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Cavaliers’ fans boo No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett. Really Cleveland?

Nov 21, 2013, 11:42 AM EDT

Anthony Bennett

Cavaliers’ fans have a right to be frustrated. Owner Dan Gilbert pumped up this team and the fan base talking playoffs yet they are 4-8 to start the season with the second worst offense in the NBA (94.1 points per 100 possessions). They look like a lottery team. Again. They look like a team searching for an identity, filled with young players trying to find their identities. That’s a rough combination. Dion Waiters has not taken a step forward and is struggling with his shot inside the arc. Their role of the dice on Andrew Bynum is not looking like a long-term solution to much of anything.

Then there is No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett, who has a long way to go. He was always considered a project but so far this season he is shooting 13.5 percent overall and 7.7 percent on threes.

Wednesday night, Cavaliers fans booed him.

He got a little run at the start of the fourth quarter and first he fouled Nene, then he airballed a three. It killed the momentum of a 9-2 Cavaliers run, as the Cleveland Plain Dealer noted.

And then the boos came.

Cavs fans, you paid your money and if you want to boo it is your right… but really? Three weeks into his NBA career your going to boo a kid that was always a project and where growing pains were expected. Bennett is trying, which at this young stage of his career that is all you can really ask. Work hard, get better, become the player everyone hoped for, but if he’s doing the work you need to give him the time.

Save your boos for GM Chris Grant and Cavs management — they rolled the dice on Bennett, they drafted Waiters and Tristan Thompson before him. This roster is what it is because of their choices. If you’re unhappy with the Cavaliers product on the court — and you should be — that is where the blame lies. Not with the rookie trying to figure things out.

  1. mimaiheatdynasty - Nov 21, 2013 at 11:53 AM

    This has been happening in alot of arenas lately. There is no loyalty from these fan-base’s anymore. Did MJ, Larry Bird, or Dr J get booed by their own fans? They are supposed to be their through the good and bad. And they say the HEAT have fair-weather fans. Sheesh.

    • pl4tinum514 - Nov 21, 2013 at 12:30 PM

      He’s 5 for 37 shooting. #1 pick in the draft. Pretty boo worthy.

      • viccao - Nov 21, 2013 at 12:47 PM

        I was saying “Boo-urns”

      • lowpostfootwork - Nov 21, 2013 at 1:47 PM

        We’re over 10 games into the season and he’s ONLY taken 37 shots. WTF do you expect? He’s a 3rd stream tweener on a loaded roster with ( 2) shoot first point guards. He won’t score this entire season unless he’s traded….. You’re looking at the Thomas Robinson of 2013-2014.. another player drafted by the WRONG team.

    • cruzan80 - Nov 21, 2013 at 12:37 PM

      LOL! Did you really just compare MJ, Bird & Dr. J to this kid??? By the way, Miami Heat “fans” are fair-weather fans & based off that comment…they sure aren’t the smartest either.

      • sprint32 - Nov 21, 2013 at 8:29 PM

        He didnt compare he to those 3 idiot. what he is saying fans were more loyal back in the day. They were not so quick to boo players for the team they root for no matter how bad they played. Hate for Heat fans show your ignorance because all teas have fans that are fair weather fans…. you sure aren’t the smartest either!

    • asimonetti88 - Nov 21, 2013 at 1:06 PM

      I disagree. Booing does not show disloyalty, in fact it shows passion. You have to be passionate about the team to care enough to boo.

      Leaving in the middle of the fourth quarter shows no passion, no loyalty.

      • antistratfordian - Nov 23, 2013 at 3:01 AM

        Remember Jack Nicholson (and the remora Adam Sandler) leaving that Lakers-Thunder game in the middle of the 4th back in January? He was disgusted past the point of just wanting to boo – he couldn’t watch anymore. You want to tell the Lakers No. 1 fan that he has no loyalty or passion for his team?

      • gofinsgoheatfloria - Nov 24, 2013 at 10:30 AM

        Six-year-olds get the concept of booing. There’s no more to it just because some adults do it.

    • timberwolvesbrisin - Nov 21, 2013 at 2:28 PM

      Loyal fans can boo too. At least they care.

    • metalhead65 - Nov 21, 2013 at 4:44 PM

      those guys were great from the moment they stepped on the court so of course they were not booed. this guy was the # 1 pick and project or not fans expect him to do more than suck when he steps on the court. are they supposed to be excited that they have another lottery to look forward to? they will cheer him when he gives them something to cheer about. I am sure he is crying about it all the way to the bank.

    • antistratfordian - Nov 23, 2013 at 2:48 AM

      Young Magic Johnson was booed by Lakers fans at one point… he said he was on the verge of tears when it happened.

    • tfyjman - Nov 23, 2013 at 10:14 PM

      How can he be both the #1 pick in the draft and a “project”. Surely virtually rookies have some sort of “period of orientation”, to quote a certain hall of fame center, but they way talk about Bennett makes it seem as though they knew playing him in his current role was gonna be rough undertaking. Why then boo him if they knew this? Why draft him #1 overall? I honestly don’t mean to talk bad of him when I say this but drafting a player #1 overall doesn’t make them or mean they are #1 material. As I said, they made it seem like this was gonna be a long day of work putting this man on the floor, but it seems as though the Cavs Nation (the fans) has been blinded by the fact he was #1, as if to say “well he really was chosen first over all, maybe he’s worth the spot”.

  2. ranfan12 - Nov 21, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    He should ask LBJ for advice LOL

    • sprint32 - Nov 21, 2013 at 8:35 PM

      LeBron didnt struggle in his first yr. Stop you hate!

      • rodyaugu - Nov 23, 2013 at 3:04 PM

        What he’s implying is Lebron knows how it feels to get boo by cleveland fans.

  3. ryanrockzzz - Nov 21, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    It’s only coming from the LCD’s/bro’s of the world. Booing at a sports game to me, is pretty childish. When I go to a Sixers game, and they don’t play well (insert witty comment here) I don’t boo, I just shake my head and hope that next time I go I can see a better game. (insert second witty comment here.)

    • timberwolvesbrisin - Nov 21, 2013 at 2:29 PM

      Booing is childish?

      No it isnt, it’s part of the game, It is how we fans show are displeasure.

      • katra2logic - Nov 21, 2013 at 5:06 PM

        The only time a fan should boo players is if the player(s) are not making an effort. Otherwise it is childish (like throwing a tantrum when you were displeased as a youngster).

        Booing ownership is a whole different matter ;-)

  4. misremembered72 - Nov 21, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    I don’t see what’s wrong with booing (although I’m from Philly). The guy comes into camp out of shape, yeah he’s missing all his shots but hes not playing positive in any aspects of his game. He’s not grabbing rebounds, not getting to the foul line and basically not doing any of the little things that will slowly help you out of a slump. I’d be frustrated too but i will say (again) probably due to being a Philly native i wish the fans would just direct all their boos at Bynum. That dancing bowling baller is the biggest disappointment of this team

    • Kurt Helin - Nov 21, 2013 at 10:02 PM

      Bennett had offseason shoulder surgery, which set everything including his conditioning back.

  5. phillipsta1 - Nov 21, 2013 at 12:25 PM

    In other news, Kurt Helin continues to hate on any team not from LA, NYC, or Miami.

  6. gquesen - Nov 21, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    Sad, Cleveland just really, completely and utterly sad. On the bright side, if you get the number one pick this year, it will be nearly impossible to screw up.

    • zerole00 - Nov 21, 2013 at 2:10 PM

      Oh come on, is that really a challenge you want to issue out to Gilbert?

  7. jzone954 - Nov 21, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    LOL at the notion Lebrons “returning” to Cleveland

    • tfyjman - Nov 23, 2013 at 10:20 PM

      Agreed. That’s a pipe dream if I’ve ever heard of one.

  8. wlouden77 - Nov 21, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    I felt Bennett was a reach this year. there were others I would have preferred. Waiters is struggling in his 2nd year, something that can be normal for many players.

    I don’t honestly know why Tristan was listed here. He’s playing well.

    • sportsfan18 - Nov 21, 2013 at 2:02 PM

      Uh, guess it has something to do with them being 4 and 8 and having a really crappy offense.

      Many picked them to fight for the 8th seed in the East this yr.

      Even Kyrie isn’t playing well. Kyrie’s 2 pt FG%, 3 pt FG% and his free throw % are all below the levels of his first two yrs.

      I know it’s early, but each of his percentages in these stats listed above are the lowest in his career (admittedly young career but still).

      As for Tristan being mentioned, well he did shoot .488 % on field goals last season. This year, his FG percentage is .438%

      If he’s playing well shooting like that, then you must really have thought he was playing out of this world last yr when he shot .488 since his .438 percentage is playing well…

      Oh, Tristan’s PER last season was a good 16.1 which is above the league average of 15.0

      So far this yr, Tristan’s PER is 13.6

      Sorry, I don’t see or think Tristan is playing well either, not compared to how he did last yr.

      So Kyrie, Tristan and Waiters are ALL playing worse this yr so far than they did last yr.

      A team can’t improve when players of their caliber, especially Kyrie, go backwards in their production.

    • timberwolvesbrisin - Nov 21, 2013 at 2:30 PM

      Tristan is your typical “puts up good numbers on a bad team”

      It’s like looters in a riot.

  9. 1972wasalongtimeago - Nov 21, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    Did they burn his jersey in the streets? Did Gilbert trash him in an email?

    • 00maltliquor - Nov 21, 2013 at 1:32 PM

      Gilbert IS trash

  10. stadix093 - Nov 21, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    It’s not his fault he was picked first. Boo your management for making another terrible pick and hiring mike brown again. Also get the lighter fluid ready for the Kyrie jerseys cause you know he’s going to want out of that mess ASAP.

  11. vi3tguy415 - Nov 21, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    U BLAME THE MANAGEMENT AND NOT THE PLAYERS? REALLY??? HE’S A BUST SO FAR. well deserved. is it the manager’s fault if the guy can’t play? he needs to work on his game and stop being a scrub. if your significant other stole your money, would your parents (fan) blame you for being with her? comeon man.

    • paleihe - Nov 21, 2013 at 2:39 PM

      Yes, it’s managements fault that he can’t play. You know why? Cause management said, “Out of all the people in this draft class, we want you as the number one pick. Sure, nobody in the world thinks you’re going number one, but we think you’re good enough to merit the selection.”

      If he’s not good enough, it’s the Cavs fault.

    • stadix093 - Nov 21, 2013 at 7:34 PM

      Is it managements fault he can’t play? No. It is however their fault for picking a guy who can’t play as the number one pick. He didn’t choose to play for the Cavs, they chose him.

    • bougin89 - Nov 22, 2013 at 10:02 AM

      This comment is so far off I don’t know where to start. Like the commenters above, it should be painstakingly obvious the Cavs selected him in the draft #1. Now, it’s too early to write off Bennett at this point but it doesn’t look good. He is playing historically bad. Bennett was a questionable(and very surprising) pick when it happened. Now it looks like it was a total reach.

  12. wwttww - Nov 21, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    At least you have fans at the arena to boo.

    – signed Atlanta

    • 00maltliquor - Nov 21, 2013 at 1:38 PM

      Ooooooh!!

      To be fair, PHI has been the worst I’ve seen this year. They’re in the 10,000’s constantly.
      ATL’s got 3,000 more fans coming in +/-

  13. jeromelane1985 - Nov 21, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    Sure management made a mistake by making him the No. 1 overall pick, but the kid is simply not producing. Maybe the boos will motivate him to go get a layup instead of shooting threes.

  14. timberwolvesbrisin - Nov 21, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    I went to the wolves game when thy smoled Cleveland and sat right behind their bench. The guy looks extreemly nervous and scared. He even missed a dunk in the game and I felt sorry for him. When he hit a shot I was happy. I think he hit 2 in that game, so I think ive witnessed all his makes.

    But he decided to declare for the NBA draft. And getting booed comes with the territory if you dont produce. He doesnt need your sympathy Kurt.

  15. timberwolvesbrisin - Nov 21, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    Kyrie Irving might be the most overrated player in the NBA. The guy is not a leader by any means.

  16. valeb2012 - Nov 21, 2013 at 3:20 PM

    Wait, but it’s okay to boo Bargnani? Who is this Kurt Helin and why does anyone care?

    http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/10/31/by-the-second-quarter-knicks-fans-were-booing-andrea-bargnani/

    • Kurt Helin - Nov 21, 2013 at 9:54 PM

      Bargnani is in his eighth NBA season, he has a body of work on which to base your opinion. Bennett has been here three weeks. Fans can do what they wish but I think Cavs fans were wrong here if they booed Bennett.

      You know, it’s okay to have differing opinions.

      • bigmeechy74 - Nov 21, 2013 at 11:32 PM

        You gotta admit (yeah I know, small sample size, early, still a project etc) that this has the feel of one of the biggest busts in NBA history

  17. unxpexted1 - Nov 21, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    THe hiring of Mike Brown probably trumps how bad a pick this kid was at #1

  18. MyTeamsAllStink - Nov 21, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    I saw Bennett play at UNLV he was good against bad teams and disappeared against the good teams.Hes got a suspect work ethic and isn’t always in the best of shape.

  19. chichi78 - Nov 21, 2013 at 4:36 PM

    I know Detroit has been all over the map, but thank you Cavs for reaching on Dion Waiters over Andre Drummond.

    • detectivejimmymcnulty - Nov 21, 2013 at 5:03 PM

      Exactly. If they would have hit on these 3 lottery picks Lebron MIGHT have returned. Since they thought they were smarter than everyone else they out thought themselves. Hiring Mike Brown was even worse than those picks.

  20. mackcarrington - Nov 21, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    Cleveland fans are like those abused pets you get from an animal shelter. They’ve been treated so bad for so long, they expect to keep getting treated the same way all the time. When you go to pet them they either want to bite you or cower in a corner.

    • 00maltliquor - Nov 21, 2013 at 8:50 PM

      LOL comment of the month!^

  21. calicokiller49 - Nov 22, 2013 at 12:28 AM

    Maybe Gilbert can bring out his good luck munchkin to try and get wiggins.

  22. belleby123 - Nov 23, 2013 at 8:25 AM

    It sounded like booing, but what they were really saying is “Please get me the hell out of Cleveland!”

  23. rodyaugu - Nov 23, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    The cavs are tanking for Lebron again.

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