As I talked about during our Rocktober series, my good friend J.V. and I have, for the past four years, created a collection of songs to get us excited for the upcoming Cavaliers’ season. Normally, we give each player on the roster a song and throw in a couple others just for fun. This season, we wanted the overall message to reflect transition and rebirth. There’s a lot of coming and going, a lot of work that has to be done to get this team back to respectability, But, there’s a start, a good start, with the ability to add more young talent soon.
So, without further ado, here is each song with a little explanation of who it’s for and why. Reminder: this is just for fun. Anyone who takes this too seriously is missing the point. Also, some of these songs contain explicit lyrics.
Opening Song: Akon – “Locked Up” – This one’s pretty self-explanatory. I told J.V. in the midst of the lockout, “if they ever get this season started up, I’ve got the perfect song to start it.”
Machine Gun Kelly – “Cleveland” – This one is here not just for the name but the attitude that Cleveland is a great place to be, and it’s not for others to decide what type of place Cleveland is. “You know I put it down for Cleveland, I rep my state my hood my side of town in Cleveland”
Kyrie Irving: Drake – “Headlines” – “They know, they know, they know…” We know that when we read the headlines this season, Kyrie Irving’s going to be filling them. He is the here and now, he is the future, he is the piece to build around, and he’s the bright light that’s going to get us through a rocky season.
Anderson Varejao: Cake – “The Distance” – This could be the most fitting song for a player not just in this grouping, but that we’ve ever done. Varejao was a key cog to the deep postseason runs of years past. Tell me this doesn’t sound like Varejao’s situation, “The sun has gone down and the moon has come up, And long ago somebody left with the cup, But he’s driving and striving and hugging the turns, And thinking of someone for whom he still burns.” We’re rebuilding, but that doesn’t stop Anderson from being an energizer on the court and a leader off of it. This fast-paced, wild song fits Andy perfectly.
Daniel “Boobie Gibson: Kanye West and Jay Z (ft. Frank Ocean) – “No Church in the Wild” – Boobie’s a very outwardly religious person on Twitter. This song talks about temptation and I draw references to keeping the faith when things aren’t good. If anyone can do that on a struggling team, though, it’s Gibson.
Tristan Thompson: Kanye West (ft. Rihanna and Kid Cudi) – “All of the Lights” – A lot of people (including yours truly) were baffled by the selection of Tristan Thompson at number four. That doesn’t mean I’m not excited about the potential for him to light it up this season with some highlight dunks, tough defense, and menacing blocks. Our former star is gone, but turn the page and turn up the lights, because we want everyone to have their eyes on Cleveland when this young team gets the ammunition to compete. It’s time to start shining again.
Antawn Jamison: Tupac – “Life Goes On” – “We tha last ones left, but life goes on…” Jamison is hitting the final stages of his career, and he’s one of three remaining players from the rotation of the 2010-2011 team that made the last postseason push. This song is solemn but comforting at the same time. Jamison’s best days are behind him, but we’re moving forward, with or without him. There may indeed be a heaven for this “G” if he gets traded mid-season to a title contender.
Anthony Parker: Nas – “Hate Me Now” – J.V. especially is not a fan of Anthony Parker. His Jordan fadeaways and volume shooting were tough to watch through that long losing streak last season. Nas talks about people hating him, but not stopping because of that. Parker’s here to do a job: shoot a lot of jumpers and provide some much-needed veteran leadership.
Omri Casspi: Jennifer Lopez (ft. Pitbull) – “On The Floor” – Byron Scott said this when talking about Casspi last week, “I always put it this way: We don’t need Chihuahuas. We don’t need poodles. We don’t need German shepherds. We need pit bulls.” So, with a nod to that quote, we invite the newcomer Casspi to fill that glaring hole at small forward and get on the floor.
Ramon Sessions: DJ Khaled (ft. Kanye West and T-Pain) – “Go Hard” – This is just a catchy hip-hop song that we think captures Ramon’s tenacity in driving to the hoop and the reckless abandon with which he directs the Cavalier offense. He needs to work on finishing at the rim, but we’re glad he’s on the team to take some pressure off Kyrie.
Christian Eyenga: Kanye West – “Touch The Sky” – Our own Brendan Bowers is a diehard fan of SKY-enga, so we invite Christian with those two extra inches of height to go right ahead and touch the sky on the way to some rim-rocking jams this season.
Alonzo Gee: Cage The Elephant – “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” – “Oh, there ain’t no rest for the wicked, Money don’t grow on trees. I got bills to pay, I got mouths to feed, There ain’t nothing in this world for free. I know I can’t slow down, I can’t hold back, Though you know, I wish I could. No there ain’t no rest for the wicked, we close our eyes for good”. From his ten day contract origins, Gee knows that he cannot rest or slow down if he wants to carve out some playing time for himself on this team.
Ryan Hollins: Bone Thugs N Harmony – “Thuggish Ruggish Bone” – We love, love, love Bone Thugs. One of their songs makes an appearance on our mix every single year. This season, we decided to pay homage to Ryan Hollins’s unreal performance against Miami last year with this track. While Hollins may be charmin soft most of the season, he can get under people’s skin (Miami, Villanueva in Detroit, etc.)
Samardo Samuels: Drowning Pool – “Bodies” – Samardo is constantly on the floor taking charges and bruising through the interior with his bullish demeanor. When Sam Sam’s out on the court, you can expect plenty of bodies to be hitting the floor, including his.
Semih Erden: Young The Giant – “My Body” – Erden’s body tells him no, but he just won’t quit. If Semih can rise above those injuries, the Cavaliers will finally get a chance to look at the young center in an extended backup role to see if he’s worth keeping around.
Luke Harangody: AC/DC – “It’s A Long Way To The Top” – It’s a long way to the top of this mix and into the rotation for Harangody. With a plethora of power forwards in house, nothing but injuries or unreal practice effort is going to get Luke serious playing time.
Mychel Thompson: Lil’ Wayne (Ft. Birdman) – “Stuntin’ Like My Daddy” – Thompson’s dad was a Byron Scott teammate in Los Angeles. Let’s hope the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and the Cavaliers strike gold with this undrafted camp invite’s defense on the wing.
Dan Gilbert: Notorious B.I.G. (Ft. Puff Daddy) – “Mo Money Mo Problems” – This one’s just meant for laugh effect. But, the more Gilbert opens his mouth, the more the Cavaliers may suffer for it and the greater national scurtiny he gets. It’s all good from where we’re sitting though, DG. I admire his passion, even if he gets carried away at times. It’s better than an aloof owner or one that doesn’t care (Lerner, Dolan).
B.O.B. (ft. Hayley Williams and Eminem) – “Airplanes Part II” – I like this song a lot, and right now, being a Cavalier fan is about wishing and dreaming that things come together at the right time.
Patrick Stump (ft. Lupe Fiasco)- “This City (Cleveland remix)” – A nice positive song to end on, and I liked the remix tailored to Cleveland that 96.5 KISS FM did.
So, if you like what J.V. and I put together, feel free to run with it.