Cleveland Cavaliers
Conference Eastern Conference
Division Central Division
Founded 1970
History Cleveland Cavaliers
Arena Quicken Loans Arena
formerly Gund Arena
City Cleveland, Ohio
Team Colors Wine, Gold, Dark Blue, and White
Head Coach Mike Brown
Owner Dan Gilbert
David Katzman
Usher Raymond
Championships None
Conference Titles 0
Division Titles 1 (1976)

The Cleveland Cavaliers are a professional basketball team based in Cleveland, Ohio. They play in the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Home arenas[]

Cleveland Arena (1970-1974)
Coliseum at Richfield (1974-1994)
Quicken Loans Arena (formely called Gund Arena) (1994-present)

Franchise history[]

The Cavaliers first began play in the NBA in 1970 as an expansion team. Under the direction of coach Bill Fitch, they compiled a league-worst 15-67 record. However, the team began to build around the 1971 draft pick, Austin Carr. He scored 63 points in a single game.

In the 1975-1976 season, with Carr, Bingo Smith, Jim Chones, Dick Snyder, and newly acquired Nate Thurmond, Fitch led the Cavs, as the team is commonly nicknamed, to a 49-33 record, which was the best record in the Central Division. He received the league's Coach of the Year award as the Cavs made their first-ever playoff appearance.

The Cavs won the series against the Washington Bullets, 4-3. Because of the many heroics and last-second shots, the series became known locally as the "Miracle of Richfield." However, hampered by injuries, particularly to Jim Chones, the Cavs proceeded to lose to the Boston Celtics in Eastern Conference Finals of the NBA playoffs.

In the 1980s, new owner Ted Stepien quickly hired and fired a succession of coaches, made a number of poor trades and poor free agent signing decisions. Stepien's poor trades cost the team several first round draft picks, and led to a rule change in the NBA prohibiting teams from trading away first round draft picks in consecutive years. The rule is known as the "Ted Stepien Rule." Stepien threatened to move the franchise to Toronto, but brothers George Gund and Gordon Gund purchased the franchise in the mid 1980s and decided to keep the team in Cleveland. In 1993, Toronto would, in fact, get an expansion franchise, the Toronto Raptors.

In 1986, under the Gund brothers as owners, the team acquired, either through trades or the draft, Brad Daugherty, Mark Price, Ron Harper, and Larry Nance. These players (minus Harper, who was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers for the rights to Danny Ferry) formed the core of the team that led the Cavs to eight playoff seasons in the next nine years, including three 50-wins plus seasons. However, in 1989, the Cavs were paired against the Chicago Bulls in the playoffs. It was a best-of-five-series. Cleveland managed to beat the Bulls in overtime, 108-105 and tied the series 2-2. Home court advantage went to Cleveland. The game was evenly matched, until Cleveland managed to score on a drive and raise the lead by 1, with 3 seconds left. Chicago called time. The ball was inbounded to Michael Jordan, who went for a jump shot. Cleveland's Craig Ehlo jumped in front to block it, but Jordan seemed to stay in the air until Ehlo landed. "The Shot" went in as time ran out, with Chicago winning the series 3-2. The buzzer-beater is considered one of Jordan's greatest clutch moments, and the game itself one of the greatests. But the pinnacle of the Cavs' success came in the 1991-1992 season, when they compiled a 57-25 record and advanced to the Eastern Conference finals, losing again to the Chicago Bulls 4-2. Cleveland had no success in the playoffs during this period.

After then, an era of decline came for Cavs. With retirements and departures of Nance,Daugherty and Price, team lost its power and no longer was able even to fight for playoffs, where once they used to be the greatest trouble against the Bulls.

For several years under leadership of point guard Terrell Brandon, Cavs became the most defensive team of NBA, setting its tactics all on defense,being the NBA's least point conceding team.But offensive inproductivity caused Cavs to have no success in this era.

Later on, players like Ricky Davis, Zydrunas Ilgauskas were added to the team, increasing the quality, but without any success.

However, after the Cavs' glory days came several losing seasons. Those seasons saw the Cavs drop to the bottom of the league, becoming a perennial lottery draft team. After another disappointing season in 2002-2003, the Cavs landed the number one draft pick in the NBA Lottery. The Cavs selected high school phenom LeBron James. James' status as both a local star (having played his high school basketball at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in nearby Akron) and one of the most highly touted prospects in NBA history led many to view his selection as a turning point in the franchise's history. The 2003-2004 season offered great hope for the future, as James rose to become a dominating player, winning the NBA Rookie of the Year Award. Hope was even greater for the 2004-2005 season. James blossomed into a superstar, increasing his points average, shooting percentage, assists average, and rebounds average. Despite the loss of Carlos Boozer under very dubious circumstances, James teamed with Drew Gooden and Zydrunas Ilgauskas to form the core of the Cavs team. After a promising start when the team seemed to be locked firmly into the Eastern Conference's 5th playoff spot, the Cavs began a downward spiral that eventually led to the firing of coach Paul Silas and general manager Jim Paxson. The Cavs failed to make the playoffs that year, tied with the resurgent New Jersey Nets for the eighth (and final) playoff spot (the Nets owned the tiebreaker over the Cavs).

The 2005 offseason was one of many changes for the Cavaliers. The team hired a new coach, Mike Brown, and a new general manager, former Cavaliers forward Danny Ferry. The team also signed free agents Larry Hughes, Donyell Marshall, and Damon Jones (four-year, $16 million for Damon) to multi-year contracts. Along with new owner Dan Gilbert, the Cavaliers' front office consists of individuals new to their respective positions. Despite the relative inexperience of many of these newcomers, the franchise sees great hope in rising star LeBron James, whom many have compared to all-time great Michael Jordan.

The Cavs are the oldest team in the NBA never to have been in the NBA Finals.

In March, the Cavaliers clinched their first playoff appearance since the 1997-98 season. They wound up receiving the #4 seed in the Eastern Conference and faced the Washington Wizards in the first round. After the two teams split the first two games in Cleveland, LeBron James scored a game-winning basket with 5.7 seconds remaining in game 3. The Wizards then won game 4 to tie the series. With the series back in Cleveland, the Cavs emerged victorious in the fifth game, 121-120 in an exciting overtime contest that saw LeBron James hit the game winning shot with 0.9 seconds left on the clock. Game 6 also went to overtime, on a Gilbert Arenas three-point shot at the end of regulation to tie the score. In the extra session, however, Damon Jones nailed a long jumper in the final seconds to clinch the game for the Cavs - advancing them into the second round for the first time in 13 years.

In the second round, the Cavs lost the first two games to the Detroit Pistons, but then won the next three, including one at the Palace of Auburn Hills (producing the Pistons' only three game losing streak of the season). However, they lost a close Game 6 at home and then fell to Detroit, 79-61, in game 7.

The two playoff rounds were a showcase for the emergence of LeBron James, which he has achieved many "youngest ever to...." records considering his age (21). More importantly, it marks the rebirth of a once stangnant basketball franchise.

Players of note[]

Basketball Hall of Famers:[]

  • Nate Thurmond
  • Lenny Wilkens (Inducted as both player and coach.)

Not to be forgotten:[]

  • Terrell Brandon
  • Bobby Phills
  • Jim Chones
  • Brad Daugherty
  • Craig Ehlo
  • World B. Free
  • Ron Harper
  • Shawn Kemp
  • Steve Kerr
  • Andre Miller
  • Larry Nance
  • Mark Price
  • Campy Russell
  • John "Hot Rod" Williams

Retired numbers:[]

  • 7 Bingo Smith, F, 1970-79
  • 22 Larry Nance, F, 1988-94
  • 25 Mark Price, G, 1986-95
  • 34 Austin Carr, G, 1971-80
  • 42 Nate Thurmond, C, 1975-77
  • 43 Brad Daugherty, C, 1986-94

Current roster[]

Grizzlies 2005-06 Roster
15 Martynas Andriuskevicius C 7-2 240 03/12/1986 Lithuania R
90 Drew Gooden F 6-10 242 09/24/1981 Kansas 3
1 Stephen Graham G-F 6-6 215 06/11/1982 Oklahoma State R
44 Alan Henderson F-C 6-9 240 12/02/1972 Indiana 10
32 Larry Hughes G 6-5 184 01/23/1979 St. Louis 7
11 Zydrunas Ilgauskas C 7-3 260 06/05/1975 Lithuania 7
33 Luke Jackson F-G 6-7 215 11/06/1981 Oregon 1
23 LeBron James F 6-8 240 12/30/1984 St. Vincent-St. Mary HS (OH) 2
19 Damon Jones G 6-3 190 08/25/1976 Houston 7
24 Donyell Marshall F 6-9 230 05/18/1973 Connecticut 11
2 Ronald Murray G 6-3 197 07/29/1979 Shaw 3
14 Ira Newble F-G 6-7 220 01/20/1975 Miami (Ohio) 5
3 Aleksandar Pavlovic G-F 6-7 210 11/15/1983 Serbia & Montenegro 2
20 Eric Snow - C G 6-3 205 04/24/1973 Michigan State 10
17 Anderson Varejao F 6-10 240 09/28/1982 Brazil 1
HEAD COACH Mike Brown (College - San Diego)
ASSISTANT COACHES Kenny Natt (College - Northeast Louisiana)
Hank Egan (College - Navy)
Michael Malone (College - Loyola (MD))
Melvin Hunt (College - Baylor)
STRENGTH-AND-CONDITIONING COACH Stan Kellers (College - Cleveland State)
ATHLETIC TRAINER Max Benton (College - Colorado)

C - Captain

created: 06/06/2006,02:38 PM

Coaches and others[]

Basketball Hall of Famers[]

  • Wayne Embry (Former team president and first African American to serve in that role in the NBA; inducted as a contributor.)
  • Lenny Wilkens (Inducted as both player and coach.)


  • Bill Fitch 1970-1979
  • Stan Albeck 1979-1980
  • Bill Musselman 1980-1981
  • Don Delaney 1980-1982
  • Bob Kloopenburg 1981-1982
  • Chuck Daly 1981-1982
  • Bill Musselman 1981-1982
  • Tom Nissalke 1982-1984
  • George Karl 1984-1986
  • Gene Littles 1985-1986
  • Lenny Wilkens 1986-1993
  • Mike Fratello 1993-1999
  • Randy Wittman 1999-2001
  • John Lucas 2001-2003
  • Keith Smart 2002-2003
  • Paul Silas 2003-2005
  • Brendan Malone 2004-2005
  • Mike Brown 2005-Present


Cleveland Cavaliers games are broadcast on both local radio and television.


WTAM (AM 1100) in Cleveland is the flagship station of a 16 station Cavaliers radio network [1]. Veteran broadcaster Joe Tait has served as the team's radio play-by-play announcer since its inception in 1970, with a brief break away from the team in the period when it was owned by Ted Stepien. Tait is considered one of the prominent announcers in professional sports.


The Cavaliers' TV games air on cable and satellite on Fox Sports Net Ohio, and also on WUAB (Channel 43) in Cleveland, the flagship of a seven station Cavaliers television network. Play-by-play announcer Michael Reghi and analyst (and former Cavaliers player) Scott Williams handle TV duties. Cavs legend Austin Carr is an analyst for games on WUAB.

External links[]