The home teams for NBA playoff games almost always give fans some kind of item to express solidarity among the attending crowd. If a new report is to be believed, the Cleveland Cavaliers nearly went in a very different direction from the usual T-shirts and rally towels for Wednesday's Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals vs. the Chicago Bulls at Quicken Loans Arena.
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According to Tom Withers of the Associated Press, the Cavs had planned an arm sling giveaway as a show of support for injured power forward Kevn Love, out for the remainder of the postseason (and several more months) due to a serious shoulder injury sustained in Game 4 of the first round against the Boston Celtics. However, the giveaway was cancelled shortly before tip-off, leaving the team with tens of thousands of the unused, presumably heavily branded slings:
The Cavaliers canceled a plan to give away 20,000 arm slings to fans to show support for injured starting forward Kevin Love, who is out for the rest of the NBA playoffs.
Love underwent surgery last week after his left shoulder was dislocated when his arm was yanked from the socket by Boston center Kelly Olynyk in Cleveland's series-clinching win in the opening round. The Cavs intended to hand out the slings, adorned with a sponsor's name, during their Eastern Conference semifinal series against Chicago but scrapped the idea.
A team spokesman would not comment on the giveaway. It's not known what the team plans to do with the unused slings.
It shouldn't come as much of a surprise that the Cavaliers currently have no plans for 20,000 (potentially not even medically usable) arm slings. Because, you know, an entire division of genius engineers probably couldn't devise a sensible plan for them.
It's not clear where Withers got this information, but an official AP report and categorical refusal to comment suggests that it's for real. If it weren't, then the Cleveland spokesman almost certainly would have expressed shock at the suggestion via a statement. You know, something like "That is the weirdest thing I've ever heard." Or "That's ridiculous, how would our fans even clap if everyone had one arm in a sling?"
At any rate, it's a nice gesture for Love even if it makes no sense. The Cavs ended up giving out small white rally towels instead, although it's not clear if they were meant to honor the roster's most profuse sweaters.
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