Monday, February 28, 2005

Quad dubs, MRedd, and Money!

Before we get the latest installment, first let me issue some information that will cool the hot flow of e-mail to my inbox. Last week I got a question about the history of quadruple doubles. I heard from no less than 15 of you in response. Many thanks to those who e-mailed, consider this a response to all of you stat nuts. Keep up the good work and thanks for reading.

Here are the recorded four, though Wilt Chamberlain likely had numerous before they were tracked.

Nate Thurmond, Chicago, 10/18/74: 22 pts, 14 reb., 13 ass., 12 bks.
Alvin Robertson, San Antonio, 2/18/86: 20 pts, 11 reb., 10 ass., 10 steals
Hakeem Olajuwon, Houston, 3/29/90: 18 pts, 16 reb,. 10 ass., 11 bks.
David Robinson, San Antonio, 2/17/94: 34 pts, 10 reb, 10 ass, 10 bks.

Of course I could've looked it up the other night, but it was late and I didn't feel like it.

There were also several comments about my Sunday Column, in which I compare the Carlos Boozer situation to what is developing in Milwaukee with Michael Redd.

I get dozens of e-mails about Redd, most Cavs fans think he's the answer to what the team needs most. He would certainly help because he's a great shooter and All-Star, a major piece in the puzzle. Plus he's from Ohio and he's a free agent.

But it might be a good idea to start dealing with the idea that Redd isn't coming, even though my column suggests trusting him in Milwaukee may be dangerous. There are a number of players who can help the Cavaliers and they don't have to be through free agency.

There's a hundred different ways to use the invaluable cap space the Cavaliers will have this summer. Last summer, the Denver Nuggets used cap space to get Kenyon Martin by trading two draft picks for him for example. There also other trades and free agents out there, namely Joe Johnson of the Suns. Ray Allen will also be free, but it sounds like he wants more money than the Cavaliers are willing to offer.

In other news, tomorrow the Cavaliers will officially belong to Dan Gilbert. I'm told the money changed hands today. Now, Gilbert, his good friend Dave Katzman (read the Sunday column) and hip hopper Usher bought the team for $374 million.

There's about a $100 million in debt, less the $37 million outgoing majority owner Gordon Gund won't get because he's keeping 10 percent of the team. I'm sure there's taxes and other legal fees, plus a bunch of very small minority owners to deal with. But here's my point, Gund is still going to be clearing more than $100 million. I mean, how do you celebrate that? Surf and Turf and a bottle of merlot? Seriously, how would you celebrate that?

Okay, with that bouncing around your head, think about the Mavericks' owner Mark Cuban. That dude sold some websites for $6 billion back in the booming '90s. SIX FREAKING BILLION! I mean, that's like, unreal. I can not compute those numbers.

So, loyal, savvy, and whitty readers, if you were Gordon Gund, how would you celebrate cashing in on LeBron and only having to pay him like $7 million over the last one-plus seasons? Best ideas make the blog.

Alright. I just got back from Jersey and boy do I need a shower. I'm sorry any NY/NY readers, but you should know how I feel. I did make it back on time this morning on Continental flight 525 and I had hot water at the Newark Airport Marriott. If you don't get these refereneces, I implore you to read the "A series of Unfortuntate Events" entry from December. Trust me, it's worth your time.

Take care,
Brian aka bwindhor@thebeaconjournal.com

p.s. This was penned with Black Betty, Lenny Kravitz's Where Are We Runnin', and Dr. Dre's Still D.R.E., and Warren Zevon's Werewolves of London among others. I told you my tastes were wacko. Cheers!

Saturday, February 26, 2005

We get letters

Indianapolis--OK, Cavs got drilled by Pacers tonight, 105-82. Total blowout and a joke. Paul Silas ripped the team in the locker room after the game. Head to ohio.com to check out my stories.

I will forget about it for the moment because I've seen this several other times this season, especially at Chicago, at San Antonio, and at Sacramento. We'll see if what I saw tonight becomes a trend.

For now, more viewer mail.

"I'm looking forward to reading your Cedric the Entertainer story.
I'm assuming it involves the two of you doing battle with Star Jones
for the last corned beef sandwich at the press table. Even if it doesn't,
embellish it. Remember the rule of thumb they taught you at Kent State:
Celebrity stories are always a lot funnier if they involve Star Jones, food and a fistfight." --Alan Tucker.

BW: OK, the All-Star stories got buried in the computer problems and the trade deadline. I'm using my brand new computer by the way. Here's the 10 cent version: My computer died before the Rookie Challenge on Friday night, which basically ruined my weekend (and my planned blog updates). But during halftime, while I was using a borrowed computer, I needed to use the facilities at the Pepsi Center. The bathrooms in bowels of the arena were a little overwhelmed, so there was a line out the door. So I wait my turn and when I'm, ahem, ready to step up to the plate, here comes Cedric the Entertainer in top and tails from his courtside seat. Then dude cuts me off at the pass. Seriously, I got big-timed at the john, bypassed at the head, etc.. I should've been like "Ced, man, you can't do me like that." But I took it like a fool. But I did hear a story from ol' buddy Bob Finnan that some waiter spilled a tray of wine on Star Jones and her new hubby lit the poor kid up for it.

"I am no NBA expert or analysis and don't try to be. This is something that has been bothering me for sometime and finally after watching this embarrassing Indiana game, I'm forced to write you. Why have I not once heard anyone bring up what, to me, is a very obvious issue. Zydrunas Ilgauskas is one of the clumsiest players...ever. Am I missing something? Is it expected for a 7'3'' center to constantly mishandle, trip, fall, flub and generally goof it up?" --Travis Ellis.

BW: My answer would be, you try being 7-3 and see how you do. Yes, Z is a lightweight and he hits the floor and awful lot. Part of the reason is that he doesn't have much bulk, therefore he gets knocked around. Another is that
he really tries to get players off their feet so he can get fouls and gets hit a lot. He is probably the best 7-foot free-throw shooter in the NBA, so he wants to get to the line. The other day he went 17-of-19 at the line. I think it is just a part of Z being Z.

"What I want to know is what would do if you where the GM? Who would be expendable and to what ends would you have gone to get another shooter by yesterday?" --George "Chip" Thayer

BW: I thought the Cavs did well yesterday, I think Welsch is a credible shooter and they didn't give up any bodies to get him. No, they didn't land Chris Webber. But their thought process was not to take on big contracts. Of course Welsch got hurt tonight, so who knows? By the way, Jiri was on my flight this morning and I found him to be a nice guy. We'll see if he can play.

""I couldn't help but wonder as I watched Lebron rack up steals against Chicago, has a player ever recorded a 'quadruple' double. Is it even remotely possible? Could it happen once in Lebron's career?" --Sean

BW: They didn't start keeping half of these stats until the '60s and '70s, so maybe it has happened, but honestly I don't know. It is possible LeBron could do it, but I'd bet against it. Once in grade school, I had a triple-double. 10 turnovers, 10 missed field goals, and 10 missed free-throws.

"I realize that you watch the Cavs from a courtside vantage point. However, I and many others see most games on TV. Do you have any idea why Spite, Nike, Bubblicious, etc. don't air their LeBron commercials during Cavs' games? I think a Sprite one was aired once during a national game on TNT. Instead we have to endure endless repeats of the same Alltel shlock and Michael Stanley hawking cars. Sure seems to me that CAVS GAMES would be a good opportunity to air some cool LeBron commercials. Any thoughts?" --Annette Webb, Wadsworth

BW: I guess those are all national campaigns and we're podunk local. I wear adidas shoes because they treated me the best when I was covering LeBron's shoe contract wars. Even know and then, LeBron rips me for it. So that's fun. Incidently, before tonight's game he made a comment about my pants. They're Dockers khakis, thank you, Bronny.

"Add me to your posse, yo...Could I suggest a blog topic? Could you spend a few bandwith on the Cavaliers and the salary situation for next year?" --Heath Florkey, Dayton

BW: As of this moment, the Cavs have about $26 million committed for next season. LeBron will make $4.6, Eric Snow $5.4, Drew Gooden will get $4 million. Those are the biggies. The team will have around $18-$20 million in cap space. You have to figure at least $10 mill will be spent on Z. So that will leave $8-$10 to sign a shooting guard. They can go over the cap to sign Jeff McInnis, but it is complicated, which it why they may not do it. For the lastest on Michael Redd, read this.

OK, that's enough for now, it's 1:50 a.m and time for bed. I'll check back in after the weekend after I travel to beautiful New Jersey (insert gagging sound). If you have more questions, keep them short and hit me at bwindhor@thebeaconjournal.com.

Take care,
Brian

p.s. Thanks to Chuck Thomas and Michele Grimm, both of whom wrote me with music suggestions. Believe it or not, both suggested "The Killers." As soon as I get my computer set up, I'll be checking them out.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Not to toot my own horn, but...

I believe this was posted at 9:55 a.m:

"Now the trading deadline is just a few hours away and to be honest, the guy I think the Cavaliers should try to get is Boston shooting guard Jiri Welsch."

Well, well, well, I might know something about the NBA after all. Cavaliers traded their 2007 first-round pick to get Welsch this morning, though I didn't find out about it until about an hour after a posted my blog. Honest!

I've liked Welsch for the last two years, probably because I've seen him just kill the Cavaliers in person. His 3-point shooting is down this year and so is his scoring because the Celtics have a rookie named Tony Allen they've been playing ahead of Welsch. I think he's a quality shooter that can help the team. Honestly, though, I said the same thing about Luke Jackson and Lucious Harris and neither panned out.

There's only about another half hour until the deadline, but I hear the Cavs are trying to move one of their umpteen wing players. They now have LeBron James, Harris, Jackson, Dajuan Wagner, Sasha Pavlovic, Ira Newble and Welsch and they all basically play the same position.

Will check back in soon!

Brian

I've returned....with no bandwidth

I'm limping back into cyberspace with great appologies. I'm still operating with a laptop that is not from this century. It's a trusty-looking thing, but it just doesn't have what ya need. In Cavaliers terms, Zydrunas Ilgauskas is hurt and I'm going with Scott Williams as a starter.

If you know me, you know the tale of what happened is coming in great detail, but first let's discuss the Cavaliers as is, alas, the true purpose of this site.

I have the following obversations after last night's 100-91 victory over the Bulls:

--Zydrunas Ilgauskas is in his prime. This is slightly dangerous because he's going to get a contract that reflects it and, of course, at the end of that contract he won't be in his prime.
--Paul Silas can't be so stubborn with his bench players. Angry about their play last week in Minnesota and early in the game Wednesday, Silas barely used the bench. He played Eric Snow only three minutes. That simply cannot work in the long run.
--Want to have a little fun? Observe the little chess match going on between Silas and general manager Jim Paxson over 10-day contract man James Thomas. Silas really wanted Jerome Moiso to be signed for the rest of the season, but Paxson said no and Moiso was released. Thomas is Paxson's selection, while Moiso's was Silas'. So now watch Thomas not play for the next eight days.
--The Cavaliers and Bulls have the stage set for a heated rivalry. Not only are they young and loaded and, along with the Washington Wizards in my opinion, the future of the Eastern Conference, but the two teams have little vendettas going. Eddy Curry and Ilgauskas have a thing, especially after Curry ripped Z and said he should've made the All-Star team instead. Notice Z had 33 points to Curry's 12 last night. In addition, LeBron James hates the Bulls Andres Noiconi. He won't say why, but I believe it goes back to the Olympics when Noiconi played for Argentina. He has a reputation as a dirty player and he must've done something to James because LeBron has been pushing and shoving him since the preseason game with the Bulls in St. Louis way back in October.
--I know all of you have been bombarding me with e-mail about Michael Redd, but I really don't think it is going to happen. Now the trading deadline is just a few hours away and to be honest, the guy I think the Cavaliers should try to get is Boston shooting guard Jiri Welsch. I know Redd is a perfect fit, but I simply don't see a trade like that happening right now. Welsch is available and a very good shooter.
--Drew Gooden was wearing black diamond earings after the game Wednesday. I mean, who is this guy, Ozzy Osbourne. I told Drew that Kobe Bryant was wearing blue diamond earings at the All-Star Game press conference last week in Denver. His response: "Oh, blue, those are tight." Indeed!

OK, I'll be back later to regale all of you with my weekend mess, including my run-in with Cedric the Entertainer, but I have to attend practice at this juncture. Now, you know you'll be rewarded for checking back!

Until then, though, check out the great notes I had in last Sunday's column, my story today about Dan Gilbert's impending ownership, and the crazy stuff I saw at Niketown in Denver.

Peace,
Brian

Saturday, February 19, 2005

From the files of Murphy's Law...

Last night my computer, a Dell Latitude D600 for those of you who can commiserate, crashed. Died, spit the bit, dumped, adios, etc., etc. Thus it has made keeping my promise of updating the blog all weekend a little more complicated that I'd imagined. On the bright side, the story of my Friday evening should make you laugh at my fortune.

Remedying efforts are underway, I hope to be able to expound ASAP.

Thanks for your undying loyalty,
Brian

Thursday, February 17, 2005

All-Star Weekend here I come

Minneapolis--It's 15 degrees here in Minnie, I'm groggy from a 5 a.m. wake up to catch a plane after the Cavs home win over Atlanta last night, and there's another 7 a.m. flight scheduled for tomorrow. Yet, here I am updating the Blog. What a trooper...with no life!

Anyway, if you're looking for bonus coverage of All-Star Weekend in Denver, where I'm headed tomorrow, this is the spot. First, of course, check out tomorrow's Akron Beacon Journal special section on LeBron's first All-Star Game and all my print coverage.

But for all the behind the scenes action -- well, not all of it, I haven't yet secured an invite to Nelly's or Carmelo's parties -- but for the flavor only a brilliant and witty mind like mine can provide, check here throughout All-Star Weekend.

I've sworn a blood oath to update the blog daily through the weekend -- barring any unforeseen better offers, you know that stuff about the Rocky Mountain High -- and you can marvel at just how uninteresting the All-Star Game is...until I spice it up!

Take care,
Brian, aka bwindhor@thebeaconjournal.com.

p.s. Anyone notice DD (DeSagana Diop) got 15 minutes of action last night? Could've it have been his comments to me last week or something else.

p.p.s. A new feature I'd like to start here is a little music section. I usually listen to tunes when I blog and my wacky taste -- from rap to classical -- is ledgendary. Currently, I'm rolling to "Get down on it" from Kool & the Gang. Got some better tracks? My Napster service will hook me up, so let's hear it at the above e-mail address.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Nothing like a Lithuanian cheese wheel to brighten your day

I have returned to blogland by demand. This is after I replied to literally a 100 or so e-mails I was back-logged on in the last 90 minutes. Why? Because I'm at home alone on Valentine's Day.

Putting on my thinking cap, I am now going to predict the Cavaliers will finish the season with a record of...47-35!

Can someone, anyone, remind me of what the Akron Beacon Journal's Brian Windhorst predicted the Cavaliers' season record would be back in November? Anyone? Oh, 47-35. Not bad, eh!

How did a come to this conclusion? I thought you'd ask.

After win over Lakers, the Cavaliers are 29-20 and have 33 games remaining, 17 at home and 16 on the road. They are currently 19-5 at home and 10-15 on the road. Of the remaining home opponents, seven have winning records. Of the remaining road opponents, five currently have winning records. This, of course, can change.

I am predicting the Cavaliers will finish the season 32-9 at home and 15-26 on the road. This is based on a complex formula of looking at back-to-back scenarios and potential tough stretches with an upset margin of error either way. Call me a fool, but I'm a realist.

Oh, a late entry reveals I picked Cavs to go 45-37. Blast!

Sights and sounds over the last 10 days:
-Fan at Gund Arena tries to hand Zydrunas Ilgauskas a hunk of cheese as he walks off the floor after win over Raptors. Z declines.
-Sasha Pavlovic sweats after talking with PlayBoy Playmate Carmella DeCesare at a bar, it winds up in a gossip column and his girlfriend reads it on the Internet. On the other hand, I was forced to go to PlayBoy's website for business purposes and background information.
-LeBron James tells me he's tired of seeing me wear addias shoes. I went out and bought new triple stripes in response.
-I lose $$ when I bet assistant coach Stephen Silas would beat advance scout Wes Wilcox in a game of horse.
-Gloria James approaches me after a game to ask me to stop writing negative stories...doesn't rip my shoes.
-Jeff McInnis pouts and complains about officials after North Carolina's 71-70 loss at Duke.
-Jeff McInnis cheers and lauds officials after Maryland beats Duke.
-I create the DGI.

For more fun, check out my midseason grades. And have reactions like this:

"I just finished reading your midseason grades. What's the deal with the two "D-" grades? It's a cop-out. I know grade inflation is the big thing these days, but come on. If DeSagana Diop deserves a D-, then Paris Hilton deserves a Pulitzer Prize." -Alan Tucker.

More reader reax:

"You have a front row seat for a traveling carnival." -Rick, Ashtabula.

"When Anderson "Wild Thing" Varejao comes back I think they should play the Tone Loc version of Wild Thing when he scores! Get on the horn and call your friends at the Gund and have them get rid of the oldies version. With those over-hyped break dancers running around it just doesn't’t fit in with the theme at Gund Arena. I know this may be a moot point for the next six weeks, but it has been eating at me ever since I went to my last game." -Bob Strausser, Akron.

"I saw you get cake on your face when you had your birthday. Maybe you should've had the salad, not the meat." -Frank, Mentor.
BW: Thanks, man, can you pass the potatoes?

"For as many mistakes as you make in the paper, you're lucky you get paid." -Tim, Ravenna

"Hey, why don't the Cavaliers wear the old wine jerseys, they're just as cool as the gold ones?" -Mary Spencer, L.A.
BW: In the works for next year, I hear.

"Your blog cracks me up, you can't be this funny in real life." -Geoff, Columbia (S.C.)
BW: My roommate thinks my habits are a joke.

"You blog is a hit in the U.K., made several new Cavs fans in my office." -Percy, London.
BW: Well, if "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" can go to England, so can I!

"Brian, get back to doing REAL work!" -My boss.

OK, keep the feedback coming, bwindhor@thebeaconjournal.com.

I'll be blogging from All-Star Weekend! What an overrated bore!

Brian

Friday, February 04, 2005

Birthday bashed, "Meat," and the South Florida Blues

Miami -- It is rainy this morning here, appropriate to the quagmire the Cavaliers find themselves in.

Since I've last written -- and we'll get to all your fine responses a little later -- the Cavaliers have badly spun their wheels and fallen out of first place. I don't know about you, but the losses at Orlando and at Miami this week have really taught me something about this team.

I think they're a playoff team for sure, I think they have some quality pieces and a very bright future, but I don't think at this juncture that they're going to make much noise this season. I think there are just too many flaws still present.

Since winning a bunch of games over weak opponents to start the new year, they're below .500, having lost seven of their last 12 games.

Why? Because Jeff McInnis too often lets people drive right by him. Zydrunas Ilgauskas commits too many fouls. Eric Snow can't be counted on to make any jumper, especially with pressure. Drew Gooden still makes too many mental errors. Lucious Harris isn't consistent. Sasha Pavlovic doesn't play with confidence. Robert Traylor fights hard, but at 6-8 often get rebounded over because he's too short to be a backup center. For how great LeBron James is, he still allows too many baskets at the defensive end.

So there's the melancholy truth. There's a lot to like about this Cavaliers team and I expected them to be very fun to watch the rest of the season. Taking the long view, this time may be on it's way to greatness, in the short view, hey, they've got their issues.

Now, on to the fun stuff.

Thanks to Mary Schmitt Boyer and Jon Wile of the Plain Dealer, who conspired to embarrass me on my 27th birthday last week.

Um, as an aside here, I have made the argument that being 27 still constitutes being in my mid-20s. I mean 20, 21, 22, 23 is early 20s; 24, 25, 26, 27, is mid 20s; and 28 and 29 is late 20s. I see no problem that theory, thank you.

Their little plot involved Cavaliers mascot Moondog, who brought me a cake during the second quarter of the Cavaliers win over the Bucks Sunday. Just for good measure, he put a dopey birthday hat on my head and smeared icing all over my face. But it was a vast conspiracy as the incident was captured by Ch. 43 and put on the videoboard at Gund Arena as Michael Reghi and Joe Tait chided as well.

What can I say, I guess they kid because they care.

Now hear this: I know when all your birthdays are and I will get you back!

Finally, I feel compelled to tell you all about the experience I had yesterday afternoon here in Miami which myself and my compadres have simply been referring to as "Meat."

Acting on advice from Plain Dealer beat writer Branson Wright's wife, Lori, Mr. Wright, Bob Finnan (of Planes, Trains and Bob Finnan fame) and I went to this restaurant called Porcao.

There is no menu, just two choices: meat or salad. We were instructed to say "meat." What happened next is almost beyond explanation.

Instantly, a parade of servers came by the table with huge chucks of meat on spits and they sliced away. None of them speak English well, some not understanding the word "enough." They heaped the lamb, filet, top sirloin, duck, flank, strip, bacon-wrapped turkey, chicken, and chicken hearts by the pound.

They kept coming in waves along with curry, beans, rice, fries, potatoes, and fried bananas. I'd never seen such a feast, I felt like Henry VIII without all the alimony.

Not until you flip over a little card on your table that resembles a stop sign will they cease.

It has been nearly 24 hours and I haven't needed a meal...which is good because the price of the feast, well, it felt like it was for breakfast, lunch, dinner and breakfast again. At least that's how I'll explain it to the boss when I turn in the receipt.

That's all for now. I'm still gathering responses for my upcoming fan column, send them to bwindhor@thebeaconjournal.com.

Take care,
Brian