With the Cavs winning last Saturday, and again on Wednesday that makes two in a row. Win again on Friday and, as Lou Brown taught me, “that’s called a winning streak. It has happened before.” As the season began and the team wet their pants away from home Cavs nation calmed the early panic by chalking up those losses to the Wine and Gold being a poor road team. When this young team came back to the friendly confines of the Q things were to be different. So far that’s been dead on with Mike Brown’s bunch boasting a 5-3 record at home to go with their dreadful 1-9 record on the road. The seesaw should continue the rest of the calendar year with seven more home games and six on the road to close out 2013. Come January we’ll have a better grasp of what exactly this team is and more importantly what it isn’t, but it’s never too early to speculate.
This week’s casual Friday Podcast with Denny was a lot of talk about Cleveland and it’s development. We talked about the land bridge from at the Horseshoe casino and also the city’s deal with the stadium.
- Hanging out in downtown Indianapolis for Thanksgiving
- Not traveling with a pregnant wife
- Spatchcocking a turkey
- How big a turkey fan are you?
- Denny’s slashed tire
- Denny painting with a stencil
- The Long Winters
- When a record label holds together with like bands
- The Cleveland music scene
- The development of Cleveland as a city
- How do you pronounce Oregon?
- Landbridges, casinos and Cleveland
- Regionalism and where Cleveland needs to start
- Taxes, stadiums and Jeff Saturday
- The Washington Nationals stadium
- D.C. United playing at RFK [Read more...]
Cavs, booing, Malcolm Gladwell, Van Morrison, Netflix, Kids and Cameras – Casual Friday – WFNY Podcast – 2013-11-22
24 hour crippling sicko hangover
What makes a real martini?
Are flavored martinis real?
Caribbean drinks even when you’re not in the caribbean
Missing out on the Cavs fan bickering
Denny deciding to heckle Casey Blake
Mike Brown taking 20% of the blame
60% of the blame goes to Chris Grant
Kyrie Irving and his lack of leadership
Kyrie Irving calling himself a leader
Mariano Rivera and his retirement
Malcolm Gladwell and the 10,000 hours theory
Freakonomics and Gladwell and what they’ve done for the culture
Science and math and how it’s looked at in the United States
Applying science in non-scientific situations
New music and listening to new music
Van Morrison on iTunes Radio
Van Morrison and James Taylor in the same category?
Losing all my Netflix movie ratings
The kid playlist for the baby
Child birthing class
The rules of raising a baby and how there are no rules
Bathing babies in kitchen sinks
Girls in giant sunglasses
Would you want to wear a uniform?
Oversized clothes in the 90’s
Looking at pictures in the modern age vs. the oldern days
Cameras and lenses
General managers throughout the National Basketball Association allegedly believe that Cleveland Cavaliers’ Chris Grant may be the first executive to be out of a job. ESPN’s Chad Ford reports, via a line item within his recent column, that the Cavaliers’ disappointing start could lead to the 6-11 general manager being on his way out if the ship isn’t corrected soon.
“[Cavaliers owner Dan] Gilbert set down the playoffs-or-bust mandate before the season, touting the team’s culture and chemistry before opening night,” writes Ford. “Three weeks into the season, things haven’t gone particularly well on or off the court, and many GMs in the league believe Grant might be the first executive to lose his job this season.”
Point guard Kyrie Irving has had a slow start, his season’s statistics being saved by two overtime games. Irving is sporting the lowest PER of his career and is the “leader” of the second-least-efficient offense in the NBA right now. The team has yet to iron out the small forward position and Anthony Bennett, this year’s No. 1 selection, has been relegated to the bench as he continues to have a complete absence in confidence on the offensive end. Ford speculates that, despite being just one of many Eastern Conference teams to have a rough first three weeks, the team could consider trading center Anderson Varejao for another shot at the lottery. The goal? Getting LeBron James to return in 2014.
The Cavaliers sit at 4-7 and will play host to the Washington Wizards this Wednesday.
Related articles across the web
Cavaliers win, Varejao looks old, player’s only meeting, questioning Chris Grant – WFNY Podcast – 2013-11-16
The Cleveland Cavaliers and Kyrie Irving
Player’s only meetings and what’s going on with that
Dion Waiters and maybe not taking a leap as quickly
Anderson Varejao and his age
Can Varejao be traded?
What is this thing that Chris Grant built?
Anthony Bennett and how brutal it is that this is the #1 draft pick
The game doesn’t look natural to Anthony Bennett
Andrew wanted Oladipo. Craig Wanted Ben McLemore
I’m really concerned about the Cleveland Cavaliers. This isn’t a reaction to the loss against the Bulls or any other singular game for that matter. My problem right now is that I just don’t see it, and I think at this point in their franchise rebuild I’m supposed to be able to without this much trouble. Even squinting as hard as I can at the roster and how many of the pieces fit prototypical roles with some of their height and weight measurables, I can’t squint hard enough to see a team with playoff-level ability. When I see this team play actual games it’s even more difficult.
This isn’t pointed at Mike Brown. He’s only been here a minute and he’s one of the most qualified head coaches in the entire NBA. We all know he has his limitations, but the way this Cavs team is playing couldn’t have much to do with his coaching, and that’s why I’m so scared. I’m afraid this team simply doesn’t have the level of talent and ability required to compete at a high level in the NBA. My fears are that it’s not the result of lackluster coaching or a team that just needs time. My fear is that this rebuild has failed. [Read more...]
The Bill Simmons “WHOA!” will live on forever, but the fact is that there was no consensus number one pick in the 2013 draft. What also appears to be fact is that 2013 wasn’t a year merely without a consensus number one, but a down year in general for the NBA talent infusion process. How much of a down year remains to be seen, but the hype for 2014 is officially off the charts if you believe Chad Ford from his latest ESPN chat.
Would you trade A. Bennet for next year lottery pick (no 8-14)?Don’t want to write him off but am I wrong that in next year lottery may be better talent from no. 1 pick to no. 14 pick than in this year’s draft top 3?
Chad Ford (1:04 PM)
Top 10 pick? Yes. Not sure I’d go lower than that. Bennett has talent. He’s just out of shape and rusty. But the bigger point is that the 2013 NBA Draft just didn’t really have a true No. 1 pick. That’s why there was so much uncertainty leading up to the draft. I’d take anyone in my Top 7 right now over anyone in the 2013 Draft.
That certainly doesn’t speak to what Anthony Bennett can become, but it definitely is a bit of a wet blanket right this second for Cavs fans. It might just be the case that the Cavaliers were really lucky in the draft lottery in an off year. Imagine if the Cavaliers had somehow managed to win the lottery a year before and could have matched up Anthony Davis with Kyrie Irving?
I was talking to WFNY’s Andrew about this topic and he had the following response.
“I’m not sure who, specifically, Ford thinks the Cavs should have taken instead of Thompson or Waiters. Perhaps Jonas Valanciunas or Klay Thompson instead of Thompson and I suppose Andre Drummond over Waiters, but hindsight is easy to cover the fact that the Cavaliers simply had the unfortunate luck of picking high in a few drafts that were short of impact talent at the top.”
Of course any time Chad Ford chats with fans, the best basketball player on the planet is sure to come up. And until LeBron James retires, I don’t think Cleveland will be able to escape his shadow.
What should miami heat do if big 3 leaves in free agency?Chad Ford (1:22 PM)
I don’t think they’re going anywhere … I love the idea of LeBron returning to Cleveland … but as long as Dan Gilbert is the owner, I don’t see it happening. Besides … I’m not sure the Cavs have drafted well enough to make it compelling for LeBron. Had they chosen differently on Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters and Anthony Bennett? Maybe … but they’ve clearly missed a few times on players that could’ve been more helpful to their cause. Thank goodness for Kyrie Irving.
Thank goodness indeed. While many Cavs fans continue to talk about Mike Brown being the same old Mike Brown, the real question should be about the guy who is in his first rotation in his position. That’s general manager Chris Grant who needs to prove that he can build a top-tier NBA roster. So far, Grant’s biggest defenders are heard saying it’s too early and calling for patience more than they are standing up for the talent as it sits today on the Cavs roster. How much of that is circumstance and how much of that is Chris Grant’s responsibility won’t matter if the Cavaliers don’t eventually compete at a very high level in the league.
Scott Raab on the Browns vs. Chiefs, Lou Reed and the upcoming Cavaliers – WFNY Podcast – 2013-20-28
Hope all is well.
We’ll obviously talk about the Browns. I’m not going to say too much, just that I wasn’t horribly disappointed and that I’m looking forward to next week’s game against the Ravens.
I also really want to talk about Lou Reed. I’m sure lots of people will too, but I would guess your perspective will be as good or better than nearly anyone’s. Even before Googling, I just assumed you had talked to Lou Reed at some point in your career and sure enough, I found this. http://www.esquire.com/features/what-ive-learned/lou-reed-learned-0400
I was late to understand Lou Reed. The first time I ever heard Sweet Jane it was the Cowboy Junkies version from Natural Born Killers. The Velvet Underground came into my world in high school, but even then I wasn’t sold. I couldn’t escape Lou Reed in my travels as a music fan, but it was weird. I loved all the bands that Lou Reed influenced in indie rock more than I loved the originator. Most notably the Pixies name-drop Lou Reed in one of their songs. Can’t remember which one right now.
It’s not right, but that’s how it worked for me. I never questioned his importance to American music though. Kind of like even if you don’t like Dylan, you can’t deny his importance.
Ron and Fez close every show on Sirius XM with Satellite of Love and it’s become my favorite Lou Reed song by a longshot. It makes me feel like a fraud though. I feel like loving that song makes me a Bowie fan more than a Lou Reed fan. Anyway, he should be talked about.
Lastly, I’d be interested to know if you’re watching the World Series.
Talk to you tomorrow!
Dan Gilbert is generally regarded as Cleveland’s best sports owner. Sure, his competition is the cheap cheap penny pinching cheapo Dolans and a former Steelers owner who’s under investigation by the FBI, but still, Gilbert’s the best we got.
Nationally, Gilbert is somewhat of a joke. That’ll happen when you promise you’re team will beat LeBron to a championship and then embark on a 26 game losing streak. Whether it’s his comic sans letter, his involvement with the Chris Paul trade or crashing the NBA lottery party, Gilbert is no stranger to criticism.
Some of this criticism can be very much deserved. Others… notsomuch. Regardless, Gilbert rarely receives the benefit of the doubt. A recent example: when the Cavs owner took to twitter to ask fans about the Trent Richardson trade, the ensuing coverage was dripping with snark.
Gilbert’s anti-LeBron letter may have been foolish, but the comic sans screed bought the billionaire some goodwill from the fans (and some time for the Cavs’ complete rebuild). Cleveland fans ate up that letter up and Gilbert learned a valuable lesson: keep taking shots at LeBron. We laughed when all LeBron fatheads were discounted to $17.41 (Benedict Arnold’s birth year. GET IT?!) and we cheered when he told LeBron’s friends “not in our garage”. It was us against the world and Gilbert had our backs.
I’ll admit, I waffle back-and-forth on the LeBron stuff. On one hand, sports are supposed to be fun and these little sports hatreds and rivalries are part of sports fandom. I mean, Michigan sucks, amirite? But when Gilbert goes out of his way congratulate the Heat on winning a title but leaves out LeBron’s name, well, it just looks petty.
And I’d rather Cleveland’s best sports owner stopped looking so petty. [Read more...]
Cleveland Cavaliers majority owner Dan Gilbert slots in at No. 118 on Forbes’ Richest Americans list for 2013. Coming in at No. 250 one year ago, this move represents a 132-slot increase.
Gilbert, 51, is estimated to be worth $3.9 billion. While Forbes lists his wealth as “self-made” due to his ownership of Quicken Loans, the entreprenurial Michigan native owns Cleveland’s NBA franchise as well as the Lake Erie Monsters (AHL), Cleveland Gladiators (Arena Football), and the Canton Charge (NBDL). The chairman of Rock Gaming, Gilbert’s group also owns the Horesehoe Casino which opened in Cleveland back in 2012. His Cincinnati-based casino opened several months later.
In a recent piece by Sports On Earth’s Will Leitch, it was stated that the city of Cleveland (and other economically burdened areas) need more individuals like Dan Gilbert.
“Gilbert’s stamp on downtown is unmistakable,” writes Leitch. “There is of course his Quicken Loans Arena — or “The Q,” as it’s listed on directional street signs around town — right across the street from Progressive Field; the two edifices even share a plaza. The biggest casino in town is Gilbert’s Horseshoe Casino, which several locals told this non-gambler is “much nicer than it probably had to be.” Gilbert is also renowned for helping build up the local tech scene, regularly investing in local businesses, particularly if they agree to have their offices downtown, through his company Bizdom. [...] Every city that’s struggling, that’s trying to get back on its feet, that’s trying to make its downtown matter again, it, in part, needs a private benefactor: Someone who believes in the city. You need a billionaire. Cleveland’s is Dan Gilbert.”
Ohioans who made Forbes’ list include New Albany’s Leslie Wexner, whose $5.7 billion rank him 73rd overall; Brookville’s Clayton Mathile whose pet food company has netted him roughly $2 billion and the 273rd spot; and Catherine Lozick of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, who inherited roughly $1.7 billion once rooted in manufacturing.
- Andrew Bynum and whether or not it is a good idea to sign him
- Spending Dan Gilbert’s money
- Browns fan obituary and the Browns’ response
- Browns gameday improvements report from WKNR
- Nick Cannon and the drumline factor
- Upgrading the music
- Female drumline
- Ray Donovan kind of stinks
- Slow selling a show instead of overhyping it
- Homeland, Dexter, Weeds, House of Lies
- Do Jon Voight fans exist?
- The Indians and their trade prospects
- Needing to do something now [Read more...]
Like any good, red blooded, American I woke up on our nation’s birthday and had a craving for a big, succulent, meaty steak. A nice choice piece of beef, washed down with a few IPA’s, along with some laughs from friends and you’ve got yourself a quality Fourth of July.
The problem however, was that the red, white, and blue festivities would not start until the evening and I was stuck craving the rib eye in my fridge at noon.
While I knew the steak would be best after I had gone to the store for A1 and veggies, and after my friends had arrived with suds and jokes, but I couldn’t help but entertain the thought of firing up the grill, and having that puppy in my stomach by the time the Tribe game got underway.
I knew I needed to eat, but I didn’t want to make a choice for lunch that I’d regret come dinner time so I bummed a burger off my roommate.
While not nearly the steak I was craving, the burger came at a good price (free), temporarily satisfied my hunger, and still left me in a good position for dinner time.
LeBron is the steak, Earl Clark is the burger, and Chris Grant is the brainier, less hungover version of me. [Read more...]
“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 email@example.com.
“The trade deadline has traditionally involved two factions: contenders desperate to plug a hole — and possibly under pressure from ownership and fans to win now — and the cellar dwellers looking to add future talent by dumping assets that don’t figure into their long-term plans. There are some subfactors to this dynamic, of course. Small-market teams are less willing to add payroll or trade prospects who could provide inexpensive talent down the road, and big-market teams may make incremental additions merely for the sake of doing something.
I believe it’s time for general managers to re-evaluate this traditional line of thinking
The Indians are also grouped into the small-market operations, although their new local cable deal in the offseason was reportedly worth $400 million over 10 years. They’re in the race; they need pitching. I’m not sure the Indians have the prospects to acquire (Cliff) Lee — they’re not trading Francisco Lindor — but the same philosophy applies. Lee is a difference-maker, and they can always trade him in the offseason if they don’t want to absorb his future millions.” [Schoenfield/ESPN] [Read more...]
Scott Raab on The Sopranos, Mad Men, Jimmy Haslam, and the Cavaliers draft – WFNY Podcast – 2013-07-01
Scott Raab and I talked about all the weekly Cleveland sports news and so much more.
- How many shows aped The Sopranos?
- Mad Men and the distance between it and its authenticity
- David Chase left us involved with the humanity of his characters
- Jimmy Haslam and the Forbes and WSJ covering Pilot Flying J
- Breaking down the debt and bond rating of the company
- Aaron Hernandez and his murder charges being contrasted with Jimmy Haslam
- Guilty until proven innocent and whether we actually live by that
- The NSA warrants and wiretaps
- Anthony Bennett and Nerlens Noel and Otto Porter
- Nobody criticizes the Cavs
- Kyrie Irving vs. Kevin Durant and the Cavs building like Oklahoma City
- Rating Chris Grant on the deals he didn’t make
- Paul Pierce and whether you could ever have him on your team
- The LeBron James projection in the starting lineup on ESPN’s graphic
- LeBron James will forever be a part of the Cavaliers storyline until he retires
- Mike Brown and saying other teams would “feel” his team from the defensive end
- Deron Williams and Jerry Sloan
- Jerry Sloan was begged to stay according to Sports Illustrated
- Dan Gilbert admitted that he should have known when LeBron didn’t sign the max max
- I didn’t sign on for that “We are the World” video on YouTube
- The Tribe swept the Sox
- WEEI and how awesome The Big Show was
- Zac Jackson and Andre Knot and the good show they do on FOX Sports Ohio
- Jim Thome, the PED era and the statue
The renaissance of the Cleveland sports fan – Scott Raab on LeBron, Josh Gordon and Jim Thome – WFNY Podcast – 2013-06-24
Scott and I had a conversation over the weekend prior to the podcast in which we decided it was time to see if there’s a greater purpose that we can serve. With all the news of LeBron James, Josh Gordon, Greg Little and Tristan Thompson last week, we decided to discuss whether or not Cleveland fans need to redefine who they are. We’ve lost our way. Our organizations, from owners and players are more temporary than we are and it is time to stop letting everyone else define us. We need to define ourselves.
- LeBron and his legacy is secured now
- Can we let storylines unfold?
- Did this cement the Spurs legacy?
- Do the ends justify the means?
- Magic Johnson and how much butt he kissed of players during the finals
- Philanthropy and who the most generous people in the world are
- The word genius and the senior superlatives
- The quarterly earnings announcements and Apple
- Tax avoidance in corporate life and “branding”
- Josh Gordon and Greg Little hanging with the Heat and “branding”
- Let’s assume that they were down there trying to do business
- Tristan Thompson and Rich Paul hanging out with the Heat
- Cleveland sports fans have lost their way
- Browns fans didn’t lose their identity when the team was left
- We need to define ourselves and who we are as fans as something more than victims
- The fans and their fandom will outlive all the players and owners
- Scott Raab and his conversation with Dwyane Wade
- Cleveland internalizing the worst of their self-image
- Tom Brady and wearing the Yankees cap around Manhattan
- The symbol of Dan Gilbert’s original sin was LeBron’s Yankee cap at Jacob’s Field
- You can’t indict players for their personal relationships or who they want to associate with
- Josh Cribbs using Dan Gilbert’s seats and tweeting about LeBron
- Jim Thome statue is pathetic and it defines Cleveland
- You can’t define your ceiling as Jim Thome
- Devil’s advocate, but aren’t we being too overly sensitive?
- This doesn’t happen in other cities
- Do the owners ever talk to each other?
- The letter that Dan Gilbert wrote was truly great
- Who’s more important to you as a business? Employee or customer?
- Please let us know what you think.
- What can we do? [Read more...]
This upcoming NBA offseason is the most important offseason the Cavs have had since that guy from Akron left. They hired a new coach, they have four picks in Thursday’s draft and they have a whopping $19 million in capspace that could be used to entice both potential free agents and potential trading partners (the Cavs could take back a bad contract or two to grease the wheels on a trade).
I don’t know what the Cavs are going to this offseason. No one does.
Oh, there are rumors. Paul Pierce? A trade with Dallas? Could they buck the experts and take Alex Len over Nerlens Noel? What about signing Greg Oden? And what about free agents? With $19 million available, the Cavs have room to sign just about any player they pleased.
The possibilities are practically endless.
However, endless possibilities also includes possible mistakes. Just because a team has a lot of caproom doesn’t mean they have to spend it. It’s one thing if you use to capspace to sign LeBron, Wade and Bosh. It’s quite another if you use it to sign Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva.
So I’m a little worried. The Cavs have stated that they don’t want to be in the lottery next season, so that means they’re looking to Win Now. Which is good! I’m ready for some meaningful basketball games. But sometimes a win now move can backfire down the road. Sometimes that money just burns a hole in your pocket.
Here are four things that I do not want the Cavs to do this offseason.
Today the Mayor of Akron decided to open his mouth and speak out of ignorance.
“One day after James won his second consecutive NBA title for the Miami Heat, Plusquellic spoke candidly from his conference room about “The Decision” made by James in 2010.
“Dan Gilbert can be mad at me if he wants to be, but I wish Dan Gilbert would have spent some of his money and gone out and bought a couple of all-stars and then said to LeBron, ‘Hey, I’m giving you a team that you can win a championship here.’ Instead, everybody waited, held their cards close to the vest and said, ‘OK, LeBron please sign.’”
Plusquellic admits he’s not sure if that would have changed James’s decision, but now he’s now encouraging Gilbert to spend more cash on the Cavs future.
“I think he had more than enough (money) before we gave him all the gambling interest in northeast Ohio, so I think right now, he has more than enough money to be able to do something to bring a championship back to Cleveland,” Plusquellic said.”
I understand the the Mayor wanted to recognize the accomplishment of a famous Akronite. I have no problem with that. He should do that. But that is where it should have stopped. If you don’t understand the NBA salary cap structure, or the details surrounding the events of LeBron’s departure, then just be quiet about it. [Read more...]
When Nick Gilbert came away with the fourth-overall pick in last year’s NBA lottery, he was disappointed. Just fifteen years old at the time, the son of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ majority owner felt that he had let down an entire fan base that so badly wanted to return to prominence. After all, it was this very dais that made him a nationally known name amongst NBA fans. The ‘beginners luck’ that had been such a gift one year earlier became a bit of a curse.
Fans of opposing teams, doing what they do, took shots at the teenager who suffers from neurofibromatosis, a nerve disorder that causes tumors to sprout on a whim. Kids at school, doing what they do, began to chop Gilbert down in what was his moment of vulnerability, telling him that he was “nothing special.” But it would be just one year later that the oldest son of the Cavaliers’ owner can not only proudly return to school, but can do so having officially christened with being his father’s good luck charm.
“It’s Nick Gilbert,” Dan Gilbert told WFNY via conference call on Tuesday night when asked about to what he attributes such odds-defying luck. “I’m going to have to start taking him to card games with me.”
Ever since Nick Gilbert sat on stage two years ago in Seacaucas, NJ, rocked a swagged out bow tie/glasses combo that would make Urkel proud, and brought home the much needed first pick in the draft the NBA lottery has had new meaning in Cleveland.
Before the ping pong balls fell Cleveland’s way in 2011 it was a lowly time to be a Cavalier fan. The team had just finished a historically bad season and now we had to sit back and watch the one we made king try to win a title for that all white wearing, Backstreet Boy looking fan base in Miami.
Desperate times called for desperate measures and Dan Gilbert delivered. Along with his son Nick, Gilbert flew to the lottery with an entourage that was best described by the Machine Gun Kelly lyric “so Clevleand it’s a god damn shame”. Gilbert flew with the ultimate cleveland hero, Bernie Kosar, who represents all of us Clevelanders longing for the glory days even if we were never alive to see them. He flew with Josh Cribbs, whose loyalty and rare talents allowed us Clevelanders to anoint a kick returner the new king. And to complete Gilbert’s entourage was Browns’ cornerback Joe Haden who exemplified Cleveland’s need for a new star to cling to after the losing the sun a year earlier. [Read more...]