Archive for the ‘Links To The Present’ Category

Links to the Present: Branding Edition

Friday, March 21st, 2014

Look at that handwriting!

Dion Waiters is branding himself as part of the Cleveland community.  March Madness is here, so Dion is taking part in the annual Plain Dealer celebrity bracket challenge with the Brown’s Josh Gordon, the Tribe’s Cory Kluber, and former Ohio State University football player Christian Bryant.  (more…)

Links to the Present: Distractions Edition

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014
Hopefully Kyrie Irving is feeling this relaxed about Dion Waiters' breakout game.  No jealousy right?

Hopefully Kyrie Irving is feeling this relaxed about Dion Waiters’ breakout game. No jealousy right?

I’m feeling good.  Kyrie Irving may be out for two weeks, but Dion Waiters posted his first NBA double double against the Miami Heat last night, and the Cavs legitimately held their own against a 43 point LeBron James performance.  Luol Deng wasn’t even playing, and Alonzo Gee was able to be a real replacement dunking on LeBron and making some threes.  I’m going to distract myself for a little bit to keep thinking we will keep this transcendent Kyrieless play up.

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Links to the Present: Traditions Edition

Monday, March 17th, 2014
kyrie_irving_32

He can play in a mask, but can he play in a sling?

Every year at several points during the Cavs season, I find myself furiously searching “Kyrie Irving Injury.” I thought this year was going to break that tradition, since Irving has made it more than half of the season missing only three games. It seems I’m wrong again. (more…)

Links To The Present: They Probably Won’t Make It Edition

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014
Luol Deng once looked amazing with Nate Robinson running the point.  What does that say about Kyrie Irving?

Luol Deng once looked amazing with Nate Robinson running the point. What does that say about Kyrie Irving?

The Cavs have been off since Saturday, and to be completely honest, I have to say nothing is going on with them basketball wise.   They are not a good team by their record, 24-40.  When you see them play, they often look worse than that record.  These three days off have been filled with contemplation by writers across the world, and  they’ve determined that the Cavs probably won’t make the playoffs, that Kyrie Irving should leave, and that LeBron James coming back is a possibility. (more…)

Links to the Present: Big Guy And Sloan Conference Edition

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014
This pair may return for Z's retirement ceremony.

This pair may return for Z’s retirement ceremony.

The news has spread that LeBron James may be attending Zydrunas Ilgauskas’s jersey retirement ceremony March 8th.  The NBA schedule works out for LeBron, and the past works for the pair too.  LeBron grew up watching Big Z lead a lot of terrible Cavs teams.  Big Z hopes the star of Akron is received warmly, since they are friends.

I, on the other hand, hope LeBron is not received at all.  The night is about Big Z and just a whiff of LeBron is going to lead to a handful of boos, cheers, and inevitable coverage about the pair’s friendship that overshadow the big guy.

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Links to the Present: The Jimmer Hawes Edition

Monday, March 3rd, 2014
Spencer Hawes has very efficient finger pistols when playing with Kyrie Irving.

Spencer Hawes has very efficient finger pistols when playing with Kyrie Irving.

The Jimmer Fredette saga never had a chance to start in Cleveland, but the Spencer Hawes saga has more than made up for that.

“‘We are very excited to add a player like Jimmer to our roster,’ Bulls GM Gary Forman said in a statement. ‘We’ve followed him closely throughout his collegiate and professional career, and believe he’ll be the type of player that will fit in with our group and be an asset to the team.’” [Ben Golliver, sportsillustrated.com]

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Links to the Present: Being Hurt Edition

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

illgauskas

As a Cavs fan, I know all about hurt.  Usually, they are hurting me emotionally.  Sometimes, they are hurting themselves physically.  You just never know.

“Since the advent of rookie-scale extensions and maximum contracts, no player has turned down a max extension offer before entering the final year of his rookie-scale deal. Irving potentially has the chance to make history” [Amin Elhassan, ESPN]

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Have you seen this story before?

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

nba_u_irving_d2_576x324

Hey!  Kyrie may want out of Cleveland!!  Or something along those lines from Brian Windhorst.

On days like this, I hope the Cavs do trade Kyrie.  It’s not personal, these articles are just perpetual, and trading Kyrie is a way to make them stop.

For what it’s worth, Kyrie is one more all-star vote away from being a “supermax” player, making $20 million or more per year in his extension.  He doesn’t even need to be particularly great, just popular, to reach “supermax” status.  Is he worth that much loot?   As of this moment, I am not sure he is, to Cleveland or any other team.  Let another management group decide this summer whether he is an investment worth $100 million after one healthy season out of three in which he helped guide his team to 25 – 30 wins annually. 

Remember when Denver traded Carmelo, or Toronto parted with Rudy Gay, and things turned for the better?  What haul could be gained for Kyrie and is it better for the present and future than Irving at $20+ million per year?  This answer could be a “yes”; there are a lot of good point guards in the NBA, eight with a PER above Kyrie, and 29 above average.  Regression based stats consider his defensive impact as awful.  And ultimately winning games is what will keep people in the seats, Kyrie or not.

Anyways, as a fan, this has little to do with Kyrie; I just don’t want to deal with these reports for another five years.

Links to the Present: Untimely Article Edition

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports starts us off with this post from last night about Chris Grant’s failed run in Cleveland. With gems like the ones below, Wojnarowski attempts to prove the thesis: it’s Grant’s fault LeBron James isn’t coming back.

  • “Grant hadn’t scouted Valanciunas hard enough to gain full confidence in his abilities.”
  • “The belief was that Grant was searching for a way to cross Valanciunas off the list and draft a player that he believed to be a safer bet: Texas’ Tristan Thompson. What’s more, Rich Paul, James’ childhood friend and player agent now, represented Thompson.” (more…)

Links to the Present: MLK Day edition

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Cavs.com brings us video of Cavs players reading Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. The follow-up interviews with current Cavs players on what they think of the  speech are equally moving. The Cavaliers have some impressively well-spoken young men on their roster.

I was supposed to be come up with an article for today, and I was planning on it being about Martin Luther King Jr. and race relations in our post-modern age, but I couldn’t come up with anything that I didn’t feel was patronizing or overly-simplistic. Suffice it to say, that even though the Cavs don’t always play well, it is a pleasure to cover this NBA team. The Cavaliers and the NBA embody the spirit of Dr. King’s dream: men from all different backgrounds and races from around the world working together, striving for excellence, and supporting the communities they work in and the communities they come from. The spirit of the NBA is an example of how sport can help lift us out of unjust ways of thinking, and how we can come to identify with people who might be from incredibly different walks of life than ourselves. From Jackie Robinson, Mohammed Ali, and Jesse Owens, to Oscar Robertson, Elgin Baylor, Bill Russell, Campy Russell, David Stern, Jason Collins, and Hakeem Olajuwan: sports figures have been at the forefront of changing Americans’ opinions and breaking the cycle of racism in this country and around the world. That is one of the biggest reason’s I’m a fan.

Because racism’s evil is predicated not just on what it does to its victims — violence, lack of opportunity, injustice, and oppression — but also what it does to to the perpetrators — blinding them with hate and irrationality, corrupting their minds and their souls, and not letting them see the beauty in other peoples and their cultures. I always refer to Orwell’s “Shooting an Elephant” as an example of how racism and institutional colonialism can trap the oppressor into an inescapable cycle.

Legally I had done the right thing, for a mad elephant has to be killed, like a mad dog, if its owner fails to control it. Among the Europeans opinion was divided. The older men said I was right, the younger men said it was a damn shame to shoot an elephant for killing a coolie, because an elephant was worth more than any damn Coringhee coolie. And afterwards I was very glad that the coolie had been killed; it put me legally in the right and it gave me a sufficient pretext for shooting the elephant. I often wondered whether any of the others grasped that I had done it solely to avoid looking a fool.

Dr. King and so many people that came before and after him have helped to break the institution of racism in this country. And though the struggle seems never to be fully won, to me, that is his greatest contribution. It is a pleasure to live in a country where a group of mostly white bloggers can analyze the on-court actions of a group of mostly African-American young men, and have that analysis be strictly about basketball, and not about skin color. Dr. King’s message to me was that we do not have to echo the unjust opinions and practices of our forefathers, our society, even some family and friends. Freeing ourselves from the chains of racism allows us to be better, more empathetic people. We can see the grace in a pass, a dunk, a well executed give-and-go, or a basketball clinic in sub-Saharan Africa — regardless of the race, creed, or religion of the athlete performing it. For that, we thank you, Dr. King.