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Sunday Column: Why We Should All Root For Cleveland In The N.B.A. Finals

LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are two wins away from winning the franchise's first N.B.A. Finals. (Photo Credit: Bleacher Report)

LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are two wins away from winning the franchise’s first N.B.A. Finals. (Photo Credit: Bleacher Report)

By Matt Noonan 

The 2015 N.B.A. Finals have been a real treat.

Unlike past years that have pitted squads with championship resumes, this year’s finals features two teams representing cities desperate for hardware.

Cleveland hasn’t celebrated a championship since 1964, the year the Browns defeated the Baltimore Colts in the N.F.L. Championship.

Golden State – winners of the 1975 N.B.A. Finals – have come close to winning its fourth championship in franchise history, but have only appeared in the final round twice since defeating the Washington Bullets in four straight games.

Unlike Cleveland, Golden State, which plays its games in Oakland, has seen neighboring professional squads win titles. The Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers have won Super Bowls since the 1970’s, while the Oakland A’s captured the 1988 World Series, sweeping the San Francisco Giants in four game. The Giants have won a trio of championships since 2010, including their franchise’s eighth World Series crown last fall.

The San Jose Sharks, however, are the lone Bay Area team without a championship. San Jose has appeared in the Western Conference Finals three times since the turn of the century, but suffered setbacks to the Calgary Flames (2004), Chicago Blackhawks (2010) and Vancouver Canucks (2011).

So, who needs this title more? The answer would be both Cleveland, right?

If Cleveland wins the title then it will probably call-off school, work and everything else the following day. Yet, if the series does go the distance, I guess school would be cancelled the following Monday, right?

The Bay Area has celebrated multiple championships. So, while Oakland and San Francisco would rejoice in the Warriors’ fourth franchise crown, it may not feel as special as Cleveland finally getting over the hump and winning a title.

Cleveland has seen its baseball team come close to winning a World Series title since capturing the 1948 World Series.

In 2013, the Indians attempted to extend its campaign to the round of eight, but lost to Tampa Bay in a play-in-game, 4-0. Cleveland concluded the game with nine hits – one more than the Rays – but could not muster a single run.

In 2007, the Indians fell to the Boston Red Sox – remember when they were good? – in the American League Championship Series and dropped a pair of American League Division Series in 2001 and 1999.

Cleveland did, however, appear in 1995 and 1997 World Series, but did not win.

The Indians saw its best chance to end the city’s championship drought in 1997 when they prolonged their championship series with Florida to seven games following a 4-1 victory in the sixth game. Yet, despite an early two-run lead in the final game of the Series, the Marlins rallied to even the game at 2-2 before plating the final run in the bottom of the 11th to win their first-ever crown.

As for the Cleveland Browns, they haven’t earned a postseason victory since 1989 after defeating Buffalo, 34-30. The Browns advanced to the Conference Championship following their win against the Bills, but fell to the Denver Broncos for the second time in three seasons by a score of 37-21.

Cleveland outscored the Broncos, 21-14, during the third stanza, but did not register a single point during the final 15 minutes. John Elway connected with Sammy Winder for a 39-yard touchdown strike, while David Treadwell kicked a pair of field goals during the final session to send the Broncos to the Super Bowl.

Since the turn of the century, the Browns have posted a pair of winning seasons, including a 9-7 mark during their 2002 campaign. Yet, similar to past years, the Browns fell in the playoffs, losing to rival Pittsburgh. Cleveland registered a 10-win season in 2007 – their most wins in a single-season since 1994 – but did not qualify for the postseason.

Let the debate rage on, who needs this championship? Cleveland or the Bay Area? I guess you would say, Cleveland, right?

Initially, I chose to Golden State to hoist the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy, but after rattling off Cleveland’s frustrating postseason setbacks, I guess I have to root for the Cavaliers.

Enjoy the remainder of the N.B.A. Finals and consider rooting for Cleveland, so they can finally celebrate a championship for the first time since “Can’t Buy Me Love” by The Beatles was a chart topper.

Daily Noontime – June 13, 2011

On top of the World: Dallas finally gets even against the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals!

Howdy! Welcome to yet another work week… blah! No… No… No, it’s going to be fun! Let’s kickstart your day with the Daily Noontime, as well as some headlines and news! 

Headlines: 

* In case you don’t know, LeBron James ended up on the losing end in the 2011 NBA Finals and yes, Cleveland is overjoyed. Also, the “King” had a few crude words to say to all of his “haters.”

* Yes, it is indeed Monday, but still, it seems that the Miami Heat were never alive against the Dallas Mavericks in all six games of the Finals.

* The Dallas Mavericks have officially gotten the monkey off their back, as Sunday’s win marked their first NBA Championship in franchise history.

* New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady had nothing, but positive things to say about Tom Martinez, who is a Bay Area coaching guru.

* Game 6 of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals is Monday and yes, the Boston Bruins know that they need to win.

* After beginning their season with six losses, the Boston Red Sox have certainly turned things around quite well.

Games to Watch: 

* Cleveland at New York Yankees (MLB) – 7:05pm eastern

* Arizona at Florida (MLB) – 7:10pm eastern

* Vancouver at Boston (NHL Stanley Cup – Game 6) – 8:00pm eastern

Video of the Day: 

It was a glorious moment Sunday evening for the Dallas Mavericks and their fans! 

Watching “The LeBrons” and Taking Notes

By Matt Noonan

How exactly did LeBron James get his own cartoon show? Can someone assist me with this reasoning? Doesn’t it seem rather weird that James, who not only maybe one of the most hated athletes in America, now has his own cartoon, titled, “The LeBrons?”

I had some time to spare on Wednesday, so I decided to force myself to sit down and watch his cartoon and here are a few thoughts I have after watching two rather dull and boring episodes.

* First, why exactly is the show called, “The LeBrons?” Shouldn’t it be called, “The James’s” instead? Also, why exactly are there just four characters that interpret the modern day, LeBron James? How should viewers comprehend Kid, The Athlete, Business and Wise? Do all four of these characters actually resemble the modern day LeBron James?

* The introduction song is catchy, but similar to any cartoon theme song, it is not something one could listen to time after time. Besides, shouldn’t cartoon theme songs be less than 43-seconds? It just seems almost too long and plus, did P.Diddy allow the creators of “The LeBrons” to promote his headphones on this show or is that just an essential part of Kid’s outfit?

* The first episode, “Lion,” is the wackiest six minutes of YouTube. In fact, there are terrible singers who are more enjoyable to watch on the site, even those who attempt dangerous sports stunts could be considered more enthralling internet television, but the first episode was awful, that’s right, awful.

* While watching the first episode, all I could think about was James’s illustrious, “The Decision,” where he broke every heart in Cleveland and chose to go win a championship in South Beach, but the reason I kept thinking about this was when Business decides to go buy a lion. The reason for buying a lion is so that it would scare their neighbor, Ray Johnson’s pit bull, but again, what do I know? Does that even make sense or connect to what James did this past summer? Who knows, but give me some credit for trying to connect the dots.

* Another thing I picked up was that Business tried to act all smooth and cool when he told his neighbor to stop bothering Kid, but really, did he have to act all cool, swift and suave? Does LeBron actually act like that in person? Most likely, I’d say he does.

* Athlete was shooting hoops in the driveway and making his shots. Of course, he would make his shots in real life, right? Despite the fact that LeBron James may not be the greatest NBA sharp shooter from beyond the arc, Athlete though despises that theory and was able to complete the perfect, “swoosh” from the end of his driveway.

* Lion tried to scare the pit bull by saying, “How about I rip off your head and play ball with it.” Hmm… boy does that sound wrong on all levels. How many children cartoons have the so-called, “bad-guy” say things like that? I sure hope young children weren’t watching the first episode, but if they were, I am sure similar to myself; they felt this was rather overwhelming and hard to deal with too.

* Episode number two, “Stay on the court” began with LeBron telling his viewers, “You know there is nothing more important than staying true to who you are,” which yet again made me ponder the question, “did that ever cross your mind last summer, Mr. James?”

* Finally, yes finally, we got to see some actual cartoon basketball, but while Athlete walked away at the beginning of the episode, we got to see Kid and his rather unusual friends attempt various three-point shots, which were awful. Kid can shoot the ball, but his two friends, despite making their shots could not locate the back of the backboard any day. Although, I wonder what Athlete would say about Kid’s shooting?

* Similar to the first episode, Business is all about being smooth and suave, but when it comes to the women, he almost appears as if he is trying way too hard to impress them. Again, as LeBron James said, be true to yourself, but remember, Mr. James is not an actual role model or someone one should aspire to be and the same could be said about the character of Business.

* Toward the end of the episode, Kid makes a foolish mistake and decided to jump off a gigantic diving board that literally touches the clouds and once again, it was so anti-climactic and he ended up committing a rather painful belly-flop and well, that was pretty much the second episode.

So, what exactly did I learn from watching two episodes of “The LeBrons” is James is not creative. I sure hope he didn’t come up with the storyboard or episodes, but his two quick and painful episodes makes The Secret Life of the American Teenager seem like quality television.

James should not have a cartoon show and promote HP products too. How about Apple or Window’s, couldn’t we have chosen those instead, Mr. James? Who wants to take a bet that an I-pad shows up in episode three?

Both episodes are rather weird and quirky, so I’d totally not recommend anyone watch them, unless one has some free time. There are other awful television shows that center around sports and fitness, but let’s be truthful, this is not quality or exceptional online entertainment, but instead, something that is totally strange.

Watching "The LeBrons" and Taking Notes

By Matt Noonan

How exactly did LeBron James get his own cartoon show? Can someone assist me with this reasoning? Doesn’t it seem rather weird that James, who not only maybe one of the most hated athletes in America, now has his own cartoon, titled, “The LeBrons?”

I had some time to spare on Wednesday, so I decided to force myself to sit down and watch his cartoon and here are a few thoughts I have after watching two rather dull and boring episodes.

* First, why exactly is the show called, “The LeBrons?” Shouldn’t it be called, “The James’s” instead? Also, why exactly are there just four characters that interpret the modern day, LeBron James? How should viewers comprehend Kid, The Athlete, Business and Wise? Do all four of these characters actually resemble the modern day LeBron James?

* The introduction song is catchy, but similar to any cartoon theme song, it is not something one could listen to time after time. Besides, shouldn’t cartoon theme songs be less than 43-seconds? It just seems almost too long and plus, did P.Diddy allow the creators of “The LeBrons” to promote his headphones on this show or is that just an essential part of Kid’s outfit?

* The first episode, “Lion,” is the wackiest six minutes of YouTube. In fact, there are terrible singers who are more enjoyable to watch on the site, even those who attempt dangerous sports stunts could be considered more enthralling internet television, but the first episode was awful, that’s right, awful.

* While watching the first episode, all I could think about was James’s illustrious, “The Decision,” where he broke every heart in Cleveland and chose to go win a championship in South Beach, but the reason I kept thinking about this was when Business decides to go buy a lion. The reason for buying a lion is so that it would scare their neighbor, Ray Johnson’s pit bull, but again, what do I know? Does that even make sense or connect to what James did this past summer? Who knows, but give me some credit for trying to connect the dots.

* Another thing I picked up was that Business tried to act all smooth and cool when he told his neighbor to stop bothering Kid, but really, did he have to act all cool, swift and suave? Does LeBron actually act like that in person? Most likely, I’d say he does.

* Athlete was shooting hoops in the driveway and making his shots. Of course, he would make his shots in real life, right? Despite the fact that LeBron James may not be the greatest NBA sharp shooter from beyond the arc, Athlete though despises that theory and was able to complete the perfect, “swoosh” from the end of his driveway.

* Lion tried to scare the pit bull by saying, “How about I rip off your head and play ball with it.” Hmm… boy does that sound wrong on all levels. How many children cartoons have the so-called, “bad-guy” say things like that? I sure hope young children weren’t watching the first episode, but if they were, I am sure similar to myself; they felt this was rather overwhelming and hard to deal with too.

* Episode number two, “Stay on the court” began with LeBron telling his viewers, “You know there is nothing more important than staying true to who you are,” which yet again made me ponder the question, “did that ever cross your mind last summer, Mr. James?”

* Finally, yes finally, we got to see some actual cartoon basketball, but while Athlete walked away at the beginning of the episode, we got to see Kid and his rather unusual friends attempt various three-point shots, which were awful. Kid can shoot the ball, but his two friends, despite making their shots could not locate the back of the backboard any day. Although, I wonder what Athlete would say about Kid’s shooting?

* Similar to the first episode, Business is all about being smooth and suave, but when it comes to the women, he almost appears as if he is trying way too hard to impress them. Again, as LeBron James said, be true to yourself, but remember, Mr. James is not an actual role model or someone one should aspire to be and the same could be said about the character of Business.

* Toward the end of the episode, Kid makes a foolish mistake and decided to jump off a gigantic diving board that literally touches the clouds and once again, it was so anti-climactic and he ended up committing a rather painful belly-flop and well, that was pretty much the second episode.

So, what exactly did I learn from watching two episodes of “The LeBrons” is James is not creative. I sure hope he didn’t come up with the storyboard or episodes, but his two quick and painful episodes makes The Secret Life of the American Teenager seem like quality television.

James should not have a cartoon show and promote HP products too. How about Apple or Window’s, couldn’t we have chosen those instead, Mr. James? Who wants to take a bet that an I-pad shows up in episode three?

Both episodes are rather weird and quirky, so I’d totally not recommend anyone watch them, unless one has some free time. There are other awful television shows that center around sports and fitness, but let’s be truthful, this is not quality or exceptional online entertainment, but instead, something that is totally strange.

Guess Who's Back? LeBron James Return to Cleveland

LeBron and Miami will visit Cleveland, Ohio one last time, but how do the Cavaliers feel about his second return?

By Matt Noonan

He’s coming back for one more visit and certainly it means nothing to the casual or overexcited NBA fan.

LeBron James and the Miami Heat will make their final stop in Cleveland, Ohio on Tuesday evening, as they face the Cavaliers for the fourth and final time this season, but again, this game means absolutely nothing, nada.

Most likely, Miami isn’t even concerned about this particular contest, but instead, they’re continuing to keep their attention on Boston and Chicago, who currently remain ahead of them in the Eastern Conference standings. The Heat will be playing in the playoffs in April, but the Cavaliers won’t.

It certainly has been a tumultuous year for the city of Cleveland, who not only was forced to watch the struggling Browns finish yet another NFL season with a losing record, but also, continue to remain haunted by James’s absence. Not a day goes by that Clevelanders don’t think about his obnoxious “decision,” which allowed LeBron to humiliate the city that he once loved, so he could tell the entire country, as well as the world that he was trading in his winter jacket for a surfboard in Miami.

Against the Cleveland Cavaliers this season, Miami has won all three meetings and with a win on Tuesday, they can make it a clean season sweep, but again, who really cares about this game?

Watching Miami play against Cleveland is pretty demoralizing, especially since the Cavaliers are experiencing one of their worst seasons in franchise history. Does anyone remember the 26-game losing streak that occurred this past season?

With just 14 wins, Cleveland should certainly be awarded the NBA’s “biggest flop of the year,” which would give the people in Ohio something to cheer about, right? Yet, that maybe a “slap in the face” to a city that continues to face economical challenges.

At certain times this season, the Cavaliers lost games. Although, they didn’t just lose games, they pretty much quit after the opening tip-off. In some ways it almost felt as if Cleveland fans were watching a local freshmen high school squad take on Duke or Ohio State, night after night, which most likely wouldn’t be pretty or fun.

Without James, the Cavaliers have averaged 94.7 points per game, which is 27th in the league and have allowed opponents to record roughly 105 points against them, which is 25th in the league. Yet, while these numbers may seem staggering, it is certainly safe to say that the Washington Wizards aren’t in too much trouble after all, right NBA fans?

LeBron has also made it his personal goal to humiliate his former team. Through three games, he has complied a stat char that features 86 points, 22 rebounds and 21 assists.

If you also look at three meetings between these two squads, the end score may seem close, but in reality, they weren’t.

* December 2, 2010 – Won 118- 90 @ Cleveland

* December 15, 2010 – Won 101 – 95 @ Miami

* January 31, 2011 – Won 117 – 90 @ Miami

Cleveland fans have the right to feel snubbed or even, forgotten. The Cavaliers may possibly end their regular season with less than 20 wins, which obviously hasn’t happened in quite some time, but what can be remembered is the fact that James clearly “broke their hearts” and this particular American city will never forgive him.

The city of Cleveland has not had the greatest luck most recently, especially in the 21st century with winning franchises. Fans need something to feel good about, but when the last championship arrived in 1964 during a NFL championship game between Cleveland and Baltimore, the drought will remain until one or two players can come rectify the situation.

Will Cleveland experience another episode of LeBron James through someone else, who knows, but for the meantime, a win on Tuesday against the Heat may actually make the state of Ohio smile a little wider on Wednesday morning.