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#pounditThursday, October 21, 2021

Articles tagged: Cleveland Cavaliers

Cavs had anti-Steph Curry shoe policy during rival with Warriors

Stephen Curry

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors developed quite the rivalry before LeBron James left his hometown a second time, and that apparently led to some strict footwear policies.

In a feature he wrote this week for Bleacher Report entitled “The Politics of Kicks,” Ric Bucher shed some light on how seriously NBA players take their sneakers. While plenty of players who don’t have their own shoe deals wear the signature shoes of other players, it is apparently frowned upon to do so when you’re going against said sneaker endorser. For example, Draymond Green told Warriors third-string center Kevon Looney he could not wear James Harden’s Adidas shoes during a game against the Houston Rockets last season.

Looney recalled equipment manager Eric Housen replacing his shoes before the game without his knowledge.

“Draymond says you can’t wear them,” Housen told Looney. “They’re James Harden’s shoe, and he says you can’t wear the shoe of a guy you’re playing against.”

Green said the policy is “not a team rule at all,” but he believes it’s impossible to gain the respect of an opponent if you’re wearing his shoe. The Cavs apparently felt the same way, as they had a strict policy regarding Stephen Curry’s Under Armour shoes over the past several years.

It was understood more than plainly stated, leaving one member of the Cavs’ Finals roster last year unaware of the rule—but only, perhaps, because he never considered wearing UAs. Another former Cavalier texted: “There was no way anyone on [Cleveland] the last few years would wear [them], for the obvious reasons.”

It became very obvious that Curry was not the most popular person in Cleveland’s locker room, and that is no surprise given how often the two teams squared off. While you might think changing up footwear on principle is a bit excessive, it makes sense for a player to avoid doing anything that might give his opponent a mental edge.

Cavs players reportedly upset about Kyle Korver being traded

Kyle Korver

Kyle Korver wanted out of Cleveland as soon as LeBron James announced he was not re-signing with the Cavaliers, but that does not mean the sharpshooter’s teammates were indifferent about seeing him go this week.

Korver was traded to the Utah Jazz on Wednesday as the Cavs were warming up before their game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Joe Vardon of The Athletic reports that the deal came together so quickly that the 37-year-old didn’t even have an opportunity to say goodbye to his teammates, many of whom are “upset” that Korver is no longer with the team.

Multiple Cavs players are upset with the trading of Korver, insofar as this is a team with very little outside shooting. Korver’s only averaging 6.8 points per game, but he’s still shooting .463 from the outside and is one of the greatest 3-point shooters in NBA history. Subtracting him from the team only makes it harder to win games, they feel.

It’s natural for players to be irritated when a teammate they feel can help them win games is traded, but should anyone in Cleveland’s locker room be surprised? The Cavs are 4-16 and appear committed to losing this season.

As Vardon noted, Korver met his wife in Salt Lake City and played for the Jazz from 2007-2010. The Cavs did him the courtesy of trading him to a place where his family will be comfortable, so they made up for not immediately parting ways with him when LeBron skipped town. Still, given some of the comments we heard JR Smith make about the team recently, any added frustration for Cavs players has the potential to create issues.

Cavaliers reportedly trade Kyle Korver to Jazz

Kyle Korver

Kyle Korver is finally free from the Cleveland Cavaliers.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Cavaliers have traded Korver to the Utah Jazz in exchange for Alec Burks and a pair of future second-round draft choices.

As it became clear early on this season that the Cavaliers were not going to be a factor in the playoff race, Korver landed on the trade block. The long-range specialist was due $7.5 million and simply doesn’t profile as the type of player Cleveland needs right now. He hasn’t had much of a role with the Cavaliers, shooting his usual 46.3 percent mark from three-point range but in fewer than 16 minutes per game. Expect him to fill a larger role with the Jazz.

Cavaliers release statement on JR Smith situation

JR Smith

JR Smith has been openly pushing for the Cleveland Cavaliers to give him an opportunity to play elsewhere, and the team has confirmed that they will do just that.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the Cavs thanked Smith for his contributions to the organization and announced that he is working with both the team and his representation “regarding his future.”

In other words, the Cavs are trying to trade Smith. At 33 and owed $14 million this season and $15 million next, that will not be easy. Smith has said he does not want his time in Cleveland to end with a buyout, but that may end up being the best possible solution for both sides.

Smith said a few weeks ago that he feels he is no longer welcome in Cleveland, pointing to the way he had been been removed from the rotation and was barely getting any minutes. He has played a lot more since then, but he wants no part of the rebuilding phase the Cavs have entered.

In an interview with Jason Lloyd of The Athletic that was published on Tuesday, Smith publicly called out the Cavs for intentionally losing games. That was likely the final straw and made the team realize there is no point in trying to keep him around.

JR Smith reportedly leaves Cavs, working with team on trade

JR Smith has made it clear that he no longer wants to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and it sounds like the team is in the early stages of granting the veteran swingman his wish.

Joe Vardon of The Athletic reports that Smith has left the Cavs to work out on his own, and he and the team have reached an “amicable” decision to part ways. A buyout agreement is not yet on the table, but Cleveland is said to be looking at possible trade scenarios.

Smith said a few weeks ago that he feels he is no longer welcome in Cleveland, pointing to the way he had been been removed from the rotation and was barely getting any minutes. He has played a lot more since then, but he wants no part of the rebuilding phase the Cavs have entered.

In an interview with Jason Lloyd of The Athletic that was published on Tuesday, Smith publicly called out the Cavs for intentionally losing games. That was likely the final straw and made the team realize they will do more harm than good by keeping him around.

Smith is 33 and is owed around $14 million this season and $15 million next, so trading him will not be easy. However, he told Lloyd that he doesn’t want his “legacy” in Cleveland to end with a buyout. Smith may end up having to soften his stance on that.

JR Smith publicly calls out Cavs for tanking

JR Smith

JR Smith admitted a few weeks ago that he would prefer for the Cleveland Cavaliers to trade him, but that probably won’t bother the team nearly as much as what he said on Monday.

In an interview with Jason Lloyd of The Athletic, Smith reiterated that he has no interest in remaining with the Cavs. The main reason for that, he says, is that the team is committed to tanking this season.

“I don’t think the goal is to win. The goal isn’t to go out there and try to get as many wins as you can,” Smith said. “I think the goal is to develop and lose to get lottery picks. I think that was always the plan.”

Smith certainly isn’t the first one to accuse the Cavs of tanking, but he is the only member of the team to speak publicly about it. At age 33, Smith says he has no interest in playing for a franchise that has different priorities from his.

“Not if the goal isn’t to compete, to win,” he said.

Lloyd goes on to note that executives around the NBA “shook their heads in disbelief all summer” at the idea that the Cavs could possibly compete in the Eastern Conference without LeBron James. That’s not a surprise, as one player from a rival team even trolled them over it.

Smith is owed $14 million this season and $15 million next, so he will be extremely difficult to trade. However, he said he doesn’t want his “legacy” in Cleveland to end with a buyout, so it’s unclear what possible resolution — if any — the two sides could come to.

Former Cavs assistant suing team for age discrimination

Former Cleveland Cavaliers assistant coach Jim Boylan did not have his option with the team picked up at the end of last season, and he says he was told the decision had everything to do with his age and nothing to do with his job performance.

Boylan, 63, filed a lawsuit against the Cavs organization on Thursday alleging age discrimination. He says he learned of the team’s decision to not pick up his contract option when then-head coach Tyronn Lue left him a voicemail telling him general manager Koby Altman and owner Dan Gilbert want to “go younger” with their bench coaches.

“He wants to go younger in that position and, you know, find somebody who’s a grinder and younger in that position,” Lue said in the voicemail.

Bowlan says he had a conversation with Altman after receiving the voicemail, and the GM told him the same thing Lue did — the organization would prefer to have “younger” coaches as assistants. The lawsuit also alleges that Gilbert has displayed a pattern of age discrimination with the Cavs and his other corporate organizations.

The Cavs are off to a 1-7 start this season and recently fired Lue. They’ve quickly turned into a complete mess in their second post-LeBron James era, and they are even in a public dispute with their interim head coach. An age discrimination lawsuit can just be added to the growing list of problems in Cleveland.

Larry Drew says he will not accept interim head coach title from Cavs

The Cleveland Cavaliers want to make Larry Drew their head coach for the time being now that they have fired Tyronn Lue, but the assistant wants nothing to do with the “interim” label.

A report on Sunday claimed Drew is willing serve as a temporary bridge for the Cavs but won’t commit to the rest of the season without an agreement that extends beyond 2018-19. Drew essentially confirmed that on Monday, saying he will be the “voice” for the team but wants assurances that he’s a full-time head coach.

The Cavs are off to an 0-6 start, no longer have LeBron James and are dealing with an injury to their best player. This season has the potential to turn into a disaster for them, and Drew understands that. The former Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks head coach has been an assistant in Cleveland since 2014, and he is trying to leverage the Cavs’ lousy situation to his benefit.

If the Cavs don’t believe Drew can lead them over the long-term, it makes sense that they are not giving him any assurances. However, they are going to have a difficult time attracting outside candidates with the way things currently stand.

Report: Larry Drew negotiating with Cavs about interim head coach job

The Cleveland Cavaliers are talking with Larry Drew about their interim head coaching job, but Drew will not be making things easy for them, according to a report.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski says that Drew is willing to serve as a temporary bridge but won’t commit to the rest of the season without an agreement beyond the season.

Drew appears to be trying to leverage the current situation to his benefit.

At the least, the Cavaliers are looking to make Drew the temporary head coaching voice of the team.

The Cavaliers fired head coach Tyronn Lue on Sunday after an 0-6 start. They also parted ways with assistant coach Damon Jones. Now that they no longer have LeBron James, the Cavs are in bad shape and are an undesirable team for a coach.

Drew, 60, was a longtime NBA player before going into coaching in 1992 as an assistant with the Los Angeles Lakers — the last team for whom he played. He has four seasons of NBA head coaching experience spent with two franchises, compiling a career .458 winning percentage.

Cavs fire head coach Tyronn Lue

Tyronn Lue

Things have gone about as poorly as expected for the Cleveland Cavaliers without LeBron James this year, and the bad start is costing head coach Tyronn Lue his job.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Cavs players were informed on Sunday that Lue will be let go in the wake of the team’s 0-6 start.

Lue was facing a tall task this season with a stripped-down roster that had to figure out how to win without the best player in the game, so it seems like owner Dan Gilbert was looking for an excuse to fire him. It would be extremely difficult to judge any team after six games, let alone a roster like the one LeBron left behind in Cleveland.

Lue took over as the Cavs’ coach during the 2015-16 season, and he led the team to an NBA championship and three NBA Finals appearances. He finishes with an overall record of 128-83