Book a luxury suite for the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena
An NBA expansion team joining the league in 1970, the Cleveland Cavaliers have a history marked with periods of good basketball and long stretches of bad play. Fans in Cleveland just witnessed this again with the return of LeBron James, an NBA Championship, and an abrupt fall from grace following his departure again.
Cavaliers basketball for many years was defined by mediocre play on the court and inexplicable decisions by management. There is even an NBA rule in place outlawing the trade of 1st round draft picks in consecutive years on account of the moves the Cavaliers made and the disastrous outcome.
They were a team with no championships, no conference titles, and one division title to their credit before making the greatest decision in franchise history. Using the number one overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers selected a local kid to become the newest member of their team. LeBron James would go on to basketball immortality and bring the Cavaliers to heights they had only imagined.
James gave his all on the court and quickly became a household name not only in Cleveland, but across the country. Nabbing the NBA Rookie of the Year Award in 2004 along with a host of other accolades along the way, James single-handedly led the Cavaliers to their first NBA Finals in 2007. Despite this loss, Cleveland was a town forever changed, desperately seeking a title more than ever. The Cavaliers would win their division in 2009 and 2010, but could not reach that highest plateau.
Following the 2010 season, LeBron James made the shocking announcement that he would be leaving Cleveland to play for the Miami Heat. Hope quickly dwindled for Cleveland as the Cavaliers record dropped tremendously, leading them to have another first overall pick. They selected Kyrie Irving. Tristan Thompson would land in Cleveland with the fourth overall pick. The foundation was being laid for Cleveland to rebuild.
After winning two NBA Championships in Miami, LeBron James signed back on with the Cavaliers in the summer of 2014. Playing with the new and talented players, the Cavaliers were back to great basketball. Picking up Kevin Love from Minnesota, the Cavaliers were primed and ready to make another run at the championship.
The time in Miami taught James what it took to become a champion. He took those lessons with him back to Ohio and led the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals in 2016 where they would prove their heart, coming back from a three games to one deficit to win the NBA championship in a stunning game seven. This marked the biggest comeback in NBA history and the first championship in the city of Cleveland since 1964.
James left Cleveland again in 2018, opting out of his deal and signing with the Los Angeles Lakers. A dramatic drop off in production would follow for the Cavs, leaving the current team scrambling to rebuild once again. While Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson remain with the Cavaliers, there is not enough depth for this team to win consistently. Head Coach Larry Drew is doing his best to put a winning group back onto the court.
Among the favorite players ever to don the wine and gold colors of the Cleveland Cavaliers are Bobby “Bingo” Smith, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Larry Nance, Mark Price, Austin Carr, Brad Daugherty, and LeBron James. Click here for additional information about the Cleveland Cavaliers.