The sports gods are at work again. They are telling us that its time for the city of Cleveland, Ohio to get some love in the sports world. The city has not won a world championship since the 50s with the Cleveland Browns – before there was a SuperBowl.
But, however, things might be changing in the city of Cleveland. The Browns just got two solid draft picks in the first round in Justin Gilbert & Johnny Manziel, both players expecting to make a difference with the struggling Browns this upcoming season. Tonight, the Cleveland Cavaliers get the #1 overall pick in the upcoming NBA Draft in June.
Now, I am normally not one to yell conspiracy on things, & the Browns’ picks are less of a conspiracy chance than the NBA. It was completely understandable that Johnny Manziel dropped as far as he did & the Browns traded into the position to draft him, which is all good & understandable.
The NBA Draft order is based off of a lottery system, the worse you are – the more ping pong balls you have that are drawn to reveal the lottery order. The Cavaliers had a 1.7% chance of getting the #1 overall pick going on based on the amount of ping-pong balls with their name on them.
However, none of us see how the procedure is done, ESPN gives us an annual assurance that the balls aren’t rigged in the least, but all we see is when the deputy commissioner opens the package with team names on them & we are supposed to believe that that’s the case.
To say that having the #1 pick in the NBA Draft instantly means success the next season is mostly false, however. The Cavs famously had the #1 pick in the NBA Draft in 2003 when they basically tanked the season for this guy –
The Cavaliers had some great years with LeBron, however, owner Dan Gilbert failed to put anyone worth a damn around him to help make the team a true winner. So in 2010, in one of the most talked about TV sports specials in history, this moment happened –
………..And the fans were pissed again. The Cavs were terrible & have been terrible since 2010. In 2011, the team drafted PG Kyrie Irving from Duke, who has been one of the young, electric players in the NBA & his on his way to being one of the elite point guards of this generation. That pick was #1 overall.
Last season, the Cavs were at it again with the #1 overall pick, & the team absolutely screwed up by drafting Anthony Bennett from UNLV, a player who was barely on the radar during the college season, had a strong combine, probably a good PR team, a couple of good highlights & there goes a bad draft pick.
This season, so many teams were tanking towards the end of the season to be in position to get some of the great talent that is available in this draft. Top players such as Jabari Parker, Joel Embiid, Julius Randle, Aaron Gordon, Andrew Wiggins, Doug McDermott, & others are expected to be strong players at the NBA level.
The Cavs will be expected to take one of those players with the #1 overall pick, but it has to bring up the question of whether the NBA feels indebted to the Cavaliers franchise for seeing LeBron go to the Miami Heat & leaving the franchise high & dry the last few seasons? Or, could it be setting up a situation where LeBron opts out after this season with Miami & can go back to the Cavs with Irving & the #1 NBA Draft pick already there, building another version of the “Big 3” while James is still in his basketball prime, making the perfect ending to the story by bringing a championship to his home state of Ohio.
It would seem like the perfect storm in a way. The NBA has been looking to build up other markets outside of LA, Boston, Miami & New York for many years, & Miami has taken the reigns quickly. The Pacers have been strong for years, but to have a franchise like the Cavaliers, who have had marginal success through the 90s with Mark Price & Brad Daugherty & Craig Ehlo, win an NBA Championship with the best player in the game in LeBron & two young players who could be the future of the NBA soon, that could be one of the best stories in the NBA in a long time.
But NBA, just don’t be so blatant about it. We know stuff happens, but sheesh.