LeBron James

Cleveland stuck in shadow of Pittsburgh while on brink of title

Sports fans in Cleveland will settle for a championship any way they can get it.

Even if it comes by way of the city’s NBA team as opposed to their beloved NFL Browns.

Even if it comes via the help of the greatest player in the world, who several years back went on national television and publicly embarrassed the region when he took his ball and won titles elsewhere.

But again, make no mistake, you take the sweet taste of success any way you can get it.

That’s what happens when you’ve gone 146 major sports seasons without a title. The last of which came on Dec. 27, 1964 when the Browns defeated the Baltimore Colts for the NFL championship.

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Golden State Warriors stirring up old memories of 40 years ago

The NBA didn’t matter the last time the Golden State Warriors played for a championship.

The National Basketball Association was still a decade away from garnering national interest amid the sports landscape when Rick Barry, Jamaal Wilkes, George Johnson, Butch Beard, Clifford Ray and Jeff Mullins last brought a title to the Bay Area.

It wasn’t until the mid-1980s, when Magic Johnson and Larry Bird were reaching all corners of the country through a complex rivalry, that both media and fans started to truly pay attention. But before those theatrical days were plenty of other benchmarks being laid throughout the history of the league.

The Warriors claimed the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference during the 1974-75 season with a modest 48-34 record. They did so by leading the 18-team league in scoring, rebounds and steals before pulling an upset (assuming they were indeed the underdogs, of course) of the Washington Bullets (60-22) by way of a sweep in the NBA Finals.

That series has some historical significance aside from the result as Golden State’s Al Attles and Washington’s K.C. Jones became the first black head coaches to face off in a professional sports championship. Never mind that Attles was thrown out of Game 4 for attacking an opposing player during the game.

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Cleveland Cavaliers return to top of NBA’s Eastern Conference

So much changes over the course of eight years. Just ask the Cleveland Cavaliers, who last played for an NBA title back when they were swept by the San Antonio Spurs following the 2006-07 season.

Three years later the Cavs decided it was time to move on from head coach Mike Brown, while all-star LeBron James decided to move on from Cleveland following semifinal setbacks to the Boston Celtics (2008, 2010) and an Eastern Conference final loss to the Orlando Magic in 2009.

And now, mercifully, Cleveland gets another shot at breaking a pro sports title drought that dates back to 1964 when the Browns last finished on top.

This time the Cavs’ hopes won’t hinge on the likes of overachievers such as Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Drew Gooden, Larry Hughes, Sasha Pavlovic, Daniel Gibson and, unfortunately, Anderson Varejao, who is one of two remaining players still on roster from 2007 but has been sidelined due to injury.

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Carnahan Chronicles Radio: Scott Sargent of WaitingForNextYear.com talks start of Johnny Manziel era

It’s Johnny Football time in Cleveland.

The slim postseason chances the Cleveland Browns still have now rest solely on the shoulders of rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel, who will get his first NFL start Sunday in place of Brian Hoyer against the Cincinnati Bengals. Manziel will become the 21st different starting quarterback for the Browns since the franchise returned to the league in 1999.

I talked to Waiting For Next Year co-founder Scott Sargent on Saturday about the impact Manziel may have on the franchise over the final three weeks of the season and beyond. We also attempted to pinpoint which of the previous 20 starters at quarterback are most beloved by Browns fans. The only problem: there’s just not too many good ones to choose from.

( – Click here to listen to J.C. and Scott talk Johnny Manziel and the Cleveland Browns – )

Carnahan Coverage: LeBron James Doesn’t Need Another Title to Appease Cavs Fans

When LeBron James decided to take his talents back to Cleveland, Ohio it was a win-win for both the NBA all-star forward and Cavs fans throughout the world, or at least in the midwest. I tried to explain this on the debut of my radio show on July 12 (listen here) and have done so again in writing for Orlando Sports Mag earlier this month. Below is the full story that can be found on page five of Orlando Sports Mag. A story about the Orlando City Soccer Club and their fans also appears in the issue on page 28.

If you’ve ever moved away from home you know how hard it is to move back.

Even the most nostalgic of us knows this to be true. Each day away from the nest drives us further from the people we once were and ever closer to the possibilities of new adventures in the future.

Of course a salary of $42.1-million over two years could make anyone reconsider, such as is the case of NBA all-star forward LeBron James, who decided in July to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers after four successful years with the Miami Heat.

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Carnahan Chronicles Radio: How Tom Chambers Changed the Course of NBA Free Agency

The hysteria that’s become free agency in the NBA has been at an all-time high in recent years. So much so that it’s hard to imagine a time when players moving from team to team was such a foreign concept.

But thanks to one particular player, who thoroughly explored his options in the late 1980s, players today are able to call their own shots when it comes to employment opportunities within the league much in the same manner as those in the working class, albeit with much better compensation.

During the summer of 1988 Tom Chambers became the first NBA player to leave one franchise for another, on his own terms, when he went from the Seattle SuperSonics to the Phoenix Suns. Sam Gardner wrote about how Chambers paved the way for free agency in the NBA as we know it today and he joined me on AM 740 The Game to talk about it Saturday morning.

( – Click here to listen to J.C. talk to Sam Gardner about Tom Chambers’ impact on free agency – )