• Jac Manuell

O.T.T.T: Cleveland is the League's Worst Franchise

Sports Illustrated

It must suck to be a Cleveland sports fan. I have little to no knowledge of the NFL and even I know the Cleveland Browns are trash. They’re about as relevant to football as the A-League is to world soccer. Cleveland’s basketball team isn’t faring much better.

The LeBron James era is done and dusted. The memories of his tenure are unforgettable though his departure has left the franchise in tatters. It was a near miracle that James was able to rag the relatively insipid roster around him to the Finals last season, even in a weakened Eastern Conference. With him gone and their injury riddled franchise player still on the sidelines, there isn’t much hope for Cavs fans.

Kudos to Tyronn Lue for getting out with a handsome payout to go with it. Current coach, Larry Drew, has taken reigns over the team despite initially refusing due to disagreements with ownership and management over pay and work conditions. Which brings us to the man at the head of it all, owner Dan Gilbert.

The Comic Sans connoisseur has been the figurehead at the helm of most, if not all of the the Cavaliers’ problems. Gilbert’s hubris has led to consistent issues with the coaching staff and the front office. This is a man who’s never given an extension to a GM and still has Mike Brown on his payroll.

Kyle Korver’s status with the team really leaves a bitter taste in your mouth. GM Koby Altman’s decision to not trade him even though he promised to do so isn’t going to do the franchise’s free agency fortunes any favours in the future. The other veterans on the roster aren’t doing much good for themselves either. The treatment of rookie Collin Sexton has been questionable to say the least. You can’t help but wonder if the young point guard was at a different organisation his development and comfort levels would be much smoother.

As for Kevin Love, the most Cleveland could hope for with re-signing him in the first places is two things:

  1. He recaptures the form he had in Minnesota

  2. He plays well enough that he becomes a trade asset

Unfortunately his injury hasn’t allowed him to do either. There’s still plenty of time for him to get back to a semblance of his former self. Otherwise Kory, may be right, Love’s contract could turn into one of the biggest albatrosses in the league.

There really aren’t enough emphatically negative adjectives to sum up Cleveland’s woes. This time they can’t turn to their former savior for salvation. At least they have the All-Star game in 2022…

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