Tag: Cleveland

LeBron James

With handful of exceptions, Cavaliers fans well behaved for Heat game


When the Heat first ran out on the court for warmups Thursday night, one guy came up in LeBron James face. He was yelling and pointing — and quickly security was on him. He was ejected.

That man was the exception to the rule. By and large Cavaliers fans wanted to boo and vent — there was a chant calling LeBron an “a—hole” and some other vulgar things yelled — but few really crossed the line.

Our own Ira Winderman, writing for the Sun Sentinel, tweeted the final numbers:

Final stats, as reported by Cavaliers: 1 arrest. 4 ejections, 12 confiscated T-shirts and 24 confiscated signs.

Sam Amick of FanHouse adds this story from late in the game.

A battery was, in fact, thrown, falling near the Heat bench late in the game and thankfully not doing any damage. The same couldn’t be said for man who was carried out by three policemen, his drunken misbehavior leading to an attempted arrest gone wrong. While the lawsuit that is sure to ensue will surely have all the details, the unmistakable image from inside the arena press room as he was dragged off was the blood dripping off his beaten face. Witnesses said it was done by the law enforcement officials after he put up the dumbest of fights.

In the grand scheme of things, that’s nothing. Part of it may be that the Heat’s domination sucked the life out of the building, the boos got much quieter in the second half. But part of it is that people were reasonable, and that’s all we could hope for.

Signs in Cleveland Tonight: No LeBron Jerseys

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The photo you see to the right is of one of the signs at the bar Harry Buffalo in Cleveland, putting up a dress code for tonight and giving you an idea of the mood in town. As you can see, this is no Indians game, you can’t bring your LeBron James Heat jersey in.

The photo is via @sojournalista on twitter, we were alerted by Jovan Jaiman.

Security is going to have their hands full at bars and at the Q tonight, I fear.

LeBron returns to Cleveland, and nobody will leave feeling like a winner

Detroit Pistons v Miami Heat

Some team is going to win a basketball game tonight at Quicken Loans Arena.

But is anybody going to walk out of the building tonight in Cleveland feeling like a winner? Feeling happy? When emotions are this intense, this raw, is that really even possible?

Can anything — even a win by the Cavaliers — really be cathartic enough for a Cleveland fan base that felt scorned by one of their own? A fan base that has been stewing in that hatred for five months is not going to feel they have moved on after two-and-a-half hours. (Well, longer than that as this is a TNT game.)

If the Heat get the victory, will LeBron still feel like a winner after being forced to bathe in the intense hatred of a fan base that once loved him like no other? You can’t go home again.

No. Nobody is going to feel closure after tonight. That takes time. Tonight’s game can be a step down that road, but the road is a pretty long one.

Tonight is going to be an incredibly emotional night for all the players in the drama that unfolded this summer. We sincerely hope that those emotions — mixed with too much beer by some knucklehead — don’t lead to a sad situation everyone will regret. Something that would stain fans I still like to picture in red snuggies setting a record and laughing about it.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas is right — this is just basketball and some need to keep that in perspective. But make no mistake, the basketball game itself is somewhat secondary tonight, a platform to express the real feelings, powerful ones left over after “the decision.” Sports has always been about emotions more than just the action on the field. Tonight is going to be about emotions. Raw emotions, the kind where the nerve endings are still exposed. There are people in Cleveland that need closure. The Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert said he moved on at the same time he is apparently paying lawyers to dig it all up again.

On the other side, homecomings are hard. As much as some might want to paint LeBron as an unfeeling, calculating snake who had this all planned out two years ago, that’s not what happened. LeBron is human and leaving his comfort zone like he did — and had the right to do as a free agent — was not easy. Staying would have been easier, been the expected thing. To try to carve out a legacy somewhere else is hard.

And now he will come back to his old comfort zone and feel scorned. Kobe Bryant may be the kind of person who could turn that into fuel for his game, I’m not sure LeBron is that person. LeBron will be emotional and feel raw himself.

Those emotions on both sides will impact and alter the game. Cavaliers players will feed off it, Heat players will want to stick up for their teammate. The game will feel as much like a big playoff game as can happen in the regular season.

We have no idea how that game will turn out. We just know when the clock strikes 0:00 and everyone heads home, the emotions will still be there. That this will not be over.

And nobody is going to feel like a vindicated winner.

Foreshadowing? Heat’s plane has rough landing in Cleveland.

Phoenix Suns v Miami Heat
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If you believe in omens, and you’re rooting against the Heat tonight, then keep on reading.

The Heat literally had a rough landing in Cleveland last night coming in after beating Detroit, according to the Associated Press.

Jackie Mayo, a spokeswoman for Cleveland Hopkins airport, says the crew of the Heat’s plane reported a wing “flap issue” early Thursday as the aircraft was on its approach. An alert was issued at the airport and two fire trucks were sent out to the runway, which is standard procedure.

The plane landed safely about 2:30 a.m. By the way, that’s pretty much when teams arrive on road back-to-backs, they get to sleep about an hour later. Charter flights and posh hotels are part of the gig, but nobody is their best without proper sleep, and it’s why back-to-backs are hard.

Intellectually, we all know the rough landing is nothing. Anyone who flies a lot has these kinds of stories and worse. Every NBA player does. But still, something about a rough landing for this team in this place at this time just seems more like something out of a rather obvious horror novel than it does reality.

Security in Cleveland tonight “not a police state”


There is a fair amount of security at every NBA game — men who sit behind the team benches watching the crowd, for example — but it’s not overwhelming. Like every professional sporting event that is not a Raiders game, there is kind of a belief that fans are not there cause harm to players or one another.

That belief may be put to the test tonight in Cleveland when LeBron James and the Miami Heat come to town five month’s after “the decision.” You’d like to think Clevelanders will rise above violence. There have been plenty of appeals — from unlikely sources — for rational behavior.

But Cleveland is where a full-grown Browns fan tackled an 8-year-old in a Jets jersey in the parking lot this season. The combination of high emotions and alcohol can lead to bad decisions (just think back to college). So the Cleveland Plain Dealer asked what additional security there would be.

“We’re not trying to create a police state for this game,” (Cavs spokesman Tad Carper) said. “We’ve gone through a very comprehensive process with the league security folks, the local authorities, the Cleveland Police Department, and we feel like we have a great plan in place to make sure we have a safe, law-abiding environment.”

For obvious reasons, the Cavaliers are not detailing what additional security measures will be taken. There will be more security personnel of all levels on hand, but how many has not been released. We will note the Heat’s team bus has been getting a police escort around town so far and there is additional security at their hotel.

For five years now everyone entering Quicken Loans Arena has had to pass through a metal detector, that will continue tonight. Beer will only be served in plastic cups.

As for the crackdown on signs and shirts — just nothing “obscene or vulgar.”

“There’s stuff that crosses the line and there’s a lot that doesn’t cross the line, and that stuff’s fine,” (Carper) said. “Bring the emotion, bring the passion, bring the energy and, maybe most importantly, bring your support for the Cavaliers because we need it, we want it, we’re thankful for it and that’ll really have an impact Thursday night. But don’t do anything to embarrass yourself or embarrass the city and community.”