As a loyal fan of Cleveland sports, I'm given, nay, I'm obligated, without really understanding what we did to deserve it, to believe in curses. Long, drawn out, decades-long curses. The silver lining is that I also get to believe that curses are meant to be broken. By choosing Kyrie Irving with the number one pick in the NBA draft tonight, the Cavaliers are hoping to smash two bad luck trends to microscopic bits:
1) The Cleveland championship drought - 1964 and counting.
2) The Duke point guard curse. Johnny Dawkins with his crumby knees and mediocre NBA career represents the best of them.
I quietly shook my head when ESPN draft coverage opened with a clip of Michael Jordan hitting his goddam game winner over Craig Ehlo--some programmer with a morbid sense of humor poking a finger into the permanent festering wound of the Cleveland devotee. Then I had to wince when Irving was selected, ascended the dias and put on what is probably the ugliest cap I've ever seen. Can an ugly hat really prophesy the quality of a player's career and the future of a sports franchise? That I would even consider such a possibility must mean I'm a hopeless Cleveland fan. Ah, what the hell. We got the best guard in the draft, and probably the best all around player. Good. Great. I love it. Fucking hat.
Then, following Minnesota's pick of Derrick Williams (crammed into a suit that would comfortably fit my 6' 165 lb frame) and Utah's choice of the big Turk Enes Kanter, the Cavs selected, um, Tristan Thompson.
Excuse me? Who? And why? And wtf???
I do not accept this pick. Not at #4. The line on Thompson is that he's a high energy defender, rebounder and shot blocker. He also has a very limited offensive repertoire and shoots an alarming 49% from the line--not so good for an around the rim type of player who likes to mix it up in the paint. I'm being pessimistic I know, but this doesn't this guy have 'journeyman' written all over him? Oh, he's also touted as a character guy, and I remember all too vividly the halcyon days of Gund Brothers ownership, when loading up on character guys was paramount.
Could it be that GM Chris Grant would use the fourth overall pick on a destined backup forward? Sure. I've seen the Cavs botch too many drafts to put it past them.
Then again...NO! A grand scheme has to be in the works. The Cavs now have 5 power forwards, 5 point guards and not enough minutes to go around. Something's gotta give. JJ Hickson, the Cavs just sent you a message--you and your low b-ball IQ are living on borrowed time. If you please, score us another unconditional first round pick from the Clippers. Thanks!
With the 32nd pick in the draft, the Cavs selected Justin Harper out of Richmond...and then promptly traded him to Orlando for two future second-round picks.
The 54th pick in the draft resulted in burly Croat Milan Macvan, whom analysts described as a 'below the rim' 'bull in a china shop,' and someone they weren't sure we will ever see don an NBA jersey.
So that's that.
It's still early.
Months to go before the season maybe starts.