Cleveland Cavaliers HISTORY

Player info
Team info
Coaches and records
Draft picks
Expansion draft
Season Records

Stat leaders

Quick facts:

Founded:                          1970    
Cost:                             3.7 Million
Arena:                            Quicken Loans  
Division Championships:           5 (76,09,10,15,16)
Central Division Championships:   5 (76,09,10,15,16)
Eastern Conference Championships: 2 (07,15)
NBA Titles:                       None
Playoffs:                         20

Name History:
In 1970, Cleveland’s newspaper, The Plain Dealer, held a contest to name the city’s new basketball club.
Contest winner Jerry Tomko wrote that the Cavaliers “represent a group of daring, fearless men, whose life’s pact was never surrender, no matter what the odds.”
The nickname is frequently shortened to Cavs.

The Ted Stepian Rule:
The Ted Stepien rule is named after former Cavs owner Ted Stepien. The rule disallows the trading of consecutive first round draft picks. Stepien traded so many first rounders in bad deals that the NBA actually gave the Cavs a compensatory pick in the 1980s. Stepian is usually considered one of, if not the worst owner in NBA history.

Cleveland Basketball Past:
The Cavaliers are the fifth major professional basketball team to call the city of Cleveland their home. There were three teams in the NBA fore-runner, the National Basketball League. The first was the Cleveland White Horse, which moved from Warren, Pennsylvania during the 1938-39 season but last only half a season. Than came the Cleveland Chase Brassmen which played only the 42-43 season. The last NBL team, the Cleveland Allman Transfers managed to last two whole seasons before disbanding.

The fourth team came from the Basketball Association of America, another NBA fore-runner and they had the most success of any of the pre-Cavalier Cleveland franchises. The Cleveland Rebels only lasted one season in the BAA, but they did make the playoffs and had a winning record.

The BAA and NBL would merge in 1949, but the NBA does not consider the NBL's history to be its own history so the only former NBA team that the league recognized for the city of Cleveland is the Rebels.

Ted Stepien; the worst owner in NBA history.

The term worst owner in sports is often thrown around at any owner who meddles in his teams business while the team is struggling. Sometimes the term is rightfully deserved such as with Clippers former owner Donald Sterling, other times it is not. But one owner seems to stand out above all others in terms of being the worst owner of a professional team and that is Ted Stepien. In just three seasons of owning the Cleveland Cavaliers, Stepien ruined the franchise for most of the 1980s and his decisions lead the NBA to make a rule change to trading draft picks.

Stepien seemed to embody all that is wrong with an owner. He made poor business decisions, he fired popular commentators and team personal, threatened to move the team, and made several racist comments about blacks in the NBA.

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The Teams: The Cavaliers.

Success has always been a finger tip away from this team, from last second heroics by Michael Jordan, to being swept by the Spurs in the finals and all the horrid seasons in between; NBA life has been very tough for the Cleveland Cavaliers and their fans.

The Cavaliers, or Cavs for short, joined the NBA along with the Buffalo Braves, and Portland Trailblazers just before the 1970-71 season.

The first season of Cavs basketball was a dismal one, as they finished with a league worst 15 and 67-record. They would select first in the 1971 draft and select Norte Dames Austin Carr. However, Austin Carr injured his leg and would never recover. Carr who was one of college basketballs greatest players would come no where near that in the NBA, and with his injury the future hopes of the Cavs franchise looked in doubt. The Cavs would get some brighter news their third season as they would finish with a 32 and 50 record and players such as Bingo Smith looked like they could leave the franchise.

In their 5th season the Cavs would finally make the playoffs going 49 and 33, coach Bill Fitch would also be named NBA coach of the year. During the 76 playoffs the Cavs won their first series, a best of seven, vs. Washington, but would lose to the eventual Champion Boston Celtics. The Cavs would have identical 43-39 records during the 76-77, and 77-78 season, make the playoffs both years, but be bounced in the first.

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