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Sports Then and Now



Cleveland, New York Could End Up Big Free Agency Losers 2

Posted on July 02, 2010 by Matt Petersen

Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James stands on the court against the Boston Celtics during the fourth quarter in Game 6 of their NBA Eastern Conference playoff basketball series in Boston, Massachusetts, in this May 13, 2010 file photo. July 1, 2010 marks the opening day of the free-agent signing period amid intense media speculation about whether James, the NBA's Most Valuable Player for the past two seasons, will remain at Cleveland. REUTERS/Adam Hunger/Files (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

The NBA: where the mighty fall and the hopeful are crushed.

That’s the story for the Cleveland and New York, respectively. At least, that’s how it looks right now. Nothing is written in stone yet, but indications abound Cleveland and New York will be the big losers once the dust settles and the contracts are signed this summer.

First, Cleveland. Deep down, they know LeBron isn’t coming back. Why would he? Shaquille O’Neal is now officially irrelevant. Antawn Jamison showed the losing atmosphere in Washington had a deeper effect than anyone anticapated. Mo Williams is N0-Show-Williams come playoff time.

The Cavs are losing their homegrown superstar, and it’s debatable if they even know why. Big reason: they panicked and moved too soon to get LeBron help each time they made a move. LeBron wanted a number-two guy, so they went out and got a number three-or-four in Mo Williams. The Cavs needed an interior presence, so they got Shaq two years too late instead of looking at other options.

Despite all that, it’s hard not to feel for the city of Cleveland. It’s not the fans’ fault management never did quite well enough. Lack of fault won’t solve the lack of James however, and it will hurt. Who knows what the future of Cleveland basketball will look like…well, other than Antawn Jamison leading the tanking job for next year’s lottery, anyway.

Cleveland’s polar opposite, New York, is in equal danger of losing out on James, as well as anyone else of consequence. In a way, it’s just as disappointing to New Yorkers as James’ Cleveland departure will be. They’ve been told to put up with awful teams for two years, all the while being told, “Just hang with us ’till 2010. It’ll be worth it.” Read the rest of this entry →

NBA Free Agency: The Clock Strikes Midnight 1

Posted on July 01, 2010 by Jonathan Stallsmith

LeBron James is the prize of a high-stakes free agent class.

“Bong!  Bong!  Bong!”  It sounds like the start of AC/DC’s “Hell’s Bells,” and, last night, when the clock struck midnight, all hell broke loose.

Aside from the traditional Celtic playoff run, I don’t follow the NBA too closely.  (Although I did follow it closely enough to win two [of two] Fantasy Basketball leagues this year).  However, this offseason could be one of the most tumultuous we’ve ever experienced, so it’s time for me (and you) to clue in!

On July 1st (at midnight tonight), the bell will toll on the NBA’s free agency, and, this season, the bell tolls for several marquee free agents.

While the NBA tends to offer mega-contracts for mega-stars, there is talk that this year could be a re-shaping of values for some of the league’s highest profile players.

For about a year and a half, the NBA’s biggest rumors have circled around the league’s best player: LeBron James.  LeBron has spent his entire career with his local-in-Ohio Cleveland Cavaliers, and, at the age of 25, is entering his first go at the free agent market.  ESPN breaks down the pending free agency period, and, to put it simply, LeBron could command the maximum player contract. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Drew Pearson: Mr. Clutch
      August 7, 2021 | 6:59 pm

      Drew Pearson

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former NFL wide receiver know as “Mr. Clutch” for his penchant for making big receptions at crucial moments of the game. After waiting for more than 30 years, he is finally earning his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

      During his decade with the Dallas Cowboys, Drew Pearson had a habit of making the big catch at the right moment to help the Cowboys time and again snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

      The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

      Read more »

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