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Cleveland Cavaliers fans need not be reminded of “The Decision” LeBron James made to take his talents to South Beach. They’re reminded of that all season long as James posts averages of 26.7 points, 8.2 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game.
The departure of LBJ dropped Cleveland from 61 wins in 2010, to just 19 wins in 2011.
With James, the Cavs made the 2007 NBA Finals only to fall to the San Antonio Spurs in four games. That remains the only time the Cavs have made an NBA Finals appearance.
Other than that, the Cavaliers are perhaps best known for this shot, to the chagrin of Cavaliers fans everywhere.
Despite the woes caused by two of the greatest NBA players ever (Michael Jordan and LeBron James), the Cavaliers struggles date back even further.
In a Grantland.com column, Bill Simmons writes of the “Patient Zero” for horrible NBA contracts, as well as the “most incompetent owner in NBA history” who started it all, Ted Stepien.
Stepien was the Cavaliers owner from 1980 to 1983. During an incredibly brief stint as owner, Stepien was so atrociously bad at his job that the NBA made a rule eventually called the “Stepien Rule.” The rule stated that no team could trade consecutive first-round picks, something that Stepien had a terribly bad habit of doing, according to Simmons’ column.
For all of the gory details, including how Stepien made history for all the wrong reasons three different times, make sure to read the Simmons piece.
Terrible ownership, historically bad decisions/trades and a big decision by LeBron James make up the basketball curse in Cleveland.
With that said, I believe the Cavs are going in the right direction. Superstar point guard Kyrie Irving points to a bright future, as Cleveland has plenty of cap space to work with moving forward.
The key will be patience, as a lack of that butchered the James’ era in Cleveland. Management overpaid poor-fitting role players to try to win immediately, which forced James out of town.
Although the future in Cleveland has a lot of potential, it’s hard to ignore how doomed this franchise has appeared for decades.