Cleveland Cavaliers: Pondering LeBron and Return to Decades of Losing

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With the injuries mounting, Junoir Blaber will be back on Tuesday, subbing for Big Al Sternberg – who is out with “body knocks.” Thankfully, we have newbie Ben Whitney to step right in, following fellow rookie, Buddy Diaz.

lebron-draymond-WESTCHESTER, NY  – Congrats to the Cleveland Cavaliers! They ended a long string of heartbreaking defeats with an unprecedented comeback. If you’ve seen ESPN’s 30 for 30 called “Believeland“, you know the city needed it. Cleveland is also the site of the Republican National Convention, and thus the Cavs’ win begins the inevitable march to Trump’s victory! But I’m feeling reflective today.

The 116-win Seattle Mariners. The 18 and D’oh! 2007 New England Patriots. The undefeated 1991 UNLV Running Rebels. The 2016 Golden State Warriors. (Is Angry Ward really a fan?) They say no one remembers you if you don’t win the title but that’s not really true. We remember how they choked.

In thinking about these Warriors, I can’t help but think about the turning point of the series. Without doubt, it came in Game 4, when LeBron stepped over Draymond Green. Sure, Andrew Bogut also got hurt in that game and that was a factor. But had Green restrained himself and avoided suspension, we’re not having this conversation.

edgar martinez and Randy Johnson Meet_The_MattsDo you think Tyrone Lue told his players to look for an opportunity to get Green riled up, knowing one more altercation would mean a suspension? Was it an opportunity LeBron recognized himself? Was it just something he did because he was pissed and didn’t really think about it? Could his explanation about being called a B!t@h be all there is to it?

It was interesting to see such a phenomenal season turn into a monumental collapse, based on a small altercation – in a game the Warriors won to go up 3 to 1. It didn’t seem like a game-changer at the time, but it did make you go “Hmm, maybe if Green doesn’t play, the Cavs can steal one and get back in it.”

Will that play go down as a memorable turning point, or will people just remember LeBron and Irving’s stellar play, combined with the poor performances by Curry and Thompson?

James is such a polarizing figure. People seem to hate him mainly for a terribly planned press conference, when they’re willing to figure far worse from guys like Kobe. Would it affect Lebron’s legacy if he admitted provoking Green on purpose? Would people give him credit or hate him more? If it were Kobe, people would be raving about his killer instincts.

Will all this mean a return to decades of losing for the Cleveland team? Only time will tell. In the meantime… Trump/LeBron 2016.

That’s all for today. Come back tomorrow for Cheesy Bruin, the LeBron Trump of this web destination.

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About the Author ()

Ben Whitney comes from journalistic stock. Aside from his brothers, rumor has that his great-great grandfather was the youngest brother of Eli Whitney and covered the earliest "rounders" games. Big Ben is also another New York Rugby Club player/pal of Different Matt, Short Matt and Junoir Blaber. He likes film noir discussions, has twin girls and took up ice hockey after retiring from rugby.

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