Tag Archives: LeBron James

This Too Will Not Pass Soon


In December 1964, I was ten years old. We lived at 2705 East Overlook Road in Cleveland Heights. It was a big Georgian house with a library room with built-in oak shelves. In the corner sat our big black and white TV. Because of what happened next, we would soon get a short-lived first color TV–destroyed when our siamese cat Cleo pissed into it–that would be replaced immediately.

What happened next was that the underdog Cleveland Browns won the NFL championship, their first since 1955, against the Johnny Unitas-led Baltimore Colts 27-0. Frank Ryan hit Gary Collins with three second half TD passes, and Lou the Toe Groza added two field goals. Good times.

Early the next year, my parents decided that our family would watch heartbreak in color.

The cataloging of close, but no dice, big games had come to plague Cleveland. Such moments are in the context of much more broadly deleterious losses due to Reaganomics, the inevitability of the economic process of catching up, and, the somewhat sclerotic “anti-visions” of civic leaders over decades.

But, there was always hope that a Cleveland major league sports team might someday succeed.

Hieronymus_Bosch_Ascent of the Blessed

Yesterday was just such a day. join the party: Cavstheblog.

Time hath, my lord, a wallet at his back,
Wherein he puts alms for oblivion,
A great-sized monster of ingratitudes:
Those scraps are good deeds past; which are devour’d
As fast as they are made, forgot as soon
As done: perseverance, dear my lord,
Keeps honour bright: to have done is to hang
Quite out of fashion, like a rusty mail
In monumental mockery. Take the instant way;
For honour travels in a strait so narrow,
Where one but goes abreast: keep then the path;
For emulation hath a thousand sons
That one by one pursue: if you give way,
Or hedge aside from the direct forthright,
Like to an enter’d tide, they all rush by
And leave you hindmost;
Or like a gallant horse fall’n in first rank,
Lie there for pavement to the abject rear,
O’er-run and trampled on: then what they do in present,
Though less than yours in past, must o’ertop yours;
For time is like a fashionable host
That slightly shakes his parting guest by the hand,
And with his arms outstretch’d, as he would fly,
Grasps in the comer: welcome ever smiles,
And farewell goes out sighing. O, let not
virtue seek
Remuneration for the thing it was;
For beauty, wit,
High birth, vigour of bone, desert in service,
Love, friendship, charity, are subjects all
To envious and calumniating time.
One touch of nature makes the whole world kin,
That all with one consent praise new-born gawds,
Though they are made and moulded of things past,
And give to dust that is a little gilt
More laud than gilt o’er-dusted.
The present eye praises the present object.
Then marvel not, thou great and complete man,
That all the NBA begin to worship Curry;
Since things in motion sooner catch the eye
Than what not stirs. The cry went once on thee,
And still it might, and yet it may again,
If thou wouldst not entomb thyself alive
And case thy reputation in thy tent;
Whose glorious deeds, but in these fields of late,
Made emulous missions ‘mongst the gods themselves
And drave great Mars to faction.

Troilus and Cressida Act 3, Scene 3
William Shakespeare

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Z’ riffic

Z. . .what a mensch!

During the Lebron era the Cavs have most often described by courtside commentators and b-ball media as being something like the King and his sub-stellar crew. This is a way of depicting secondary cast to be nothing more than a setting for the peerless one. So, as the NBA seasons rolls toward the end games, I’d like to wonder out loud how many other NBA teams would swap two or three starters for their choice among the four off the Cavs’ bench, Z, DWest, Varejao, Boobie? The point could be that having LeBron on your team tends to lead to his surrounding crew being discounted. It’s also seemingly the case, Mike Brown’s schemes elevate tightly defined roles and dial down the potential for a player to break out career-wise.

It also seems the Cavs just wear their opponents down. I like the odds.

My suggestion for the King is simple: it’s a-okay to realize the aspiration to be the greatest athlete to ever put on Cleveland colors. It’s just you and Jim Brown and Bob Feller at this point. (Žydrunas Ilgauskas is already the greatest Lithuanian athlete to ever play in Cleveland.) Go for it, King James.

Hat tip to:

Cavs: the Blog

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This is a first sports post. …gotta let it out, it being elation. I’m first a baseball fan but basketball is my favorite sport to watch on the tv. Last night the Cavs brought a Cleveland team to a pro championship series for only the third time since a Cleveland team actually reigned as champion, (the Browns in 1964.)

For the past few days I’ve waded into the b-ballosphere and read about how terrible the Cavs are despite the King of pearls at their center. There’s a bit of cognitive dissonance that arises in my reading the harsh critiques rendered by pro and lay basketball expert alike. Somehow, it would seem, a mediocre team in an awful conference won 50 out of 82 regular season games, 12 out of 16 playoff games, beat the Spurs 2 out of 2 times in the regular season, and did this all while surrounding LeBron with terrible role players whose greatest talent, evidently, is to only appear as if they’re actually a good defensive team.

Many also commented on how average to sucky is coach Mike Brown. Kudos were reserved for LeBron, the noisy homers who fill up The Q, and, after a lights out unveiling over the last ten days, for Daniel Gibson.

Moving on to the Spurs, the Cavaliers are held out as so much cannon fodder. The Spurs are purportedly the exact template of a team able to strip the glow of the Cavs’ success away, leaving only a pearl and a bunch of crap to stand naked to the world.

Now, I’m not an expert, but it seems the Western Conference finalist lost the finals to the Heat last year. Well, I know I’m right about at least this! Conclusion, stranger stuff could happen.

But how? The b-ballosphere reached a consensus last night after the Pistons loss. LeBron had two great games and the Pistons had five terrible games. The Pistons allowed the Cavs to beat them because they couldn’t be bothered to make gimme shots against the Cav’s overrated D. And, Prince was awful the whole series. The Pistons gave away their advantage in experience and their play was over-loaded with anxious emotions when it wasn’t fragmenting into chaos.

It would seem many of the experts reasoned that all the Cavs had to do was show up and let LeBron will the team to remain to the final horn while the Pistons freaked out. At what? The low level of competition?

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