I spent all of last season specifically focused on detailing the progress of the NBA’s worst team ever. At times it became mundane, but we eventually invented enough things to keep the comments we posted here specifically centered on the Cleveland Cavaliers. We invented a nickname for a rookie shooting guard, and a series highlighting a long list of Cavaliers legends like Harold Miner that he passed on his way up the scoring ranks. What we didn’t want to do, and I didn’t want to do, was talk about the guy who just left all the time. It just didn’t feel healthy to me.
In some ways, doing so maybe would’ve maybe gotten this site about a thousand or so more hits everyday. I don’t really know on that number specifically, but I never really cared. For me, the only way to move past what happened, and re-establish a healthy fandom in regards to this Cavaliers team I rooted for long before he ever arrived, was to focus on what was here in front of us. The now, the future, the whatever. Everything but what had all just ended so miserably for everybody.
I was prepared when I woke up yesterday morning to write a blog about how that process had helped me become so completely over what had happened a couple summers ago too. Just about every word was already written in my head when I stepped off the treadmill on Thursday. I believed I was over it. I was going to talk about the splendor and joy this new Kyrie Irving Era was already, in it’s infancy, beginning to deliver a fanbase lucky enough to have a kid like him come around. That second part I still completely believe.
As far as the whole being over it thing goes though, as a Cleveland sports fan, I realized yesterday that I guess I never really will be. I’m not going to be so bold as to speak for anybody else, but for me specifically, I don’t think I ever really will. I fully understood that yesterday too, for maybe the first time I guess, as I became increasingly bothered by the fact that what he said still actually bothered me. I thought I was over it, but I’m not.
There’s really nothing anybody can do at this point either. To be completely honest, if he somehow came back next season after failing to win again this year in Miami to team up with Kyrie Irving in some fantasy universe still yet to be discovered by Russian spacecraft, I’d get over myself pretty quick. I can’t lie. It could be something like him saying I really messed up, you guys, I’m sorry. I can’t actually win without you, Northeast, Ohio. I made all that stuff up about hating Cleveland growing up too, and I forced my way out of that deal I signed in Miami because I needed to come back here. Now let’s finish what we started, and I momentarily quit because I was young and afraid of failure, together all over again.
None of that was at all what he was talking about yesterday though, when he suggested he’d like to come back here one day. He was talking about four or five years from now, when his headband had finally receded miles away from his forehead. After D-Wade and the Bostrich had helped win at least one title, and maybe a few. He said it, I think, because he sensed the fact that everybody around here was finally thinking the same way I thought I was yesterday morning. He realized we were all getting over it. He realized we were all getting over him. He understood that this is a Point Guard League, and his old team now employs the third best player at that position. As a nineteen year-old. Something for as great as he was, is, and always will be as a player, he couldn’t say he was quite yet at nineteen with respect to his small forward counterparts.
It doesn’t make me hate him though. It just makes me more disgusted with the situation. Sad in some ways, annoyed in others. There’s really no reason you bring up the idea of playing for another team specifically again in four years if you really don’t think that maybe you shouldn’t have left that team in the first place. Maybe that’s what he thinks, maybe it isn’t. Maybe it was just a PR ploy that he took one big step too far by actually saying he wanted to come back and play for a team while under contract by another. Or maybe I should just go back to not caring anymore.
If Kyrie Irving and his Cavaliers can get this one tonight though, I think it’ll go a long way to helping me get back to that same place I thought I was yesterday morning. Focused solely on the Era of Cavaliers basketball that is upon us now, as opposed to the one that died forever when he left.
Beat the Heat tonight fellas, take no prisoners. This one, now more than ever, is really just about you guys.