April 19, 2014

Dion Waiters is Waiting For Next Year

waiters sullinger

In his exit interview with the local media on Thursday morning, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Dion Waiters discussed the offseason and what the team’s goals are over the next 12 months.

“I’ve never been to the playoffs,” said Waiters. “I’m very hungry. It’s why I play every game like it’s my last. Hopefully one day—next year. Next year, reaching the playoffs—that should be everyone’s main goal. I already know what it’s like, just by the jersey retirement for [Zydrunas Ilgauskas], how the fans were. So, just imagine the playoffs.

“We all have to come in with one mindset. We can’t worry about individual goals, individual accolades. It has to be a team thing, a team mind set, and everything else will take care of itself. That’s the biggest thing.”

Waiters plans on spending the next several weeks with his son before getting back to the grind. Several players on the Cavaliers—including Waiters, in efforts led by Jarrett Jack—have plans to watch NBA playoff games from the stands over the coming weeks as a means to get a taste for the atmosphere and energy that comes with making the postseason. “I want to see how teams win,” said Waiters.

2013-14 Cleveland Cavaliers and the #seasonofhuh – WFNY Podcast – 2014-04-17

WFNY Podcast LogoI got Ben Cox to come on the podcast to discuss the 2014 Cleveland Cavaliers. He dubbed it the season of huh.

From the Cavaliers drafting Anthony Bennett, to hiring Mike Brown, to firing Chris Grant to Matthew Dellevedova being the Cavs’ best rookie this year.

It was one for the ages.

Make sure you go read Ben’s post at WFNY on the topic.

Check out this episode!

Luol Deng win’s NBA’s Citizenship Award

luol deng sixers 

Cleveland Cavaliers small forward Luol Deng has been voted the 2013-14 winner of the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award which is presented annually by the Professional Basketball Writers Association to the player, coach or trainer who shows outstanding service and dedication to the community.

“It’s an honor to be recognized for any award, but this one is special because it represents who I am as a person and where I came from,” said Deng via press release. “What I’m most proud of is that my family can look back after my career is over and realize that I was able to make a difference on and off the basketball court.  That is something that tells the true story as to who I am as a person, someone who cares about his community and wants to improve the lives of others.”

Deng recently recorded a public service announcement for the EnoughProject.org, urging peace during a time of renewed conflict in his native South Sudan. This is his latest contribution to a number of international causes, including The Luol Deng Foundation, which is a global non-profit organization that uses basketball as a platform to give hope to those in Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States. In the U.S., Deng’s work has been focused primarily on the communities in which he has played, Chicago and Cleveland.  He has funded Thanksgiving and holiday events that provide meals and toys to the underserved and has also served as a mentor to the “Lost Boys of Sudan.” He is also an avid supporter of the NBA’s Basketball without Borders program and has participated in PSA’s to raise awareness for World Malaria Day.

“The breadth and depth of Luol Deng’s community service elevated him from a deep pool of committed candidates,” said PBWA President Mary Schmitt Boyer of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “But, really, all the candidates and their communities are winners.”

Photo: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Some Friday @sportsyelling about the Indians, Cavs, Browns and Pittsburgh – WFNY Podcast – 2014-04-11

WFNY Podcast LogoI really enjoyed my first podcast with @sportsyelling, so I asked her to come back and she said yes.

We talked about Lonnie Chisenhall and his paternity leave, the Cleveland Indians early results, the Browns and if they should do Hard Knocks, the Cavaliers and whether you’d rather have a hockey team and lots lots more.

Check out this episode!

Peter Pattakos talks about Chief Wahoo and the Cleveland Sin Tax – WFNY Podcast – 2014-04-09

WFNY Podcast LogoWhen will Cleveland sports be about sports again? Well, for right now, there’s a lot of interest in issues off the field. I had a chance to catch up with Peter Pattakos of Cleveland Frowns on both the Cleveland Sin tax issue as well as the Chief Wahoo situation.

You can find Peter at his website or on Twitter.

Blocking the King and honoring a Chagrin Falls native …While We’re Waiting

WFNYBanner www

I was in bed a good portion of Tuesday with stomache issues, which is never fun. I did get to watch something that I’ve been wanting to watch for a while but never pulled the trigger on it. It isn’t sports related, but it is Cleveland related. I watched the documentary Dear Mr. Watterson, which is about Chagrin Falls native Bill Watterson, creator of Calvin and Hobbes, my favorite comic.

If you are a fan of boy and his tiger, I recommend watching it. The documentary is an hour and a half long and very well done. Many interesting topics covered including his staunch refusal to allow any licensing for Calvin. None. Those stickers of Calvin peeing on various logos on the back of cars? Big surprise, they are not licensed.

Calvin and Hobbes (Custom)Remind you of the Tribe game last night?


Braxton Miller has a habit of missing a few quarters, or games for that matter. He takes a lot of hits because of his carries. This past season Kenny Guiton was the back-up and a really good one. Guiton is gone. The man who is one step away from taking meaningful snaps for the Buckeyes? Cardale Jones. You know, the guy who once questioned why football players had to actually go to class.

If stories are to be believed, Jones has grown up. He credits Guiton for a lot of it, and Meyer.


The RubberDucks home opener is on Thursday night. It’s supposed to be nice from what I’ve seen in the forecast. They have made a ton of changes around Canal Park. I’d recommend stopping by and checking it out. You can see the SS of the future there. Lindor is batting .333, with an OPS of .840. If he keeps hitting, hard to imagine him being in Akron longer than a month and a half or so. Plus, you will get to see the new mascot Webster unveiled.


You will probably be seeing this all over the web today, but it is worth it. Big time block by Mason Plumlee at the rim on LeBron attempting a game winning dunk. Best part? LBJ was sporting the King James jersey. Awesome.


Windhorst: “LeBron and Kyrie have drifted apart”

LeBron James and Kyrie Irving

Brian Windhorst has no shortage of interesting things to say about the Cavaliers. He has so much to say that I had trouble even figuring out just one thing to put here. There’s talk of dinner meetings with Isiah Thomas that has the potential to make Cavs fans hurl. There’s talk about whether it’s worth it to extend Tristan Thompson. Most notably there’s lots and lots of disappointed talk about an “immature” Kyrie Irving. Most notably though, the former Cavs beat writer says that if the Cavs have any designs on LeBron James spending any part of his remaining career in Cleveland that future won’t include Kyrie Irving.

I’m just giving you my feel right now and my feel is that (Kyrie’s) not crazy about [signing the full max extension] unless he gets everything checked off across the board.

And the other thing is: if the Cavs ever dream of having LeBron, it’s not going to be with Kyrie there. LeBron and Kyrie have drifted apart in the last few years, even to the point that if the Cavs wanted to get LeBron they would maybe trade Kyrie for someone who would fit better with LeBron. And I’m not making that up. That line of thinking was not originated by me. That’s just the truth.

And here I think most Cavaliers fans who have ever spent even small moments thinking about the possibility of LeBron returning assumed that it would take a running mate like Kyrie Irving to make the situation more attractive. Granted any dreams of LeBron returning seemed a lot more feasible (even remotely) before the Cavaliers had such a disappointing season this year.

It just gets further and further down a road where it seems like the pain and suffering of Cavaliers over the past few years was all for nothing. Yes, there seems to be some talent on this team, but if that talent doesn’t translate to team success, isn’t it just wasted talent?

Even worse than wasted talent is the by-product for Cavs fans. That’s a whole lot of wasted time.

(Photo: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports)

Cavs front office comes in 27th in ESPN’s #FrontOfficeRank

Dan Gilbert, Mike Brown, Chris Grant

This seems like forever ago.

You’ve seen #NBARank. You’ve seen #CavsRank. Now, we have #FrontOfficeRank, ESPN’s version of the player-based project that pits all 32 NBA front offices against one another. ESPN scribes were asked to rank every team’s owner, chief decision maker and head coach from 1-to-10. The votes were tabulated, averaged, and listed in descending numerical order, one which found the Cleveland Cavaliers ranked 27th overall (3.75), bettering only the Detroit Pistons, Milwaukee Bucks and New York Knicks.

To little surprise, the perrenial playoff teams litter the top of the list with the San Antonio Spurs (9.45) edging out the Miami Heat (8.56) by nearly a full point.

What will be interesting will be the details that will be provided later this week. Was the voting done prior to Chris Grant being relieved of his duties? It certainly appears that it was finalized before Phil Jackson was hired by the Knicks—or was it? What are the overarching feelings surrounding Dan Gilbert? Do they feel Mike Brown is going to be one-and-done? Does any of this even matter?

As Royce Young of DailyThunder pens best, the entire process seems a bit arbitrary, filling space between now and the end of the regular season. Discussion for discussion’s sake. Stay tuned.

(AP Photo/Jason Miller)



Brian Spaeth talks summer movies, the Cavaliers and his Wahoo movie project – WFNY Podcast – 2014-03-27

WFNY Podcast LogoIt’s always fun to have Brian Spaeth on the podcast and this time he happened to be in the neighborhood so we did it in person.

First things first, we talked about Brian’s movie project that he will be doing about Chief Wahoo. If you would like to talk about your pro or anti-Wahoo stances on camera, please follow this link to Brian’s site.

We talked about the summer movie season starting with Captain America. Somehow we forgot to talk about Draft Day, but there’ll be plenty of time for that later.

Lastly, we talked about anything and everything else we could think of just like Brian and I always seem to do. The time just flew by for me. Hopefully it does for you too.

Check out this episode!

OJ: The Musical and Cleveland sports with Jeff Rosenberg – WFNY Podcast – 2014-03-24

WFNY Podcast LogoJeff Rosenberg (@jeff_rosenberg or @rosenbergsports) is a Shaker Heights native living in California and he has his film, OJ: The Musical in the Cleveland International Film Festival this weekend. We discussed his movie, Kickstarter and the rest of the Cleveland sports scene.

Make sure you check out the trailer to Jeff’s movie and also see the times it’s screening this weekend.

We discussed the Cavaliers, Chris Grant, Tristan Thompson and Jeff’s dislike of Mike Brown.

We discussed the elation at not having Joe Banner in the mix anymore in Berea.

Lastly, we made Tribe predictions for 2014.

Check out this episode!

Cavs officially sign Seth Curry to a 10-day contract

 Seth Curry

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. As has been rumored for a good portion of the week, the Cleveland Cavaliers have officially inked former Duke Blue Devil Seth Curry to a 10-day contract.

Curry has appeared in 36 games (35 starts) for the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA Development League this season, averaging 19.4 points, 3.1 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 1.4 steals  in 35.2 minutes per game. In his last six games for the Warriors, the 6-1, 180-pound guard from Duke averaged 20.8 points and 5.3 assists, while shooting . 476 (20-42) from three-point range. For the season, he has posted 21 games of at least 20 points, including a career-best 36 points in his first game with the Warriors on Nov. 22 versus Austin.

Curry, the brother of Wariors guard Stephen, was originally signed by the Golden State Warriors on August 23, 2013. This season, he was signed by the Memphis Grizzlies in December and waived in January. He appeared in one game for Memphis.

 To create the roster spot for Curry, the team released forward Shane Edwards from his 10-day contract that was set to expire on Friday. Curry will be available for Saturday night’s game against the Houston Rockets at The Q. He will wear jersey number 31. No word as to if this is in homage to Ricky Davis, Scot Pollard or Jawad Williams.

Image: Michael Conroy/AP

NBA Rumors: Cavs looking to sign Seth Curry to 10-day contract?

Seth Curry

While this can only be classified as a rumor, there appears to be some smoke billowing out of a potential 10-day contract between the Cleveland Cavaliers and guard Seth Curry. Initial reports of Curry joining the wine and gold started to creep out early Wednesday morning and have picked up some steam since.

Leung’s tweet suggests that Curry has already inked a contract, but there’s been no announcement from the team. Curry, brother of Warriors star Stephen Curry, had a brief stint with the Grizzlies earlier this season after going undrafted this past summer. Curry was also in camp with the Warriors in the fall, but he failed to make the opening-night roster. The 6-foot-2-inch guard is averaging 19.4 points and 5.9 assists in 35.3 minutes per game for the Santa Cruz Warriors. He was also the namesake for (Grantland’s) Shane Ryan’s first home as a blogger—so there’s that.

The Cavs have a full 15-man roster, though half of the 15 are experiencing some sort of ailment1. They could terminate their 10-day contract with forward Shane Edwards to make room for Curry or could simply wait for Edwards’ deal to expire this Friday night. With expectations of Kyrie Irving (who played with Curry at Duke in 2010-11) missing the rest of the regular season with a biceps injury, Curry would provide much-needed depth behind Jarrett Jack, Dion Waiters, Matthew Dellavedova and CJ Miles.

Photo: Michael Conroy/AP



  1. Seriously. Kyrie Irving, Anthony Bennett, Luol Deng, CJ Miles, Matthew Dellavedova, Carrick Felix and Dion Waiters are all on the injury report in some form or fashion []

Kyrie Irving takes blame for early miscommunication with Spencer Hawes


The minds of professional athletes are often wondrous when you can catch them off-guard. Not in that sort of ‘gotcha’ moment, but one where they’re forced to think before replying to a post-game inquiry. We’ve discussed the heady nature of one CJ Miles many times around these parts, but a player like Kyrie Irving is often grouped in with the quiet, canned answer-types. And who can blame anyone for this categorization as the two-time All-Star transforms from perky to lethargic the moment the video cameras and voice recorders turn on.

After the cameras had been turned off and the beat reporters had fled to file their game story before deadline called, I asked Kyrie Irving about playing alongside the Cavaliers’ newly acquired center Spencer Hawes. “Have you ever played with a big man with the same skill set as Spencer?,” I asked. Irving, scooping laundry up off of the floor and placing it into a white, drawstring-topped bag, paused. He did that move that is oh so typical amongst 20-somethings, especially athletes, who are asked a question that wasn’t expected, sucking in a corner of his mouth, squinting one eye and looking off into the distance—deep thought comes packed with physical collateral, after all.

“No,” said Irving, mentally chronicling his entire playing career. “I can’t think of anyone.”

This season alone, Irving has largely been flanked by big men who have had nary a play designed for them. Since Hawes’ arrival in Cleveland, despite his 15 points and 10 rebounds per night, there have been multiple instances where Hawes has set a pick for Irving, subsequently rolling to the top of the key or wing, awaiting a wide-open three-point attempt. This, obviously, is counter to many other big men who roll toward the rim for a higher-percentage finish. Instinct has forced Irving to pass toward the baseline, leading to a turnover.

Irving then dropped his bag, if only for a moment, gearing up to act out point guardian moves, crouching down and using his arms to depict an actual play as he replies further.

“For me, it’s frustrating from a point guard standpoint because I keep messing up our pick-and-roll,” Irving said pointing to imaginary spots on an imaginary basketball court. “He taps himself on the chest saying it’s his fault, but mainly it’s my fault. Getting used to that pick-and-roll with him—I know he’s a pick-and-pop big. We’re going to get on the same page.

“For me, it’s continuing to communicate with him and getting him the ball where he likes it on the perimeter, especially when we’re playing a sideline pick-and-roll. In the middle, we have it down pat, but on the sideline, I’m seeing the pocket pass, he’s popping back. For me, as a point guard, I just have to be better with it and get him the ball where he likes it.”

Irving, fully dressed in street clothes at this point, takes a step back toward his locker as if he’s dodging a defender, and delivers a pass over what would be outstretched arms in the direction of an imaginary Hawes. He shakes his head and sighs, knowing that growth as a player never truly stops. Quite a change from the 21-year-old kid whose post-game physicality stops at nervous ticks like wiping his face and tugging on his earlobes, pocket passes and all.

(Image: Scott Sargent/WFNY)

Dion Waiters set to return from knee injury

Dion Waiters Dance

When the Cavaliers play host to the San Antonio Spurs, they will once again have shooting guard Dion Waiters who has missed the last seven games with a hyperextended knee.

“The knee feels good, just a little bit of aching,” Waiters said on Monday. “I’m looking forward to playing [Tuesday night], looking forward to getting out there with my team.”

Waiters’ return will mark the first time he and newly acquired center Spencer Hawes will get to play along side one another and will be a welcomed boost for a team that has been playing without Anderson Varejao and CJ Miles for much of the last three weeks. (Recall, it was Hawes who was on the wrong side of the poster that ultimately led to Waiters’ injury.) Whether or not Hawes’ floor-spacing magic can trickle down to improve Watiers’ play in addition to his teammates will remain to be seen. He was averaging 16.8 points and 1.2 3-pointers in the five games before his injury.

Everybody: High knees!

Cavs Kicks by Crown Royal: An up-close look at all of Kyrie Irving’s Nike All-Star PEs

Our great friends at Crown Royal have decided that the Reign On Spotlight which ran every Sunday during the 2013 NFL season could use a counterpart on the hardwood. Thus, over the course of the second half of the NBA season, we, as a part of Crown Royal’s Center Court program, will be featuring another spotlight of sorts—this one, shining down on the footwear choices made by members of your Cleveland Cavaliers. There is no denying the emegence of “kicks” in the NBA community, be they player exclusives or retro versions some classics of yesteryear.

The latest addition of Cavs Kicks comes strong with another look at Kyrie Irving, but this time a more in-depth look a the PEs he wore during the last two All-Star weekends. Thanks to Panini America, we have high-resolution images of Kyrie’s Hyperrev PE from his MVP performace this past month in addition to two shoes he wore last year when he broke out on the All-Star stage—autographed. An Extraordinary moment to say the least.

Kyrie Irving All-Star Hyperrev PE

Kyrie Irving All-Star Hyperrev PE

Kyrie Irving All-Star Hyperrev PE

 Kyrie Irving All-Star Hyperdunk PE

Kyrie Irving All-Star Hyperdunk PE

Kyrie Irving All-Star Hyperdunk PE
Kyrie Irving All-Star Hyperdunk PE

Kyrie Irving All-Star Hyperdunk PE

(h/t Nice Kicks)


Made for royalty, Crown Royal offers a fine array of blended whisky products such as Crown Royal Deluxe, Crown Royal Black, Crown Royal Maple, Crown Royal Reserve and Crown Royal XR. Fit for every occasion, the Crown Royal portfolio caters to those who choose to celebrate with a whisky they can incorporate into every memorable experience.


Andrew Bynum to Indianapolis, “I want to play”

The Luol Deng era in Cleveland will last longer than the Andrew Bynum era ever did, but that’s not saying much. Bynum was traded to Chicago for Deng and subsequently cut. The stories started to come out about the end of Bynum’s time in Cleveland shortly thereafter. Bynum had been suspended by the team and told to stay away after he started undermining the coaching staff. Now that Bynum is looking for yet another fresh start, this time in Indianapolis, he admitted some of the things he did to earn his suspension and exit.

Also, Bynum raged against the shoot-first guards. During a practice, Bynum said that he launched a shot from midcourt, clearly out of the rhythm of the offensive play. Another day during a scrimmage, he did not like a call from assistant coach Phil Handy and mocked him as “a horrible referee.”

“Those are the two things I did,” Bynum says. “I did them on purpose because it was over there for me.”

Of course, Bynum couldn’t possibly take the blame without blaming the “shoot-first” guards. And of course Andrew Bynum just wants “a championship.”

Andrew Bynum wants a championship? Am I supposed to be impressed by that? Does that make me think that Andrew Bynum is somehow operating under an understandable missive that allows him to petulantly push his way out of Cleveland?

Bynum wants a championship? Get in line.

And speaking of getting in line, Bynum better try it soon. He’s running out of places to have colorful articles written about a misunderstood player featuring artistic photos in a new jersey with a basketball on his shoulder.

I wonder if Bynum felt even the tiniest bit fraudulent while posing for this photo with the Indianapolis Star.

Andrew Bynum Indy Star

Probably not.

For Cleveland, it doesn’t really matter that much. Bynum wasn’t a part of whatever solution the Cavs were looking for. The Cavs got at least part of a season of Luol Deng out of the experiment, so all’s just as well without Andrew Bynum on the team today.

Still, the Bynum career arc is a crazy one that just happened to have a brief intersection with the city of Cleveland. We’ll see if it turns out to be longer than the flowery column that another city has spent time writing about the weak-kneed seven-footer.


YELLING TRIBE, BROWNS AND TWITTER WITH @sportsyelling – WFNY Podcast – 2014-02-28

WFNY Podcast LogoI was very happy to welcome in @sportsyelling for the first time on the WFNY Podcast. She (yes, she) is a Tribe first sports fan, so we talked a lot about the Indians. We talked about Ubaldo Jimenez, the rotation, Chief Wahoo, and Ervin Santana. We also touched on the Browns and how the NFL has dominated the sports world to the point there’s really no “off-season.”

Check out this episode!

While We’re Waiting… Welcome to Cleveland, Spencer Hawes

While We’re Waiting is a space on the WaitingForNextYear website where we share links every day. We’ve been doing it for about four years or so. Denny Mayo used to be much more amusing with his intros, if you recall. You know the drill: Email us with suggestions at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.


Spencer Hawes certainly fits offensively, but does it really matter? What’s next? “Anderson Varejao, Tristan Thompson, Tyler Zeller, and Anthony Bennett aren’t gangbusters but hardly lack for talent. Redundancy and inconsistency plague the Cavaliers’s big men, deficiencies owed to youth and health concerns that the presence of Hawes will help mask. His three-point shooting affords Cleveland offensive space the others – despite Varejao’s supreme improvement from mid-range – can’t, and he’s helpful as a passer and rim-protector, too.” [Jack Winter/Hardwood Paroxysm] [Read more...]

Dion Waiters says “nothing is torn” following dunk-based injury

Dion Waiters Dance

It shouldn’t be too long before Dion can do this again

While it is hardly an official medical release, it appears that Dion Waiters managed to escape serious injury following his in-traffic posterization of Spencer Hawes in Tuesday night’s win over the Philadelphia 76ers.

In the waning seconds of the second quarter, Waiters took the ball from the left wing, dribbled through traffic in that full-steam-ahead Watiersian way, elevated between two would-be defenders and obtained a bench-raising two points. Unfortunately, his left knee locked up upon his descent. While he initially stuck the landing, Waiters sat on the court for several minutes before heading to the locker room.

He was seen joking with teammates during the flow of the game, walking on his own power. He was on pace for a monster game, having 13 points before halftime, picking up right where he left off in the rising stars challenge.

It would be a considerable surprise if Waiters suited up for Wednesday night’s game against the Orlando Magic, likely leading to more playing time for CJ Miles, Jarrett Jack and Matthew Dellavedova.

The Sacramento Kings are also interested in Jarrett Jack


The Brooklyn Nets may have some competition in the suddenly hot race to acquire Cavs guard Jarrett Jack. ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reports that the Sacramento Kings—yes, those Sacramento Kings—have expressed interest in Cleveland’s veteran shooting guard.

The Nets’ reported talks center around a Jack-for-Jason Terry swap, while it’s unclear what the Kings are offering in return for the veteran combo guard. Jack has played just 18.0 minutes per game over his last five (including a woeful, stat-free 12 minutes against the Washington Wizards on February 7) as the team has largely used CJ Miles, Dion Waiters and Matthew Dellavedova as the rotational guards alongside—and behind—Kyrie Irving.

The deal-happy Kings have already made one of the biggest trades of the season by acquiring Rudy Gay and this was in addition to dealing for former No. 2 overall pick Derrick Williams from the Minnesota Timberwolves. They’re rumored to be shopping shooting guard Marcus Thornton who is locked into a position battle with rookie guard Ben McLemore. The 26-year-old Thornton is due roughly $4 million for the duration of this season in addition to $8.5 million in 2014-15.

(Image via Scott Sargent/WFNY)