Cavaliers, General

Loving the NBA draft lottery

Gilbert and Cavs win lottery

Ever since Nick Gilbert sat on stage two years ago in Seacaucas, NJ, rocked a swagged out bow tie/glasses combo that would make Urkel proud, and brought home the much needed first pick in the draft the NBA lottery has had new meaning in Cleveland.

Before the ping pong balls fell Cleveland’s way in 2011 it was a lowly time to be a Cavalier fan. The team had just finished a historically bad season and now we had to sit back and watch the one we made king try to win a title for that all white wearing, Backstreet Boy looking fan base in Miami.

Desperate times called for desperate measures and Dan Gilbert delivered. Along with his son Nick, Gilbert flew to the lottery with an entourage that was best described by the Machine Gun Kelly lyric “so Clevleand it’s a god damn shame”. Gilbert flew with the ultimate cleveland hero, Bernie Kosar, who represents all of us Clevelanders longing for the glory days even if we were never alive to see them. He flew with Josh Cribbs, whose loyalty and rare talents allowed us Clevelanders to anoint a kick returner the new king. And to complete Gilbert’s entourage was Browns’ cornerback Joe Haden who exemplified Cleveland’s need for a new star to cling to after the losing the sun a year earlier.

Gilbert’s crew, most notably Nick, succeeded in their task. They went to New Jersey with nothing but confidence and brought home hope. The formula worked so well in 2011 that they ran it back in 2012. Once again Bernie, Cribbs, and Haden joined the Gilbert gang in Jersey, along with the Irvings who were attending their second straight lottery as well, but their first as a part of team Gilbert. The results this time around failed in comparison to 2011 but the Lottery was now a date circled on the Cleveland sports calendar.

When I asked my buddy if we were having a watch party for the lottery, “I mean, why wouldn’t we” he replied.

Which brings us to Tuesday’s lottery. Gilbert once again brought an entourage with him. This time there were no Irving’s, Cribbs, Haden, or even Bernie. Instead, Gilbert’s crew consisted of the aforementioned Machine Gun Kelly, ESPNCleveland’s Tony Rizzo, Iron Chef Michael Symon, a lucky fan, and of course the Cavs’ lucky charm, Nick Gilbert (bowtie and all).

8:30 – The great Jay Bilas gives us a quick breakdown of Ben McLemore’s game, but refutes from uttering the words “wingspan” which keeps fans of the NBA draft drinking game at bay for another month.

8:33 – Heather Cox begins her interview with Anthony Bennett. My living room has already turned into a panic room. “Would we seriously take the guy in the sling that no one has ever heard of!?”

8:36 – Bilas continues to touch on some of the top prospects in the draft. My buddy’s girlfriend asks the obligatory question for the only girl in the room to ask, “Wait is this Cody Zeller related to Tyler?” We all give her props that she knew who Tyler Zeller was in the first place and begin dreaming of the Zellers vs. Hansbroughs rivalry that could develop between Cleveland and Indiana.

8:40 – Bill Simmons and the NBA Countdown crew give us their “Karma Lottery Power Rankings”. The Cavs are nowhere to be found, with Detroit taking the top spot. As much I have disdain for Detroit sports after living with a Detroit fan in college, it’s hard not to agree the Motor City deserves a break after watching Detropia.

8:43 – The whole room starts grilling me on why Scott hates the lottery. This is the most excited this room has been for Cavaliers basketball since Kyrie took down the Thunder a couple months back.

8:45 – Heather Cox begins to announce the representatives on stage for each team. Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal, Andre Drummond, and Kevin Love are all on stage. The first three make sense coming off strong rookie seasons, but it appears Love was there only to sell Ricky Rubio action figures. Not a bad gig may I add.

Nick Gilbert proclaims to the world that the Cavs are making a playoff run next year which brings cheers and the clinging of beer bottles to my antsy living room.

8:48 – Here we go. Deputy Commissioner Adam silver wastes no time and starts unveiling the envelopes. Detroit gets revealed as the 8th pick which means Washington moves in the top 3. Phoenix is shown at 5 meaning the Cavs still have a chance for the top three. Charlotte gets shown as picking fourth and my roommate begins an Irish jig that only the son of a woman named Patty McFadden could pull off. The Cavs have moved into the top 3 and the room has already proclaimed the night a success!

8:55 The Wizards are shown as the third pick…my family room goes silent as we all shoot each other looks as if to say “can we really do this again!?”

Pick number two…The Orlando Magic!!! And our Cleveland Cavaliers have the number one pick in the draft for the second time in three years, giving them the most number one picks of any franchise since the lottery’s inception.

8:57 – The room is too busy chest bumping, doing the “McLemore dance“, and flocking to iPhones to marvel over the dapper looking wine colored bow tie and blazer sported by Señor Gilbert.

8:59 – ESPN begins interviewing potential number one pick Nerlens Noel but this room has already begun dreaming scenarios of Noel, Irving, LeBron or packages to trade Minnesota for the Rubio action figure salesman Kevin Love.

9:00 – As the hypothetical situations and medical analysis of Noel’s knee begin to dominate conversation, I realize that for the first time in a long time a big time Cleveland sporting event has left me with a smile upon my face.

I love the lottery.

  • I like this article because it adequately demonstrates the age gap in writers at WFNY. Oh, to be young and hopeful again, instead of the cynical old man I have become.

  • TomWFNY

    Man, Charlotte got picks 2 and 4? Not a bad haul for them, either.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Actually is it old or age or being sick and tired of losing? “I love the lottery,” Mr. Ryan Jones. Excuse me for a moment while I scrrrrrrrrream! I know I know Ryan you love it because it’s the only thing the Cavaliers have won in three years! 😉

    I’m sorry but I can’t get excited or celebrate the fact that for the third consecutive year, second out of three that you are picking first, you need the lottery to improve your team. I guess the bright side is it’s not the NFL where clearly when you draft #1 two out of three years everyone knows what a loser your team is!

    Btw heard an incredible thing last night during the Spurs-Grizzlies game. The Spurs haven’t been in the lottery since they won it and drafted Tim Duncan. I mention this because I saw people talking about tanking (don’t think it’ll have to be done purposefully it’ll be natural) another year for the possible chance to draft Wiggins if he comes out. If you even end up with the #1 pick of course.

  • JK

    I love the guy holding up the 2.. I don’t know what to do w my hands

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Down tick away I love it – FEED ME MORE!

  • Steve

    Don’t go to grantland today Ryan. They mock the entourage quite thoroughly, and maybe deservingly.

    And “Desperate times called for desperate measures and Dan Gilbert delivered” seems quite odd to me. The Cavs have had the ping pong ball bounce right two years out of three. Gilbert was no lucky, no more, no less to be the one standing there when it happened.

  • Julie

    Seriously with the comment about the question a girlfriend would ask?? I would request no such comments in the future. I am a woman and I know just as much about sports as most men. My fiance, on the other hand, would be the one asking me that question. I know it’s super uptight of me, but I get bored with comments about how females don’t know anything about sports.

  • That was an unfortunately sexist remark in the article, and I want to back you up, Julie, for speaking up against it.

    I don’t comment here much, though read this site regularly, and it is a great and careful place most of the time with authors who are careful to give strong views which are otherwise not out of line. That was out of line – perhaps as out of line as Sergio Garcia about Tiger Woods last night.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    You go girl! I been sayin’ it for awhile now this place needs more women!

  • Natedawg86

    CRAAAAPPPP!!!! Re-do the lottery, put all the balls back in!

  • Chedda Man

    OKC did it with Durrant, Westbrook, and Harden. Spurs did it internationally. Not exactly the most conventional way to do it. Adapt or die Andrew

  • Chedda Man

    He was speaking in generalities Julie. Most women don’t know anything about sports, that’s a fact. doesn’t matter how you slice it….

    I even question your fan-hood… sure, you probably know a lot about Cleveland sports, but sports as a whole you’re probably a novice. The truth hurts

  • JayKizzy

    Is there a place that doesn’t need more women?

  • Chedda Man

    To even compare the two is ridiculous! Sergio is a figurehead of a world-wide sport. It is his moral obligation to act appropriately. Ryan is a blogger paid to speak his mind

  • That’s like saying apples and oranges are nothing alike when someone calls them fruit because one is grown in tropical areas and another is grown in temperate climates. They are both still fruit. One comment is sexist; another was racist. Both are inappropriate, and the offhanded stereotypical manner of the remarks was pretty much spot on the same.
    The platform from which each was speaking wasn’t relevant to my point. I didn’t mean “out of line” in terms of global impact of the remarks. I meant “out of line” in terms of the remark itself as it conforms to talk that is either not sexist or not racist.
    (I am pretty sure no one at WFNY is actually paid, but like your comments, are beside the point. We should all refrain from sexism and racism, and really the author should rewrite it. It has no place on any forum no matter how many people are impacted.)

  • thenoclist

    that’s rizzo

  • Dr. Zhivago

    Julie, you’re right–it is super uptight of you. This article is about the renewal of hope in our beloved Cleveland. The writer has found a way to be optimistic after a 24-win season through this lottery and the potential superstar it may bring. If you’re a REAL fan, as you say, then I would hope you would be more “bored” of constant losing seasons than a harmless anecdotal detail the writer threw into his post to show some love to those close to him. Based off your response, however, I deem your fanhood unworthy of respectability. May the sports gods have mercy on your soul.

    –Also, your use of “females” is inappropriate. The correct word is “women”.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Exactly my point OKC hit homeruns in each of those drafts with high picks, the exception. San Antonio has indeed used international players drafting late and using free agency, the other exception. There isn’t enough time to continually draft high and continue to lose because players won’t stay.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Hmmmmmmm, men’s locker room?

  • #Yeah I’m Hi

    This has been an interesting discussion and I will have to truthfully side with Julie in this situation. As a young writer you should be held to certain ethical standards and not compromis the integrity of this great cleveland site by offending the very fans who support you by reading these articles

  • TheJake1990s

    Thoughtful comments from a user who’s name is yea im high

  • Julie

    I’m sorry, why am I a “novice?” Do you know me? Or are you just assuming this because I am a female? That’s exactly the point. It seems some men are threatened by the fact that females could know something about sports. I know what a pick and roll is, I know what a balk is, I know the current standings in the MLB, etc. I might not know as much as every sports fan ever, but it certainly is not because of my gender.

  • Julie

    I HATE this argument, it is such a cop out. So, because I take exception to comments that the girl in the room can’t know about sports, then I can’t also be a fan? Why can’t I both wish that men would stop treating women this way and also be bored of losing seasons? It’s not my fault that the author felt the need to stereotype women in his article about “renewal of hope.”

  • lightenup

    To Julie and all, lighten up. Yes you are uptight, and the rest of you just want to make an issue of something that doesn’t need to be. The fact that you are an exception to an age old stereotype is a good thing. Good for you. Girls that know sports are really cool. Girls who claim to know sports just to make some sexist point are not. The guy just used a common stereotype story in an article on some sports website. I can’t even imagine how you could ever watch most sports movies ever made. It’s entertainment, so lighten up. If you really do have issues regarding your sports knowledge not being recognized, see a therapist.