August 1, 2014

Kyrie Irving shares a pic of his 2014 Hyperdunk PEs

Kyrie Irving 2014 Hyperdunk PE 1

Via @HLeung13 on Instagram

Kyrie Irving may or may not be the next in line for his own Nike shoe, but he recently shared a shot of his very own 2014 Nike Hyperdunk PE.
Currently on tour for Nike Basketball in Hong Kong, the two-time All-Star point guard broke out the new shoe while conducting a skills session.

This current colorway is a bright crimson with volt and black accents. If history is any indication, the Cavalier star will have an array of PEs for the upcoming season. What this means for the Irving-backed Hyperrev remains to be seen. Nike is presently selling a version of the velcro-topped shoe complete with the Irving insignia on the tongue.

Kyrie Irving Hyperdunk PE 2014 2 Instagram

LeBron talk a blight on the fans and the franchise

James Jersey DecisionI can’t believe I even have to say this at this point, but Cleveland really needs to stop talking about LeBron James.

Stop hanging onto every little scrap that gets pushed out in the media that reinforces there is some sort of miniscule chance he comes back to Cleveland in the next two or three years because he’s not. Stop analyzing every move the Cavaliers make under the lens of whether it increases or decreases the chance he returns.

I love LeBron the player. He’s 80% of the reason I write about basketball and watching him suit up in the Wine and Gold was probably the most fun I’ve ever had being a sports fan, but it is over. Sometimes I like to blame the media for fueling non-stories like this, but a decent chunk of the fan base can’t let it go either. As our own Ben Cox loves to say, in twenty years we’ll be reading stories of “Is LeBron going to buy the Cavaliers?” As much as I think he means it as a joke, I honestly would not be surprised if these stories actually surface down the road.

“But Joe, if there’s even a small chance that the best player on the planet could come back to your team you just have to pursue it. You just have to, man”

I’ve heard the above statement in one way or another way too often when debating the merits of even entertaining the potential of LeBron returning. The problem is that it assumes there is no downside to this never-ending narrative when in actuality it might have been one of the root problems with the Cavaliers organization over the past few seasons. Most evidence points towards Chris Grant gambling heavily on convincing LeBron to reverse “The Decision”. [Read more...]

Cavs will offer Kyrie Irving max deal per report

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Pushing aside all national (read: New York-based) rumors and innuendo, Cleveland’s own Terry Pluto reports that the Cavaliers will, in fact, offer Kyrie Irving a maximum contract extension once the league-mandated July 1 window opens.

My sources tell me that the Cavs have had no doubts about offering Irving the 5-year deal, and will do so. Once July 1 arrives — the first date that an extension can be offered — the Cavs will set up a meeting with Irving. They will present their All-Star guard with a contract extension, a 5-year deal in the $90 million range (or whatever is the maximum number).

The hope is that he will sign the five-year deal, much like John Wall did with Washington before the 2013-14 season. That was a signal to Washington’s players and fans that he was committed to the team. And yes, Wall’s commitment did help the Wizards come together as a team and make the playoffs, upsetting Chicago in the first round.

There had been plenty of national types reporting that the Cavaliers did not view the two-time All-Star as a maximum-type player—this view was bizarrely supported by some local reporters who backpedaled from their original stance. Pluto states that the Cavs’ goal is to have a new coach in place. Once this is finalized, General Manager David Griffin, the coach and the 22-year-old Irving discuss the future. If Irving doesn’t seem interested in an extension, however, that could lead to a trade though he is under contact until 2016.

Pluto speculates that the head coach will be one of the three veteran names—Lionel Hollins, Alvin Gentry or Vinnie Del Negro. The team is likely to have a coach in place by this month’s NBA Draft.

(Photo: Scott Sargent/WFNY)

Cavs receiving calls about Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving

This can be filed under “due diligence,” but the Cleveland Cavaliers are reportedly receiving calls regarding a potential trade for All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving. FOX Sports Ohio’s Sam Amico reports that the Cavs, with news that they may not be offering the reigning All-Star MVP a maximum contract, are on the receiving end of some stone-turning GMs who would likely pounce at the chance of adding one of the game’s best 22-year olds to their roster.

The Houston Rockets are believed to be one team looking at Irving.

In April, The Morning Journals’ Bob Finnan wrote that the team was expected to offer Irving a five-year deal worth $80 million. This weekend, however, he’s backpedaled a bit, stating that one should not assume that a max contract is in the works, citing the ever-elusive “scuttlebutt.”

These sort of stories are bound to rear their heads as we progress toward the July free agency period. Given that the team has nary a head coach and has the No. 1 pick in the impending NBA Draft, it’s pretty safe to assume that the priorities will align with the timeline.

(AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

Top pick trade talk, Film Room prelude, and more head coach candidates

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“This is insane.”

Ben Cox said it best, sitting next to me at Barrio in Lakewood on that Tuesday night last week, a mountain of tacos and a couple of mason jars of brew between us. I still don’t think it’s sunk in that the Cavaliers, after being fortunate enough to pluck the one elite player out of the 2011 draft, only to be subjected to some of the worst NBA drafts in recent memory, have finally landed atop another where they have the ability to draft a game-changing, potential All-Star player. Factor in Kyrie Irving’s upcoming max offer (we think?), the ongoing head coach search with the list of names growing (more on that in a bit), and David Griffin’s chips on the table in the form of extra draft picks, team-friendly contracts, cap space, and young players, and we’ve still got way more questions than answers right now.

[Read more...]

Hey Nate Silver, you ignored Kyrie Irving’s age

Kyrie Irving

As expected, FiveThirtyEight czar Nate Silver was hot at the scene of another topical NBA story with a long, data-heavy feature last week at his relaunched site. This time around, the story was about Kyrie Irving’s future in a Cleveland Cavaliers uniform and whether the team should offer him a max contract this summer. While Silver’s article was valuable in theory, it misfired badly with its token data.

[Read more...]

Cavs unlikely lotto win gives them plenty of options

 

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Who figured that the Season of Huh had one last insane twist in store for us, eh? The fact that the Cavs won the NBA Lottery (once again) still hasn’t sunk in. Never in my wildest dreams did I think they’d land the top pick. I’m almost embarrassed by it. Almost.

Who expects that their team will win the lottery three times in four years? Hell, I went into Tuesday night simply hoping that the Cavs wouldn’t get jumped and move down from ninth to 10th. Sure, vaulting into the top three would’ve been amazing, but after Cleveland’s recent lottery luck, I wouldn’t even let myself ponder that possibility.

Yet here we are. I’m still in shock. I’m not kidding when I say that the first thing I did last Wednesday morning was check my phone to make sure I didn’t dream Tuesday night’s lotto results.  [Read more...]

THE CAVS WON THE 2014 NBA DRAFT LOTTERY – WFNY Podcast – 2014-05-20

WFNY Podcast LogoThe Cleveland Cavaliers won the 2014 NBA Draft lottery!

So, at the last minute I fired up the old podcast and Andrew and I discussed the Cavs’ ridiculously good fortune.

What should they do?

Kevin Love?

LeBron James?

Does this change the thoughts on the Cavs coaching search?

Also, just for fun, we discussed the new album “Boys” by Herzog. Cleveland band on a Cleveland night. Such a great night!

Check out this episode!

Among the chaotic, Grantland lists the Cavaliers as second-least appealing spot

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Man, would I would to see where the Cavaleirs would be if not for the cap space. In a recent ranking compiled by Grantland.com’s Zach Lowe, Cleveland’s NBA franchise comes in fifth among the most attractive destinations for a front office hoping to right their team’s respective ship.

This is a crucial summer for Cleveland, but you can start here: Jarrett Jack is the only player on a non-rookie deal that extends beyond next season. That will change once David Griffin, the team’s well-regarded new GM, decides which players to retain from the current roster. Spencer Hawes and Luol Deng are about to enter unrestricted free agency, and Cleveland gave up a combined five draft picks to get them in a slim-chance run at the no. 8 spot in the Eastern Conference. Tristan Thompson and Kyrie Irving are both eligible for extensions this summer, and Irving is a no-brainer candidate for the max.

That sounds crazy, since Irving is a flawed player. He plays abominable defense, he just had the worst shooting season of his career, he has been hurt a lot, and he clashed at times with Dion Waiters last season. But he just turned 22, and he’s a fantastically talented offensive player — that rare breed of point guard with ankle-breaking off-the-bounce skills and a threatening 3-point shot. He’s the Damian Lillard of the Eastern Conference, only almost two years younger, with a higher ceiling.

And remember: The “max” for guys coming off their rookie deals is smaller than the “max” for veteran players. It might stand as an overpay for present-day Irving, but it’s an overpay you make with the cap rising so fast every season.

Thompson is a thornier choice. He declined a bit in Year 3, he can’t shoot, and he doesn’t protect the rim well enough to play heavy minutes at center. Team executives are increasingly wary of big men who can play only power forward and cannot shoot 3s. That’s Thompson, and Griffin has spoken openly about the need to find more shooting from all positions.

Regardless: Cleveland has a relatively clean cap sheet, a budding star in Irving, and extra first-round picks coming from Memphis and Miami. Dan Gilbert is a loud, impetuous owner, but this job would have piqued the interest of lots of GM candidates had Cleveland truly opened it up.

Per Lowe, the New York Knicks (the KNICKS!), Memphis Grizzlies, Detroit Pistons and New Orleans Pelicans offer better landing spots for those willing to take on the challenge. If you take a step back, the salary cap flexibility that Cleveland has is pretty incredible as the team has managed to roster rookie contracts and low-cost free agents (outside of Jack). Also, it was encouraging to see a national writer point out that, in the wake of all of this Damian Lillard talk, Irving is two years younger and has yet to reach his maximum potential. Things may not look too great right now, but those two first-round picks in 2015 should not be overlooked.

It could all be much worse. Just look at Milwaukee.

Photo: Scott Sargent/WFNY

This Year’s NBA Lottery is Different for the Cavaliers

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Well tell me if you have heard this before: The Cleveland Cavaliers are hoping for a good draw in NBA Draft Lottery. After another lackluster season, the Cavaliers have another chance at getting the number one pick in the June draft. They hold the ninth best odds of getting the top pick with a 1.7% chance. While getting the first pick this year is not quite as important as years past, the Cavs are wishing on their lucky star for a the ping-pong balls to bounce their way once again. [Read more...]

Love Reign O’er Me, While We’re Waiting

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All you need is Love

In Kirk Lammers’ report yesterday on WFNY regarding Tristan Thompson’s status on the trading block, there was a part at the end about the Cavaliers making a run at Kevin Love. Now, granted, if the Cavaliers could somehow pull off a trade for Kevin Love, it would completely change everything about this team.

The Cavaliers haven’t had a consistent, reliable offensive player at the PF position since the days of Larry Nance (I wouldn’t use the words consistent or reliable for likes of Antawn Jamison or Shawn Kemp, the best offensive PFs the Cavs have had since Nance). Cavs fans have been conditioned to forget just how important and effective a frontcourt scoring option at the 4 is for team offense.

But are the Cavaliers really players for Love? Probably not. For one thing, Love wants to play in a big market or a marquee team. That isn’t the Cleveland Cavaliers. While I would still trade for Love and hope for the best when he’s a free agent next year, the Cavaliers might not see that as the best strategy. But what shows Kyrie Irving a commitment to winning more…trading for a 26 ppg and 12 rpg All-Star PF, or adding yet another draft pick and waiting for him to develop? I think the Cavaliers should go for it. Do whatever it takes to get Kevin Love, and see what happens when you pair two of the best players at their position in the NBA. If it doesn’t work and you lose both of them, then I tend to agree with WFNY’s Ben Cox:

Players like Kevin Love so rarely become available via trade. If the Cavaliers aren’t interested in pursuing a player like Love when he actually is available and the Timberwolves are open to trading him, then I’m not sure what the point of having a team is. The odds are slim of actually getting him1, but at least take a stab at it and try. If Minnesota and/or Love say no, then so be it.

When this franchise had LeBron James, they never did anything to add a real, legit 2nd All-Star to play beside LeBron, and it cost the team any chance of keeping LeBron. He left to go play with other good players. This feels like history frustratingly repeating itself all over again. The Cavaliers have spent three years of roster mismanagement with Kyrie Irving and haven’t come close to giving him another star quality player2. If there’s a chance to actually give Kyrie Irving this kind of teammate, I think the Cavaliers should do it.

I mean, come on, tell me this wouldn’t be fun:

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On the other hand, what are the chances the Cavaliers can get a superstar sidekick in the lottery?

The NBA Draft Lottery is tonight, and obviously whatever happens will play a huge part in the Cavs’ offseason. I really think the Cavaliers are going to trade their first round pick this year or die trying. This roster is so insanely young and I don’t feel that adding more inexperienced youth that needs to develop is going to exactly help the Cavaliers.

But what if they get into the top 3? If that happens, they could still trade the pick. But in that case I don’t know if they would trade it for an expiring player like Love without an agreement on a contract extension first. But there could be some really good players still under contract who could get moved for a top 3 pick in this year’s draft. But even if they don’t trade it, a pretty good player can be had in the top 3 if they just keep it.

But alas, the Cavaliers don’t have very good odds. To demonstrate this point, I decided to open ESPN’s Lottery Machine and play the lottery just one time to see what would happen. Well, this happened:

nba draft lottery 2014

Hey, we can still dream, right?

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Are you all scared of the vengeful retribution of Greg Little?

So Mr Little was picked up by the Oakland Raiders and he’s going to get his revenge on the Browns for cutting a player who saw his catches and yards decline every single year all while supplying the team with a frustrating amount of dropped passes? Well, ok then.

Look, it’s only natural for humans to want to stick it to the people who don’t believe in us. I can’t hold that against Little. But I also can’t sit here and pretend like the team wronged him somehow. They gave him three years to improve, and by all accounts he certainly tried. I’ll never question his work ethic. But he simply wasn’t good enough to be an NFL receiver, even on a team that desperately needs them.

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When will the bass drop?

This weekend was the season finale of Saturday Night Live, and former cast member Andy Samberg was back to host it. Samberg, known for his hilarious and often non-sequitur Digital Shorts, made a new one which was absolutely one of his best ever:

I get why people listen to EDM and Dubstep music. I sometimes enjoy listening to it when playing video games. But I’ve never really understood the “live” performances of it. Anyway, Samberg does a pretty good job of poking fun at some of the funnier aspects of Dubstep.

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If you’re not watching “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver”, you’re missing out

When HBO announced they were giving John Oliver a weekly half hour news show, I think most people expected a Daily Show ripoff. To a degree, they were right. Oliver’s show does closely resemble John Stewart’s enterprise.

Yet there’s something different about Oliver’s style. I’m probably about to get crucified as a Stewart heretic, but I actually prefer Oliver’s approach to skewering the news and the people and organizations behind the scandals. While I think John Stewart is absolutely hilarious, there’s just something about his holier-than-thou smugness that feels heavy handed to me. Oliver isn’t any more forgiving with his targets, but he doesn’t it in a manner that focuses more on the humor and less on coming across like a sermon.

Plus, Oliver has another huge advantage: HBO. Being on the cable subscription service, Oliver is free to say, do, or show whatever he wants. There are no corporate sponsors to worry about offending and there are no censors to appease. He can literally say and show whatever he wants. It makes the show feel a little more free. Plus, by being a weekly show, Oliver doesn’t have the pressure of delivering every single night like Stewart does.

But I don’t want to pit the shows against each other. They are both great and they both have their place. I think the country is a funnier and more educated place because of these shows. So, ripoff or not, Last Week Tonight is an absolute riot and one of the things I most look forward to watching every week.

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Finally, the album of the week:

Yesterday in Scott’s edition of WWW he mentioned The Roots’ new album. It was officially released this week and it’s a great listen.

But I’m going to go in a different direction for this week’s new album of the week. I’m going to give it to yet another Cleveland band, and it’s Herzog’s incredible new album titled “Boys”. It’s straight forward rock, the type of rock that Cleveland does best. This is a really great listen from start to finish and yet another band showcasing that Cleveland is still a city producing some really great rock music.

You can read Pitchfork’s review here and listen to the album below:

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Footnotes:

  1. ESPN’s Ramona Shelburn and Marc Stein say Love prefers the Warriors and Bulls, while Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski is saying to keep an eye on the Celtics. Nobody is mentioning the Cavaliers as a possible destination []
  2. Luol Deng is close, and I can’t hold his ineptitude on the court against Chris Grant…how was he or anyone to know Deng would play as poorly for the Cavaliers as he did? []

Video: Watch Kyrie Irving shoot from the bed of a Jeep

Kyrie Irving Jeep Commercial

It appears that the folks at Jeep have joined Pepsi MAX and Foot Locker on Kyrie Irving’s commercial resume. Irving, the two-time All-Star point guard of the Cleveland Cavaliers, is heavily featured in Jeep’s newest commercial titled “Lovers of the Game” wherein he appears to jump some rope, cruise around Los Angeles and sink a long-range shot from the bed—celebrating with a selfie—all while Michael Jackson’s new song “Love Never Felt So Good” pumps through the background.

Jeep is the official vehicle of USA Basketball, and Irving is well on his way to be the face of that very team. Check out the video for yourself.

History Repeating: Mike Brown takes the Fall…Again

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There was a time, not that long ago, when Mike Brown was being applauded for being one of the game’s bright young defensive minds. His coaching skills had been forged in the crucibles of playoff runs as an assistant in San Antonio and Indiana. His Cleveland teams won ugly but won, and he even managed to have three seasons with a top ten NBA offense in terms of efficiency. Without the summer of 2010 ransom note the Cavaliers had in hand, there is no way Mike Brown would have been dismissed that summer in his first term as head coach. He was quickly swooped up by one of the league’s premier franchise in the Lakers that needed a culture change and identified Brown’s ability to get results. Then, after a shortened stay in L.A., clearer heads had won out, we were led to believe, and the Cleveland front office, led by Dan Gilbert and former-assistant-GM-and-then-general-manager Chris Grant, had realized the error of their ways. The triumvirate would once again provide stability to a franchise that preached it from the top down.

[Read more...]

Kyrie Irving in person to celebrate Johnny Manziel’s big night

Welcome to Cleveland, Johnny ManzielCleveland fans, we now have a quarterback that TMZ follows around.

If you heard the Justin Gilbert/Johnny Manziel press conference today, you may have heard about a report and pictures of Johnny Manziel’s draft celebration party last night. TMZ was on hand and reports today that along with his family, the guest list included Drake, Busta Rhymes, Meek Mill and none other than the point guard for your Cavaliers, Kyrie Irving.

When asked about the pictures of him spraying champagne, Manziel replied simply, “I’m 21.”

[Related: Cleveland's very own]

Pics: Kyrie Irving’s Zoom Hyperrev PEs hitting House of Hoops

Kyrie Irving's Zoom Hyperrev PEs

Well, speak of the devil! Earlier this week, we heard some rumblings of Kyrie Irving potentially joining the NBA’s elite in getting his own Nike shoe. Just a few days later, news breaks that the Cleveland Cavaliers’ All-Star point guard will have his Player Exclusive Zoom Hypperrev hitting shelves in select House of Hoops stores.

On May 10, Irving will have two variations of the Hypperrev, complete with his “K” logo across the ankle strap, available for purchase. The green and lime colorway is said to be inspired by Irving’s Austrailian heritage while the wine and gold colorway is derived from the Cavaliers. The Hyperrev is the second Nike shoe to get the Irving PE treatment (with the first being the Hyperdunks in 2012-13), but this is the first to have Irving as the frontman of the campaign as well as the first available for public purchase. Irving even hooked up the entire Cavaliers equipment team with their very own wine-colored Hyperrev for the second half of this past season.

While we will await any news on a potential Nike Zoom Kyrie, the wine and gold Hyperrev will mark the first Cavs-based shoe to hit shelves since LeBron James’ Zoom LeBron 7. Both shoes will retail for $120.

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“Smoke and Fire” or “Smoke and Mirrors”: While We’re Waiting

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My favorite time in the otherwise excruciating pre-NFL Draft season is the period where wannabe GMs and 140-character analysts attempt to read between the lines of coach and general manager quotes to decipher just who their favorite team is going to draft. This stage is in full swing now that Mike Pettine and Ray Farmer have gone on the record to say very little about their draft intentions, leading others to attempt some form of jerk-off Pavlovian deconstruction—if Coach X says Y, he must mean Z!

The latest comes from Mike Florio at Pro Football Talk1 who, in a psychoanalysis that rivals Dr. Phil, attempts to turn Ray Farmer’s open praise of Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins into some cat-and-mouse shenanigans that—somehow—lead the Browns to coveting an offensive lineman.

In the same interview, Farmer heaped praise on Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel (“Exciting, electric. He’s dynamic”), Khalil Mack (“I would say he’s a physical anomaly”), Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans and Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles (“Both of those guys are talented players.”). Of course, none of these players drew a “wow,” but to extrapolate smoke from such quotes is a fools errand. Next Monday can’t come soon enough. 

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The collateral damage from the Chief Wahoo debate is starting to drip over onto apparel companies. The Associated Press reports of a Pacific Northwestern plea for Nike Inc. to stop selling MLB-licensed merchandise emblazoned with the Indians’ secondary logo. Nike would not be printing (and, thus, selling) merchandise with Chief Wahoo on it if the logo were not among the bevy of MLB-licensed images provided to the company for distribution. It’s realistic to assume that the company could also choose to not produce apparel with said imagery on it (the Washington Redskins are mentioned in the report as well), but this would also assume that Nike didn’t just decide to do away with the abuse of overseas labor.

This isn’t to say that the Swoosh won’t catch on eventually. But it is to say that the corporate inertia in Washington County is among the slowest in the entire sports world. And this includes Major League Baseball.

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Those of you able to stomach the NBA Playoffs have been blessed with one of the better first rounds in recent memory. Five of the eight series went seven games with each of the five being completely up for grabs. San Antonio was on the wire. Toronto’s bid for the second round was blocked at the final second. And this doesn’t even include the issues in Los Angeles with Donald Sterling and the Clippers. I mean eight (EIGHT) first-round games went into overtime—more than the last four seasons of playoffs combined.

The most compelling series, at least from a Cleveland fans standpoint, should have been the Houston-Portland series, if only because of the play of one Damian Lillard. If you missed it, Lillard sank an incredible buzzer-beating three pointer off of a simple curl that vaulted his team into the second round while simultaneously forcing some Cavalier fans to debate whether or not they would rather have Lillard over Kyrie Irving. For your viewing pleasure:

damian lillard three-pointer

I think the way the fans’ arms raise in unison may be my favorite part of the whole gif, but I digress. If you recall, Lillard was one (of the many) point guards to terrorize Irving this season, hitting a game-winner in one of the Cavaliers’ best games of the 2013-14 season. He has a huge cult following of NBA fans, has his own massive sneaker deal (Adidas) and is an All-Star in his own right. And now his team (though surrounded by talent that dwarfs that of Cleveland) is heading into the second round of the playoffs. The debate isn’t without merit. Who would you rather have?

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Speaking of Kyrie Irving and shoe deals, Jordan Zirm over at Stack Media discusses the 2014 free agency landscape on the sneaker front, doing so with legendary sneaker business analyst Matt Powell. While Powell couldn’t confirm the rumor, he’s under the impression that Kyrie Irving will in fact be getting his own line of shoes this coming season. He’s had two consecutive years of PE (Player Exclusive, for the out of touch). His own shoe would put him in rarified air with guys like LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant. Does Irving deserve to be in that company? Given his commercial appeal with Pepsi MAX and Foot Locker, it appears that Nike believes so.

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Only three more episodes of Mad Men left, you guys. Is this season living up to your expectations?

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And just because: That’s just isn’t fair, Ronaldo.

RONALDOGIF

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Footnotes:

  1. This type of nonsense is certainly not limited to Florio. You could throw a rock at a Clevelander’s Twitter feed and plunk someone who thinks they’re in tune with NFL wisdom. It’s an epidemic, really. []

Statistical observations following another non-playoffs Cavs season

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Cleveland Cavaliers

Remember how much fun the playoffs were? From 2005-2010, spring time basketball in Cleveland was fun and exciting. If you recall, there were chants of “Eric Snow for MVP” one year – perhaps my favorite sports memory ever – and that’s how in love we once were with playoff basketball.

If the past few days of amazing back-and-forth games showed me anything, it’s that as a fan, I yearn to be back in that position again soon. Very soon.

As a stats-minded individual, I also know that the Cavaliers haven’t had it that bad … yet. Missing the playoffs four straight seasons isn’t that rare in the NBA. Several teams are on longer droughts currently. Heck, imagine how difficult life would be out in the Western Conference.

Continuing with that stats-centric hat, here are six observations I’ve been mulling over from the conclusion of this funky #seasonofhuh. Before we get started, go check out the pieces from my WFNY colleagues Ben Cox and Andrew Schnitkey so far. Both were outstanding.

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Video: Kyrie Irving’s top ten plays of the season

The NBA put together a top ten plays of 2013-2014 video for Kyrie Irving.

Matthews *and* Manziel? While We’re Waiting…

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Mock City, USA. With the NFL Draft just a few weeks away, the frequency of the ever-popular mock draft is going to pick up—immensely. One of my favorites thus far, if only from a Cleveland Browns standpoint, comes from Rotoworld’s Evan Silva. Silva hedges his bets throughout, saying that he “doesn’t pretend to know what will happen at the draft,” but then has the Browns landing Johnny Manziel…at No. 26. This, after they select Jake Matthews (hey, if we couldn’t land Clay, we may as well get his cousin, right?) at No. 4. Then in the second round, he has the Browns landing Marquise Lee from USC, a player who many had in the top 10 of the 2014 Draft as recent as a season ago.

Don’t get me wrong, this would be an absolute haul. I also give it about Bluto Blutarsky’s shot at happening1. For starters, I still see Manziel going in the top eight. Secondly, if he doesn’t, he’ll get scooped up in the late teens or early 20s by a team willing to take a gamble—the Browns would get jumped. This said, as big of a Manziel fans as I am, I’m totally fine with Matthews. As WFNY commenter Jim Kanicki said best in his latest podcast, you can’t go wrong with the bloodlines.

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The NBA Playoffs will only serve to be frustrating for Cavalier fans. So many quality games, so many quality players—many of whom were selected after various Cavaliers and are doing really, really good things for their team. Watching guys like Kemba Walker (20 points, five boards, six assists) and Damian Lillard (31 points, nine rebounds and five assists) do big things for their respective teams is great for them, but just so maddening for anyone who is a fan of Cleveland. Charlotte is in the playoffs largely because of the gamble they made on Al Jefferson and Portland is stacked, so the apples we’re comparing aren’t exactly the same. But it’s very difficult to watch a team like the Bobcats—who is where they are despite a complete failure in drafting Bismack Biyombo before Walker—knowing that the Cavs could’ve been playing postseason basketball if not for such a horrid, horrid start to the season.

Some bonus Cavs coverage comes in the way of Jason Lloyd, who pegs Andrew Bynum as the common denominator of failure for 2013-14. Check it out.

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On a good note regarding the Cavaliers, WFNY’s Ben Cox (Writer of the Year), Jacob Rosen (Best Written Cavaliers Article of the Year, “Everything we know about the Cavaliers and Analytics“), and Joe Mastrantoni (Up and Coming Writer of the Year) for cleaning up at Stepien Rules’ 2013-14 STEPY Awards. I’m proud to know that WFNY houses some of the best Cavalier writers on the planet. Do I wish they had the chance to utilize their skills on a competitive franchise? You bet your sweet ass. That said, covering a losing team for an entire season is even tougher, and these guys deserve all the credit they receive.

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While the Tribe is struggling a bit out of the gate, Let’s Go Tribe takes a look at the players the Indians chose not to re-sign. Raise your hand if you’re a Tribe fan and knew that Ubaldo Jiménez’ ERA is north of seven.

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It didn’t take long for Clint Frazier to get the call. The Tribe’s red rocket is officially a member of the Lake County Captains. Frazier made his 2014 debut going 1-for-5, scoring a run and had a RBI as well as the team ended its losing streak, winning 6-3 and are now 5-9 on the year. Last year Frazier played 44 games in the Arizona Rookie League hitting .297, with 32 runs scored, 11 doubles, five triples, five homeruns and 28 runs batted in.

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Spoiler-free Mad Men thoughts: Sally Draper episodes have become exponentially better than non-Sally Draper episodes.

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Cochella thoughts: Welcome back, OutKast.

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And just because: Paul Pierce, falling down.

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Footnotes:

  1. Zero. Point. Zero. []

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!