Posts tagged: Off Season

New Cavaliers Court Design

The guys over at RealCavsFans.com found it first.

The Cavaliers have made a big update to the court design at the Q for the 2010-2011 season.  In the tradition of what we can trust from Dan Gilbert, we can expect him to never stand pat and keep investing in the team. From new seats, new colors, new training facilities and now a great new court design.  The guy just gets it.

New Court Design

I’m pretty excited about the court design because it shows two great things.

  1. Really limits the amount of blue on the floor.  We are wine and gold (with a little blue), not BLUE, wine and gold.
  2. We are starting to see less and less of the script Cavaliers logo.  Hopefully, in time, the Cavs will do away with it permanently and go back to the arching block letter “Cavaliers” that once made Bingo look so heroic.

I’ve always been a fan of teams that stick with traditional logos and jerseys.  The Cavs have probably been more active in following the fads than any other team (remember the 90′s?… wow). So, I think its promising we are seeing the gradual move back to our 70′s past.

Take a walk down memory lane and check out all of the Cavs court designs over the last 40 some odd years.

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

 

 

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

‘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.

Cleveland Cavaliers Fire Coach Mike Brown After Five Seasons (via Windhorst)

via Windhorst at the the PD

The most successful coach in Cavaliers history is now a former coach.

In a move expected since the team lost three consecutive games to be upset by the Boston Celtics in the conference semifinals, the Cavs fired coach Mike Brown on Sunday according to a league source. The news was first reported by ESPN.

It ended his run as the franchise’s 17th coach after five seasons in which he broke numerous team records and was named the NBA’s 2008-09 Coach of the Year.

The team announced the firing this morning. The reason the act had to be done before the end of the weekend was there was a clause in Brown’s contract, an extension signed in 2007, that guaranteed him about half of his salary for next season of $4 million if he was let go within 10 days of the end of this season.

Cavs majority owner Dan Gilbert, who hand picked Brown and gave him his first head coaching job after an extensive coaching search in 2005, is believed to have been the driving force behind the decision. Though it followed more than a week of intensive meetings in which the merits and drawbacks of a coaching changed were deeply discussed.

Some Cavs’ players, including LeBron James, also seemed to lose patience with Brown after some of his adjustments and rotations didn’t work against the Celtics in the playoffs.

 

Brown (via John Kuntz | The Plain Dealer)

However, James is not believed to have made a personal push with management for a coaching change. He left it to the front office to make the final decision.

 

Brown seemed to struggle with his rotations after having to incorporate Shaquille O’Neal back into the team in the playoffs after O’Neal missed the final six weeks of the season. He started a lineup in the first game of the playoffs that he hadn’t used all season and the turbulence from multiple players changing roles appeared to upset the balance of the team.

Those problems plus, according to sources, some disagreement over some game plans for playoff games with some of the team leaders eventually led to some discord in the locker room during the Celtics series.

The day Brown was hired, June 2, 2005, he promised he would make the Cavs a defense-based team. It was a pledge he would back up, using defense to win 100 regular games and four playoff series in just his first two seasons.

After some improvement in his first season, Brown’s help-and-recover defensive system started to take hold. In the 2006-07 season, the Cavs allowed just 92 points a game in the regular season and just 86 points a game in the playoffs as the Cavs reached their first-ever Finals.

When the Cavs won a team-record 66 games in the ’08-09 season, the Cavs allowed just 91 points a game and 43 percent opponent shooting.

Perhaps some of Brown’s strongest work was his ability to help James become a better defender. After being suspect on defense his first two seasons in the NBA, James steadily improved under Brown. He was named first team All-Defense in each of the last two seasons.

But over the last two seasons, Brown’s defense has struggled in the clutch. In losing in the Eastern Conference Finals in 2009, the Cavs allowed 103 points per game and 48 percent shooting. In getting ousted by the Celtics in the second round this year, the Cavs gave up 100 points and 47 percent shooting per game.

During his tenure Brown was often criticized for his offensive systems. But over the last two years made assistant coaches offensive coordinators and the Cavs had their best offensive year in Brown’s tenure this season. The Cavs were one of the top six offensive teams in the league, averaging 102 points and shooting 48 percent per game.

Brown’s regular season record was 272-138, a .663 winning percentage that was the best in team history. Brown also set a team record for playoff wins, finishing 42-29.

“I have truly enjoyed working with Mike Brown.  Mike has played a huge role in turning around the Cavs organization,” said Danny Ferry in a statement released by the Cavaliers this morning. “Over the past five years, Mike established a work ethic, defensive identity and culture of winning that was not here previously.”

Brown was named the 2009 NBA Coach of the Year by members of the media.

“Mike Brown is a class act. On behalf of the entire Cavaliers organization, there is only gratitude and appreciation for Mike’s accomplishments over the past five years,” stated Cavaliers Majority Owner Dan Gilbert. “I think it is clear that Mike Brown has been instrumental in contributing to the growth and progress we have experienced in recent years. We wish Mike and his family the best of luck in any future challenges that Mike chooses to accept going forward.”

“After a long and deep analysis of all of the factors that led to the disappointing early ends to our playoff runs over the past two seasons, we concluded that it was time for the Cavaliers to move in a different direction,” Gilbert added. “The expectations of this organization are very high and, although change always carries an element of risk, there are times when that risk must be taken in an attempt to break through to new, higher levels of accomplishment. This is one of those times.”