The Cleveland Cavaliers have evolved the sport of basketball in their home city, but how much do fans really know about this team? If the answer is “not much”, that’s why we are here to fill you in! All you have to do is keep reading to discover all of the fun facts that fans don’t know about the Cleveland Cavaliers!
Number Six: An Early Beginning
In 1970, the Cleveland Cavaliers were finally introduced as a team. Two months later, they carried out their first draft for players. The first pick on the list was already a guaranteed player, as the first coach, Bill Fitch, was already familiar with John Johnson after coaching him at the University of Minnesota.
Number Five: The Legend of Thurmond
In the early days of the team, one of the most legendary players for the Cavaliers was Nate Thurmond. This man played only about two seasons on the team until his left knee’s cartilage was torn during a game. Even after his injury, Thurmond insisted on playing a final game in which he blocked an important shot from the opposing team. When the season ended two days later, he announced his retirement. In honor of Thurmond’s contributions to the team, his number 42 jersey was retired along with him.
Number Four: An Eventful Court
When it comes to NBA special events, the Cavaliers home court seems to be the place where the magic happens. In the team’s history, the Cavaliers have hosted two NBA All-Star Games on their home court: the 35th season of play anniversary in 1981, and the 50 year NBA league anniversary in 1997. Each event brought a large number of NBA greats into Cleveland, and we hear that they are hoping to host the 75th anniversary in 2021.
Number Three: The Player that Wouldn’t Quit
Another great player in the Cleveland Cavaliers history is Craig Ehlo. In a legendary game between the Cavaliers and the Chicago Bulls, Ehlo suffered a sprained ankle in the fourth quarter. Dedicated to win the epic match, Ehlo kept playing despite his injury and scored another nine points to put the Cavaliers in the lead. However, his efforts went to watch, as he couldn’t block the masterful shooting skills of Michael Jordan.
Number Two: The Cleveland Cavaliers Start a Trend
Oddly enough, the Cleveland Cavaliers partially contributed to the early success of the now famous HBO network. Back in 1973, both the HBO network and the Cavaliers were getting their start. Searching for all of the funding options he could find, the owner of that time (Nick Mileti) made a deal with Home Box Office (now simply HBO). The deal agreed that the team’s games would be featured on the cable network, but only appeared in select Pennsylvania locations.
Number One: The Name Game
The Cavaliers’ name was not a choice of the owners, but actually the result of a city-wide contest hosted by the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The contest winner was to be given the prize of season tickets to the team’s debut season in 1970. Among the finalist options for the team name were the Jays, Foresters, Towers, Presidents, and Cavaliers. Because the judges felt that the latter represented “a group of daring, fearless men whose life’s pact was never surrender, no matter what the odds”, the Cavaliers won by a landslide. We hope you enjoyed our list of the six things that fans don’t know about the Cleveland Cavaliers!