide.”

(AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

LeBron James, Johnny Manziel, boring Tribe and more with Chad Zumock – WFNY Podcast – 2014-07-28

WFNY Podcast LogoChad Zumock joins the podcast for the first time. Here’s what we talked about.

  • Chad talks about his relationship working with Jim Florentine
  • We talk about LeBron James coming home and Chad reporting sports
  • Johnny Football vs. Brian Hoyer
  • Cleveland Browns training camp and zip lines
  • The boringness of the Cleveland Indians
  • Is baseball boring in general now?
  • The steroid era
  • The Jim Thome Statue

And much much more.

[iframe style="border:none" src="http://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/2975085/height/150/width/590/thumbnail/yes/theme/standard-mini" height="150" width="590" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen]
Check out this episode!

Has Andrew Wiggins actually been included in a Cavs offer for Kevin Love?

 

flip saunders

Someday we’ll find out these things for sure, but the sources and details are flying and as is often the case, there’s disagreement or at least confusion. Most everyone who thinks about this potential trade at all assumes that Minnesota talks about Andrew Wiggins and that the Cavs likely do as well. The wording on the reports doesn’t necessarily put them at odds, but it’s confounding to try and figure out what’s actually happening.

Take this report (most recently updated July 23rd at 2:03 PM) from Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst at ESPN.

Cleveland’s offer, sources said, would be headlined by No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins, 2013′s No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett and a future first-round pick, with one source close to the process insisting Tuesday that the Cavs are destined to acquire Love. At least one more player might have to added to the package to satisfy NBA trade rules.

And then Sam Amico’s tweet from this afternoon at about 5:00 PM indicates that despite talk, the Cavaliers haven’t actually offered Andrew Wiggins in any trade proposal.

It’s enough to make you want to rip your hair out. So the Cavs and Wolves are talking about deals for Kevin Love. Invariably Andrew Wiggins’ name comes up to the point that he is “headlining” the Cavs’ offer, and yet when it comes to actually discussing potential proposals, the Cavaliers aren’t actually offering Wiggins in any of them?

So the conversation’s like this?

Minny: “Yeah, so if we can get the expiring deals right? Then maybe find one player other than Andrew Wiggins that we want to keep… and then also Andrew Wiggins… that’s what we’re thinking.”

Cleveland: “So we need to get expiring deals and one player other than Andrew Wiggins that you want to keep….” (trails off)

Minny: “And Andrew Wiggins.”

Cleveland: “I hear what you’re saying. Hmmm. Yeah. Talk to you later!”

Have the Cavs really technically not offered Andrew Wiggins in any scenario? Does any of this have anything to do with the timing of finally signing Wiggins today? I guess we’ll find out for sure in the next 30 days, but even with the Browns starting training camp this weekend, I don’t think that’s just going to fly by without a lot of turbulence in the rumor mill.

Not looking forward to that.

Anthony Lima talks about LeBron, Johnny Manziel and local sports media – WFNY Podcast – 2014-07-23

WFNY Podcast LogoAnthony Lima joined Craig to talk about local sports media, LeBron James, Johnny Manziel.

Anthony Lima and what it was like to break the LeBron news live on the air.

The Plane, Zydrunas and more on the reporting of the story

The risks of being wrong and getting punished

Opie and Anthony and losing your job for what you say on twitter

The pitfalls of a public life on twitter

Check out this episode!

LeBron James sends cupcakes to neighbors to apologize for pre-Decision commotion

SByCODx

Pastry and LeBron James links live on for another day. In the wake of The Decision 2.0, Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James and his family have apparently decided to apologize to his neighbors in the most fitting way possible: designer cupcakes.

Recall, in the week leading up to James’ letter that stated he was returning to Cleveland, a local cupcake shop out of Canton, Ohio was one of the first to have “insider” information, posting LeBron’s impending return to their Facebook page. Not long thereafter, Bath, Ohio police were stationed outside of James’ residence, leading to an evening-long commotion on his street as TV crews and cars had parked on both sides of the street.

According to a resident who claims to live on James’ street, a package of cupcakes from the LeBron James Family Foundation was delivered to his home Tuesday afternoon with a message inscribed:

We know that things have been hectic in the neighborhood these past few weeks and we are sorry for the chaos.

We are so thankful to live in this community and we are so blessed to have understanding neighbors like you.

FOX Sports Ohio spoke with the individual who stated that the package was hand-delivered by the company, though they had no face-to-face interaction with James. Needless to say, this is a gesture that would have been nearly unfathomable during James’ first run with the Cavaliers. Also needless to say: They look delicious.

(Via Reddit)