Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last


Everything in Cleveland sports ends badly, otherwise it wouldn’t be Cleveland. – Coughlin’s Law

Less than 24 hours after the Cavs season ended prematurely in Boston, a feeling of numbness still envelopes Cleveland. I still can’t believe when Sunday afternoon rolls around there won’t be a Cavs game on.

On one hand, for long-time fans this is reality. If it says Cleveland on the jersey then, ultimately, something bad is bound to happen. On the other hand, why? Why does this always seem to happen?

How did the Cavs become the first NBA team to post 60-win seasons and not make it to the NBA finals?

Why us?

The answer is both simple and complex. The Cavs – both the coaches and the players – just didn’t get the job done. That’s the simple answer. The other answers are harder to find.

Last season, the Cavs built a team to beat Boston. But then they didn’t face Boston and lost to Orlando.

This year, the Cavs built a team to beat Orlando. Of course, they never made it to Orlando.

In hindsight, it’s easy to say that trading for Shaq was a mistake. Same with Antawn Jamison. That’s the thing about hindsight, it’s easy to be right after the fact.

Maybe a better approach would be to just build a solid team, not worrying about matching up with just one particular team in the league. I don’t know, but it seems like in the coming months we’re going to find out the team’s new strategy.

Mike Brown has taken way more than his share of the blame for this loss, even for him. The hoople heads are missing the bigger picture when they call for his head. Firing the coach is the easy part; hiring a new coach is far more complicated. Just ask the Browns. But we’ll cover that another time.

Probably the worst part about the Cavs early exit is it unleashed the national media’s quest to have LeBron leave Cleveland. If the Cavs had advanced, we would have been spared the nonsense for a few more weeks. Sadly, that’s not the case, so already today we’ve been treated to “analysis” such as:

Fallout from Megaflop: LeBron needs new team

Oh no, LeBron took his jersey off – after the game – there is symbolism there, I tell you!

LeBron’s playoff exit means John Calipari watch

Yes, let’s hire a college coach who failed miserably in his previous NBA job.

LeBron James’ flirtations with free agency will leave some cities feeling scorned

So New York won’t buy any LeBron jerseys if he’s not a Knick? Oh, poor you.

And let’s not forget the “experts” at ESPN.

I swear, when LeBron resigns in Cleveland ESPN may actually just shut down, with all the hot air they’ve wasted talking about how certain they are that he just has to leave.

And on, and on, and on: LeBron Media Recap

Look, this isn’t easy and it’s certainly not fun. But this is Cleveland. We’re not Chicago, where they cry because the Cubs can’t win. We’re not Boston and the formerly “tortured” Red Sox fans. We deal with disappointment every year, every sports season. It’s what we do, but it’s not who we are.

Just remember this Chinese proverb:

The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.

That sums up the Cleveland sports fan pretty well.

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