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Cleveland enters record book as Cavs lose 24th consecutive games in a single season

Feb 5, 2011, 10:45 PM EDT


There’s no pity in sports. Not really.

In fact, many sane, compassionate people are overcome by a certain blood-thirsty ruthlessness when they play,watch, or are involved in sports. It takes over our mindsets and that competitive nature spreads like a virus and removes the part of us that leads us to show concern for our fellow man.

We love sports for many reasons, but one is that it reflects our strongest temptation to remove those positive feelings we endeavor towards in our daily life: compassion, generosity, and empathy. Whether it’s because the results don’t truly matter, the games are simply for fun, or the virtual concept of struggle removed from reality,the fact remains. There’s no pity in sports.

But if you truly love this game, part of you could not help but feel an element of pity as you saw the Cavaliers players walk through the tunnel at Quicken Loans Arena. It wasn’t a Game 5 loss to the Boston Celtics, spelling the end of the LeBron James era in Cleveland, but it was history. Portland 111 Cleveland 105. The Cleveland Cavaliers have now lost 24 straight , the longest single-season losing streak in NBA history.

There isn’t much to say about the game. It wasn’t a special battle. It was a team beset by injuries, struggling to hold on to their relevance in the Western Conference playoff race beating a terrible team with a terrible roster, terrible chemistry, and honestly, terrible coaching, despite some tough play from the home team. Seven Cavaliers were in double-digits, but no one scored more than 17, and that was Antawn Jamison who shot 7-of-16 from the floor. It was Jamison you saw walking through the tunnel, a dazed look on his face, wondering how his career had come to this point.

There are some that feel that Byron Scott got the raw end of the deal in this, that he thought he was signing up to coach LeBron James to a championship and instead ended up with this dreck. But his mark was on this game as it was on the previous 23. In a must-score situation, the ball wound up in the hands of J.J. Hickson for a 3-point attempt after a missed Ramon Sessions layup. A J.J. Hickson 3-pointer? Maybe Scott isn’t the problem, but he sure isn’t the solution right now.

It’s just another game, really. And that’s how the Cavaliers have to think of it. You can’t think about it too much, your role in one of the truly worst teams in NBA history. They have to somehow manage to walk the line between taking responsibility for their roles and playing better to finally end the streak, and remembering that there was no way for this season to go well. Not after “The Decision” and certainly not after all the injuries. It’s their fault, but it’s not their fault. It’s just something that happened. Like it happens to Cleveland, seemingly every year in some sport.

But take a second and realize what these players have to their names now. They have lost the most games in a row during a single 82-game stretch in NBA history. No group of players has lost more in a row than them. That’s something that will be on their career resumes for the rest of their lives. That’s brutal.

The trade deadline is 19 days away. Until now, Chris Grant, for some bizarre reason, has elected to stay the course. It’s time for a fire sale of massive proportions. Value is no longer the target. Erasing this team and starting completely over, free of memories of LeBron and this God-awful aftermath,  is the target. There’s no point seeing how this team develops.

It’s hit rock bottom. It’s crashed on the rocks. It’s sunk to the bottom of the sea. It’s gone down the tubes. It’s over.

God save the Cavaliers. God save Cleveland.

  1. j0esixpack - Feb 5, 2011 at 11:48 PM

    Cavs fans are due some real good karma…

    If they’re wondering if you can go from worst to first in just one season, they should ask the Celtics

    • sixers25 - Feb 6, 2011 at 4:25 PM

      Except the Celtics had one great player and traded for 2 more. One of those players signed an extension immediately after. Sorry not happening for the Cavs.

  2. jtk1985 - Feb 6, 2011 at 10:15 AM

    As a Cavs fan I had high hopes for this team to stay somewhat competitive this season and hover around .500. But then I really looked at what we lost from last year

    Shaq, Z, Delonte, LeBron to FA :Thats 4 players that saw significant minutes and were keys to the teams success. Delonte and Shaq were easily two of our better defenders and LeBron is who the team relied on to make plays

    Then you add in the guys who have missed large chunks of this season

    Andy, Mo, Boobie, Parker

    Thats 4 guys who were asked to step up and carry a heavier load this season. Andy is the heart of this team, Mo and Boobie are the best outside shooters and Parker is a solid role player.

    This team was built around LeBron, it wasnt built for sustained success if he left. What the Cavs need to do now is trade the old (Parker, Moon, Jamison, and Mo) and let the young guys keep getting playing time. Stockpile draft picks and cap space and build this thing right.

    • sixers25 - Feb 6, 2011 at 4:32 PM

      After Lebron ripped your teams heart out they started their plunge. This was way before all of the injuries. Yea they may not have lost 24 straight games but they were still a 30-35 win team at best. Shaq was not a good defender at all and was a complete and utter liability on the pick and roll. Big Z did not even get a ton of minutes and was just used as expiring contract bait. Delonte West was a head case who forgot how to hit open 3’s in the playoffs. Rationalize it away all you want but Lebron was the only reason that team was good. They didn’t lose Lebron with the Decision but when management decided to forgo future cap flexibility to trade for Jamison ( the third best player on a team Lebron routinely knocked out of the first round every year).

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