Tag:Mo Williams
Posted on: February 24, 2011 2:58 am
 

Trade Deadline Tracker: Baron to Cavs for Mo

An updating list of trades at the NBA Trade Deadline. Posted by EOB staff.

Clippers trade Baron Davis and 1st round pick (unprotected) to Cleveland for Mo Williams and Jamario Moon
Los Angeles receives: Mo Williams, Jamario Moon

Cleveland receives: Baron Davis, unprotected 2011 first round draft pick

Analysis: It's at its heart a swap of overpaid, unpopular point guards. Byron Scott and Baron Davis had issues with one another at the end of Davis' time in New Orleans as Scott was taking over the team, so that will be something to watch. The Cavs' biggest pull from this is the first-round pick, which even in a thin draft, they desperately need as they continue to purge everything left over from the LeBron era.  Meanwhile, the Clippers get a younger point guard with better scoring ability, but who doesn't pass as well, and some depth with an expiring $3 million on the wing with Moon. Moon could clear the way for another deal involving Ryan Gomes, if the Clippers decide to get frisky before the deadline.  The Clippers continue to peel off moneyf for 2012 to either add free agents or re-sign theirs to long extensions. For more analysis, check out our reaction post


Posted on: February 24, 2011 1:44 am
Edited on: February 24, 2011 2:47 am
 

Trade Deadline: Baron Davis to Cleveland for Mo

Clippers trade Baron Davis and a first-round draft pick to Cleveland for Mo Williams and Jamario Moon.
Posted by Royce Young
 and Matt Moore


 

UPDATE 12:55 a.m.: Yahoo! Sports reports that the Clippers and Cavaliers have agreed in principle.  ESPN and the Cleveland Plain Dealer  both confirm, among others.  The full deal sends Mo Williams and Jamario Moon to the Clippers for Baron Davis and an unprotected first-round pick. Which makes it interesting. 

Moon provides some depth for the Clippers at the 3-spot, but it also means they can now get creative with more deals for what they currently have, including moving Ryan Gomes possibly, with the potential shown in Al Farouq-Aminu. Williams for Davis is largely a meangingless swap, so in actuality as far as talent goes the Clippers flipped Jamario Moon for a first round, unprotected draft pick. That, of course, isn't the whole story, though.

For a deeper look into why this deal was done? Follow the money, stupid. Baron Davis is on the books for close to $14 million next season, but has an early termination option for 2012. He'll turn 33 that summer, so the odds of him exercising that option are slim. However, it does mean that should the Cavaliers be able to buy out Davis should he wish to return to California or the East Coast in order to support his film ventures, they could end up saving some cash. If not? Davis at least is a more willing passer (shocking, I know).

Davis has an assist percentage (percentag of team assists dished) in his career of 36.2%, including 40.1% this season since he's been throwing oops to Blake Griffin all day long. Still, Mo Williams has no teammates, and his AST% is 43.0% through 36 games this year. For his career, Williams only averages a 27.9%. He likes to shoot. 

There were significant questions about Davis in regards to how he would take being second fiddle to Blake Griffin this season, but he's performed admirably, surprisingly. That he was traded is confusing for the Clippers in a basketball sense. However, they will save quite a bit in this deal. If all player options are excercised and no early termination options are, Williams will cost the Clippers $17 million through 2012-2013. Davis, on the other hand, will cost the Cavaliers over $28.5 million through the same amount of time. Either these two think they can talk the players into exercising options which would cost them significant money as they get older, or else they really do value the play their new guys bring.

For what it's worth, Byron Scott worked with Davis in New Orleans before his departure, not that that combination worked out well. Williams does bring a younger point guard with scoring ability to the Clippers. If nothing else, this is a fresh start for Williams after all the turmoil of 2010, and another stop in the long road of Boom Dizzle. You have to wonder if Antawn Jamison will be moved in the remaining hours before the deadline as Cleveland starts up a firesale. 

The real win for Cleveland is the pick, which is the Clippers' 2011 first-rounder, unprotected.  For Cleveland, that's actually worth the price of Baron Davis. Even in a weak draft as the upcoming lockout affects freshman declarations, it's still what will surely be a top 15 pick at the very least, and possibly higher. That, teamed with their own pick should get them on the right track, towards, well, somewhere better than where they're at. Better yet, with Moon's expiring, the Clipper save a little bit as they continue to clean house to make another free agent run in 2012, only this time with Blake Griffin as the bait. This is a good deal that just looks terrible. Or an okay deal that doesn't look great. Somewhere in there. 

There is no word at this hour whether Dan Gilbert will announce the signing in Comic Sans. 
*************************

According to NBA.com, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Clippers are discussing a deal that would send Baron Davis to the Cavs for point guard Mo Williams. The report says the deal isn't close yet, but the teams will keep talking up until Thursday's deadline.

Davis was held out of the Clippers Wednesday night game against the Hornets because of a sore knee. Fishy. Williams though played for the Cavs against the Rockets.

The way this trade would work is because the Cavs could take in Davis' $13 million because of the big trade exception they got from the LeBron James sign-and-trade deal with Miami.

I'm don't really understand the benefit of this trade for either side as it kind of seems lateral for both parties involved. The Clippers would like to unload Davis' contract for sure, but he seems to have a good thing going with Griffin. And while Williams isn't incredible, is he worth giving up for Davis and his $13 million salary?

Like the report said, this isn't close yet and like a lot of other stuff, it might just be talk.
Posted on: February 11, 2011 11:01 pm
Edited on: February 11, 2011 11:02 pm
 

And on the 27th try, the Cavaliers won

Posted by Royce Young



The Cleveland Cavaliers are finally discovering the key to success. Just take every game to overtime.

Finally, the Cavs have snapped their historic 26-game losing streak by defeating the Los Angeles Clippers in overtime, 126-119. The Cavs last win came against the New York Knicks, in overtime, which snapped a 10-game losing streak.

Eerily similar to the last win too, was the way the game got to the extra frame. Just like against the Knicks, Mo Williams -- who was making his much needed return to the team after missing 13 games with a left hip flexor injury -- made a big shot with 6.3 seconds left to tie the game at 110-110.

Of course everyone could feel it coming. A somehow packed arena was anticipating yet another letdown. When you lose 26 straight, you start inventing new ways to come up short. And everyone could sense yet another heartbreak.

Except this time, the Cavs got a big play. Baron Davis drove left and had a decent left-handed runner at the rim, but J.J. Hickson denied the shot at the buzzer. It was almost definitely goaltending, but finally, this Cleveland team got a few breaks. Almost like it was meant to be, naturally those breaks went against the Clippers. Oh, how so very fitting.

In overtime, the Cavs went up six, 120-114 with a minute left. Everything appeared to be in the bag. But then the Clips ripped off five quick points, punctuated by a Randy Foye 3-pointer. Again, here we go again. The Cavs needed a basket badly because the Clips were coming and it almost seemed like Cleveland could do anything but lose.

Instead, good fortune struck again. Williams drove baseline and caught all air on a layup attempt. Ryan Gomes appeared to have the rebound secured for L.A., but Hickson came flying over his back, forcing the ball out of bounds off Gomes. Instead of a huge foul on Hickson, the Cavs had possession and a big break. The ball went in to Antwan Jamison who calmly drilled a 3, essentially locking things up for Cleveland.

It had been 55 days since the last Cavalier win. Think about that. Fifty-five days since this team had experienced how it felt to win. The Cavs own the NBA's longest losing streak in history, but have avoided setting a new mark for longest losing streak for all four major American professional sports. They now share that distinction with the 1976-77 Tampa Bat Buccaneers.

A few notes about the losing streak:
  • Now with nine wins on the season, we can end all talk about the Cavs tying the 76ers worst record of all time of 9-73
  • The Cavs lost by an average of 13.6 points per game during the 26-game streak
  • The Cavs lost just one game by one point and only five games by six or less.
  • The Lakers beat the Cavs by 55 points in one game during the streak.
  • Cleveland was defeated by at least double-digits 14 times. 
  • Here's how bad the bottom of the East is: The Cavs are just 15 games out of eighth. And I don't think anyone is completely certain it couldn't happen.
Because of this win, we avoid the "Toilet Bowl" with the Wizards, who are 0-25 on the road, versus the Cavs. Now it's just another bad NBA game between a 14-37 team and a 9-45 team. Way to ruin it Clippers.

There was a lot made about LeBron James' return to Cleveland and following that, this team dropped 10 straight. Then they won, but lost 26 more. It's hard to deny that LeBron's return had some kind of affect on the team, but on top of that, injuries to Anderson Varejao and Mo Williams killed them. Losing your two best players when your team lacks talent in general, really hurts.

Now the next step for this team is winning a game in regulation. Because that hasn't happened since Nov. 27. The Cavs have lost 36 straight in the first 48 minutes. Ouch.

But don't you dare go to overtime with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Because you've got no chance.
Posted on: February 11, 2011 1:54 pm
Edited on: February 11, 2011 3:44 pm
 

Friday 5 with KB: Trade Deadline Waters




Posted by Matt Moore 

In today's Friday 5 with KB: A favorite story from Jerry Sloan, the future of Utah, the choppy waters of this year's trade deadline, and when exactly are the Spurs going to hit double-digit losses?



1. So, yeah, Jerry's gone. Which kind of bums everyone out. Do you have a favorite Sloan story to share?

Ken Berger, CBSSports.com: Everyone, including me, made fun of Sloan's Hall of Fame acceptance speech two years ago because he basically told his entire life story. But I was touched by how nonchalantly Sloan talked about having lasted only five days as the University of Evansville basketball coach in the late 1970s. The season after he stepped down, his replacement, coach Bobby Watson, and the entire team and support staff were killed in a plane crash. Sloan said it matter-of-factly, just like that, and without blinking got right back to his story. "I spent 2 1-2 years as assistant coach of the Bulls ...," etc. That was Jerry. I don't know why I will always remember that, but I will.


2. Speaking of the Jazz, is there any chance they are able to reassert the kind of stability they've had over the past three decades? Is the organization and environment built in such a way as to develop that kind of constancy? Or are we going to see the Jazz back in the mire of the pack, having to reinvent themselves multiple times in a decade?

KB: The biggest priority, obviously, is persuading Deron Williams to stay. If he leaves as a free agent in 2012, there's no way around it: the Jazz are in for a major rebuild. Before they're faced with that possibility, however, the first order of business is maintaining stability on the bench. By naming Tyrone Corbin to succeed Sloan without saddling him with an interim title is an important first step. GM Kevin O'Connor and Gail Miller, the widow of later owner Larry Miller, both made clear they are committed to Corbin for the long term. Those intentions obviously will have to be backed up at some point by a multi-year head coaching contract, but that will come in time. There's been one head coach in Salt Lake City for nearly a quarter century. The plan certainly isn't to go from that to massive turnover.


3. Lost in Ray Allen's epic three-pointer and Kobe's late game heroics Thursday night was this: Boston's lost their last two, and are 5-5 in their last ten. Has the time come for the Celtics to coast through the second half?

KB: I think their recent struggles are less about coasting and more about injuries. The return of Kendrick Perkins has been muted by the absence of Shaq, Jermaine O'Neal and even Semih Erden. Boston also is without Marquis Daniels, Delonte West and Nate Robinson. So it's time to begin wondering if the only thing that can hold the Celtics back -- health -- is starting to rear its ugly head.


4. Alright, Ken. When are the Spurs going to hit double digit losses?

KB: With Philly, Washington and New Jersey next up on the road, I'm going to go out on a limb and say not before the All-Star break. The Spurs haven't lost two straight since early January, so I'm going to say their 10th loss doesn't come until March 4 or 6, when they play Miami and the Lakers.


5. Instability in Utah, the Denver situation, Portland teetering on the brink, Charlotte looking at a need to dump salary, Houston desperate to make a deal. For a long time it looked like we weren't going to be seeing much in the way of trades this year. But are the storm clouds gathering for another busy deadline?

KB: The way I see it now, there will be more buyers than sellers. Several teams have contracts they'd like to dump (Philly with Andre Iguodala, Charlotte with Stephen Jackson, Cleveland with Antawn Jamison or Mo Williams, the Bucks with Corey Maggette or Drew Gooden), but who is going to take on those kind of obligations heading unto uncertain CBA territory? Also, the teams with the most cap space, Sacramento and Minnesota, are going to be less likely than in past years to take money into that space given that they don't know what the 2011-12 cap and rules will be. First-round picks also will be more expensive on the trade market because they represent cheap labor. Whereas in past years, teams would be willing to give up a first simply to get off a contract, this time they'll want something else in return -- such as a second-round pick. The teams that will be able to do something are those that have quality players on expiring contracts -- such as Indiana with Jeff Foster, Mike Dunleavy, and T.J. Ford; and Portland with Joel Przybilla and Andre Miller (whose 2011-12 salary is non-guaranteed).
Posted on: February 5, 2011 2:06 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2011 2:31 pm
 

It's time for a Cleveland fire sale

With the Cavaliers on the edge of historic failure, it's time for Cleveland to cut ties with everything and start completely over. 

Posted by Matt Moore

We're past panic. We're past desperation. We're past even cold, hard, resignation. The Cleveland Cavaliers have to execute the most prolific fire sale in history over the next 19 days. No "or... ." No "or else." They simply have to. Everything must go. The Cavs tied the record for longest consecutive losing streak in a single season Friday night and are set to break it against the Portland Trailblazers Saturday. Should they win, it'll be a sigh of relief to avoid disastrous history. Then they'll go back to losing nine out of every 10 games. The time has long since come for General Manager Chris Grant to get desperate.

No more "waiting for the best offer," or "trying to get marginal value." You have one of the worst teams in history that is only slightly kept above the waters of all time futility by an emotional start that soon gave way to injury, discord, and failure. It's not these players' fault, really. The amount of negative energy created by He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Referenced's departure was enough to sink the most positive of teams. Throw in significant injuries and a severe lack of talent and you've got this mess on Cleveland's doorstep. 

But that's okay. I'm not advocating a fire sale because Cleveland fans deserve better than this dreck (though they do). It's not a punishment, and it's not some pathetic gesture from Cavs owner Dan Gilbert after his foolish promise about Cleveland winning a title. It's just business. You have bottomed out. The stock has hit an all-time low. Liquidate this thing, take your remaining assets, and start over. 
(All salary data courtesy of Sham Sports.)

And it starts with Antawn Jamison. "Toine Spelled Tawn" has $13.3 for this season, or roughly $7.5 left this year, and then $15 million in expiring next season. With the CBA in place, you're going to have to dump him somewhere that actually needs him, and somewhere that doesn't mind paying for him. No one really needs him as he's shooting a career low 42% and is posting a career-low 16.4 PER.  But Jamison can be a solid back-up power forward. The trick is to find a big market team with room to spare that isn't worried about long-term flexibility and has expirings to trash. You have to take back terrible value for Jamison, along with the rest of the Cavs. You're not going to get value for the contract or even really the production. Any offer that can reasonably work under the CBA should be taken, provided the resulting players do not have long-term contracts. Difficult, I admit, but as the deadline ratchets up, there has to be someone on the horizon willing to take a 16.4 PER back-up power-forward who may be amiable to a buyout next season. Again, the objective is not to get good value here. It's simply to get any value that clears space. 

From there, it's Mo Williams. There are teams that need point guards. They're all over. Williams is pricey, with $17 million left over two years on the books after this season, but again, we're talking peanuts in return. The trick here should probably be to pick up a series of contracts that can be moved on draft day or bought out before the start of next season. Williams is still a serviceable point guard, and he does have an ETO in the last year of his contract. This should be easier, particularly if the team can weasel its way into a three-way trade conversation. There simply cannot be a value too low in return for Williams, despite his consistency.  This contract and Williams' may be easier said to move than moved, but as long as Grant is active until the last second of the deadline, he should be able to find someone in need of a move. Teams do make moves for the sake of movement, and these are starting-caliber players. Kind of. 

Anderson Varejao's injury is simply devastating. He has close to $36 million left on his contract after this year, is a viable center who can bolster a contender's defense, and would fetch a good price on the market. That he likely cannot be moved due to injury is yet another terrible swing against the Cavs. A trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder, as was discussed, would have been perfect. Grant should focus all his energies once Varejao is medically cleared to moving Varejao. There will be takers, and their offers should be garnered in bulk. 

Daniel Gibson is cheap, ($4 million this season, $4.5 next) and his 2013 salary is non-guaranteed. He shoots 44% from the arc, turns 25 this month, and is mid-quality backup point guard. There's no reason he can't be thrown into another trade to sweeten a deal or moved to a GM known to love point guards. Veteran, reasonably young, and a crack shooter. He's still Daniel Gibson. But for a set of minimum contracts or used to acquire a useless expiring, Gibson could be a cherry on top. 

Ramon Sessions makes a high amount of mistakes in judgment, turns 25 years old this spring, and has $8 million over two years left after his $3.9 million due this year. He's also, arguably, the Cavs' most valuable contract. A 17.5 PER, while shooting a not-great 44% from the field, he averages 16 points and 7 assists per 36 minutes.  On the one hand, holding onto Sessions might be a good idea. He's young, can play the position, and produces. On the other hand, he's locked in through 2013. He's gotta go. Especially when you consider he actually has value. He needs to be used as bait to take on the other contracts of the Cavs, even if no one's climbing the Cleveland walls to get him. Point guards have value in this league. Move him.

From there, things get easier. Ryan Hollins is a big and he has a player option for next season. J.J. Hickson is a valuable asset in that he's a big man that could flourish in a lesser role under a different coach. Christian Eyenga, you keep. He's the one asset worth holding onto. Everything else is either non-guaranteed or expiring. 

So what are you left with? Almost nothing. And that's fine. The trick should be to capitalize on second round draft picks as throw-aways in any moves you make, then try and swing into the first round using teams that don't want to pay their late first round picks. And there are always those teams. Every year an owner is willing to pay the guys he's got, but not a late first rounder who may turn out to be a steal. It boggles the mind, but that's how it is. Even in a depleted draft like this one, you just need bodies. Bring in D-Leaguers to fill in the gaps, try and find a diamond in the rough, and tank out the rest of the season. Secure a top three pick, pray the Lotto Gods are merciful, and be on your way towards another losing campaign next season, but with a player to build around. It's a painful process, and you'll look like a moron for all the value you'll waste in the next 19 days. But the next two years don't matter. That's how bad things are right now, that's how badly James hurt the franchise. It can't just be blown up. The foundation has to be torn out, the ground smoothed over, and some time spent letting the earth settle. Then you focus on what you can get in the draft and start anew. 

There's no other option. Everything's gotta go in Cleveland. The fans will forget about the team. Maybe by the time the Cavs are ready to compete again, some of the wounds will have healed. 
Posted on: January 10, 2011 9:21 am
 

Shootaround 1.10.11: Melo Melo Melo

Posted by Royce Young
  • Carmelo Anthony scored a season-low eight points and was booed by his home fans Sunday. Chris Dempsey of The Denver Post: "Carmelo Anthony strolled into the Pepsi Center about an hour and 15 minutes before the game that could turn out to be his last -- or very close to his last -- in a Nuggets uniform. And there seemed to be a component of 'senioritis' to his game on a snowy Sunday night against New Orleans. On the bench, he was carefree. He bobbed his head to the music over the loudspeakers, and frolicked through a first half that was generally bad for his team. And on the court, the man who makes his living putting up shots and scoring in bunches took just two shots in the first half. The Nuggets lost this game 96-87 in front of 16,283 fans. But more than a game, for the first time it appeared the Nuggets lost the interest of their star as well. And when that became the perception, many in the crowd turned on the player, who they felt was thumbing his nose at them. Anthony was booed loudly in the fourth quarter when he entered the game on a substitution."
  • Did you know LeBron had a big game last night? Jason Quick of The Oregonian: "Blame it on Nike. Blame it on the Trail Blazers' defense. Or just blame it on greatness. For whatever reason, whenever LeBron James steps into the Rose Garden, he suddenly adds shooting prowess to his already vast array of talents. James, whose status as the world's greatest basketball player is debated perhaps only because of his suspect outside shooting, put on yet another shooting display at the Rose Garden on Sunday, scoring 44 points in leading Miami to a come-from-behind 107-100 overtime victory over the stunned Blazers. It was all part of the Blazers' game plan: Go under screens and prevent James from penetrating, in a sense daring James to shoot. And shoot he did, making 17 of 26, including 3 of 5 from three-point range, one starting the Heat's comeback from a 91-84 deficit with 1:39 left, and the final two in overtime, piercing daggers to a Blazers team that thought it had its ninth consecutive home win wrapped up in regulation."
  • Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic: "That was the drabbest the Suns' locker room has been after a victory in some time. Appropriately, nobody was giddy about getting the first win of 2011 against Cleveland at home. There was not much of a good feeling about having to scrap to hand the NBA's worst team its 16th consecutive road loss."
Posted on: December 5, 2010 1:19 am
Edited on: December 5, 2010 1:23 am
 

The real quitter in Cleveland? The current team

Posted by Royce Young



Leading up to LeBron James' return, the talk in Cleveland was all about how a player quit on his city. How he betrayed them. How he was a traitor. Cavalier fans brought signs to let him know. They chanted it at him. They yelled it at him. They wanted LeBron to know that he quit on them.

Well, they might want to give the current team the same treatment when the Cavs return home Dec. 18.

Following a 28-point drubbing by LeBron's Heat where the Cavs trailed by as much as 38 and pretty much let down a city ready to rally behind them, the Cavs went on the road to play the 4-15 Timberwolves. Not necessarily a sure thing win by any means, but a game you'd expect the Cavs to bounce back in. I mean, they had to still be stinging after the beating they took at the hands of the Heat and ready to rinse that blood off their hands.

Instead, the Wolves beat down the Cavs by 34, possibly sending the franchise to maybe its lowest point ever. Think about it - LeBron returns and instead of being intimidated by the animosity thrown at him, he drops a cold-blooded 38 points and leads his new team to a blowout win. Ouch. And when the Cavs take the floor the next time, they don't even come close to competing. After one quarter, Cleveland trailed by 13 and it just got worse and worse and worse, eventually snowballing into their worst loss of the season.

  Following the game, coach Byron Scott was pretty honest and candid with reporters. "We played like the word that starts with an s and ends with a t," he said. "To me we're playing like the worst basketball team in the NBA right now.''

Hard to argue, really.

LeBron blew the Cavs out twice. Once in Cleveland and then again against the Wolves. Whether it was because the team didn't have any fight in them and backed down or because there was some sort of emotional hill they couldn't get over, the fact is, these two losses look pretty bad.

(An aside here though: Props to the Wolves. They set a new franchise record with 18 3-pointers and shot nearly 70 percent from deep. Kevin Love was 5-5 from 3, Wesley Johnson 3-4 and Wayne Ellington 4-6. This of course wouldn't have been possible without the soft Cleveland defense, but the Wolves still had to make the shots, which they did at a ridiculous rate.)

You can almost - I said almost - excuse the loss to the Heat. A superior team with superior talent that was absolutely ready to annihilate the Cavs to stand up for their guy.  But taking an absolute beating from the Wolves? I don't know where you come up with an excuse for that. The only explanation really is that the team stinks, the players didn't play with any heart and basically, they packed it in pretty much after the opening tip.

There's still plenty of time to bounce back for these guys though. The Cavs are 7-12 and have 63 games left to re-inspire themselves and act like they're playing for something. But what was supposed to bring them together and give them something to feed off of in LeBron's return has had the opposite effect. They crumbled faster than Rich Rodriguez at a Josh Groban concert. Instead of rallying with a city and adhering by the "All For One" motto they go by, the Cavs just didn't respond. Again, the season is still young and Byron Scott is a good motivator. But these past few days are some of the darkest in the franchises history, no doubt.

The Cavs play their next two on the road with a game at Detroit Sunday night. All of a sudden, that matchup has become extremely important for a lot of reasons that have nothing to do with the standings. Cleveland needs to bounce back and do it now. The team, the fans, the city, the franchise can't afford to continue to sink down into this hole. There's no time to pout. There's no time to think about LeBron.

The city is still feeling the sting from the whipping Heat administered and there's real potential here to do lasting damage to the fanbase if the team doesn't show some heart and guts from here on out. Cleveland fans have shown they're willing to fight for this team. But they haven't seen anything similar from the team. No doubt there isn't a ton of talent on the roster anymore, but that doesn't mean the Wolves are 34 points better than you.

When LeBron left, a lot almost felt like professional basketball in Cleveland followed him. The depression caused by The Decision was so heavy that there was a fear that the fanbase might feel so jilted that they gave up. But they didn't. They rallied behind their guys, showed up in force and were ready for vengeance when LeBron returned. Except their guys completely let them down. And then to follow that up with the embarrassment that was Friday night in Minnesota, well, how do you explain that to your fans?

Maybe it was all the hoopla surrounding LeBron's return. Maybe the team was distracted by all the outside noise and was over-focused and over-hyped for the game against the Heat and it carried over to Saturday's game in Minnesota. Or maybe these guys have followed their leader from last season and pretty much just quit on the city. They absolutely have time to redeem themselves, but hopefully it's not already too late.
Posted on: December 3, 2010 11:50 am
 

Video: Mo Williams ignores LeBron

Posted by Royce Young

The fans weren't the only people jilted by LeBron's exit from Cleveland. Players were hurt. Ownership was hurt. Arena employees were hurt. Everyone down the line felt the pain.

But when LeBron returned Thursday night, he saw some of his old teammates, some that he spent multiple years with. Anderson Varejao, Daniel Gibson, Jawad Williams, J.J. Hickson and... Mo Williams.

Williams was so hurt by LeBron's move to Miami that at one point over the summer, hinted at retirement. Williams felt betrayed by a friend and wasn't shy about letting his emotions out. He even said before the game, "It's like your ex-girlfriend coming to your wedding." Even if that analogy didn't completely make sense, it's obvious that Williams had some harsh feelings still about LeBron's departure.

But before the game, LeBron tried to say hello to Williams and instead of exchanging pleasantries, Williams gave him the cold shoulder. I guess that's better than a bump, right?



The look on LeBron's face is a little bit shock and a little bit, "All right, I guess that's how we're gonna play it." And of course LeBron exploded for 38 points, setting a record for both his new franchise and the building he used to call home with 24 points in the third quarter. Williams on the other hand, went 2-8 from the field for just 11 points.

I thought LeBron played everything pretty much the right way last night, except for the weird taunting he did with the Cleveland bench. LeBron tried to be a gentleman in the midst of such a sea of nastiness. That doesn't mean that people like Williams had to be back, but I think giving LeBron the cold shoulder probably wasn't the wisest thing to do. Not just because it might have served as a little extra bump, but come on, is that really the time to do that?

But on the other side, Williams is kind of the ambassador for the Cavs right now. He's been vocal about the team coming together without LeBron. He's the face and the guy the fans were pinning their hopes on last night. It wouldn't have been the best of appearances if Williams was standing there yucking it up with LeBron. Williams kind of turns his head back at the last second. Who knows, maybe he said something like, "Talk later."

Again, this was about how it looked though. It looked like Williams ignored LeBron. Which is probably exactly how Williams wanted it to look, regardless of what he may or may not have said.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com