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The LeBron Era

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The LeBron Era

Unread postby Calis32 » Wed Jun 16, 2010 11:27 am

After the Izzo rejection, I got to thinking...

If LeBron leaves, are the Cavs better now or would it have been better if he had never come at all?

My gut instantly says they are better now. Look at the revenue that was generated during his time here. Prior to LeBron, there was no excitement in the Cavs. Dan Gilbert saw the team as an attractive investment. Deep playoff runs and an NBA Finals appearance. No question, right?

But then I think, look at where the team is at now. Horrible situation with the salary cap. No long term plans were introduced because of the constant need to win NOW. The constant deference to LeBron and what he wants. The rejection by certain free agents because they didn't know how long LeBron would stay. The rejection by certain coaches because they don't know what he is going to do now.

If he had never been drafted and instead we had someone like D-Wade or Melo, would things be better than they are. Would Gilbert have still bought the team? And if so, would we be in a better position now than we currently are?
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby jb » Wed Jun 16, 2010 11:58 am

Calis32 wrote:After the Izzo rejection, I got to thinking...

If LeBron leaves, are the Cavs better now or would it have been better if he had never come at all?

My gut instantly says they are better now. Look at the revenue that was generated during his time here. Prior to LeBron, there was no excitement in the Cavs. Dan Gilbert saw the team as an attractive investment. Deep playoff runs and an NBA Finals appearance. No question, right?

But then I think, look at where the team is at now. Horrible situation with the salary cap. No long term plans were introduced because of the constant need to win NOW. The constant deference to LeBron and what he wants. The rejection by certain free agents because they didn't know how long LeBron would stay. The rejection by certain coaches because they don't know what he is going to do now.

If he had never been drafted and instead we had someone like D-Wade or Melo, would things be better than they are. Would Gilbert have still bought the team? And if so, would we be in a better position now than we currently are?


He was here what, 7 years?

We got to see the local mega star do what he did and get us to the only Finals in the sad history of this third-rate Association franchise, plus all the "didjaseethat?" highlights.

This may be over the top, but I'll cherish all the games he was here as a cavs' fan -- except the last two.
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby Cerebral_DownTime » Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:08 pm

I don't think we would've been any better of drafting 'Melo or Wade. 'Melo has as many rings as LBJ, with a better cast around him. Wade would have no rings if he didn't have Big Diesel.

I guess we could've drafted Darko and not have a basketball team anymore.

I obviously want LBJ to stay, but i'm still wondering what they can do to make the team around him better given the cap situation.
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby papacass » Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:44 pm

Sounds like people are getting ready to let go.
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby tired » Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:34 pm

papacass wrote:Sounds like people are getting ready to let go.
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby Orenthal » Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:39 pm

My cup is getting close to that last drop of Foldgers goodness.

Bring on my roto-world Browns offseason of wishing and praying. Am at the point I would prefer that, then this monotone stoic indifference.
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby Hikohadon » Wed Jun 16, 2010 4:27 pm

I let go before the season even started. That's what I do. If there's a solid chance of The Bad happening, then I expect that it will. Sorry if that's negative, that's just my defense mechanism.

This season was Championship or Bust as far as I was concerned. It went Bust.

Que sera sera. The Cavs may be bad in 2010, but, for this franchise, this is not The End. At least, not for me.
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby Juannieboy » Wed Jun 16, 2010 5:05 pm

I have loved watching the Cavs and LeBron play and would not have missed any of it for the world. I drove far distances and spent large sums of cash to see him play. But if he leaves, I hope he injures both of his mother fuckin knees so bad that he won't have more than a 6 inch vertical. It would serve the asshole right for fuckin with us like that. See Belle, Albert.
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby Orenthal » Wed Jun 16, 2010 5:06 pm

Juannieboy wrote:I have loved watching the Cavs and LeBron play and would not have missed any of it for the world. I drove far distances and spent large sums of cash to see him play. But if he leaves, I hope he injures both of his mother fuckin knees so bad that he won't have more than a 6 inch vertical. It would serve the asshole right for fuckin with us like that. See Belle, Albert.


Booyah! :thumb up: :cheers: (inlove)
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby OldDawg » Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:24 pm

If he goes, we better do a sign and trade for the guy at least. Get something to show for him.

Heck, let's do a reverse Boozer on the guy. Say we're gonna sign and trade the guy. Then sign and not trade him. Serve him right.
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby Orenthal » Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:28 pm

OD I also had the reverse Boozer dream, but people more eucated then me, Windy, have this notion debunked. Those S&T deals are always written with a clause stating that if the deal isn't made in x amount of time, usually 24 hours, the contract is void.

Gund, a trusting good guy + Paxson, a total dolt, = OIC.
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby swerb » Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:52 pm

Even if he leaves, its been a fun ride. You can't take meaningful games in May and June for granted. Its tough to get there. The LeBron Era has provided a lot of fun nights downtown and at home in front of the tube. My son getting to go see LeBron play live as a young kid, also very cool.

Also, even if he leaves, I'd be shocked if it isn't via a sign and trade. I don't know if LeBron's fragile ego could live with him being loathed and hated in the area he grew up in. He'll either give the Cavs 3 more years or orchestrate a sign and trade that would leave the franchise in good shape.

Hold that ball Lucy. Here I come.
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby Cleveland Transplant » Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:04 am

Some interesting and scathing tweets from Buzz Bissinger, who wrote a book with Lebron, and wrote Friday Night Lights:

One thing about Shooting Stars book--people in it besides LeBron great decent people. No better man/coach than Dru Joyce. Great teammates

Never seen such arrogance in pro athlete--player won't meet with possible coach? LeBron getting terrible advice. So fucking disappointed.

I hope LeBron goes to Charlotte so ultimate psychotic Jordan can cut him and LeBron plays year in junior Canadian Curling...

every move LeBron makes an orchestrated one. Forget what he says about anything--policy of appeasement. Hence Izzo BS: 100 percent no prob

LeBron has obligation to meet with Izzo, even if it's to flip him the bird. Why would Cleveland even want to keep a man as self-absorbed...

So Izzo, as possible Cavs coach wants to meet with LeBron and he says no?? I've had it. Fuck that. Fuck him. Hurts to say but I got played.
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby Hi Oktane » Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:20 am

swerb wrote:Also, even if he leaves, I'd be shocked if it isn't via a sign and trade. I don't know if LeBron's fragile ego could live with him being loathed and hated in the area he grew up in. He'll either give the Cavs 3 more years or orchestrate a sign and trade that would leave the franchise in good shape.

Hold that ball Lucy. Here I come.


Fragile ego or not, if he leaves, he's going to be detested at or above Modellian levels. Rich, you can't believe getting some overpaid expendables in return for TBPOTP (who just happens to be "one of us") so our average team can remain in salary cap hell, get perennially booted in the first round of the playoffs and hang in draft lottery limbo is going to quell the shitstorm of hate NEO has in store for the guy, can you?

Edit to add: To paraphrase a DSkills point, the yang to a 60-win season's ying is not a 15-win season. It's a 44-win season.
Last edited by Hi Oktane on Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby hermanfontenot » Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:33 am

Hi Oktane wrote:Fragile ego or not, if he leaves, he's going to be detested at or above Modellian levels.


Question is: Does he know this?

Part of me thinks that, in LeBron's mind, he'll be just as loved in Akron as he always has been, at least on the West Side of Akron. And you know, maybe that'll be the case. The Spin-type Akron homers might back his play no matter what, and so might his family and his friends in that area.

Then again, Akron might turn on him the same way Cleveland most assuredly will.

I can't decide if LeBron

a.) knows there'll be a backlash and is putting off coming to terms with the area for that reason, same way people put off delivering bad news to someone they know won't take it well, or

b.) is too obtuse and self-centered to realize how detested he will be in this area, and thinks he can just mosey back to his palace on Bath Road as if nothing happened.

Either way he's obviously dead to me. I'll get behind any player who leaves it all out there and comes up a little short. I won't get behind a quitter.
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby daddywags » Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:37 am

Quick thoughts:

- I'll take the last 7 years gladly, even if he leaves now. I loved the Browns run in the '80s and Tribe's run in the '90s even though they came up short. I've loved the Cavs run in the '00s just the same.

- I don't think LeBron really cares all that much about Cleveland or Clevelanders. I don't think he's ever really made a connection with the city of Cleveland like he has with Akron. He's an Akron kid, not a Cleveland kid, and in his mind there is a difference.

- If he leaves, the people/fans in Greater Cleveland will hate him but the Akron people/fans will still love him and follow him as their "local kid becomes superstar."

- The Cavs are not in bad salary cap shape. I don't understand why people assume we are. If LeBron doesn't re-sign, as of right now we'd have about $38 million in committed salaries for the 2011-12 season (assuming we make a qualifying offer to JJ Hickson). That means if we're careful with what we do this summer we could conceivably have almost $20 million in cap space next summer and a, hopefully high, lottery pick. That's one of the reasons that making a big splash trade before LeBron decides is tricky. We want to upgrade the roster but we don't want to screw up our cap situation for next year and future years if he leaves.
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby Hi Oktane » Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:40 am

The Cavs are not in bad salary cap shape so long as they let bron walk for nothing. That was my point and argument against a S&T.
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby Ziner » Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:42 am

Hi Oktane wrote:The Cavs are not in bad salary cap shape so long as they let bron walk for nothing. That was my point and argument against a S&T.


From what I understand if you trade with a team that is under the cap you do not have to meet the salary requirements of the 125% rule. We don't have to take salary back. We can get trade exceptions and draft picks.
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby diminishingskills » Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:05 pm

Various thoughts in response to the thread:

- If Bron walks, he will never be able to come back to Northeast Ohio. Ever. Other than as a member of his new team coming to the Q for a roadie. Frankly, he/Savannah/the little Brons will not be physically safe here. Hate to say that, but it's true. If he leaves, he becomes the most detested man in Cleveland sports history, ahead of even Arthur B.

- If Bron walks, then the fire sale has to begin in earnest. Mo, Delonte, Jamo, maybe Andy ... all sold off for whatever you can get for them. Bring back Milt Palacio and Ricky Davis and try to re-capture that 2002-03 Cavaliers magic. I'd want to see a starting five of Bassy, Danny Green, Kid Congo, JJ, and Ejike Motherfucking Ugboaja.

- Bron leaving will not be the end of basketball in Cleveland. Relax, anybody who thinks that TMLP is going to pick up and leave for another town. He's sunk too much money into the Q and the practice facility in Independence, and has his casino coming online sometime in the next year or two, to pick up and leave. As Cass said, teams don't leave because they suck; they leave because they have unfavorable/unsettled arena situations. That's not the case here.

- Regardless of what happens, I'm grateful for the seven years we have had with Bron. He is obviously a wonderful player (though I think his seemingly pre-destined arrival in the game's all-time Inner Circle may never happen; he doesn't seem to have that all-consuming need to win that MJ/Russell/Kobe/Magic/Bird had/have), and it's been fun to watch him. He led the team to their first Finals appearance, and gave us a lot of great basketball to talk about. Even if he didn't lead the team to the ultimate victory, the ride is more important that the destination.
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby Hikohadon » Thu Jun 17, 2010 2:24 pm

The 2007 playoff run was as much fun as I've had as a Cavs fan - ever. I will always remember that fondly.

But the NBA Regular season doesn't mean much to me. With 16 teams getting in, you have to epically suck just to miss the playoffs. I don't even start watching until March (unless the Cavs are playing a "big" opponent).

So the last 3 seasons of Regular season excellence and Postseason folly haven't been nearly as enjoyable for me as they apparently have been for many of you. Especially the last 2, which featured supposedly Championship-level teams that failed miserably.
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby Kingpin74 » Thu Jun 17, 2010 2:37 pm

I'm with Herm, as much as I've enjoyed the last 7 years, he's absolutely dead to me if he leaves whether it's outright or through S+T. This isn't a franchise refusing to go the extra mile to win and leaving the player no choice, it would be an egomaniac leaving at the first real chance he had. Make no mistake, his first extension was nothing, it only tacked on two years and let him avoid an awkward restricted free agent season on a $5 mill one year tender when everyone knew he was leaving. And if he wants to split hairs with this Akron/Cleveland difference, he can go screw himself. I'm from Youngstown and I consider Cleveland a hometown just as much. For crying out loud, how much closer can a professional market be, Akron's an easier drive than Aurora and Hudson. If he stays, all's forgiven and we can laugh at his drama queen act but if he leaves after the franchise catered to his every whim(compromising its cap situation and costing two good men their jobs in the process) only to have him quit in a crucial game then bolt town, he deserves to be right on par with Modell.
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby Orenthal » Thu Jun 17, 2010 2:40 pm

It now seems as if I will be going against every hardcore contributor here when I say no to the blow up plan. Not only do I think that method will bring you several bad seasons (part of the plan), but that ever becoming an elite team again is just a bunch of hoping and praying. More then likely you max out at the worst case scenario of the opposite plan and become a 45 win first round bounce playoff team.

The other reason I never see a complete Shapiro/Indians outsmart yourselves rebuild is Dan Gilbert's ego. He will not allow LeBron leaving to totally decimate his team. Yes he is the biggest star in the NBA, but one guy does not a team make, and championships can be won without him...

eh, I'm ready to have this take flambayed(sp?).
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby Hikohadon » Thu Jun 17, 2010 2:42 pm

Orenthal wrote:It now seems as if I will be going against every hardcore contributor here when I say no to the blow up plan. Not only do I think that method will bring you several bad seasons (part of the plan), but that ever becoming an elite team again is just a bunch of hoping and praying. More then likely you max out at the worst case scenario of the opposite plan and become a 45 win first round bounce playoff team.

The other reason I never see a complete Shapiro/Indians outsmart yourselves rebuild is Dan Gilbert's ego. He will not allow LeBron leaving to totally decimate his team. Yes he is the biggest star in the NBA, but one guy does not a team make, and championships can be won without him...

eh, I'm ready to have this take flambayed(sp?).


Not by me.

If LeBron leaves, it will suck. But the next day will dawn.

And the team will still have as many championships after LeBron leaves as they did before he came.
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby jack_tors » Thu Jun 17, 2010 5:31 pm

Hikohadon wrote:
Orenthal wrote:It now seems as if I will be going against every hardcore contributor here when I say no to the blow up plan. Not only do I think that method will bring you several bad seasons (part of the plan), but that ever becoming an elite team again is just a bunch of hoping and praying. More then likely you max out at the worst case scenario of the opposite plan and become a 45 win first round bounce playoff team.

The other reason I never see a complete Shapiro/Indians outsmart yourselves rebuild is Dan Gilbert's ego. He will not allow LeBron leaving to totally decimate his team. Yes he is the biggest star in the NBA, but one guy does not a team make, and championships can be won without him...

eh, I'm ready to have this take flambayed(sp?).


Not by me.

If LeBron leaves, it will suck. But the next day will dawn.

And the team will still have as many championships after LeBron leaves as they did before he came.


Agree with both of you. We survived worse things than him leaving (the Browns leaving for one) and will weather this storm too. Perhaps this delayed announcement gives folks time to heal, even if its only a very small amount. Hell, on Reghi's show the other day, callers have already moved on since nearly half called Lerner the best owner in the city over Gilbert. Completely wrong but it helps to show the sun will rise tomorrow and we will continue to pin our hopes on something else.
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby aoxo1 » Thu Jun 17, 2010 6:01 pm

Orenthal wrote:It now seems as if I will be going against every hardcore contributor here when I say no to the blow up plan. Not only do I think that method will bring you several bad seasons (part of the plan), but that ever becoming an elite team again is just a bunch of hoping and praying. More then likely you max out at the worst case scenario of the opposite plan and become a 45 win first round bounce playoff team.

The other reason I never see a complete Shapiro/Indians outsmart yourselves rebuild is Dan Gilbert's ego. He will not allow LeBron leaving to totally decimate his team. Yes he is the biggest star in the NBA, but one guy does not a team make, and championships can be won without him...

eh, I'm ready to have this take flambayed(sp?).

What is the opposite successful plan for winning an NBA championship if not acquiring a superstar at the top of the draft (or hopefully a superstar and at least one other star), or at least using those picks as ammo in a great trade?
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby Orenthal » Thu Jun 17, 2010 6:29 pm

I skimmed over the opposite because I have been on a crusade here posting it in just about every topic, and every one of my posts. Dallas is my model. The willingness of an owner to continue taking on money to make lopsided deals. We have flexibility, and the owner willing to spend. We have lacked draft picks, but that was more due to Paxson ineptness. Which makes my point.

The Cavaliers sucked for a long time. It took luck in both the ping pong balls and the year that lottery was held. How awesome would it have been to suck for 5+ years and grab Kenyon Martin, Kwame Brown, Yao Ming, Bogut, Bargnani, Oden, Rose, or Griffen. Guys just good enough to make your team mediocre staying in the mid lottery, and really crap shooting it. Do you ever get good enough to bring in a big time FA? This year may be an anomoly, or may hold true with most guys staying on their current team. Your big time free agent going to be Hughes? Since 2000 only really James and Howard are game changing #1 picks. How many times you want a chance at the #1 pick? Odds of hitting on your pick only get worse past 1. Could always be like the Bulls after Jordon, or the current Hawks team that is getting no better, and about to be blown apart.

While the Zombie Sonics are the blueprint (and the Bucks are an up and coming team), they were still only the 8th seed (OKC), and who knows what their ceiling may be (OKC and the Bucks). I'll stick to the continue to spend and try to compete Who knows, without the pandering to James, maybe they can add a little more logic to some of those moves!
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby aoxo1 » Thu Jun 17, 2010 7:52 pm

Dallas has a superstar that they drafted, which has triggered their strategy (and really, it's the same strategy TMLP has pursued). How do the Cavs get a superstar?
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby daddywags » Thu Jun 17, 2010 8:32 pm

OJ I hear ya. You look back the past 30 years or so and you won't find many (any?) teams that stunk it up for 3-4 years collecting high draft picks eventually winning championships. But you do need a superstar; maybe two. Magic, Kobe, Shaq, Duncan, Thomas, Hakeem, Bird, oh yeah, MJ - that's about 90% of the past 30 'ships. We've got one now, if we don't have any a month from now there will be almost no room for error.
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby Orenthal » Thu Jun 17, 2010 8:41 pm

Dirk was drafted number nine by the Bucks. He was traded to Dallas with Pat Garrity for number 5 pick Robert Traylor. I hardly call that a plan. I call that blind luck. What if they kept Traylor? Did high draft picks net the Jason Kidd the second time around? I would say the fact they haven't had less then 50 wins since 2000 has a shit ton to do with Cuban spending money, and less on drafting.

First Round
1995 #12 Cherokee Parks
1996 #9 Samaki Walker
1997 #15 Kelvin Kato
1998 #5 Robert Traylor
1999 #30 Leon Brown
2000 #12 Etan Thomas
2001 No Pick
2002 No Pick
2003 #29 Josh Howard
2004 No Pick
2005 No Pick
2006 #28 Maurice Ager
2007 No Pick
2008 No Pick
2009 Byron Mullens

I'm only pointing out the fact, that you expecially, think it is the ONLY plan.

What about the Detroit Pistons? They didn't draft Hamilton, Billups, or either Wallace. Then again Prince was drafted. Oh, and Grant Hill drafted in 1994 was eventually S&T for Ben Wallace in 2000. In between the Pistons did a whole lot of nothing.
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby Orenthal » Thu Jun 17, 2010 8:48 pm

daddywags wrote:OJ I hear ya. You look back the past 30 years or so and you won't find many (any?) teams that stunk it up for 3-4 years collecting high draft picks eventually winning championships. But you do need a superstar; maybe two. Magic, Kobe, Shaq, Duncan, Thomas, Hakeem, Bird, oh yeah, MJ - that's about 90% of the past 30 'ships. We've got one now, if we don't have any a month from now there will be almost no room for error.


No doubt you do need that superstar. My whole point, and I think I have stated it the whole time, is that the blow it up method guarantees the horrible 1-2 seasons, but in no way guarantees the eventually 50+ win teams for X amount "opportunity years".

I would rather use what salary flex we have this year and attempt to sign the best guy we can. Buy a draft pick, perhaps trade for a high pick. Gilbert has stated many times he will not tolerate a loser. His exact quote was that spending another 10-20 million to keep winning is less costly then blowing it up and possibly losing 10's of millions more.

Cleveland is not a hardcore basketball town. You string together a couple 15-25 win seasons, and miss on a superstar or only land a mediocre talent. That will cause far more devastation to the franchise then losing LBJ, yet still pulling out all the stops to maintain some level of 4-5'ish seed.
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby Cease » Thu Jun 17, 2010 8:58 pm

Juice is tuned in, IMO. Gilbert will try to spend his way back to the top with or without LeBron. He's telling prospective coaches that whether LBJ stays or goes- he's ready to spend beyond the cap. If the org is stripped down, it won't be down to the studs and it won't be for more than one off-season through trade deadline.

Now, will the money well spent? That'll be the question. We could swing and miss, and that would be on Gilbert + Grant's eye for talent values.
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby aoxo1 » Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:27 pm

So you want to follow the Dallas plan, which all flows from their initial stroke of blind luck that you hardly call a plan?

Jason Kidd the second time around wasn't close to a superstar.

No doubt trying to build through the draft by sucking isn't the only plan. Teams can also fleece dumb FOs for 30 cents on the dollar talent or high draft picks, they can pile up good players on bad contracts, or they can build the once every... well, once ever in the association Detroit Pistons.

None of those plans are guaranteed to work obviously, I Think we all understand that, it's simply a question of how likely they are to work.
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby aoxo1 » Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:29 pm

FWIW if you have a GM smart enough that he can build a championship caliber team without high draft picks that he turns into stars (via drafting or trading), he is certainly smart enough to draft Durant over Oden, and that's not even getting into your list of bad #1 picks who were generally followed by star/superstar players.

BTW Rose/Bogut/Yao (if injury free) were worthy #1s, and it is far too early to say Blake Griffin is not.
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby Orenthal » Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:38 pm

Each year this roster has some flex to take on longer money. IMO that is how you will get your star. If we did somewhat tank, or trade guys this year to gain even more flex, gaining a 1 year high draft selection I would hardly go on a Tree-like vandetta. I just see both plans as involving plenty of risk, and the take on longer money in lopsided talent deals as the more attractive way to go.

I'm not convinced this roster went from deepest/any matchup, to outright stanky ass bullshit. But that it was because the MVP they rely on, and who dominates the ball, quit/was injuried/whatever.
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby Orenthal » Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:40 pm

BTW things are already starting to happen as Dalemnert was just traded to the Kings. Teams are starting to make moves, and this stuff will only heat up closer to the draft, then get even hotter with FA.

eta:
Also I am about to wave the white flag on part of my take. The deeper and deeper you go there is a reliance on draft picks, not always super high, but going 2-3 layers into most transactions there is a draft pick or recent pick involved. They aren't always any good, most turn out to be nobodies, but they are there nonetheless.

Plus this is more typing then I have had to do in a long time, and it sucks. I could be playing DOTA.
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby diminishingskills » Fri Jun 18, 2010 9:03 am

Complete gut feeling here, but I suspect that the model that TMLP really wants to follow is the Detroit model. The one that brought them a couple of titles in the late 80s and then the run of title contenders (with one trophy) throughout most of the 2000s.

The one thing the Pistons have never had was that mega-superstar. They were close back in the day, with Zeke and Dooooomars. And MBS (Swerb, that's Mr. Big Shot, not mortgage-backed security) is a heck of a player too. But I don't think anybody here would argue that any player the Pistons have had the past 25 years would find his way to a top 20 of all time list. They never had that MJ/Bird/Magic/Kobe/Shaq/Duncan level player. And yet for the most part, they've been at least competitive, often very good, and have won three rings.

How were those teams built? Through smart drafting (yes, I recognize the irony of mentioning "smart drafting" for a franchise that took Darko #2) and smarter trading. The only high pick on those teams that the Pistons made themselves was Zeke. Otherwise, they found gems later in the draft (Dumars was #18 overall; Tayshaun was a late first-rounder; Worm was a second-rounder), found gems in the scrap heap (Mahorn, Fro Wallace), saw the value in other teams' castoffs (Laimbeer, Microwave, MBS, Rip), and occasionally outright raped another team (Sheed). Most importantly, it was about finding guys who buy into what Bill Simmons called "the secret" -- that a team of guys who are willing to keep their egos in check and play as a team will win a lot more often than great individual talents playing for the name on the back of the jersey.

Notice that I did not use the phrases "superstar", "#1 overall pick", "tanking seasons to get into the lottery", or "max contract" in that previous paragraph.

Again, it's nothing more than a gut feeling that TMLP will look to go this route, based on:

- TMLP being a Detroit guy;
- My unshakable belief that TMLP never, ever, ever again wants to get in a place where one player can so control the direction of his half-a-billion-dollar investment;
- Those teams playing a smart, hard-nosed brand of ball that I'll bet TMLP himself identifies with, seeing himself as a smart, hard-nosed kind of guy (rightfully so, BTW);
- This being the one proven path to winning hardware without lottery luck.
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby aoxo1 » Fri Jun 18, 2010 9:44 am

I don't know if Isiah is actually top 20, but if he isn't he is damn sure close. And he was the #2 overall.

At the point, Magic was better and so was Oscar. But it's not clear to me that anyone else is regarded as a superior 1.
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby jb » Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:36 pm

hermanfontenot wrote:
Hi Oktane wrote:Fragile ego or not, if he leaves, he's going to be detested at or above Modellian levels.


Question is: Does he know this?

Part of me thinks that, in LeBron's mind, he'll be just as loved in Akron as he always has been, at least on the West Side of Akron. And you know, maybe that'll be the case. The Spin-type Akron homers might back his play no matter what, and so might his family and his friends in that area.

Then again, Akron might turn on him the same way Cleveland most assuredly will.

I can't decide if LeBron

a.) knows there'll be a backlash and is putting off coming to terms with the area for that reason, same way people put off delivering bad news to someone they know won't take it well, or

b.) is too obtuse and self-centered to realize how detested he will be in this area, and thinks he can just mosey back to his palace on Bath Road as if nothing happened.

Either way he's obviously dead to me. I'll get behind any player who leaves it all out there and comes up a little short. I won't get behind a quitter.



Jesse, I tend to side with you as to Summit county, but I do wonder how much west Akrom community love he has for not going to Buchtel but to the white kids' private school (noting that when Buchtel dissed DJ3 they set themselves up.)
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby hermanfontenot » Fri Jun 18, 2010 2:14 pm

jb wrote:Jesse, I tend to side with you as to Summit county, but I do wonder how much west Akrom community love he has for not going to Buchtel but to the white kids' private school (noting that when Buchtel dissed DJ3 they set themselves up.)


My impression was that LeBron scored points by simply staying in Akron rather than going off to Oak Hill or some place like that.

It's funny how small-town incestuous that area is. I worked in an office @ Canal Place for a while this year, with a lot of folks from West Akron, and every one of those people either a.) knew LeBron, b.) knew his family and friends, c.) knew people who knew him, etc etc etc.

As much as I slam LeBron I don't think his love for Akron is manufactured in the slightest. Honestly, he should still have that love reciprocated regardless of where he goes.
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby Orenthal » Fri Jun 18, 2010 7:36 pm

BTW the crack reseacrh staff alerted me to the fact the Dallas Mavericks traded Jamo for the #5 pick Devin Harris. Now this would seem to point again to Dallas and the draft, Nowitski, but if you follow the trail of how they acquired Jamo, and how they acquired the players that lead to Jamo, and so on, you will find it was almost entirely due to Cuban spending money to bring in talent.

Either through outright FA signings or through trades that are basically longer term money commitments. DSkills Pistons example is somewhat on the path, although it was more GM smarts then pure moeny (Dallas). Both had that #1 guy that wasn't quite top 3 in the league, Nowitski probably being a debate I could lose on, both built mostly through trade of free agen signings.

Gilbert will not blow up the team. Listen to any press conference when he is ask 6,000 times how he is going to resign LeBron.

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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby FUDU » Fri Jun 18, 2010 9:29 pm

I agree TMLP will not blow this up, matter of fact my guess is he pulls off some sort of significant trade that surprises everyone, league wide. A blow up would be a last resort for Gilbert.
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby OldDawg » Sat Jun 19, 2010 1:05 am

The LeBron era?

My favorite era was the Price/Daugherty/Harper/Williams/Nance era. The trade of Harper and the health of Daugherty shortened that era. (Although I'll be honest, I drank the KoolAid, I thought Ferry was the next Larry Bird, too). And of course, the emergence of the BPE in ChiTown shortened the window of that era. With the exception of Nance and Ehlo, this team's core was from the draft. So you could identify with this team as they grew up in front of you. You could feel this was "your team." I was folding laundry in front of the TV with my now college junior walking around the room in his stroller when MJ hit the you-know-what. My son gave MJ the raspberries on the instant replay. Soothed the pain somewhat.

My co-favorite era was the Miracle of Richfield era. A good chunk of that core was made up with either draft picks, or guys who came to Cleve after their first season. That was fun because no one expected it. I remember standing in line for more than 4 hours on my xxth birthday for tickets to one playoff game vs the Bullets. Obviously in the days before online ordering or Ticketron. One of the best live events I have ever attended. Thurmond's injury and Boston getting some preferential treatment by the refs cut this era a little short.

The LeBron era? I think had Boozer not been an arse and pulled a Boozer on us, this team could have grown on me like those two did. Two young, budding superstars growing up in the NBA together, along with a drafted Z, providing the nucleus through the draft like the Price era. Since Booz left, how much time and effort have we put into finding a good 4-man. Booz stays, the frantic re-shuffling of the rest of the line-up around LBJ and Z does not happen.

All that said, I have enjoyed the LeBron era as a fan of basketball. He is the most exciting player in the game. Athletically, he is a freak of nature. He has improved every year. A couple of different off-seasons he greatly improves his J. The past couple of years he becomes a better defender. And he has always been a gifted passer as well. I haven't enjoyed the constant reshaping of the roster in a panicked mode in this era. That has been discussed in here adnauseum(sp?). That has kept me from identifying with the "team." And that is the problem with the LeBron era, it has always been about LeBron.

The ping-pong ball named LBJ changed sports in NEO. Before that ping pong ball we were watching Tractor re-tread Traylor and a bunch of vagabonds play. Before that ping pong ball, they held a fall coaching clinic, and if a high school head coach went to this FREE clinic, they received two free season tickets. Yes, season tickets. Literally giving tickets away. So the LeBron era certainly woke up a bunch of dormant NEO sports fans.

This post is long enough. I have some other thoughts about LeBron in the LeBron era, but I will save that for later.
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby aoxo1 » Sat Jun 19, 2010 1:43 pm

Anyone who still thinks LeBron is considering Cleveland just needs to pay attention to stories like this (and as I recall, this isn't the first instance of him doing this since the season ended): http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=5305470
AKRON, Ohio -- With thousands of his hometown fans on hand, LeBron James made a dramatic -- and very late -- appearance at "LeBron Appreciation Day."


James
A crowd estimated at 3,500 had already begun to depart Akron's InfCision Stadium on Saturday when James walked through a side entrance and made his way down to the playing field.

Hundreds of fans rushed back inside as James was presented with a crystal trophy, which had already been placed back inside a box before his surprise appearance. After a few words, the two-time MVP then left the stadium as quickly as he entered.

James was being honored not far from where he grew up in a city he affectionately calls home. Fans were on hand in an effort to convince the soon-to-be free agent not to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers.


But I'm sure he's busy working on improving his free throw shooting, maybe he can get it up another 0.013 over the next 7 years. ;-) ;) :wink:
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby FUDU » Sat Jun 19, 2010 2:00 pm

aoxo it's simply disingenuous to consider any of these examples as a hint more so than any other examples. One could say the fact he showed up is proof he leans toward staying.

The only thing that is certain in all this is IF LeBron knows he is staying then by him waiting and holding the org hostage it is completely undermining any common goal of success they each have.
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby peeker643 » Sat Jun 19, 2010 2:11 pm

FUDU wrote:The only thing that is certain in all this is IF LeBron knows he is staying then by him waiting and holding the org hostage it is completely undermining any common goal of success they each have.


The only thing certain in this is he's a selfish, arrogant, ego-maniacal dick.

Thanks for showing up 23. Better late than Game 5. And that's for a city and for people who hold him dear? Shit.

And yes, I'm fine with him being a dick right here for 98 games per year. After that I wouldn't piss on him if he was on fire in my driveway.

He's making it tough for people to love him. Which may be the entire point I guess.
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby Cerebral_DownTime » Sat Jun 19, 2010 3:08 pm

peeker643 wrote:
FUDU wrote:The only thing that is certain in all this is IF LeBron knows he is staying then by him waiting and holding the org hostage it is completely undermining any common goal of success they each have.


The only thing certain in this is he's a selfish, arrogant, ego-maniacal dick.

Thanks for showing up 23. Better late than Game 5. And that's for a city and for people who hold him dear? Shit.

And yes, I'm fine with him being a dick right here for 98 games per year. After that I wouldn't piss on him if he was on fire in my driveway.

He's making it tough for people to love him. Which may be the entire point I guess.



Frustrated Peek is frustrated.

C'mon, man, that's kinda harsh. You just can't have people burning to a cinder in your driveway.
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby peeker643 » Sat Jun 19, 2010 3:25 pm

Cerebral_DownTime wrote:
peeker643 wrote:
FUDU wrote:The only thing that is certain in all this is IF LeBron knows he is staying then by him waiting and holding the org hostage it is completely undermining any common goal of success they each have.


The only thing certain in this is he's a selfish, arrogant, ego-maniacal dick.

Thanks for showing up 23. Better late than Game 5. And that's for a city and for people who hold him dear? Shit.

And yes, I'm fine with him being a dick right here for 98 games per year. After that I wouldn't piss on him if he was on fire in my driveway.

He's making it tough for people to love him. Which may be the entire point I guess.



Frustrated Peek is frustrated.

C'mon, man, that's kinda harsh. You just can't have people burning to a cinder in your driveway.


I can and have and will again. ;-) ;) :wink:
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby FUDU » Sat Jun 19, 2010 3:54 pm

I want him to stay as much as the next guy, but there is a still a realism about it at the end of the day. A realism that I still wake up and go to work, go to bed to late and not get enough sleep, then wake up cranky again, so on and so forth....he changes none of that.

So I say some of us make our own mob dance video, one that says hey we want to stay but if you don't we really don't give a fuck b/c our lives do not revolve around you and your sorry "my elbow hurt me once for like 3 minutes" ass.
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby Triple-S » Sat Jun 19, 2010 3:57 pm

eh, forget it.
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Re: The LeBron Era

Unread postby FUDU » Sat Jun 19, 2010 4:07 pm

Trisss it isn't about LeBron sticking up for Cleveland, I/we don't need him to. I/we just want him to show up for work everyday with his lunch box and work overtime when it is called for, just like the rest of us do.
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