Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hanging from the Rafters - Cleveland Cavaliers

One thing that I might not have made clear in my intro to this series of posts is that the point of running these is to establish a consistent, uniform basis of requirements for all teams by which a jersey should be retired. Right now, it's all a hodgepodge of what each team wants to do, and consequently, a guy who did great for one team might not get his jersey retired even though 25 other teams would gladly put it up there. For example, the Lakers and Knicks only retire Hall of Famers, the Celtics will retire just about anyone who's won a title or two, the Cavs will retire anyone they feel like. So, the point of this is, "if every team had the same rules, who would we see hanging from the rafters." I may adjust the requirements when all is said and done and we can look at who we have and haven't retired, but for right now, it's just an exercise in making sure equal accomplishments result in equal honors.

Anyway, I bring this up now because the Cavs have retired a lot of jerseys. Way more than you'd expect. But I imagine they won't be retiring LeBron's any time soon. Even though he's far and away the best player that's ever played for the franchise. He will be on this list. And the above paragraph explains why.

#11 - Zydrunas Ilgauskas
Qualifies under #3 (771 games)
#23 - LeBron James
Qualifies under #1 (320.6 rating), #2 (2009 & 2010 MVP)
#25 - Mark Price
Qualifies under #1 (107.3 rating)
#43 - Brad Daugherty
Qualifies under #1 (97.7 rating)

Okay, so, I think that's a pretty fair list of guys to have retired for the Cavs. Here's who they've actually retired, along with Price and Daugherty - Bingo Smith (#7), Larry Nance (#22), Austin Carr (#34), and Nate Thurmond (#42). Seems a bit much to me. Especially Nate Thurmond. The man was there for one and a half seasons at the end of his career, amassing a total of 4.3 win shares and 13.1 PER (15.0 is what an "average" player should get). He also averaged 5.0 points per game, 6.3 rebounds per game, 1.3 assists, 0.3 steals, and 1.5 blocks. That's nothing to write home about. That's a Hall of Famer fading into the sunset. It'd be like the Raptors retiring Hakeem Olajuwon's jersey because he played his final season there. Anyway, here's the team's close calls:

Close Calls
75.0 Greatness Rating
1. (#22) Larry Nance - 53.3 rating
2. (#11) Terrell Brandon - 35.2 rating
3. (#18) Hot Rod Williams - 32.0 rating
4. (#34) Austin Carr - 26.5 rating
5. (#20) Campy Russell - 23.5 rating

739 Games
1. (#35) Danny Ferry - 723 games
2. (#7) Bingo Smith - 720 games
3. (#18) Hot Rod Williams - 661 games
4. (#34) Austin Carr - 635 games
5. (#3) Craig Ehlo - 513 games

439 Games and Hall of Fame Inductee
1. (#19) Lenny Wilkens - 149 games
2. (#42) Nate Thurmond - 114 games
3. (#11) Walt Frazier - 66 games
That's it for Hall of Famers, so now we'll just go with highest on the probability scale.
4. (#33) Shaquille O'Neal - 100% probability
5. (#11) Kevin Johnson - 33.2% probability

1 comment:

  1. I think Carr might deserve to be retired by them...not Smith or THurmond though...