The Air Up There in Cleveland by Ben Galli

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There's something foul in the air in Cleveland. And the swirling winds of Lake Erie are permeating it across all facets of society (see Insane Clown Posse Convention in July).  I'd be pretty willing to bet that Northeast Ohio is Conor McGregor country but before his fight even started, they were dealt their biggest disappointment of the night.  This picture surfaced from the fight:

That's Cleveland's Public Enemy # 1 sitting next to the man he replaced, Josh Gordon. Gordon is hoping to be reinstated by the NFL after multiple violations of their drug policy. Everyone surrounding the issue is emphasizing that he must show that he has changed. Yet Flash Gordon makes the decision to go to Las Vegas and take a picture ( posted on social media, mind you) next to the most notorious NFL partier since Adam Jones. Gordon last played a full(ish) season in 2013 but led the NFL in receiving yardage and was a 1st Team All-Pro. He's not making it easy for the Browns to bring him back.

Speaking of being back, public enemy # 1 in Cleveland before Gordon may very well have been LeBron James. But with the return of the King last year, Cleveland learned it was pretty painless to forgive, at least for most. The honeymoon may be over for LeBron as his passive-aggressive tweeting took over twitter this past week. What does it all mean?  Why do we even care?  Why is this new generation a bunch of emo's?  Suffice it to say that LeBron and most NBA players are of a different generation than me and I will never understand why they seem to enjoy bringing unnecessary attention to themselves and their teams.  Carmelo just did it last week too. #stopsnitchin'.

With some of the recent contract buyouts in the NBA, I thought I'd take a look at who Cleveland might want to bring in, so winning can diffuse that rotten stink of dysfunction.

Joe Johnson

Probably the biggest name that became available before last Tuesday's deadline for players to be eligible for the playoffs.  At the time of his buyout, Cleveland was said to be Johnson's likely destination.  But he's 34 and shooting about 40% from the field this year.  It would not be an over the hump type addition but Johnson would be decent off the bench.  He wasn't the best option but regardless, he signed with the Heat for more playing time, allegedly to increase his value on the free agent market. Because if there's one thing we know, people love overpaying for this guy.

Kevin Martin

This was the best option out there for the Cavs.  The Zanesville, Ohio native is 33 now, but can still provide instant scoring and was shooting 37% from 3 point land this year.  His stats have suffered on the TImberwolves but this is mostly due to their need to develop young talent.  He averaged 20 points per game as recently as last year and shot %42.5 beyond the arc as a vital bench piece for a 60 win OKC team in 2012-13. But alas, he was the 2nd somewhat big name to turn Cleveland down. This time in favor of San Antonio. At least in Martin's case, he picked a more proven organization and one that does not entertain doubt.  


The Cavs are losing out on their options to add help for a title run.  But thank God LeBron has friends.  Now, I haven't seen the movie Trainwreck but the previews told me that LeBron acted with Bill Hader in it.  Glancing through Hader's IMDB page, I am reminded that he was in Tropic Thunder with Hall of Fame partier, Robert Downey Jr. and Hall of Fame crazy person, Tom Cruise.  And if there's one thing we know about Tom Cruise, it's that he was in A Few Good Men alongside, you guessed it, Kevin Bacon.

Let me explain why this is important.  In 1994, Kevin Bacon traveled to Africa as "Jimmy Dolan" (because he's so famous there) and met a young, talented baller named simply "Saleh". Kevin was trying to get him to play college ball and eventually succeeded after a climactic game.  Saleh went on to St. John's and presumably starred.  But where is he now?  His size and extreme athleticism would be perfect to shore up Cleveland's defensive needs and as long as Bacon was teaching him his moves and footwork, he would be unstoppable offensively.  Finally, the air up there in Cleveland would taste of winning.