This is easily the most novel way I've heard of being able to rip into an NBA team owner that you don't like. And, as someone who visits Basketball-Reference.com about 3,700 times daily (anyone want to help me sponsor the Ron Harper page for Christmas?), this is easily the most satisfying protest I've seen. A Cleveland Cavaliers season-ticket holder has taken out a sponsorship (basically a banner ad for you to type out, at B-R.com) on this season's Cavaliers page to express his displeasure.
Certain things keep me from re-posting the ad in question, but I can quote it, in all its glory, via Waiting For Next Year:
You have clicked on the Basketball-Reference.com page featuring the flotsam of the worst owner in professional sports, the Napoleonic carnival barker dwarf, Dan Gilbert. Compared to Dan Gilbert, Ted Stepien was a freakin' genius.
First off, it's "little people." Let's be nice, here.
Secondly? Righteous anger, my friends.
(Also, if you aren't familiar with Ted Stepien, see the glory.)
Gilbert is the owner who tried to placate LeBron James'(notes) every whim, turning the Cavalier organization into a playground for his pals and ensuring the type of tactlessness that came back to bite Gilbert's ass in The Decision. And the personnel moves made under Gilbert's rule as owner, surrounding LeBron (who was drafted when Gordon Gund ran the team), came back to bite Gilbert in the rear when James made an actual basketball decision in running away to play with a better team in Miami.
Did Gilbert make the smart basketball move (as I kind of expected, when I pegged the Cavaliers for 12 wins last July) and start over? Did he trade away older assets to begin a smart, youth-based rebuilding movement? Hell to the naw.
He added Ramon Sessions(notes), made Byron Scott coach this mess, and hoped for the best. And while "the best" knocked off the Celtics in Cleveland's opening night, and also toppled luminaries like the 76ers (twice), Wizards, Nets, Grizzlies, Bucks and Knicks in OT on Saturday, the Cavs have still gone 8-19 to start 2010-11. With no real youngsters to build around, no real assets beyond a trade exception that everyone else seems to also own, and with the veteran talents declining in trade value by the minute.
As a result, the Cavs are last in the league in point differential, which is always a more telling stat than won/loss record, at -8.9 points per game. And Cavs fans, plunking down a chunk of change for middling guys in their late 20s or early 30s, are ticked. Like the person quoted above.
Look out, Cleveland. The storm is coming through. And it's whippin' through the plains of Basketball-Reference.com.
- Ted Stepien
- Dan Gilbert