What the Lottery Means to the Cleveland Cavaliers

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In the process of getting over something–a death, a breakup, a bad grade, a loss, an accident, a near-miss–everyone goes through his/her own path of recovery and moving on. Some can get over things right away; for others it may take years. Others still, they may never get over it–nor do they want to. But the passage of time always plays a factor. Whether it’s a good or bad factor–that’s on the person to choose. And the person can, indeed, be over something, but they can also have an opinion on it EVERY F***ING TIME SOMEONE ELSE BRINGS IT UP AS IF IT’S THE ONLY F***ING TALKING POINT IN THE WORLD.

When it comes to the departure of LeBron James, the Cavaliers organization and its fans are certainly moving on in a positive direction. The team and its fanbase have been to Hell and back. The loss of the best player in the league. The loss of their once-Coach-of-the-Year. The loss of their GM. An angry letter in Comic Sans. But most of all, 2010-2011 saw them endure an absurdly lopsided 55-point loss to the Lakers as well as one of the most dubious distinctions in NBA history: the longest consecutive loss record (26 games).

Then they made some changes, most notably they flipped ever-emotional-as-he-was-loyal Mo Williams (and Jamario Moon) for Baron Davis and the Clippers’ unprotected lottery pick. Davis was eventually amnestied, and that pick turned into the first overall selection: Kyrie Irving. Irving and fellow-draftee Tristan Thompson have given the team and the franchise something to withstand the onslaught of being the butt of everyone’s jokes. “Laugh at us all you want. Yeah it’s cold and cloudy. Yeah we’re at the point where the Midwest meets the Northeast. But we’re a city that’s growing again, we brew some damn fine beer, and we’re damn proud of our young team.”

Cavs fans were so damn proud of their young team that, even though they still managed to make the lottery this year, they were pleased. Not only were they pleased that Kyrie Irving will make a great fit with nearly any pick in the top 5, but they loved that their team showed substantial growth even in this lockout-shortened season.

Even if other people still talk about it. Even if Cavs fans still talk about it amongst themselves. Even if there actually is a limit to how many derogatory words one can append the prefix “Le-” to. Even if it makes for a good story. Even if you don’t like talking about it, but revenge still kind of tastes sweet and you sort of find yourself rooting for teams you used to dislike.

What does the draft lottery mean to the Cavaliers? All it means is a new, bright future for years to come in Cleveland. That’s it.

Amin Vafa

Amin grew up in Cleveland, lives in DC, and somehow still manages to love watching professional basketball.