Forget the coach for now

Ok, ok, ok. I’ve had to sit there for two whole weeks and read rumor after rumor about who’s coming in as the next coach of our Cleveland Cavaliers, who’s not coming in, and what LeBron James has to do with it all. Enough is enough. We are not in a position to hire a frontline head coach until LeBron signs, or doesn’t sign. Simple as that. It’s the reason we didn’t get Tom Izzo, because he was unsure of LeBron’s status and couldn’t get to talk to him. If he had spoken to the King and gotten some kind of inclination of where he plans to lay his head for the forthcoming six years, he might of took the ridiculous offer we had on the table. But he didn’t, and now we’re back to square one in our search. And you know what, GOOD!!! We don’t want a college coach to try win an NBA Championship, not going to happen. The guy who seems to have been moved into the front running position is now Byron Scott. Reports indicate that sources have said the Cavs have reached out to Jason Kidd and Chris Paul to get some firsthand feedback on Scott, if you believe what sources these days say that is. But look, like I said a few lines back, our coaching situation should be firmly put on the back burner because right now there are two bigger obstacles facing this franchise: July 1st and the saga that has been coming since 2006, and, the fact that the team we have in place right now isn’t good enough to get the job done

 

Let’s start with the less talked about issue these days – the current team:  For some bizarre reason, Mo Williams’ salary increases next season, then decreases the following two. I’m not asking somebody to explain to me why this is the case, I’m asking somebody to justify it to me. He’s a pretty good regular season guard – like I’ve said before – but when it matters, when defense outweighs taking 20 shots a night against Minnesota, he has left us wanting. I love Anthony Parker; he’s pretty solid for a guy who offers us no foreseeable future seeing as he’s like, what, 40? Our small forward position gets a “pass” right now, because we all know the story there. I’ve made my pitch, as have the rest of Akron over this past weekend. The time is up for last-ditch bargaining, he knows what he’s doing himself, his mind is made up, and I’m fully convinced of it. He didn’t speak to Izzo because he has stated that he wants a coach with “NBA experience” – be it as a player or coach.  Imagine this – what if he did speak to Izzo, and Izzo got a hunch that he was staying, and took the job. Think about it, we then would have hired a guy with the criteria that LeBron openly stated he didn’t want. Where would that leave us? Exactly – sort out the team first and coaches will come to us…

 

 

In regards to our big men:  Z no longer has a contract or the ability, sorry dude, but its true. Shaq hasn’t got a contract, and I still question his credentials as a starting center on a team challenging for a title. Jamison and JJ now appear to be a lot more important to us all than we all wanted them to be. Do you want Jamison being the guy once again trying to stop premier power forwards in the post season? I don’t, not after he let Kevin Garnett hop into the Hot Tub Time Machine and go Kevin Garnett of old on him, the KG who was named MVP and signed the $126 million dollar deal. JJ – deemed good enough to play major minutes all (regular) season long – was ignored in the post season so blatantly and coldly it made my girlfriend say the following when it cut to him during a game against Boston: “He looks like he needs one big hug just to cheer him up.” Spot on, right? He had the things Boston couldn’t handle – pace, athleticism, ability and an attitude of I’m-here-to-show-people-what-I-can-do-even-if-it-means-I-piss-KG-off. He should have been let loose on the Celtics, he really should have.

 

Disarray until July 1:  So now with rumors aplenty involving the aforementioned JJ, Delonte West, and even Mo Williams in trade scenarios (I say “even” Mo because I find it hard envisioning a team willing to take on his deal on their balance sheet) it is apparent to all that at the moment that we are in disarray as a franchise. However, the silverest of all linings could be a mere ten days away…

 

July 1stis the date every GM in the league has been waiting for, the chance to get LeBron into his office and tell him how he wants to – in no particular order – make him rich, make him the greatest player of all time, make him a global superstar, make him the guy responsible for making Franchise X relevant again, bla bla bla. We’ve heard all the crap from the guys in New York, Chicago and wherever else a team fancies their chances. Some of it is just sad, some amusing and some annoying. We’ve seen it all, heard it all and read it all. I’m sick to death of it, it’s engrossed me to a stage where I physically had to restrain myself from replying to some of the “authors/experts/analysts” who wrote some of the rubbish read round the web on the subject.

 

I’ve gotten to the stage where I know for certain Lebron has only two teams in mind: Cleveland and New York. It boils down to that. He’s not going to the Bulls, nor Miami, nor Dallas, nor LA, nor Europe. It’s Cleveland, or New York. It’s unquenchable love or a rented one. It’s 100% admiration and adoration or a spare thought when other celebrities aren’t around. It’s your hometown versus the polluted big city of lights. It’s the future of your hometown LeBron. You decide. The one thing I know is true, however, is that if he does leave, if he can’t resist the lure of New York, as a fan, I will still love him and admire him as a player.  And that’s how I think we are, that’s how much he means to us as Cavaliers fans.  If he stays with us – you just watch New York obliterate him in a media hate campaign. You watch the reaction when he goes to the Garden. Then you’ll know why it was so much easier to stay home…

 

USA v England:  Just one little thing before I go. I spent the past two weeks on holidays with The Boss (my girlfriend) in Gran Canaria, beautiful Island, cheap food and beer, sun shining – it was picturesque. Anyways, we happened to be there the night of England v USA, or, as I like to call it, The Day Rob Green Ended His Career. I’m Irish, so naturally I have the disdain for England that steams from hundreds of years of hurt that every Irishman has, we’re born with it. Our local pub – that’s “Bar” to you – was an Irish one named “Shenanigans”, which had all English staff, English DJ and English clientele. Now, I’m not knocking them at all, they were great and the nicest people you’ll ever meet, bet when it comes to football (our kind), they’re the enemy. So, knowing that the pub would be packed to the rafters with English fans draped in Red and White, myself and The Boss decided we’d fight back. Dressed in Red, White and Blue we strolled into the pub casually at around 7:20pm, ten minutes before kick off. We had “USA” and “GO USA” engraved all over our t-shirts.  It was great, and the English took it well, surprisingly. They then proceeded to take the lead, but my good God almighty when Rob Green dropped that ball into the net from Dempsey’s pedestrian shot, you would have sworn I had just won €100 million. Ecstasy and jubilation, but I knew in my mind England were too strong and would find a winner. When they didn’t, and the final whistle was blown, I started a Mosconi Cup-style chant of “USA, USA, USA”. One by one the English left the bar, each throwing me a look that could have meant three things – I want to kill you, I want to rip that American jersey off you and stick it somewhere not so pleasant, or, and just maybe this could have been it, they were doing the mental math on how much it would cost to travel to South Africa just to find Rob Green. Either way, it was a highlight of the holiday, the pictures are on Facebook, and it was the most enjoyable night I ever spent in a pub surrounded by English people. USA baby, I love ye all!

Brendan Bowers

About Brendan Bowers

I am the founding editor of StepienRules.com. I am also a content strategist and social media manager with Electronic Merchant Systems in Cleveland. My work has been published in SLAM Magazine, KICKS Magazine, The Locker Room Magazine, Cleveland.com, BleacherReport.com, InsideFacebook.com and elsewhere. I've also written a lot of articles that have been published here.

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