As the Cavaliers closed out the 1980s, Magic Johnson dubbed them "the team of the '90s."
It never quite materialized, thanks to a guy named Michael Jordan. Instead, it was Jordan's Bulls that seized that mantle, and went on to become one of the greatest teams of all time.
After the Ted Stepien era, World B. Free arrived in Cleveland and single-handedly revived interest in a dying franchise. It might have been unusual for a franchise to completely overhaul its colors, but the Gund brothers, who bought the team from Stepien, knew that a separation wasn't enough; a divorce was necessary.
Within a few years, Brad Daugherty and Mark Price had appeared on the scene. Together with Larry Nance, they led the Cavaliers to the brink of greatness—but never quite reached the mountaintop.
Even so, the numbers of Daugherty, Price, and Nance hang in the rafters of Quicken Loans Arena to this day, retired as a testimony to their performances in the blue and orange.
These years were part of a legacy that helped a city and a league forget those three years in the pro basketball wasteland. The Cavs hearkened back to those days repeated appearances in these uniforms this season.