Now that the Cavaliers have set the record for longest losing streak in NBA history, I think it’s the perfect time to weigh in with some perspective (I didn’t want to talk about it before it happened, because I didn’t want to jinx the streak). For everyone that couldn’t understand why people in Cleveland were crying and burning LeBron‘s jersey after the decision…do you understand now? With that being said, don’t be fooled by what you hear. People talk about how the impact of LeBron is the reason why Cavaliers are losing, and that’s just not completely true. No player in the history of organized basketball is worth 60 wins. It’s easy to dismiss the Cleveland Cavaliers as a team that can’t win without their star player, but let’s examine the whole story.
The Cavs lost the best player in the NBA during free agency. I’m not going to argue that. As a matter of fact I think LeBron should get another MVP this year just for carrying that team for the last 7 years. What many people don’t talk about is that they also lost Delonte West, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, and Shaquille O’Neal during free agency (What? Did I really just throw Zydrunas Ilgauskas in there as a loss? We may disagree with on Ilgauskas, but I think we can all agree that Delonte’s guns will never be replaced). Couple that with injuries to Mo Williams and Anderson Varejao, and you have a team that could lose 25 games in a row. There is only one player currently playing for the Cavaliers that was a starter for the opening game of the 2009 – 2010 season. So it’s just lazy to say LeBron James is main reason why the Cavs are losing.
What’s happening to the Cleveland Cavaliers is extraordinary. I’ve never seen anything like this before. I have absolutely no faith in their ability to win. I would rather bet on a 6 year soccer team, before I bet the Cavs to cover in a parlay. At the same time if you know anything about the Cavaliers this shouldn’t be shocking (that was a dumb statement by me. I don’t know why the average person would know anything about the Cavs. There people in jail that have better things to do). The good thing is I’m a Cleveland fan, so I will break it down for you (Oh it just keeps getting better).
The Cavaliers struggled throughout the early 80s until they landed Brad Daugherty, Mark Price, Ron Harper and Larry Nance in 1986. The Cavs would be competitive for the next 6 years, and even reach the Eastern Conference Finals. When Cleveland’s core begin to age and retire the Cavs started to struggle again. From 1993 – 2003 they would wallow in mediocrity and never win a playoff series. In 2003 Cleveland drafted LeBron James, and we all know what happened after that. The Cavs would become one of the marquee teams in the NBA, and perennial title contender. After a one championship appearance and a decision, the Cavs were broken up. Now the Cavs are in there traditional low period, but how long will it last (This is where I come in. Watch me save the day)?
The Cavs need to finish what the “The Decision” started, and exile the rest of their core to South Beach. Everything incorporated with the LeBron James era needs to be severed, in order to create a new identity. They can start by either trading or buying out Anderson Varejao, Daniel Gibson, and maybe even Mo Williams. I say maybe Mo because he was not a part of Cleveland teams that had playoff success. I also think he would be an asset worth keeping if the Cavs can rebuild fast enough. They also need to sever ties with Anthony Parker and Antawn Jamison. They can wait on Parker, but I think they should trade Jamison now. Dude has about 4 days of Cavalier basketball left in him. I think they could do him and themselves a favor if they let him go. That would leave the Cleveland Cavaliers with a core of J.J. Hickson and Mo Williams. If they couple that with their lottery pick and trade acquisitions, the Cavaliers could be back in the playoffs in 2 years. Will they be title contenders in 6 years? I don’t know. What I do know is they won’t be losing 25 games in a row.
-Kortney Shane Williams
Comedian and Writer