C-Town Redemption!

By Michael Reghi

Watching the NBA Draft Lottery Tuesday night brought back emotions in me last visited on an evening in mid May, 2003. Eight years ago at this time, I had left the field earlier then usual at Anaheim Stadium, preparing for the call of a Baltimore Orioles-Los Angeles Angels game, to be in the television booth, where I could fix my gaze on how ‘basketball gods’ would treat the Cavaliers, and its’ adoring fan base, with an opportunity to snag the overall top pick in that particular draft. As history notes, the loud explosion I heard from over 3,000 miles away was Cleveland rejoicing, celebrating, and otherwise feeling downright giddy over earning the right to select first overall. What a roller coaster of emotions, and plenty of winning, yet not championship basketball, those seven seasons provided, correct?  I felt a tremendous burst of excitement for you then, and feel exactly the same now!

Let’s get aboard for the ride once again, C-‘town! I am ecstatic, thrilled beyond belief for all of you who rode that damning roller coaster, while giving your hearts and souls to LeBron James, in the hope that he would indeed be the main provider to bring this fine city its first major sporting title since 1964. We know how that chapter ultimately was written. With the proper choices, additions to the Cavaliers family, development, and yeah…just like Tuesday night….luck…this 2011 version of NBA utopia in gaining the top overall selection, with a number four thrown in for added assistance along the way, might just get a city pulsating for a hoops championship sooner rather than later!

That’s what this continues to be about for me. Your reward. A payoff that allows you, a many times over beleaguered fan base, the hope and opportunity to dream big. Championship big. One time, Cleveland. One time. And maybe this 2011 season is one that will be long remembered as the turning point. Think about it. Cavaliers win the draft lottery, Indians with baseball’s best record a quarter into the season, and the Browns brimming with optimism, as a strong front office team enters the second year of making the organization far better player talent wise. See where this is going? In a direction that you can be proud of. You have always been there with your support, maybe the payoff isn’t as far in the distance as once thought. That’s my ultimate wish for you. Championships.

Now Chris Grant must use the next five weeks to roll up his sleeves, and go to work in an relentless fashion. Conventional wisdom says Duke’s abundantly talented lead guard Kyrie Irving will be the choice. Isn’t this the wave of NBA hopes these days? The point guard that can take his place alongside Derek Rose, Deron Williams, Chris Paul, Rajon Rondo, John Wall, etc?

The ‘young lion’ exciters in the game, who are the linchpins to organizations, and cities, hopes and dreams? Do think so. Conventional wisdom also says Grant adds a young big, as in frontcourt player who can develop with Irving, or possible an offensive minded small forward/shooting guard, both areas of need, that could come in and make an immediate impact with Irving. Intriguing possibilities that will be evaluated over these next five weeks.

For the moment, Cleveland, enjoy this sunshine and warmth! Your time to thump your chests! You deserve that. You’ve endured. Time to get on that proverbial C-town’ sports rollercoaster ride once again. It’s a way of life, isn’t it?


1 Comment

  1. After Lebron left, I knew the Cavs would experience a significant drop off. I didn’t think they would make the playoffs, but I certainly didn’t think they would be as bad as they were though. Nobody great player wins 66 and 62 games as soloist. James had plenty of help here in Cleveland, just not wherewithal in himself to elevate to higher levels when his jump shot abandoned him or personal issues affected him.

    Now, because of his and The Decision, because the Clippers gave us an unprotected No. 1 pick, it is the Cavs who stand to rise again and quickly depending on how these players develop. There are no Lebron James in the draft that by himself can push a team to mediocrity. I am excited, granted not as excited when the prize was James. The Cavs were a hard watch this season. They were hard to read about. Now, I can tune in again to watch the development of TWO lottery picks.

    I ask only one thing – don’t draft on need. Draft the best player available!

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