Author Archive

Links to the Present: Start-Up Edition Updated

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

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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.

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Links to the Present: Unveiling Edition

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

nike-lebron-12-the-twelve Yesterday, LeBron James released his new signature shoe at the Nike Headquarters.  This is the twelve shoe to earn his approval, and the King is very happy with it.

“I would like this shoe,” [LeBron] joked. “But I love it because it has my name and logo on it.”

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Links to the Present: Kyrie and Marketing Edition

Monday, September 15th, 2014

ALTERNATIVE CROP US forward James Harden (R) celebrates after receiving the trophy from Spain's King Felipe VI (L) after the 2014 FIBA World basketball championships final match USA vs Serbia at the Palacio de los Deportes in Madrid on September 14, 2014. USA won the match 129-92.  AFP PHOTO / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU

Yesterday, Kyrie Irving reached a new milestone in his basketball career, MVP of the FIBA World Cup. He had 26 points on 10-13 shots and 6-6 threes to lead all scorers during the 37 point Team USA defeat of Serbia. Irving is coming back to the Cavs a more experienced player and should be ready to play alongside LeBron James this season.  Irving has the right attitude to play with All-Star level guys.

“With USA Basketball, you’re part of something bigger than yourself,” Irving said. “I put myself in there. Whatever coach needed, whatever all my teammates needed, I was willing to do every single day. I think we all shared that, the heart and passion. (more…)

Not a (Team USA) Recap: Team USA 96, Lithuania 68 (or, Individual Play)

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

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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.

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Links to the Present: Goofy Stuff Edition

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

Photo13-1024x1024 Dion Waiters is getting some attention these days.  If you need a laugh this afternoon, check out Will Gibson’s swag evaluation over at Waiting For Next Year. The results are shown above. Dion is representing the Cavs well.

This confidence, this attitude, this—for lack of a better word—swag, has become Dion’s defining trait.  Swag isn’t just an on-court thing—it applies to fashion and lifestyle, too.  Dion knows this.  Before the 2012 draft, he said, “I am going to look real fly. Sharp. I will turn my swag all the way up.” He engages with fans on Twitter, often afterhours. He’s a fun human to have with us on Earth.

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The +/- Fun Zone

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

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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.

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Links to the Present: Throwback Edition, Updated With More Robert

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

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I finally have a day off of work, so I’ve been catching up on some NBA reading.  The Ball Don’t Lie blog has been doing pieces this past week about historic dunk moments in the NBA.  LeBron’s dunk on Kevin Garnett and James Posey during game 5 of the 2008 Eastern Conference semifinals was covered by Joey Gulino.  This piece features some truly animated writing and is a must read.

Let me tell you something about Cleveland fans. These moments don’t happen for us, they happen to us. Except this time. Except when the greatest athlete to ever suit up for Cleveland exploded from Boston’s big green grip with no regard for the Celtic defenders, with no regard for the concept of basketball as a team game, with no regard for … well, you know.

Kevin Harlan’s forceful narration was the perfect punctuation. He said what nobody else in the moment could. Cavs fans could do nothing but scramble for inaudible exuberance. Celtics fans could do nothing but swear. Neutral fans could do nothing but shake their heads in appreciative disbelief. Doug Collins could do nothing but register the audible equivalent of slack-jawed astonishment.

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Links to the Present: Labor Day Edition

Monday, September 1st, 2014

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The news today is going to be short and simple.  Read it with your coffee before heading outside to enjoy some grilled delights and cold beers with family and friends. I’ll start with the “Not A (Team USA) Recap: Team USA 98, Turkey 77.”  The US team faced their first scare of the tournament when they entered the locker room down five at halftime.  Sekou Smith of NBA.com has a good summary of the game up if you missed it.  Kyrie Irving continued adding to his international resume; he had 13 points on 5-9 shots to go with five assists and four rebounds.  The other guards struggled.  Derrick Rose shot 0-4 for two points while Stephen Curry shot 3-9 for nine points.  Curry also had five steals. (more…)

Links to the Present: Money and Weight Edition

Friday, August 29th, 2014

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Kevin Love wants money, and you can’t blame him.  Brian Windhorst explains Love’s contract situation and why he isn’t going to sign his player option for next year or take an extension right now.  It’s nothing personal towards the Cavs organization.

Summing it up, if Love signed today, he’d assure himself $37 million more guaranteed. If he waits until next summer, he can assure himself $107 million more guaranteed.

And, of course, if he does get hurt, the player option for next season is a great insurance policy worth $16.7 million.

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Links to the Present: Best Summaries Edition

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

USA v Slovenia

Today is going to start with “Not A (Team USA) Recap: Team USA 101, Slovenia 71 (Or, Making Me Proud).”  Kyrie Irving is impressing the world during these FIBA tournament exhibition games.  Once again, he showed ridiculous efficiency getting 13 points on 4-5 shooting to go with two assists.  This performance out did the other point guards. Derrick Rose shot 0-3 for three points and Stephen Curry had a 3-5 night for ten points.  Kyrie is going to be going into the NBA season red hot if he keeps up these Team USA performances. (more…)