Cavaliers Sign Christian Eyenga

The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed guard/forward Christian Eyenga to a contract, Cavaliers General Manager Chris Grant announced today. Per league and team policy, terms of the contract were not announced. 

Kid Congo

Eyenga, 21, was the Cavaliers’ first round selection (30th overall) in the 2009 NBA Draft. He averaged 3.9 points on .561 shooting and 2.0 rebounds in 12.0 minutes in 29 regular season games during the 2009-10 season with DKV Joventut Badalona of the Spanish League. The Spanish League is widely regarded as the second-best domestic league in the world behind the NBA. In 11 EuroCup games, the 6-foot-5 guard/forward posted averages of 3.4 points on .444 shooting and 1.2 rebounds in 9.7 minutes per game. 

“We’re looking forward to having Christian continue his development on the court here with Coach Scott and our team,” said Cavs General Manager Chris Grant. “He has worked hard and we were very encouraged by his recent performance in summer league.” 

A native of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Eyenga most recently played in all five games of the 2010 NBA Summer League with the Cavaliers, reaching double figures in each of the games. In five games (all starts), he averaged 11.4 points on .435 shooting, 4.2 rebounds and 1.0 block in 29.2 minutes per game. 

“I am happy to be here in Cleveland and excited to play with the Cavaliers this season,” Eyenga said. “This is a great opportunity for me and I look forward to playing for Coach Scott and learning from him, our coaches and my teammates.”

 

What They’re Saying…

David Aldridge of TNT talks about how Byron Scott is the guy to take us forward with what is left.  He paints a picture that Scott has the pedigree and the experience. But what how it all plays out is anyone’s guess.

The AP submitted a little story about how us broken hearted Clevelanders are taking out their anger in a constructive way.  By giving LeBron gear to homeless shelters in South Florida.

Joe Gabriele of Cavs.com wrote a story about the new shape of the Eastern Conference.  The Cavs and the Heat were dropped into the “Extreme Makeover” category. Something to consider if you bet on sports.

Britt Robson of Sport Illustrated wonders how some of the big signings are going to turn out.

Mark Stein doesn’t think Shaq will be welcome to join the Super-Heat in Miami.  Apparently, some of the bridges he burned while leaving for Phoenix are still burnt. But he still thinks the big guy is still the biggest name left on the FA market.

 

D-Block

Looks like our old buddy Darnell Jackson may be playing for the Kings and not with the King next year.

Remember how Penny Hardaway was coming out of retirement, maybe to play with the heat?  Well, that only took five days.

 

Is J.J. our Guy? Summer League Thoughts

How Big Will J.J.'s Role Be in '10-'11?

So the summer league is underway and by all reports J.J. is looking like he is thriving in the new fast paced offense.  Reportedly J.J. spent a lot of time since the end of the 2009-2010 season working on his mid range jump shot.  With his natural instincts to find cutting lanes, it is only going to help him produce more as other teams won’t be able to just “zone him up”.

Also of note is the surprising production of a certain”Pooh” Jeter – who is getting some love from witty interneters.  Regardless of how many fun things you can do with his name, the dude is putting up 15.5 over 2 games.

Christian Eyenga – drafted last year – is looking taller and longer than I remember.  All the promised athleticism is there – so regardless of his production overseas last year and with the roster changes Kid Congo just might suit up next year in the regular season.

Its early, and the competition is… slim.  Windhorst has described Hickson as looking like a man amongst boys this summer. Regardless, him learning to thrive without just living on drive and kicks from a certain #23 is important.  Cavs new season will be a dawn of a much more equal opportunity offense, shots earlier in the clock and a lot less standing.  All these things are tailor made for someone with J.J.’s game.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas Joins the Miami Heat

via the PD & @PDCavsInsider

MVP Rookie Challenge MVP

Zydrunas Ilgauskas, the heart of the Cavaliers franchise for the past 14 years, is moving on.

Ilgauskas will sign with the Miami Heat to join former Cavs teammate LeBron James, Ilgauskas‘ agent told The Plain Dealer today.

Ilgauskas will accept the veteran’s minimum of $1.3 million for next season.

The Cavs offered Ilgauskas a guaranteed contract, but he elected to go to Miami, where his wife Jennifer has family, and attempt to win a championship with the re-stocked Heat.

“It was a hard decision for him,” said Herb Rudoy, Ilgauskas” longtime agent. “He has 14 years invested in the Cavs and he wants to win a championship. He’s going where he has the best chance to win a championship.”

Ilgauskas is the Cavs franchise’s all-time leader in games played (771), rebounds (5,904) and blocks (1,269) and

Stood Tall for 14 Years

is second in points (10,616). He made All-Star appearances in 2003 and 2005 after recovering from reconstructive surgery on his foot.

Last season was a difficult one for Ilgauskas as he moved to the bench for the first time to back up Shaquille O’Neal. Then he was traded in February as part of a deal for the Cavs to acquire Antawn Jamison. He took a buyout from the Washington Wizards and returned to the Cavs a month later but had lost his rhythm and his spot in the rotation and he did not play strongly down the stretch.

He averaged 7.4 and 5.4 rebounds in his final year with the team.

One of the better offensive rebounders in NBA history with 2,336 of them, Ilgauskas also still is effective with his mid-range jump shot. The Heat has been looking for big men after letting its starting center, Jermaine O’Neal, leave in free agency.

The Cavs and Heat were one of six teams to show interest in Ilgauskas. Both were believed to be willing to offer him the same contract.

Goodbye Z

Z Can Do Whatever He Wants

Rumors are abuzz that Big Z is likely going to Miami to chase a ring (follow @PDCavsInsider to keep up w/ it).

It would be awesome if he stayed for his last years in Cleveland. But he has more than earned the right to do whatever he wants and receive NO backlash from Cavs/Cleveland supporters.

He was supportive when the Cavs signed Shaq and took a smaller role.

He kept his mouth shut (for the most part) when Brown didn’t play him on his “most games played” record setting night.

He was humble when he was traded (so WE could win, mind you) and was even MORE humble to resign AND take a smaller role.

Great guy. Cavs for life.  Number 11 will hang in the rafters some day. No doubt.

 

Big Z

 

 

LeBron Retrospective In Numbers

CavsHistory’s Final Post on LeBron James.  Regardless of his departure, he is at or near the top in many career statistics.

(You can find Cavs All-Time Stats HERE)

All-Time Cavalier Career Stats (Red = 1st, Blue = 2nd, Green = 3rd):

Games: 7th (tied with Brad Daugherty) – 548
Points: 1st – 15,251
Minutes Played: 1st – 22,108
FGA: 1st – 11,403
FGM: 1st = 5,415
3pFGA: 1st – 2,344
3pFGM: 2nd – 771
FTA: 1st – 4,917
FTM: 1st – 3,650
OffREB: 14th – 678
DefREB: 3rd – 3,183
TotREB: 4th – 3,861 
AST: 2nd – 3,810
STL: 1st – 955
BLK: 4th – 482
PF: 15th – 1,012 
TO: 1st – 1802

All-Time Cavaliers Career Averages (Red = 1st, Blue = 2nd, Green = 3rd):

MPG: 1st – 40.3
PPG: 1st – 27.8
APG: 5th – 7.0
OffREBPG: 38th – 1.24
DefREBPG: 9th – 5.81
TotREBPG: 21st – 7.05
STLPG: 3rd – 1.74
BPG: 13th (Tied with Robert Traylor) – 0.88
TOPG: 2nd (Tied with Ron Harper) -3.29
FG%: 19th (Tied with Z) – .475

 

Cavs Summer League Schedule and Roster

CAVALIERS GAME SCHEDULE

Tuesday, July 13 NBA D-League vs. Cleveland* 3:00 p.m. PST COX Pavilion
Wednesday, July 14 Phoenix vs. Cleveland 5:30 p.m. PST Thomas & Mack
Friday, July 16 Chicago vs. Cleveland 5:30 p.m. PST Thomas & Mack
Saturday, July 17 Miami vs. Cleveland* 3:00 p.m. PST COX Pavilion
Sunday, July 18 Milwaukee vs. Cleveland* 1:00 p.m. PST COX Pavilion

*denotes game will air live on NBA TV

CAVALIERS ROSTER

NO PLAYER POS HGT WGT BIRTHDATE FROM DRAFT YRS PRO
12 Jerome Dyson G 6-4 190 5/1/87 Connecticut ’10 R
15 Christian Eyenga G/F 6-5 210 6/22/89 Congo ’09 R
36 Marquis Gilstrap F 6-7 215 8/12/87 Iowa State ’10 R
14 Danny Green G/F 6-6 210 6/22/87 North Carolina ’09 1
16 Manny Harris G 6-5 185 9/21/89 Michigan ’10 R
21 J.J. Hickson F 6-9 242 9/4/88 North Carolina State ’06 2
9 Aaron Jackson G 6-4 185 5/6/86 Duquesne ’09 R
48 Nathan Jawai C 6-10 282 10/10/86 Midland College (TX) ’08 3
5 Pooh Jeter G 5-11 175 12/2/83 Portland ’04 R
50 Maciej Lampe F 6-11 275 2/5/85 Poland ’03 3
10 Rashad McCants G 6-4 215 9/25/84 North Carolina ’05 1
30 Tasmin Mitchell F 6-7 240 6/25/86 LSU ’10 R
24 David Monds F 6-8 240 10/10/83 Oklahoma State ’08 R
40 Jared Reiner C 6-11 255 4/82/84 Iowa ‘04 2

R.I.P. Former Cav Great, Melvin Turpin

Mel Turpin

Mel Turpin, former Cavalier and All-American Kentucky center, committed suicide Thursday, authorities said. He was 49.

Police and the coroner were called to his North Lexington house Thursday afternoon on a personal injury call. They found Turpin dead.

Coroner Gary Ginn says that Turpin had committed suicide, but would not say how. He also would not say whether Turpin left behind a suicide note.

Margaret Burrus, his sister, tearfully told reporters outside her home that her brother was diabetic and trying to keep it under control.

“I didn’t know he was depressed or anything,” she said. “I would have never said that he would have done this.”

Turpin was the youngest sibling among six, Burrus said. Just two are still living.

“We had a big family and it’s now whittling away,” she said.

Burrus said Turpin’s wife had a heart condition and authorities said she was not at home at the time of the death.

Neighbor Amanda McFadden said Turpin always seemed happy.

“He never looked upset. He kept a smile on his face, just a good person,” she said.

The 6-foot-11 Turpin, dubbed “The Big Dipper,” was an All-Southeastern Conference player for the Wildcats from 1980-84. He led Kentucky to the SEC championship in 1984.

Mel vs. Bucks on 1/9/85

The center helped lead the Wildcats to three consecutive regular-season SEC titles. He averaged a career-high 15.2points per game in 1983-84 and shot 74.5 percent from the field.

Mitch Barnhart, Kentucky athletics director, said school supporters “will forever remember Melvin and all his contributions to our basketball program.”

Current coach John Calipari expressed his sympathy to Turpin’s family and said he is praying “for their strength during this time of grief.”

Turpin was the sixth player selected in the 1984 NBA draft that included Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon and Charles Barkley, but never had the NBA success of those future stars.

Turpin was picked by the Washington Bullets, then traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers. His best season was 1985-86 when he averaged 13.7 points and 7.0 rebounds per game, but he was out of the league four years later.

‘Boobie’ Gibson – An Open Letter To Cavaliers Fans

(via Gibson’s website)

 

Gibson

What Up World,

 

This Message is Directly for the fans of Cleveland from your adopted son, The one and only Boobie G. As you know i was born and raised in Houston, TX. Never once stayed outside the state for more than two weeks and the time I did, that was for basketball. But after two years of college at the University of Texas I decided to make the jump. You can just imagine how fast my mind was racing going to a city so many miles out of my comfort zone not knowing one single person. But I thank God it was Cleveland! Because From day one the city embraced me and made me feel like I was home. My Second HOME. And as time went on I began to see why we connected. Cleveland is a never die city, city of loyalty, hard-workers, passion, desire, and toughness. A lot of the same characteristics I have in me and that inspired me. So I made a promise to myself that every day I stepped foot on that basketball court I would show the world what Cleveland was all about. Leaving everything i had on the court. So no matter what obstacle was placed in front of me, I would bust right through it. No matter how high, I would get over it. Or how wide I would get around it. N I hope I did that and will continue to do that. I said that to say, I know right now emotions are high, and people are confused about the way things went down. But I’m here to say DO NOT FORGET THAT WE STILL HERE. and WE GONE GRIND!!!! The Cavaliers haven’t went anywhere, just lost a piece. Everything in life happens for a reason, Some which we dont understand and never will. Somethings we cant control, But the thing we can control is our passion and our love for city of Cleveland and state of OHIO. And that every single night we take that we floor We Will represent. Blood SweAT and Tears. We will go hard. Just like you. From the bottom to the top, this organization is committed to winning and we wont stop now….. Cant stop now. I LOVE you. We Love YOU. And together We gone make it HAppen. O H I O. Hang in there.

As for me on another note, I’m in LA working on my game so that i may be a key part of this movement next season. The family is doing great. MY wife to be is in the studio every day and night trying to create the best album of her career. Cutting no corners putting her heart in it like never before. With so much new emotion to show the world. My son Daniel Jr. is 4 months now. Everyday he gets bigger. We took him to the doctor yesterday to get two shots. And lil man did not shed a tear. even laughed a little bit. Tough lil dude, something like his daddy LOL. The rest of the fam is back home in Houston working with the DGib Hoops Foundation-Shooting for Success. Helping mainly inner city youth to meet new friends, become more discipline, athletically and academically so that one day they may qualify for scholarships and go on to college and be whatever they want to be. Following a living example. ME… Well thats enough for today, yall stay tuned for my next post and remember if you believe, you can achieve. ANYTHING

Cleveland Stand up

1LUV,

BooBie

Open Letter from CavsHistory.com on the Impact of LeBron’s Decision

Hi Cavs Fans,
I don’t know if we have been properly introduced. My name is Doug Cassidy, I’m a Clevelander (Berea) who now resides in Los Angeles (ironically a decision that I made for a job). I’ve been running CavsHistory.com for just over 10 years. Its mostly a one many shop, but my good friend Matt (@matty_munch) writes here under the pseudonym Crunch every once in a while.

As many of you know, this site is not an editorial site nor an opinion site. At least twice a week I get a request from someone asking if they can “write” for this site. Intentionally I have avoided this because I always intended this site to be a resource for Cavs fans to go to to look up any info that has to do with the Cavs. All objective, no subjective (I will address how I strayed from that a bit later on – and corrected it today).

So, this post is out of character for me, but I wanted to let you all know how I feel about LeBron’s decision and how it will effect this site. Bare with me.

LeBron James is a phenomenal talent from our home state of Ohio who we were undoubtably lucky as

LeBron on Draft Day

Cavs fans to have on “our” team for seven years. One of my best sports memories will be the 2003 draft night. Its the closest I’ve ever known what winning a championship feels like.

 

The site was barely visited in its first three years. And I have to admit after we drafted LeBron his popularity did motivate me to grow and mature the site. Partially because its more fun to work on it while we were winning and partially because his popularity made CavsHistory more popular, which meant I got A LOT more feedback and requests. As you can see, the complete history of the Cavs is continuing to be documented here (with some glaring deficiencies – Box Scores, etc…).

The one part of CavsHistory that I have always been a bit uncomfortable with was “The LeBron Phenomenon” page under Miscellaneous.  It was indeed fun to document all of the things whirling around his success and celebrity, but it just didn’t seem to fit on a site dedicated to a team, not a person.  I have thought about removing that content several times.  And today, I ultimately did. Its gone.  Not out of spite, but because it really doesn’t make sense now that he is not a Cav.

Besides that, how will LeBron leaving impact this site?  Well a few notes:

  1. He will stay in the banner. He is arguably the most important Cavalier in their 40 year history.  He belongs up there with the legends (Shaq might go.. but that is another story)
  2. I have returned his player profile picture back to his rookie photo.  It has always been my policy that I use the original photo of a player when he started with a team (or at least the earliest I can get my hands on). My apologies to Z, but your goofy rookie photo stays. I put up a more recent photo of him this past year.  Why? because I thought it was a cool picture. Now, I just can’t see giving him special treatment.
  3. The rest stays the same. I have the full intention of dedicating a lot of time to maturing this site for your enjoyment and reference.

Now to the opinion part.  I am dreading this.

I actually felt embarrassed for LeBron and the way that he decided to present himself and his decision. I thought it was inappropriate and not handled well. I am extremely disappointed that he is leaving and I personally do not think it is the right choice for him or his legacy, but as a Cleveland fan I have learned that this will happen and I cannot take that choice personally.  But, the way that he conducted himself I have trouble not taking offense to.  The fanfare may have proved that yes, he is undoubtably the biggest star on the NBA landscape, and possibly in all of American sports but I do not think that means you should casually behave as such.  I can’t imagine what it must be like to have his talents or stature.  The pressure must be crushing.  But I am also reminded of the gifts he has been given as well. I believe that his conduct leading up to the decision was surprisingly disconnected with reality and worst of all extremely narcissistic.

 

Why do this with such lack of tact?

Cavs fans.  We now have to do something that we have avoided doing for a long, long time.  Take our blinders off. LeBron’s behavior throughout his NBA career has been consistently less than humble.  ”I played great” “My talents” “I carried our team”.  These are things that a self aware person, a humble person should ultimately leave for others to say. His demeanor has always made me uncomfortable. But, I forgave him because of his very odd life experiences.  I doubt I would be very grounded if I had been told I was the best basketball player on earth since I was 15.  It must be confusing. Also, he was our star.

But make no mistake. Forgiveness or not, he is not MY player any more.  I am not HIS fan.  I will hold him up to the same scrutiny as I do anyone else. No more, no less.

It will be hard for me to part with a lot of the things that adorn my office.  LeBron’s Nike shoes, McFarlane statuettes, cool posters.  But I will.  I am a Cavs fan.  And unfortunately this means I now actively root against LeBron James.

Stay strong an cheer with pride. We root for the name on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back.

Go Cavs,
Doug (dcass) – @CavsHistory

p.s. I want to thank some really cool people in the Cavs network for just being cool

  • Glen Infante – (@GlenInfante) insanely talented  artist. Has his hands in RealCavsFans, LeBron2010, and ILTHY.  He may have done more than any other single individual to actively get LeBron to see how much we wanted him to say.
  • Ben – (@realcavsfans) over at RealCavsFans – best Cavs Talk site on the web.
  • Brian Spaeth – (@brianspaeth) actor, writer, promoter?, Cavs Fan and (my opinion) slightly insane
  • Scott – (@WFNYScott) great, great, GREAT writer for Waiting for Next Year. Keep it up.
  • Brian Windhost – (@PDcavsinsider) Cavs beat writer for the ABJ and now the Plain Dealer. At least we still have the best in the biz in this respect.
  • Amanda Petrak – (@apetrakcavs)A childhood friend who is now PR Director for the Cavs.  She never let her success or the success of the team change her.
  • and most of all: Dan Gilbert – Cavs majority owner and a personal idol of mine in business (read his “isms” sometime – he “gets it”) – he has done so much for LeBron, this organization and Cleveland.  His leadership has helped me realize that the owners win championships, not the players.  He’s got the goods guys.  Just you wait.