Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Draft No Compensation for Cleveland

As the teen stood there, glasses on and bowtie adorning his neck, he waited to see if he was the good luck charm that the franchise had been hoping for after a lost year.  Already awarded the fourth overall pick the son of Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, Nick, was their hope for the future of the franchise.

If you haven't heard about it, Nick's story is extremely touching.  While it's disingenuous to compare his life affirming condition to anything sports related, it was also a symbol of hope for Cavaliers fans who have likely had a cathartic week, if not a little too late.

What Used to Be
Last week when Lebron James and the Miami Heat reached the Eastern Conference Finals by beating the Boston Celtics James admitted that it was a bit weight off of his shoulders.  Met by mixed reactions, James also offered an apology to the people of Cleveland for "The Decision" and the way he went about leaving the city in which he was raised.

Yesterday more of the story was filled in as the Cavaliers not only received the #4 overall pick with their draft pick from their miserable season, but little Nick Gilbert proved to be the good luck charm that was needed as the first round pick they received from the Los Angeles Clippers in a trade that sent Baron Davis and that first round pick to Cleveland in exchange for Mo Williams and Jamario Moon.

For a franchise that has suffered the heartbreak of heartbreaks in the past year, having the star you literally raised abandon you on national TV because he "can't win", an apology from the star and having the first overall pick in this years draft should be compensation, right?

Kyrie Irving
The bad news for Cavaliers fans is that things aren't likely to change any time soon.  Whether they pick Kyrie Irving or Derrick Williams as their first overall pick it won't matter.  Neither of them are the game changer that Lebron James is.  None will likely be more than an All Star that needs far more than James ever needed.

Landing the first pick in this year's draft, and the fourth should they keep it, is nothing more than a feel good Hallmark card moment.  The whimsy of it all, with the great story holding the card that would once again change the fortune of the franchise, is only surface level.  No one from this draft will replace Lebron James.

The road still winds for the Cavaliers, this is just a minor shortcut until they can hope to get back to where they started from.
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