January 12, 2011
As covered earlier in the day on BDL, the Cavs reached an apex of suck (or maybe it's a nadir ...) Tuesday night against the Lakers. You probably saw LeBron's schadenfreude-laden tweet Tuesday night, and Mr. Dwyer covered the slaughter itself in Behind the Boxscore. Simply put, things are really bad, and with the talent level on the team, things might not get better soon.
It's weighing on the players, obviously, as most consistent losing does. Things are so bad, in fact, that the team's leading scorer and veteran presence is even speaking in terms usually associated with depression. From Mary Schmitt Boyer at the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
"It can't get any worse than this," he said after the Cavaliers suffered the worst loss in team history, 112-57, to the Lakers on Tuesday night in Staples Center. "If it is, y'all going to have to help me. I don't know how much of this I can take. This, by far, is the bottom.
"Fifty-five points? That's, like, impossible," Jamison said. "We're professional athletes. How do you lose by 55 points? I don't care who you're playing against. I mean, if this doesn't hurt . . . I don't understand how we're able to have conversations in the locker room. There's nothing to talk about.
"We have to do some soul searching quick because no matter who we play, right now they feel like they can beat us. If we don't have a sense of pride and just play for yourself or something . . . this might be one of the worst teams to go through a season. The frustrating part about it is I know we're better than this. I don't know. Something has to change."
These comments could be for the team itself as much as they're for Jamison to let off a little steam. For the sake of discussion, though, let's assume that this is an accurate picture into the man's psyche as he braves what could very well become one of the worst seasons in NBA history.
For Jamison, specifically, it's an interesting situation because he came to Cleveland last season seeking a championship after escaping an atrocious situation in Washington. Now, less than a year later, he's back in the doldrums of losing and arguably in worse shape than when he left D.C. This isn't what he was expecting.
On the other hand, it's tough to feel too bad for a group of people who get to play a children's game for millions of dollars. In the grand scheme of things, Jamison's plight is much better than that of the many unemployed Clevelanders who watch him play on TV. It's hard to feel too sorry for Jamison when he goes to sleep on a pile of money with many beautiful women.
Then again, he's still a person, and people get sad when their jobs aren't going well, even if the money is there to make them feel better. Jamison's still playing the game he loves, but he's also in it to win it (big "Bring It On" fan, I've heard), not to be a punching bag for other teams and late-night talk show hosts. In other words, you can feel for Jamison and his teammates even if you acknowledge that their lives are better than most. No one wants to be terrible at their job. These men have pride, no matter how unsure Jamison is of it right now.