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Cleveland Cavaliers & The NBA

GREAT Column By Livingston

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GREAT Column By Livingston

Unread postby swerb » Tue Feb 28, 2006 9:28 am

http://www.cleveland.com/sports/plainde ... xml&coll=2

Wimpy Cavs let Detroit's Wallace get away with it

Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Bill Livingston
Plain Dealer Columnist


The NBA won't police the laughing goon, Rasheed Wallace.

The Cavaliers coach answered a salvo of questions about his team's possible retaliation against Detroit Monday night by practically saying, "Who, us?"

Cavs management whipped the fans into a lather, replaying the incident from Sunday's game in Detroit on the message board twice during introductions. Public address man Ronnie Duncan constantly howled about "payback." The facades of the balconies blazed with ersatz electrical flames.

It was great theater, except the Cavs and their coach weren't reading from the same script as everyone else. Detroit won, 84-72, strangling the Cavs in the fourth quarter, when the home team managed a pathetic nine points. Wallace led Detroit in scoring with 24 points.

"It is what it is," coach Mike Brown said before the game. "I don't cry over spilled milk."

What it was a deliberate attempt to maim.

What was spilled was the blood of the Cavs' No. 2 scorer, Zydrunas Ilgauskas.

Wallace didn't deny his intent Sunday. He busted Ilgauskas' head open with an elbow after Z elbowed him in the chest moments earlier.

Cameras caught Wallace laughing several times while he was out of the game, presumably amused by his own punch line.

Instead of retaliation - "Rasheed must bleed," read one sign - Woodstock broke out. There was so much hugging going on before the game, the Cavs should have had flowers in their hair.

Of course, many Cavs found it in their hearts to respect Carlos Boozer after Boozer left town on a lie, including his Olympic teammate, LeBron James.

So maybe respect begins and ends with everybody being rich.

Not that James should have gone after Wallace. He's too valuable.

But payback was automatic in the '70s and '80s. "It was automatic in the '90s, too. I remember one game when the [Cavs current] general manager, Danny Ferry, took out Michael Jordan," said FSN Ohio Cavs analyst Scott Williams.

No one on the Bulls wondered what to do next.

"Stacey King got him before I could," Williams said.

At the very least, after Detroit fans drunk enough to make breathalyzers go tilt and rampaging Indiana Pacers players brawled in the stands last year, you would think the NBA would suspend Wallace for a game or two. Otherwise, it's condoning violence, right? Wallace's flagrant foul was as mean and vicious an attempt to injure as any since Kobe Bryant clotheslined Memphis' Mike Miller.

The NBA conceded it was a "flagrant foul penalty 2," meaning there was no attempt to play the ball. Then the league waffled and wobbled and fiddled and faddled and fined him $5,000, or approximately the money Wallace has in his sofa cushions.

"I was more concerned that it was a flagrant foul 1 than anything," Brown said.

He can play the bureaucrat arguing about rulebook language all he wants to. In the locker room, please let there have been more red meat than this wilted watercress.

Because otherwise we're back to Charles Barkley decking Craig Ehlo and leaving him writhing on the floor in the playoffs, while only Steve Kerr came to his teammate's defense.

Brown said he heard a lot about how soft San Antonio was when he was an assistant coach there, and look at all the great things that led to.

"They said David Robinson was soft. They said Tim Duncan was soft. Now, I'm not saying we're where they were," the coach said. "But three years later, that soft team won the NBA championship."

The only incident came with 5 minutes, 47 seconds left in the first half. Z had to take it into his own hands then, because he, if no one else, knew this was about more than basketball. It was about character issues.

Ilgauskas hit Wallace from the side with his hip and chest while Wallace was in midair, shooting a jumper. Both players drew technical fouls afterward. The impact dropped Wallace squarely on his butt, and Z then stood over him, jawing, as Wallace brayed his disdainful laugh.

Maybe he was laughing because the idea of retaliation from most of the Cavs is such a joke.
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Unread postby furls » Tue Feb 28, 2006 3:16 pm

Brown said he heard a lot about how soft San Antonio was when he was an assistant coach there, and look at all the great things that led to.

"They said David Robinson was soft. They said Tim Duncan was soft. Now, I'm not saying we're where they were," the coach said. "But three years later, that soft team won the NBA championship."


So he is basically admitting that he has a past of having soft teams and he is Ok with it. Well that is OK I guess, but the teams that I seem to remember being very good always had the capacity to get very physical if you got stupid.

Where have you gone Charles Oakley? Maybe we could get Paxson back and he could sign Oakley to a multi year deal.... I hear Oak spent his social security check on a new hip, so now the deal makes sense.
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Unread postby consigliere » Tue Feb 28, 2006 5:52 pm

The more I see and hear from Mike Brown, the less I like him.
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Unread postby yargs7 » Tue Feb 28, 2006 6:22 pm

They need to scrap this whole team and rebuild around Lebron. They already have Hughes, but they need a lot more. This is the third year in a row they are crumbling down the stretch. The truth is that they just aren't even close to contending for anything more than the 8th and final playoff spot. They lack balls and they have to be one of the LEAST athletic teams in the NBA. It's getting hard to watch.
"You win with people"

-W.W. "Woody" Hayes
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Unread postby furls » Tue Feb 28, 2006 6:54 pm

As I said in a couple of posts, they lack the ability to dump this team for a rebuilder.... they have some sweet contracts going right now.

Would you take DJ and 12million more for 4 years?

Mike
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Unread postby swerb » Sun Mar 05, 2006 10:12 am

The Livingston assault continues. Thankfully someone at the PD is saying what needs said.

http://www.cleveland.com/sports/plainde ... xml&coll=2
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Unread postby consigliere » Sun Mar 05, 2006 2:20 pm

Rack Livingston.
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Unread postby Naxos » Mon Mar 06, 2006 10:49 am

Got to agree. Rack Livingston.
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