1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. From courtside seating to loudville Amazing Tickets offers a fantastic selection of Cavs tickets at the cheapest prices found anywhere.
  3. Please select the "Splash-Mobile" style if ads are breaking your tablet/phone's browser.

A Dawn of a New Era: The Kyrie Irving-led Cavs look to begin the New Dynasty

Discussion in 'Cavs Talk' started by rabman_gold, May 2, 2012.

  1. rabman_gold

    rabman_gold Anti-Florida yet stuck here...

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Messages:
    4,453
    Likes Received:
    4,999
    Location:
    Southeast Florida
    Okay, so that was a little cheesy, and dynasty isn't necessarily going to happen, but you get the suspicion that we will pick up our parts and once again move through the valleys of NBA Contention. Here's your history piece. As the New Team picks up the pieces this off-season, I will look to update with new articles to keep you entertained.

    First off: The Team's First Attempted Basket Came At the Opponent's Hoop

    The idea of a basketball team in Cleveland wasn't anything new in the late 60s. After all, the Cleveland Rebels were a defunct team from the forgotten age of the NBA, when they only lasted a season in the Basketball Association of America. But in a blue collar town that was just finishing it's last championship era with the Browns of the NFL, there wasn't anything good to speak of about Cleveland sports. Nick Mileti, the founder of the team, gave the town a poll to decide on names of the franchise, created for the fans, by the fans. Jerry Tomko, the father of the former Major League Baseball pitcher, Brett Tomko, came up with the idea the "Cavaliers".

    The team itself didn't become official until the 1970 expansion draft, when they selected their future icons and one-and-dones alike. Bingo Smith found the team his home for 723 regular season games. Walt Wesley, the first and almost last player to score 50 points as a Cav (and against the Cincinnati Royals to boot), John Johnson, and the like were some of the better players that made up the team. A rag sack of players who played at the Cleveland Arena, a run down wasteland of a court that makes even the worst of the third country's courts look good, they could not sustain any movement for several seasons. Bill Fitch, famous for his lines: "The name's Fitch, not Houdini.", taught the team to play hard and not give up in time, but they lost their first 15 games until finally defeating the fellow expansion team, the Portland Trailblazers, 105-103 on Thursday, November 12th in 1970.

    [​IMG]
    Who the hell are these guys?!

    Of course, after such a long year of difficulties, things also started to look better as they drafted a college star who set the NCAA Tournament record for points scored in a game: Austin Carr. He looked like a sure-fire all-star in the league, along with the acquisition of Butch Beard, until a knee injury stopped him in practice in the summer of his rookie year. Still, they were 8 games better even with Carr playing 43 games and averaging a team-best 21.2 points. He was from a different era of basketball, but he is known as a shooter. His style would play an important role in the future of the decade, just like Kyrie's role will play a role in his future with the team.

    [​IMG]
    Hey, future mama! "Who is that man?!"

    The Beginning of the (short-lived) Cleveland Basketball Era: THE MIRACLE OF RICHFIELD!

    It began when the team moved to the Richfield Coliseum in 1974, in a rural setting south of Cleveland, and the team started to look just like that: a team. They got significantly better with movement. Gone were the days of bad basketball with selfish ball-hogs from our earlier years and in came team basketball and hard, physical defense that looked nothing like this era of basketball, when the rules were defined differently. Austin Carr, who repeatedly became the first significant player in our history to be bitten by the injury bug continuously, needed help. He received that in quality players like Jim Chones, Campy Russell, and the like. He became the solid sixth man scoring punch off the bench to reduce injury. They weren't great alone, but together, became the team that would eventually hold the local iconic phrase: "The Miracle of Richfield", a series of playoff games decided by 1 or 2 points in the last seconds of games. Even though they fell short in 1975, they began their first playoff year when they acquired the legend from Akron: Nate Thurmond, several months into the 1975-1976 season. They were said to have been losing terribly to the Suns when at halftime, Nate urged them on by saying (paraphrased): You guys are better than this! Show them who you really are! It struck a note for the first time in team history and started the first winning era when they made a comeback that same game with a crushing victory. This team was for real.

    After winning their first Division title in 1976 and Bill Fitch gaining the Coach of the Year status, along with 49 regular season wins, they took the battle the previous year's Finalists: The Washington Bullets. Bingo Smith managed to get a good buzzer beater and attempted to duplicate his efforts in another game, where someone else did it instead. Finally, in game 7, Dick Snyder flashed by and took a banker with a few seconds left. Washington failed to counter and the fans rushed the court.

    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/KIX5pUk2T9w" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="420"></iframe>
    Need I say anymore?

    Yet, all good things must come to an end. The first of many heartbreaks came. Jim Chones broke his foot in practice. As the starting center, there was no way to combat Dave Cowens without exhausting Nate to a level he could no longer sustain. The Cavs were finished in 6 games. 3 halfway decent seasons came, but when Campy and the core was moved, the era of the first of great basketball finally came to a close. It was no only an end, but a dreadful beginning to the dark ages of a new kind of entertainment...

    [​IMG]
    Who is that evil man???

    TO BE CONTINUED (COME BACK IN JUNE FOR THE NEXT ARTICLE: I TRADED AWAY JAMES WORTHY BUT AT LEAST DIDN'T PULL AN ART MODELL)
     
    • Like Like x 14
    Last edited: May 15, 2012
  2. YuenglingGator

    YuenglingGator I have no idea

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2012
    Messages:
    535
    Likes Received:
    592
    Location:
    St Petersburg, FL
    Good topic, clearly as a younger fan (22 years old) I mostly remember the LeBron era. A time where I went to the playoff game with his baseline game winner over the Wizards, and being front row for 2 games in the Finals that we were swepted. I will forever be grateful for those memories and the anticipation for a championship. But as discussed in the Kyrie thread, it is amazing to see someone so advanced. We can be written off as homers, for instance I mentioned to someone tonight that Byron regards Kyrie as the most advanced rookie he's coached, and that Hollinger said he could be a top 3 player one day - the kid laughed at me. Fact is, Kyrie can be that player. LeBron is a man-child, who is the greatest talent possibly ever, but his limitations mentally stand out, Kyrie doesn't have those. Will he average 30-8-8? No. But this is a cornerstone that a championship team can be built around. This upcoming draft as well as our cap space over the next few years are crucial, they are the difference between 10 years with Kyrie and 5. But the point is we could not be in a better position moving forward without LeBron. I cannot wait to see the pieces we add and the opportunities we will have moving forward. Kyrie is a killer, add two more all-stars in the next 5 years and we can make a run. I can't wait to have that feeling again when the Cavs are at the top of contention - I know it takes patience, but the pieces to the puzzle are there and it is Grant's job to make the most of it.
     
  3. GQinCtown

    GQinCtown Situational Stopper

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Messages:
    207
    Likes Received:
    279
    Location:
    <3 of CLE
    As a college freshman, the Lebron years were also my first taste of Cavaliers basketball. I can't wait for the Kyrie era to take off and be able to say I was a fan through the bad times! (Which aren't even that bad in my opinion. Scouting lottery prospects has become a fun hobby.)

    Also, I just have to say that I love what you contribute to these forums Rabman, keep it up and I'll keep reading!
     
    • Like Like x 2
  4. Rob

    Rob Best of the Land

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2011
    Messages:
    9,827
    Likes Received:
    5,227
    Location:
    DFW
    Man, I'm 20 years old and I remember the Brevin Knight/Shawn Kemp days. Surprised you guys don't.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. BimboColesHair

    BimboColesHair I have multiple sauces

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2011
    Messages:
    3,897
    Likes Received:
    5,843
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    One up ya...first Cav I remember being a huge fan of was Bob Sura during his second year...1 year before the Kemp/Knight/Rookie Z/Scott Brooks/Wes Person days
     
  6. abraxas

    abraxas 6th Man

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Messages:
    1,224
    Likes Received:
    1,434
    You guys are making me feel old. I came of age during the Stepien reign. I remember waiting up to hear about the 82 draft where we picked up a promising point guard John Bagley, only to take Dave Magely the next round..why...because that's the s&%t that Stepien did. How have they not made a movie out of this guy yet?

    My 2 favorite teams have obviously been the 2 best teams - the late 80s/early 90s run with Price, Daugherty, Nance, Ehlo, etc. and the Lebron era with Mo, Delonte, Andy, etc. And I have a good feeling that we're on our way to building a new team to be excited about. As much as I liked Ferry, I really like Grant, and I think Gilbert has both mellowed out somewhat post-Lebron and also become more focused on supporting the management to build the right way. It starts with the organization and is fueled by the fans/city, and on both of these we're good.

    Now, it comes down to the players (and luck). In my mind, so much has to do with chemistry. We saw that the mental make-up of players - not just Lebron, Mo and others too - play a huge role when it comes down to pressure-filled games. And so you build with players who have talent and character, and then fill in the pieces. I look at this year as Year 1, and we're going to add a few big pieces this off-season, and in Year 2 we'll improve. Year 3 we'll add a couple more big pieces, and by Year 4, we'll be in the hunt again. I strongly feel we're headed in the right direction - and yes, Rabman, a dawn of a new era...
     
    • Like Like x 3
  7. RedBlackAttack

    RedBlackAttack The Paterfamilias

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2009
    Messages:
    1,549
    Likes Received:
    2,665
    Location:
    Maptown via Steuby
    Some youngins on this board, I see. The first Cavs team I really remember being totally aware of and really a huge fan of was the 1987-88 squad. That was Ron Harper's second season, I believe. He was already a 15//5/4 guy. Price and Daugherty were also both in their early-20s and they really started to come into their own that year. Larry Nance had a nice season, too, but only after we traded Kevin Johnson for him. Ouch.

    We made it to the playoffs and drew a one-man show in the first round. We were the favorites and, well.... You know the rest.

    I was 9 years old when that shot went down. That was my introduction to life as a Cavaliers fan and I haven't looked back since. I still have a soft spot for that team. I still cringe a little bit when I think about the Kevin Johnson deal. I know that we had the great Mark Price and I would never complain about the organization choosing him as the cornerstone of the franchise. But, Kevin Johnson was an amazing player a couple of years later. I think we could have found a way to use them both had the organization been a little more patient.



    As for the Cavs franchise, there is this myth that permeates general NBA fans that our history began and ended with 6. Fact is, we have had a very nice organization over the course of basically my whole life as a fan.

    1987-88: 42-40*
    1988-89: 57-29*
    1989-90: 42-40*
    1990-91: 33-49
    1991-92: 57-25*
    1992-93: 54-28*
    1993-94: 47-35*
    1994-95: 43-39*
    1995-96: 47-35*
    1996-97: 42-40
    1997-98: 47-35*
    1998-99: 22-28
    1999-00: 32-50
    2000-01: 30-52
    2001-02: 29-53
    2002-03: 17-65
    2003-04: 35-47
    2004-05: 42-40
    2005-06: 50-32*
    2006-07: 50-32*
    2007-08: 45-37*
    2008-09: 66-16*
    2009-10: 61-21*
    2010-11: 19-63
    2011-12: 21-45

    There you have the last 24 years of the Cleveland Cavaliers, two of which were obviously strike-shortened.

    Of those 22 complete seasons, 14 were spent in the playoffs. We've now spent two consecutive seasons as a pretty bad team, which -- if history is any gauge -- means that we are one or maybe two years away from being one of the better teams in the EC. Now, when you factor in that we already have our new franchise player, other nice young pieces and tons of picks/cap space...

    It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that this team is on its way back and into a *new* era. This is far and away the best run organization in Cleveland. Not even a contest.
     
    • Like Like x 20
  8. rabman_gold

    rabman_gold Anti-Florida yet stuck here...

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Messages:
    4,453
    Likes Received:
    4,999
    Location:
    Southeast Florida
    Good, I got a little feedback from people who appreciate the history. Don't worry, I did this all the time when things were dull or I wanted a change of pace. Now I can't do anything but rely on the books I read about our history, so you'll get some more nuggets when I think about them. I'll even throw in the lottery and draft and my own perspective once we get the ball rolling (think of it as an introduction). Also, since I'm 25, my memories start in 1995 when John Stockton hit the game winner in the winter and really pick up in 1997-1998. I have the same memories as you guys, including watching the boundary stepping game winner against the Wizards in 2006 (and in the stands as well). Makes me wish I saw the greatest teams and not just through research and movie watching... Besides LeBron of course.

    Anyone that went through 2010-11 is a loyal fan in my book. We weren't always gifted with great players, which is why to appreciate the old times is a great thing.

    So now, just a quick question: Would you like it better if the articles were edited into the op or if I made them into new posts? I'm probably leaning towards the former, but never hurts to ask, I guess.
     
  9. wuck

    wuck Hustling on the inside Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    15,422
    Likes Received:
    40,938
    Location:
    Richfield Coliseum
    New posts so we know when you add something.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. catfish

    catfish In the Rotation

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,613
    Likes Received:
    981
    I was a big fan of the miracle of richfield team. I remember a great article in the Cleveland Press on Jim Chones and Campy Russell experimenting with the new shots ie finger rolls. Campy remains to this day my favorite Cav. AC not so much. He blew a number of layups in the first round series against the Bullets in the 76-77 the year after the miracle. Cavs got very hurt by the ABANBA merger as they were good the year before and didnt get talent in the expansion draft. Jim Brewer was just brutal. John Lambert what a stiff. How can you retire the jersey of Nate Thurmond when he really didnt play a full season. Cleamons was a good point guard. The footman footsie walker was a nice change of pace. Dick Snyder was sort of a stiff like anthony parker. Bingo Smith was pretty one dimensional. Campy could do it all. We got rid of him though.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  11. rabman_gold

    rabman_gold Anti-Florida yet stuck here...

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Messages:
    4,453
    Likes Received:
    4,999
    Location:
    Southeast Florida
    Alright, then I'll add an article in the same post with an update post. That should at least let people know.
     
  12. catfish

    catfish In the Rotation

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,613
    Likes Received:
    981
    just reviewed the trade that we made to dump campy it was a 3 way deal with knicks and Kings. We got Bill robinzine. Sounds like a ridiculously bad deal.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. RedBlackAttack

    RedBlackAttack The Paterfamilias

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2009
    Messages:
    1,549
    Likes Received:
    2,665
    Location:
    Maptown via Steuby
    And, just to clarify the Kevin Johnson trade for some of our younger posters that may be unaware....

    To Suns: Kevin Johnson, Mark West, Tyrone Corbin, future first-rounder

    To Cavs: Larry Nance, Mike Saunders, future first-rounder


    The pick that we received ended up being 22nd overall and we took Randolph Keys.

    The pick that they ended up getting was 14th overall and they took Dan Majerle.

    So, the trade was essentially Kevin Johnson, Dan Majerle, Ty Corbin and Mark West for Larry Nance, Mike Saunders and Randolph Keys.



    It is also important to note that, the very next season, Kevin Johnson averaged over 81 games -- 39 minutes, 20.4 points on 50.5% from the field, 12.2 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.7 steals.

    Yikes. Those are straight up Hall of Fame numbers.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  14. catfish

    catfish In the Rotation

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,613
    Likes Received:
    981
    I saw a Knicks Cavs game at MSG during KJ's rookie year. He relieved Mark Price. This may be blashpemy in Cleveland but you could immediately tell who the real point guard was-it was not Mark Price. Moreover I was never a fan of Larry Soft Nance. I stll cant get over the stupid Ron Harper Danny Ferry deal. To this day I think there was a mistake and we were supposed to get the draft picks. The way I look at it Danny Ferry killed 2 generations of CAVS teams. Unfortunately I am starting to look at the Sessions trade with the same opinion. How do we give the Lakers who have been looking for a point guard forever a point guard and only get back a late first and we have to pay stiff walton's salary. The draft pick exchange is going to be a wash. Maybe Gilbert was just trying to reduce the cHeat's chances at a ring.
     
  15. NoTitleTown

    NoTitleTown In the Rotation

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,343
    Likes Received:
    754
    Location:
    the Field--Mansfield
    I really like the idea of this thread working through Cavs history, but I'm not sure that the title is appropriate.
     
  16. RedBlackAttack

    RedBlackAttack The Paterfamilias

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2009
    Messages:
    1,549
    Likes Received:
    2,665
    Location:
    Maptown via Steuby
    Don't want to derail the thread, but the Sessions deal made all of the sense in the world. First of all, unlike the Harper/Ferry deal, we aren't taking a chance by possibly choosing the wrong guy. In retrospect, Harper was clearly the far superior player. Even at a young age, I remember being very confused as to why we traded Harper considering the way he was playing.

    Sessions, on the other hand, was the second best point guard on the team the moment that Kyrie was drafted and that gap was only going to widen. Furthermore, he was going to be a FA at the end of the season anyway, so we needed to get what we could for him while we could. Lastly, we needed to tank regardless and Sessions wasn't going to help that.

    Taking on Walton's salary is of no consequence. We still have plenty of cap space going forward.

    But, anyway... Different topic for different thread.



    As for KJ, he was a legitimately great player. So was Mark Price, though. Like I said, I'm sure we could have found a way to make it work. Or, at least get a hell of a lot more for a talent like that. While the Ferry/Harper deal gets most of the attention, that Kevin Johnson trade was even worse in my estimation.

    Harper was a very good player, but he was never prime Kevin Johnson level.
     
    • Like Like x 5
  17. NoTitleTown

    NoTitleTown In the Rotation

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,343
    Likes Received:
    754
    Location:
    the Field--Mansfield
    Agreed entirely. Anyone questioning the Sessions trade is just not a very good fan of the NBA. I will add one more point -- HE WAS GOING TO BE A FA, AND WE WERE GOING TO LOSE HIM FOR NOTHING.
     
  18. rabman_gold

    rabman_gold Anti-Florida yet stuck here...

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Messages:
    4,453
    Likes Received:
    4,999
    Location:
    Southeast Florida
    Don't worry. You'll see why I gave it that title to begin with.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. PosterTime

    PosterTime you wot m8?

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    Messages:
    1,281
    Likes Received:
    779
    Location:
    Cleveland OHIO
    Ooooo lala tease us more. Cool thread though. I'm so excited for this draft because it will give us a fairly good idea of how Chris Grant is sculpting his masterpiece contending team.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. J_J

    J_J Towel Waver

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2007
    Messages:
    220
    Likes Received:
    175
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    I'll never forget the day Ron Harper got traded...

    Just disappointed. What were the management thinking? I remember saying to my father that time why do you trade a player who has already proven in the NBA and receive a player who could be a nobody "bust". And my father mentioned Gund didn't like the crowd that Ron was hanging out with. Just disgusted. I enjoyed watching Ron, Hod Rod, Brad, Larry, and Price. The way they played basketball was fun to watch as their execution was terrific. I thought Ron was the X factor in the team that can make it to the next level with another year or two of experience.

    In fact, look at 1986. We drafted Price, Brad, Ron, and Johnny Newman! I hate the what if... but seriously we would have won not once but twice during those times if we had all those guys. That really set us back and ruined the franchise.
     
    • Like Like x 1

Share This Page