LeBron James made about $30 million from owning a small stake in Beats Electronics, also known as Beats By Dre, when the company was bought by Apple. He was an early investor in that company, and he may get to be an early investor in another innovative project once again. The Ohio City start-up called Phenom promised LeBron a stake in their business if he returned to the Cavs, and, although the promise was a PR stunt, they have drawn up papers to give the King some of their brainchild. This start-up has an app for amateur athletes to show off their gear and the staff they train with. The president of Phenom wants to release some more features for the app before presenting LeBron with the ownership paperwork. Right now, the business is not generating revenue and is focused on creating a following.
If you’re a regular reader of Cavs: the Blog, part of the reason (we hope) is that you enjoy good, fresh, engaging writing about (what we assume is) your favorite basketball team, the Cleveland Cavaliers.
If the above statement is true — and you’ve never had a pleasure to get your hands on any of the previous four installments of CavsZine: The Bible of Cavs Fandom — well, you’re in luck. The fine folks at CavsZine, which features writing from your favorite local and national Cavs scribes, Cavs-centric illustrations, humor… oh, and some of the most amazing free goodies (see CavsZine exlusive Mark Price sticker above, for example) this side of a free Taco Bell chalupa on game night.
This year, with the aid of their first Kickstarter campaign, Cleveland Jackson, Alex Raffalli and company are upping the ‘Zine’s production to better be a Bible of Fandom for a championship contending team.
September is here. Everyone has felt the buckle tighten back on school or a more rigid work week. We at Cavs: the Blog are no exception. But, even as we sit and watch the clock tick down the precious minutes until the NBA returns (Cavs Media Day is a week from tomorrow!!!) we are not without our actual full (?) and rewarding (??) lives. So, for unbalanced edition of Five-on-Six we’ve got a little bit of basketball and a little bit of that small sliver of our lives that is… well, un-basketball. Enjoy!
1.) Did you go on a vacation this summer? If so, where? And, if so, was there a Cavs-related story that broke / distracted you from fully enjoying yourself.
Tom: Yes, to Cape Hatteras North Carolina on the Outer Banks. No, no #wojBombs that I can recall. I was there during games 1-3 of the Finals. I was terrified that the Heat were going to ruin my vacation, especially after the Bosh primal scream in game 2. I didn’t watch the start of game 3 until I got a text that the Spurs had started 19 of 21. One of the best vacations I’ve ever had.
Kyrie Irving and the USA Men’s National team won the FIBA World Cup of Basketball over the weekend and received gold medals for their efforts. After they routed Serbia in the final game, 129-92, Kyrie was named to the all-tournament team, and named tournament MVP. This is a stunning rise for Irving, who was not even the USA’s projected starter when the tournament began. After finishing 30th in points per game, and 18th in assists for the tournament, the award was unexpected. But while Harden was the top scorer for team USA, and Kenneth Faried brought unexpected and much needed energy to the squad, Irving was the man who steadied the ship for the team throughout the tournament. For the first time since I’ve watched him, Irving received accolades not as much for scoring, but for things that don’t always show up in the box score: defense, hustle, leadership, and selfless play. (Of course, it didn’t hurt that he went 6-6 from three in the final game and shot over 60% for the tourney). If this season marks the return of the King to Cleveland, Kyrie must surely be crowned prince.
Four points I’m thinking about the Cleveland Cavaliers…
1.) Kyrie Irving drew some compliments from commentators Marc Kestecher and Fran Fraschilla during ESPN’s broadcast of Team USA’s 96-68 win over Lithuania in the semi-finals of the FIBA World Cup. During the fourth quarter, Fraschilla mentioned how “steady” Irving has been throughout this tournament, adding that when you think about Irving’s performances it’s difficult to pick out a bad one. Irving has been “average” at worst, and generally “very, very good.”
Irving, who played a team high 34:27 minutes on Thursday, also led the team in scoring with 18 points. His +19 was second only to James Harden’s +20.
Team USA looked bad during the first half, while Lithuania looked competent. America’s offense looked like a bunch of guys just playing pickup ball, and the defense just didn’t exist much of the game. The score at the end of first half didn’t reflect that though. The talent gap between the two teams was too big for Lithuania to overcome, as they entered the second half of the game down by eight. James Harden blew the game open in the third quarter by scoring 16 points and missing only one shot. Kyrie kept the US lead growing in the fourth quarter scoring 11 points in the period to go with two assists. The US could have ended the game by a larger margin if they had made their free throws instead of going 11-20.
Back in April, Cavs: The Blog writer Tom Pestak took a ton of time to try and figure out which Cavs two man units were the most effective using plus-minus data for individual players and plus-minus data for two man units. To make some sense of that data, a little math was required. Plus-minus (PM) numbers don’t take into account how many minutes players and lineups played, so it needs to be adjusted to be looked at as a per 48 minute rate. Once that rate is figured out it can be used for all sorts of fun stuff. By comparing players’ expected PM/48 in lineups to their lineup’s actual on the court PM/48, you can see how well the players made magic together. If the numbers match up, then the unit played average, but if the two numbers are drastically different, the unit either under-performed or over-performed.
Tom did this exhaustive exercise for two man units on the Cavs. The conclusion: everything commonly thought was more or less wrong. CJ Miles was a beast, Andy V and Matty D made everyone better, and Kyrie only exceeded an expected PM/48 number when playing with Miles.