- Aug 14, 2008
- Reaction score
The Cavs are officially 50 years old. They’ve been through the highest accolades (the elusive NBA championship) and the lowest of the abysmal (26 straight losses in one season, oh my!).
They’ve drafted the first overall pick more than a few times and even had a roster with the last pick at least once. There were also some undrafted guys who spent years with us.
I’ll be sharing some factoids and memories with all of you RealCavsFans (tm), maybe you can share some as well!
The Abbreviated Cavaliers History
1970 - The Beginning
- Founded by Nick Mileti
- The introduction to an expanded NBA: 4 divisions and 2 conferences
- The Cavs, the Blazers, and the Braves (the original Clippers): The trio of the pitiful
- “The name’s Fitch, not Houdini”
- The first basket was made at the wrong end of the court, unintentionally (link here)
- 15 straight losses, then 12 straight losses
- Who ended up missing half the season, but scored 20+ points a game
The Final 24 Seconds of Game 7 VS the Bullets
- Nate Thurmond told this team during the halftime of one game (paraphrased): “You’re better than this. You can win.”
- And so they did (49 times during the regular season)
- The Miracle of Richfield starts here: 3 game winners and an incredible rush by the fans in Game 7
- Jim Chones breaks his foot (the first of many bad luck moments in Cavs history), they lose to eventual champs in 6 games
- The Teddy Bears, the man who rips open cans with his teeth, and the hiring of Bill Musselman (who had contributed to a brawl against Ohio State; who had become the team's head coach twice in 1 and a half years)
- He also traded away draft picks like candy (including James Worthy)
- It’s so bad that the League not only making draft trade rules to prevent such a thing, but took over the venue at the all-star game in 1982
- But hey, Mike Mitchell scores over 2000 points during one season
- Before he can move the team to Toronto, Gordon Gund buys the team with help from David Stern (the new commissioner)
- After the revival of the team (thanks primarily to World B. Free), Embry and Wilkins put together a decent franchise
- Brad Daugherty, Mark Price, Larry Nance, and Ron Harper (4 star-level players)
- 57 wins in 1989…
- Along with the Shot (Jordan over Craig Ehlo)
- And then Harper is traded for the draft rights to Danny Ferry
- The era ends with a unceremonious 4 game sweep by the Bulls in 1993
(Yeah, Terrell, I felt that way too)
- Good defense, but very boring style of basketball
- Terrell Brandon has some great years…
- And is then traded for (drumroll please)… Shawn Kemp
- Who eats his way off the team 3 years later
- After some tinkering, eventually reach the bottom of the league, which leads us to…
- And he shatters Cavs records year after year:
- First Cav with a 20-5-5 season, ever (in his rookie season to boot)
- First Cav to win Rookie of the Year
- First Cav to more than 25 points per game in a season
- First Cav to win NBA MVP
- And then makes his “decision” on ESPN in 2010
- 26 straight losses in a season (even worse than the 1982 Cavs/22 straight losses over 2 seasons)
- A revolving lore of Cavs players (19 players suit up)
- But they win another important draft pick (which they luckily obtained from the Clippers for Mo Williams; they also get Baron Davis who helps beat the Heatles in a late season game)
- They restart their rebuild by drafting Kyrie Irving and parts
- Just kidding!
- They get LeBron James back!
- And then trade for Kevin Love
- And some mid-season deals (like JR Smith, Iman Shumpert, and Timofey Mozgov)
- Then they make their first NBA Finals since 2007
- After making some deals to shift the personality of the team (making Lue the coach and getting pieces like Richard Jefferson/Channing Frye), they not only make it back to the championship round… they win it in historic fashion!
- They overcome a 3-1 deficit!
- They pull off the upset!
- The Block! The Shot! The Stop!
- The crowd goes wild at the Q (I couldn’t go, I was stuck in Florida)!
- They return… with a shirtless JR!
- And a bunch of other guys. Ha!
- He decided to ditch us for the Lakers (ungrateful bastard…lol, jk)
- So we start all over again (at least we’re jumpstarted with the 8th overall pick…)
- Stuff happens
- And we get some more assets and picks
- And back to the present!
My most vivid memories of the team:
December 21st, 1995:
- My first Cavs game ever
- I can’t remember much, but I remember Jeff Shreve, the PA announcer at the time (always called the timeouts with “Timeout, Cleveland… Cavaliers, Timeout”)
- And I also recall hearing about Chris Mills trying to break some random record (free throws, I think)
- Oh, and John Stockton won the game at the buzzer
- After finally becoming a serious Cavs fan at the end of the 1997, was able to watch them beat the Pacers in the last game of the regular season; making the playoffs with 47 wins
- And then getting the snot beat out of them in 4 quick playoff games
- Imagine becoming a serious NBA fan from the previous season, and then having a lockout occur for half a season. How does that feel? Like hell.
- So imagine finally getting the chance to watch basketball after 8 long months and then go to a game? It’s great. And we beat the future champs of that short season: The Spurs.
- Little did I now that Zydrunas Ilgauskas would be starting the most excruciating part of his career with us: The Dreaded Foot Injuries
- This game represents the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, a sign of what’s to come in the short 4 year span to follow… Little did I know…
- It starts out great, an early victory of the previous year’s champs (the Lakers)
- And then it gets worse…
- And worse…
- I remember listening on the Cavaliers Radio Network (WTAM 1100) to the regular season game against the Utah Jazz. Ricky Davis almost had a triple double…
- And then with 10 seconds left did something that left me speechless.
- Shooting a basket at the wrong rim and trying to grab a rebound.
- … Yeah, it was that type of season.
- But luckily, we had a 22.5 percent chance of getting the first pick, and some interesting names also at the top of the draft, like Carmelo Anthony and Darko Millicic
- Who would’ve thought we would get the first pick that changed our fortunes… forever.
- I originally wore my new Cavaliers wine and gold shirt to high school the day of the draft lottery. Some upperclassman schmucks taunted me at the beginning of the school day. But who’s laughing now? Huh?!
- At this point, I’ve seen quite a few of the LeBron Cavs games, but this one happens to be a personal favorite of mine:
- We were in the upper section (200s), watching a great back-and-forth battle with the Wizards (after watching a close defeat on my birthday the 25th of April). Watching LeBron tip-toe around Jamison in the overtime period, laying the ball in, and hearing the crowd go wild. It’s probably not like the final Miracle of Richfield game, but it felt pretty damn good.
- Probably my favorite Regular Season variation that I watched
- The camaraderie, the win streaks, and awards, the fun…
- And then the Conference Finals…
- No, really, it was a great year with 66 wins total. They showed us what we could be capable of. And since we made it to the Finals in 2007 (and barely lost to the 2008 Celtics), it was possible to win the whole damn thing. Especially the excitement level of the team.
- It was a pity. The second game against the Magic in the C. Finals will always be a great memory of mine (the incredible LeBron buzzer beater that made me run 5 laps around in my house), but after going to all the watch parties and watching us lose, I got deflated.
- After that (and acquiring Shaq during the off-season), I thought maybe we’d finally break through.
- But fate really is whimsical
- After living in Florida for a few years, I finally had the chance to come back to Cleveland just to see us win it all (watch parties galore, and tickets to Game 4).
- Again, fate had another plan.
- But it felt closer this time. Like Fred McLeod said on the Humongotron: “If they were dealt a better hand…”
- This is an eternal moment for me. I couldn’t go to Cleveland this time, but I was there in spirit, watching the game with some family members at a house in Florida. A back and forth affair. Watching JR keep us in the game during the third quarter stretch. Watching Kyrie and LeBron help carry us through. And the Block. Kyrie hits the three over Curry! We’re Up Three! OMFG! 15 seconds left! LeBron goes for the dunk and… SHIT, HE TAKES A FALL! IS HE HURT?! WE’RE-SO-FUCKING-CLOSE-TO-WINNING IT…
- And then we won!
Please, help me make this thread memorable! Share your memories with us! Go CAVS!