Only in Cleveland can a free draft party hosted by the team at Quicken Loans Arena be thanked with a round of boos when their selection is made. It is times like this I am proud to call myself a Clevelander.
The Cleveland Cavaliers shocked the majority of the fan population when they selected Dion Waiters with the No. 4 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. It was no surprise when the New Orleans Hornets selected Kentucky's Anthony Davis with the No. 1 pick. It was after that point things got interesting for Cleveland.
While there were various rumors of a trade for Cleveland to move up to the No. 2 spot to likely choose Florida's Bradley Beal, the Charlotte Bobcats opted to keep their pick and choose Kentucky's Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. The Washington Wizards, as expected, then chose Beal with the No. 3 pick.
When the Cavaliers picked Waiters at No. 4 leaving Kansas' Thomas Robinson and North Carolina's Harrison Barnes on the table, the fan base was vocally unhappy.
The Cavaliers ignored fan opinion and drafted one of the more talented players in the draft over a "name" the fans were more familiar with.
My Twitter feed exploded with rants of how they could draft better than general manager Chris Grant. Some of the more qualified rants came from those who played basketball in high school or even the guy that watches SportsCenter every day so he "knows" what he is talking about. I'm sure even the die-hards looked up a YouTube clip or can vaguely remember the Syracuse/Ohio State basketball game during the NCAA tournament. I'm still unsure why I went to college when all it takes is some free time to be qualified to be a professional scout in the minds of some of these opinionated folk.
Unfortunately, now Cleveland has another talented young rookie coming into town knowing full well the fan base did not want him. Will he come in trying to win over fans or be another athlete who can't wait to fulfill his obligation and move on to a city that is capable of showing support?
Obviously when the season starts and Waiters is dressed in wine and gold the Cleveland faithful will show him the love he deserves, it just is disappointing that such a negative reaction, through no fault of his own, was waiting for him when his name was called.
I would like to think my city has more class than that.
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