Wednesday, December 14, 2005

LeBron's da Bomb: Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love The CAVS!

The id and I - Welcome to The Bermuda Triangle of journalism!

The Cleveland Cavaliers, those swashbuckling hoop-slicers in shorts, are back at it again for the 2005-06 NBA season and there is a new sign hanging up down at the arena: "Under new management."

Majority owner Dan Gilbert has breathed new life into "The Q" (along with his partner, Usher, who, as a Cavs' fan, makes you feel like a latch-key kid without his notable presence there). Danny Ferry, who once raised fans' ire, and probably inspired the comic book guy from "The Simpsons" to quip "Worst trade EVER!" is back in business as the new "golden boy" General Manager. Rounding out our corporate cast of rogue round-ballers is Mike Brown, large and in-charge, as the new head coach snatched from the talented coaching gene pool of The San Antonio Spurs and Indiana Pacers.

Oh, and let's not forget a little someone named LeBron James, either!

This being "Browns' Town" - it's easy to sometimes forget The Cavaliers in the Cleveland sports trifecta shuffle (especially early in the NBA season). But don't let Seasonal Affective Disorder make you SAD, football fans - the last thing you need to do is go hang yourself out back in the toolshed! There will be plenty of time for THAT if and when LeBron James skips town for the bright lights of New York or L.A.

Is LeBron James the next Michael Jordan...? Dude, he's better! Much, much better. I've seen both b-boys play in their prime, and Michael Jordan was never this good at an early age. It took years for "His Greatness" to become, well, great. LeBron is doing it here - now - at the tender age of twenty.

He's faster than a speeding RTA bus through one of downtown Cleveland's stupid camera stoplights! He's more powerful than Big Dawg's appetite! He's able to leap abandoned downtown office buildings in a single bound! And "The Spy Club" is apparently his Fortress of Solitude...

But, LeBron, unlike the island on "Lost" - is not an island unto himself. And even Superman needs help from The Justice League once in a while. LeBron James needs help to win a championship, folks. Just like Jordan needed Pippen and company to win all those titles in Chicago, so will LeBron. That's why Dan Gilbert and Danny Ferry went out and spent some big bucks on free agents like Larry Hughes, Donyell Marshall and Damon Jones. To bring a championship to "The House of Usher" - and, hopefully, keep LeBron in town for the far, far future.

With big man on campus, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, under the net every night (hopefully), these new additions need to add defense, rebounding and outside shooting to LeBron's already larger-than-life game. "Z" may not get the respect at "The Q" from media outsiders and some fans, but he's still one of the better centers playing in the league right now. The rest of the alphabet people include (D)rew Gooden, (E)ric Snow, (S)asha Pavlovic and Anderson "Wild Thing" (V)arejao - not a bad lineup on any given night, when all are healthy, and all things being equal.

Maybe I don't know "metrosexual muppets" from mascots, but Moondog has got to be a serious upgrade from Whammer. The name "Whammer" itself sounds like a nickname for some curious kid "experimenting with himself" during those awkward teenage years - but as a mascot for The Cavs? Not so much.

And let's not forget our jedi-in-training, Luke Jackson, shall we. Sure, a lot of fans have been beating down on the "Oregon prodigy" - but I like this kid's potential (even if he is from Bigfoot country). Luke's coming off major back surgery - and re-entering his rookie year, this year. Give him a chance and I think he will surprise some people as he continues to get healthy and learn the game on the pro level (If not, then Donald Trump can fire me for extreme incompetence on the next edition of "The Apprentice: Sports Journalism," I guess!).

Other than that, grab your bobbleheads and your favorite Cavalier girl (um, not necessarily in that order), and enjoy the show known only as YOUR Cleveland Cavaliers. All for one. One for all.

Chris McVetta is a contributing writer for North Coast Voice Magazine in Ohio. What he "contributes" is anybody's guess! But, regardless, he likes to write about The Cleveland Browns, Indians and CAVS ...even if his pop culture prose belongs on a placemat at Beef Corral.


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