Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Media Day offers first look at new Cavaliers

I've made no effort to try to hide my love for the Cavaliers here. I sometimes feel like I defend them as I would my own child. They are always third fiddle in this city, behind the (ever-disappointing) Browns and the Indians. And that's a shame because obviously LeBron is a once-in-a-lifetime athlete and we have him right here to watch on a nightly basis. I get frustrated when casual fans don't see this as a great team. Sure there have been holes on this roster in past seasons, but they have been the most successful Cleveland playoff team in years and I think they have only scratched the surface of their potential. This team is now arguably the deepest squad in the Eastern Conference, and of course they have the best player in the league for at least two more seasons. So yesterday's media day at the Q was a great chance to catch up with the Cavaliers and get a sneak peek at what's in store for us this season.

It's nice having Andy in camp this time around

The best news to me is there are no distractions heading into training camp this year. No contract holdouts, no injuries, no disgruntled players. Just a hungry team led by an even hungrier superstar. Get pumped Cleveland - yes, it's the hokey catchphrase adopted this season, but it's appropriate when you get right down to it. This is one team that will not disappoint you this year.

Some observations from the articles and pictures I've skimmed over:
  • LeBron actually likes playing for the Cavaliers! (*GASP!*) Some of those quotes from LBJ are sure to disappoint the national 'experts' that can't comprehend why the King would want to stay here past 2010.
  • Delonte West has a new look. He's always been kind of an odd-looking character, but hey, whatever works for him. I'm just glad he's still a part of this team and I expect bigger things from him this season.
  • Boobie Gibson is always an entertaining interview.
  • Mo Williams and LBJ seem to have become fast friends. I can picture Mo in a Damon Jones-like class clown role off the court... only with the on-court game to go along with the antics.
  • Even at 6'8" and 260 lbs., the King is still a kid at heart. I'm sure Danny Ferry had a mini-heart attack when he learned of LBJ playing pickup football with Boobie and others, but it was harmless and shows that these guys still know how to have fun.
''I've never given any indication that I was leaving or didn't like being here. Every time I am asked the question — I love being here, I love playing in front of these fans, my family is here, I grew up 30 miles away — I never gave any indication that I did not like playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers.''
- LeBron James

More Cavs Notes: Brian Windhorst reports that big Z has no plans for retirement or early free agency (I also like the part at the end about Delonte and the Russia rumors)... Pat McManamon says the Cavs need to trust each other this season... The PD (pre-Windhorst so bear with them for another week or so) has some things to consider as the Cavs open camp... Dan Labbe has some notes from media day... And finally, I usually hate these things and disagree with them vehemently, but I actually have no problem with espn.com's initial NBA Power Rankings.

Tribe Update: Jhonny Peralta says he's open to a move to third base. I'm glad to hear that, because that's where he'll be come April... The Tribe may finalize the CC Sabathia trade by picking their final player today. Thankfully the Brewers made the playoffs so it is our choice... Kelly Shoppach underwent 'minor' knee surgery yesterday at the Cleveland Clinic. The words "minor knee surgery" strung together in a sentence always make me a little nervious, so let's hope for the best for Shoppach. He had a nice season behind the plate and at the plate this year... And finally, Shin Soo-Choo was named AL Player of the Month for September. This is a well-deserved honor for Choo and I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do in a full season in 2009.

Browns Update: Stop the presses, Donte Stallworth claims he'll be ready to play vs. the Giants. Excuse me for being skeptical, but I'll believe it when I see it... Phil Savage gave the dreaded vote of confidence to DA and RAC... And Terry Pluto says the Browns just need to play better.