The playoffs are right around the corner, so for the Third Yearin a row, and first ever as defending champs, we break down the coolest Cavs currently on the roster.
15. DeAndre Liggins
Last Year’s Ranking: N/A Liggins is a cool dude, but not quite ready to compete at a championship level for cool. I love a great D-League success story, and this dude won a title and the Defensive Player of the Year in the D League last year, and now is on his way to a playoff run in the big leagues. Cool story, but still a ways to go to compete on this list.
14. Kay Felder
Last Year’s Ranking: N/A If this were a Coolest Players to Play for the Canton Charge This Season list, Felder would be in the Top 2, but this isn’t the D League and he still has some work to do to develop his big leagues cool.
13. James Jones
Last Year’s Ranking: 13 Three time NBA Champion. Three time bottom three Cool.
12. Tristan Thompson
Last Year’s Ranking: 8 His on court game continues to get better and better and he brings a workman like mentality to the court. That doesn’t always translate to cool off the court.
11. Kyle Korver
Last Year’s Ranking: N/A Hot shooter. Not cool dude.
10. Larry Sanders
Last Year’s Ranking: N/A Out of the league for a few years after retiring due to depression and anxiety. Now ready to run for a title after overcoming those issues. If that’s not Top 10 Cool-worthy, then I don’t know Cool.
9. Derrick Williams
Last Year’s Ranking: N/A Top 2 in Coolest D-Wills on the team.
8. Deron Williams
Last Year’s Ranking: N/A D Will fills the whole that I so badly wanted Joe Johnson to fill last year. Super cool dude who can ball coming to the team late for that final title push. Very cool.
7. Channing Frye
Last Year’s Ranking: 12 Really letting his cool show in his first full season with the Cavs. Cooler due to his close connection with Richard Jefferson, but still very cool on his own.
6. Iman Shumpert
Last Year’s Ranking: 4 The hair is less iconic this year, but the dude is still hella cool.
5. Kyrie Irving
Last Year’s Ranking: 7 There’s nothing flat about his all around coolness.
4. Kevin Love
Last Year’s Ranking: 5 Love = Cool.
3. Richard Jefferson
Last Year’s Ranking: 10 This year’s highest climber of Cool. Has really let his personality shine through this year with his podcast with Channing and Facebook Live videos with Allie Clifton, who is the epitome of Cool.
2. JR Smith
Last Year’s Ranking: 2 Has had a rough year dealing with issues on and off the court, but has remained Cool along the way.
At the beginning of 2016, my pal Fred and I decided to challenge each other to write something new each week for the entire year. He had accomplished something similar a few years back when he put up a song a week for a year, so I figured he’d be the perfect partner to keep me motivated for the year.
Well, 2016 is now over, and we did it. For every week, we wrote something new. Fred mixed it up. He wrote mostly poems, but mixed in the occasional short story or song lyrics.
I stuck with short stories. 52 new stories, one a week for an entire year. Looking back, there are some stories I really liked and am proud of. There are others where it’s obvious I rushed it together at the last minute. There are also plenty that I think are good ideas, but I didn’t take the proper time to flesh them out. Overall, I’d say there’s something with about half of them that I’m happy with, and a handful of those are ones I’m proud of.
It was definitely challenging, but also a very fun exercise. There were weeks where I didn’t have an idea. Or I had an idea but didn’t have the time to flesh it out. There are probably a dozen stories I’ve started, then decided I’d come back to, and a handful of other ideas that I figured I’d save for a week that I didn’t have an idea. Ideas aren’t the issue, it’s taking the time to get them to paper that I struggle with.
Ultimately, if I wanted to go for another year, I truly believe I could. So many of the ideas came the week the story was written, and I’m confident my brain could keep going at that pace. It’d end up the same way though, where I’m happy with maybe half, and disappointed with the others. Mentally, I think I’m capable of it, but I know I don’t want to.
So I won’t be writing a story a week in 2017. I would rather take that energy and time used for writing and focus on other projects.
But, I love the idea of Created Weekly too much to just let it be a one year thing. So, in 2017 it will stay alive, but the focus will shift from writing to visual art.
Myself, my oldest two daughters, some of my best pals Zane, Jimmy Cole, Chris, Tony, and anybody else I can get on board are going to create a new piece of art each week for the year.
Zane, Jimmy, Tony, and Chris are all awesome artists who are amazing and I love their work. I suck at drawing, always have. Hopefully after a year of forcing myself to draw something new every week I will improve. Even if not, it’ll be fun to try.
I’m hoping Fred continues to contribute in whatever way he wants, even if it’s not every week. And I will likely still write the occasional short story to post. I’m hoping to do a short story a month. 12 is much less overwhelming than 52.
And the site is still going to be open to anything. So if you or anybody you know would like to participate, you or them are more than welcome to. It doesn’t have to be drawings. It can be anything.
I look forward to shifting the focus in 2017, and will look back fondly on what we did in 2016. I may not be proud of every entry I wrote, but consistently doing anything for an entire year is a big deal for me.
As for outside of Created Weekly for 2017, I also have some other very cool stuff in the works, so I’m excited about that as well.
And since I don’t expect anybody in the world to go back and read all 52 short stories I wrote in 2016, I’ve decided to handpick a few of my favorites. Check them out if you have some time to kill, and if you like them and still have more time to kill, there’s plenty more where that came from at CreatedWeekly.com.
And please take note, I’d write them and post. So there may be typos and they’re not perfect. Rarely did I re-read through them. I will likely do so with these at some point and touch them up. Maybe.
Here are 10 of my favorite stories I wrote in 2016 (and some extras), in no specific order:
This is easily my most personal story of the entire year, kinda. It was inspired and almost ripped off completely from a dream I had where my brother Gary showed up. I am in the process of reworking this story a bit and rewriting it. This story will show up again in 2017.
This is the final entry of 2016, week 52. It’s probably the longest entry of the year, but I’m very happy with it. It felt good to end on a high note. This is one that I had a basic idea and just started writing and let the story develop naturally. It’s about a writer that attends a meeting of people who consider themselves “Reincarnates”.
This truly was supposed to be the first installment of a handful. But, I didn’t want to resort to filling the year with sequels and serials, so I left it at Chapter One. I do love the story and the characters though, and outlined the rest of the story from this point. I may write the entire thing at some point. I think this works as the first piece of a larger story, but also stands pretty well on its own as a standalone.
The whole reason I wanted to do Created Weekly was because I had an idea for a short story but didn’t have anywhere to post it. That story idea was about a lonely man that lived downstairs from a lonely girl who decided to offer to do her a favor. I ended up not writing the story until the summer for some reason, but I don’t regret waiting because I like the finished product.
Muhammed Ali is an all time hero of mine and I was crushed when he passed away this past year. This is the story I wrote that week. I like the idea better than the finished product, but it came out OK.
This is another one where I like the idea more than the execution. It’s clear this one was rushed and written right when it was supposed to be posted, but I like the idea a lot. It’s one of the shorter ones of the year.
My freshman year of college I started writing a novel. I worked on it for a few years before bailing on it, but the idea has stuck with me since. It was called In The Words Of Wink and followed a dude navigating adulthood while having flashbacks to lessons his childhood little league coach tried to teach him that seemed silly at the time but are incredibly relevant now. This is basically that same idea put into short story form.
At the beginning of the year, a lot of the stories felt like I was just writing sketches in story form. They were mostly just two dudes talking and strictly dialogue driven. For this one I tried to transition into more stuff happening, and dipped my toe into some hard sci-fi. It turned into one of the sillier stories of the year, but I think it’s fun. It’s the only story of the year I actually wrote a sequel to, but Creed’s Greatest Hits: Disk 2 was almost too silly for its own good.
I don’t feel there’s much special about this story, but Fred liked it. It was actually meant to be the first part of a trilogy, but I never put up the second part and haven’t yet put the third to paper. I may in 2017, but we’ll see. This was at a point where I tried to start transitioning into less silly stories and explore some other stuff.
Babygirl I hated that most of my stories centered mostly around dudes, so I started trying to mix it up and start writing more female characters. This story isn’t the most groundbreaking or original, but I really liked writing it.
This was written at a time of the year when I was the most down and pessimistic. I tried to write through it, and the best way to do that was to write about a group of women working on puzzles.
In a neck and neck race with Creed’s Greatest Hits for the stupidest story of the year. It came later in the year though, when most of the stories had a darker tone to them, so it was a much needed light hearted break. My Movies On Up! cohost actually read this story on our Halloween episode, and that was fun.
Digger Spaeth: Private Investigator
This was another that was intended to be an ongoing story, and I actually outlined the rest of it but never wrote it. I enjoy the two characters and liked the dialogue between them. Again, not the most original idea I had, but it was fun to write.
Observe and Depart
I hate the title of this one, but like the idea. It’s a better idea than the execution, but I’m still pretty happy with it. It’s about a guy with a unique opportunity and a tough decision to make.
There are others that I like, or at least like something about. Stories like Sole Mate, Cabinets, and Inbox come to mind if you wanted to search the site for those.
Overall, I feel like I went through phases. They started off lighthearted, then veered off into more dark as the year went on. Lots of death related themes along the way, and a decent bit of loose sci-fi.
Anyways, 2016 was a terrible year overall, but I’ll always look back at the Created Weekly experience fondly. Hopefully there’s something along the way you enjoyed as well.
I’ve been pretty spoiled in my life as a sports fan. There are people that live a lifetime and never get to witness their favorite team win a championship. I’ve been able to experience it nine times so far, and counting.
So here they are, the nine championships my teams have won, ranked in order of how much joy they brought me:
9. 2015/16 Pittsburgh Penguins
I regret this one. I let myself get too invested in the Cavs playoff run. At this point in my life, I don’t have the time or emotional depth to throw myself into two finals runs at the same time. If the Cavs would have lost, I’d have regretted this even more. Very happy the Penguins won and stoked to see Malkin and The Kid get more than one Cup together, but disappointed in myself for not enjoying it as much as I should have.
8, 7. 1990-91, 91-92 Pittsburgh Penguins
Despite growing up in Indiana, I was raised a Steelers fan because of my dad. The Steelers led me to discover and cheer for Barry Bonds and the Pirates, which led me to the other team in the Pittsburgh Trifecta. The Steelers, the team that made me love the city of Pittsburgh, wasn’t doing much, but the Pirates were great, and the Penguins won back to back championships. This roster made me love hockey. Jagr, Lemieux, Murphy, Mullen, & Ulf were amazing together, and Mario is the greatest player ever. I was too young to fully appreciate the titles at the time, but I still had a blast watching them.
6. 2014-15 Ohio State Buckeyes
Along with the Steelers, my dad raised me to be a Buckeyes fan, despite being right between Purdue, Indiana, and Notre Dame. There were a lot of great teams and players I got to see through the 90s and early 2000s, but the 2014 season was easily one of the most fun. We lost our starting QB for the season. Our backup came in and had a Heisman quality season, but got hurt before the Big 10 Championship Game that we needed to win to make the first ever playoffs. Then our third stringer went on a three game tear all the way to the National Championship and first ever winner in the playoff era. It was a hell of a ride.
5. 2005-06 Pittsburgh Steelers
For a large part of my life, the Steelers were MY TEAM. They trumped everything else. I enjoyed other sports, but none as much as watching the Steelers play. I got to see them play in a Super Bowl a decade before this, but it didn’t go so well. In between that one and this one, there were a lot of great seasons that ended in terrible disappointment. Until this season. This season was different. This one was special.
After going 15-1 the year before and losing in the playoffs, they struggled during the season. They needed to win the final few games of the season to sneak into the playoffs as the sixth seed. They did that. Then they beat the Bengals at home. Then they had to beat the juggernaut, unbeatable Colts, and did so in one of the most ridiculously insane games ever. Then it was the Broncos and the Seahawks, which were taken care of fairly easily.
This one was meant to be. I got cocky. In my head, there was no way this team would lose. It was Bettis’s last year, with the Super Bowl being played in his hometown of Detroit. It was too perfect. Bettis, Ward, and Polamalu are three of my favorite Steelers ever, and I had no doubt in my mind they would win. I should have appreciated it more, but I felt like it was set in stone.
4. 2002-03 Ohio State Buckeyes The first Buckeyes Championship of my lifetime wasn’t just special as a lifelong Buckeye fan, but also had a hometown flavor. I’d been in Youngstown for five years at this point, and knew it was somewhere I’d be for a long long time. I adopted it as my new hometown. Jim Tressel was Youngstown’s son. He brought championships to Youngstown, and now he was bringing one to Columbus, along with a local kid from the area who dominated that game, Maurice Clarett. Sure, Clarett’s career/life became interesting after this season, but the strip fumble is one of the greatest individual plays I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. I HATE college overtime and will generally turn a game off when it gets to that point instead of watching it, but I couldn’t turn this off. I had to see a local kid win a title for a local coach for the team I’d loved my whole life.
3. 2008-09 Pittsburgh Penguins
This one was great. After the Cavs being upset in the Eastern Conference Finals by the Orlando Magic, I was able to dive headfirst into watching Crosby and Malkin win their first Cup. In a ridiculous, thrilling 7 game series that was in question up until the final buzzer sounded. Obviously, I’d have loved the Cavs in the Finals, and that Lebron/Kobe Finals that the world needed so bad, but the Pens were there to make up for it.
2. 2008-09 Pittsburgh Steelers
The one a few years earlier felt like it was destiny, so I didn’t appreciate it as much. This one felt like it required more work and a tougher road to get there. It also turned out to be the greatest football game I’ve ever watched in my life.
I was able to watch it with my buddy Matt and his family, who are pretty much the only people in the world not related to me that I enjoy watching the Steelers with.
I will never forget James Harrison’s interception return to end the half, as it’s easily my favorite football play of all time. It was a bunch of adults yelling while a child was trying to go to sleep. Matt took her into the other room to calm her down, and the look on his face upon coming back in the room and saying “He’s still going!?” I will never forget.
And of course the toe tap catch by Santonio Holmes in the final minute to take the lead.
Maybe the first one was more special, but this one was a hell of a lot more fun.
2015-16 Cleveland Cavaliers
This one tops all of them. I’m not an all-around Cleveland fan, just the Cavs. So I am not relieving a 50+ year championship drought. But the Cavs are my NBA team, and have been since moving to Ohio in 1998. So really, I haven’t suffered like the rest of the Cleveland fans. But, at this point in my life, the NBA is my sport of choice, and that makes the Cavs the team I’m most passionate about.
Living near Akron, I got to watch Lebron play a few games in high school. The boyfriend of a girl I worked with was obsessed and went on and on about how this kid was going to be something special, so I went along with him to a few games. Upon watching him play, I agreed. Then the Cavs got the chance to take him first overall, and it all felt right.
Of all the athletes in team sports that I’ve loved in my lifetime, I’ve never loved one as much as I do Lebron James. Next to Muhammad Ali, he is my favorite athlete of all time. He’s a somewhat local kid, who grew up to be the best ever and the perfect role model. He is everything you want out of a professional athlete. It hurt to see him leave Cleveland, but I still enjoyed seeing him win two titles in Miami, because no matter what, I’ll always love watching him play and love watching him win.
But for him to come home and not just win a title, but win it in the way they did, is special. I love this roster from top to bottom. It was a season with a lot of ups and downs, but it ended at the highest up imaginable.
Of them all, I appreciate this one the most. By far.
With Lebron taking the Cavs back to the finals again this year, and going himself for the sixth time in a row and seventh time overall, I wanted to take the time to rank each of those seven rosters from weakest to best.
Here they are, The Seven Best Rosters Lebron James Has Lead To The NBA Finals
7. 2006/07 Cleveland Cavaliers
Lost to San Antonio 0-4
No matter what Lebron accomplishes for the rest of his career, or how many Championships he ends up with, getting this team to the finals will always be one of the most impressive things he’s done in his career.
Taking a team with Sasha Pavolvic as the starting two-guard to the NBA Finals is no small feat. Getting through the Eastern Conference into the Finals with this team is one of the most literal examples of “putting the whole team on your back.” The series against Detroit, specifically Game 5, will always be one of my favorite Lebron moments in a career full of awesome moments.
From top to bottom, this roster wasn’t great. Larry Hughes wasn’t a bad player, but was never equipped to be the savior he was brought in to be. He also missed two games in the finals and wasn’t himself in the two that he did play. Z was hurting, but still had his moments. Boobie Gibson showed some promise as a rookie, which was needed as Eric Snow and Donyell Marshall were starting to show their age. An underrated bright spot throughout the season was Drew Gooden, whose per 36 minutes averaged 14 points and 11 rebounds, but his inconsistency was beyond frustrating.
An aging roster, with their second best player not really available, and Sasha Pavlovic starting at the two guard isn’t quite what you need when facing the greatest power forward to ever play the game.
6. 2013/14 Miami Heat
Lost to San Antonio 1-4
This was the series that brought Lebron home, and for that I’m thankful.
After back to back titles, and three straight Eastern Conference Championships, it wasn’t surprising to see the Heat back in the finals for the fourth year in a row. What was surprising, is how much it looked like they didn’t belong there.
The Big Three was still intact, and Wade showed some of his regular moments of brilliance through the playoffs, and Bosh was as solid as you expect Bosh to be, but that was it.
The Mario Chalmers/Norris Cole combo could not stop Tony Parker, Tim Duncan was his usual quietly dominant self, and Kawhi Leonard emerged as a Superstar. Outside of the Big Three, the Heat could only throw out Ray Allen and Shane Battier at the end of their careers, Rashard Lewis well past his prime, and Birdman.
5. 2014/15 Cleveland Cavaliers
Lost to Golden State Warriors 2-4
This ranking is based solely on the roster the Cavs went into the Finals with, or else they’d be a spot higher. Missing Kevin Love hurt, and losing Kyrie Irving in Game 1 should have sealed the series for Golden State. But the Cavs still managed to take two games in the series thanks to Lebron having by far his best finals performance.
This was almost as close to putting the team on his back as his previous trip with Cleveland, but there was at least a little more talent around him this time. Lebron averaged 35.8 points, 13.3 rebounds, and 8.8 assists. He dominated in six games and should have still won Finals MVP despite coming out on the losing end.
Kyrie and Love being out left the door open for Dellavedova and Tristan Thompson to step up and show their value, which they did. Timofey Mozgov had moments of greatness, but the small ball of the Warriors kept him off of the floor. JR Smith had an off series, Iman Shumpert was still hurting, and James Jones played as well as you could expect James Jones to play. That was it. The seven man rotation in a fast moving, hard fought series was too much to overcome.
There was talent on the roster that could have been used. Shawn Marion could have guarded Shaun Livingston when he was killing us, Mike Miller could have spread the floor a bit, and Kendrick Perkins could have added some needed physicality, but rookie coach David Blatt decided to go with the seven man rotation anyways.
4. 2010/11 Miami Heat
Lost to Dallas Mavericks 2-4
This was the birth of the Big Three, Lebron’s first year in Miami. All went well during the regular season, and through the playoffs, and even into the Finals as they jumped out to a 2-1 lead. But from there, Dirk Nowitzki was determined to cement his legacy as the second greatest Power Forward to ever play the game and Lebron put forth probably his worst playoff series of his career and the Mavericks came out ahead in the end.
The Big Three worked well for the first year. Wade was still playing at a Wade level, Lebron was flourishing with the most talent he’d ever had around him, and Bosh went from a franchise player to the best third-option in the league. But outside of that, there wasn’t much.
Joel Anthony, Mike Bibby, Mario Chalmers, Juwan Howard, Udonis Haslam, and Mike Miller definitely weren’t up to the task of picking up the slack when Lebron’s numbers dipped.
The Big Three were off to a solid start, but they weren’t quite there yet.
3. 2011/12 Miami Heat
Defeated Oklahoma City Thunder 4-1
This is where the Big Three proved themselves. They had a hard fight through the Eastern Conference, then dropped Game One, but then it all came together.
Lebron bounced back from his dismal (by his standard) Finals Appearance from the year before and absolutely dominated, averaging 28, 10, and 7. Shane Battier stepped up and did what he was brought to Miami to do, and the Norris Cole/Mario Chalmers combo was highly effective. It also didn’t hurt that Wade was healthy and playing great, and Bosh continued his solid play.
Miami was more than the Big Three this season. Battier added some help at their weaknesses the previous year, and the other roleplayers on the team had stepped up and settled into their roles.
2. 2012/13 Miami Heat
Defeated San Antonio Spurs 4-3
Not as dominant of a win as the previous year over the Thunder, but this was Miami’s most impressive title run.
This series is up there with the 2007 Eastern Conference Finals for one of my favorite Lebron series’. Wade and Bosh’s play had dropped off during this series, but Lebron’s elevated to ridiculous levels, including an absolutely dominant Game 7 to seal the repeat.
Ray Allen found the fountain of youth and played out of his mind this series, including the miraculous performance in Game 6 when it looked like the Spurs were going to wrap it up. That, along with solid minutes from Birdman, Mario Chalmers, Norris Cole, Mike Miller, and Shane Battier, were more than enough to pick up the slack from Wade and Bosh’s slight performance dip.
This was the team that looked ready to dominate for years to come.
1. 2015/16 Cleveland Cavaliers
Perhaps I’m jumping the gun on this one. Sure, the Finals haven’t started yet and we don’t know for sure what is going to happen. But what we do know, is that Lebron will be going into tipoff of Game One with the most talented roster he’s ever been on.
Lebron is playing the smartest ball of his career. He’s facilitating and doing whatever he needs to do when he needs to. His focus can be where it’s needed and doesn’t need to be on everything.
Kevin Love is playing his best ball since coming to Cleveland with shooting, rebounding and outlet passes that you can’t place a value on, and looks like the franchise player that was traded from Minnesota. Kyrie continues to prove himself as one of the best, most dynamic guards in the league, getting to the basket at will and being dealy with his jump shot. Tristan Thompson’s improved defense and consistent rebounding has left nobody questioning his enormous contract, and JR Smith has settled down and is playing great basketball on both ends of the court.
And that’s just the starting five. Iman Shumpert would be a starting two guard on half the teams in the league. Matthew Dellavedova should be a starting point guard somewhere, and likely will be next season. Channing Frye and Richard Jefferson have brought veteran leadership and have found roles on this team that they are filling perfectly.
And that’s just the bench players that are seeing the floor. Timofey Mozgov would be starting on probably 75% of teams at Center, but he’s not seeing any playing time. Mo Williams is a former All Star who dropped 52 points in a game just last season, and he’s not seeing any playing time. James Jones was the third best Cavs player on the court most times during the finals last year, and he’s not getting any time. Jordan McRae had a 60 point game in the D League this season and scored 36 in the only game he played significant minutes in this season, and he doesn’t even get to dress.
All this talent, being managed by Ty Lue, who is making it work. He’s adjusted the style of play to fit the roster, and they’re thriving.
Long story short, this team is deep. This team is built to overcome the type of injuries that did them in last season, but they’re currently absolutely healthy.
This is the deepest, most talent, most fun roster Lebron James has ever been a part of, title or not.
So here they are, the 2015-16 coolest Cleveland Cavaliers, ranked from 15-1.
last year’s ranking: N/A
The Cavs only have 14 players on the roster at the moment. They lost out on Joe Johnson, who would have easily cracked the Top 10, and didn’t end up filling that open roster spot. This spot could go to Quinn Cook, who really should be on the roster. Or it could be a Lifetime Cool Achievement Award for Anderson Varejao. Or maybe cool coach Ty Lue could have nabbed the spot. But, nope. It’s blank.
14. Sasha Kaun
last year’s ranking: N/A
Not even the coolest Russian big man on the roster. Make a video riding a bear and film some awkward local commercials and get back to us.
13. James Jones
last year’s ranking: 15
The old sharpshooting shooter shoots up two spots this year. He still has the feel of that uncle that claims he’s too old to play basketball at Thanksgiving, but then doesn’t miss a shot and schools everybody.
12. Channing Frye
last year’s ranking: N/A
Frye brings a great deal of usefulness on the court and will be a huge help in the playoffs, but his contributions in the Cool Category are nonexistent.
11. Matthew Dellavedova
last year’s ranking: 10
A very popular player and likely the most controversial slotting of this entire list, but hardworking, charming, Australian, handsome, & gritty does not always equal cool. He’s earning himself quite a contract this offseason and will likely be Top 5 on his next team when it comes to being cool.
10. Richard Jefferson
last year’s ranking: N/A
Sometimes your Uncle James brings a friend who still seems old, but not as old, but then surprises everybody with a few awesome dunks. That friend is definitely Top 10 Cool-worthy.
9. Jordan McRae
last year’s ranking: N/A
On the surface, it seems like you could flip flop McRae and Delly and all would be right in the world, but after earning a spot on the roster after a nice showing on a 10 day contract, McRae has proven his coolness. It’s a quiet coolness that you know is there and are convinced the world will see soon enough.
8. Tristan Thompson
last year’s ranking: 6
Got his big payday this offseason, but slipped two spots on the coolness list. Worth it?
7. Kyrie Irving
last year’s ranking: 5
Top Three in coolness among the Big 3, but only Top Seven for the whole roster.
6. Timofey Mozgov
last year’s ranking: 7
Video. Riding. A. Bear.
5. Kevin Love
last year’s ranking: 3
Still handsome. Still Top 5 Cool.
4. Iman Shumpert
last year’s ranking: 4
There’s a character on Empire that is a direct ripoff of Iman. How cool is that? Top 4 Cool.
3. Mo Williams
last year’s ranking: N/A
Mo is guaranteed a Top 5 Cool Spot anytime he’s on the Cavs roster. In an all time coolest Cavs list, Mo would be a contender.
2. JR Smith
last year’s ranking: 2
Swish gets cooler every day. Would easily be at the top of the list for most teams in the league.
Years ago, my pal Jake Johnson wanted to challenge his musical friends to write as much music as possible, so he started a blog called Friday by Five, where the goal was to write and record a new song every week. Myself, Fred Whitacre, Jason West, Brian Johnson, and others did our best. All in all, the thing went on for a few months. Most of us took weeks off along the way, and a lot of terrible songs were born, but there was a lot of good done. It was an awesome challenge to force ourselves into creativity.
Years later, Fred took the same idea and decided to tackle it himself by creating Friday Night Tracks. He forced himself to record a new song every week, and by the end of the year he had done well over 50 songs, which lead to a pretty awesome album that he was able to put together.
Cut to now, where I’ve felt a giant creative hole in my life. The podcasts I was doing that was forcing me to create things have either died or are incredibly infrequent, the story ideas Tony Hartman and I worked on so hard for so long seemed to take a backseat as we both focused on other aspects of life, and I haven’t felt inclined to make real, serious music in a long time. It was all missing.
So, as cliche as it is, I decided to use the new year as motivation to fix that. I need creativity in my life. I need to be making something. So, I reached out to Tony Hartman and asked him to hold me accountable to my goal of putting at least one post a week up on my site.
I also reached out to Fred to see if he’d be my gym partner in creativity. I wanted to do something challenging, and I didn’t trust myself to do it on my own. But I trusted Fred. He’d done it before, on his own.
Thus, Created Weekly was born. The idea was to force each other to write something new every week for a year. Whether it’s a short story, a poem, a song, hell, even a drawing. The idea is to create something new every week.
So, off we go. Week one went up today with short stories by Fred and myself, and a poem from Abbey Stoutamire. We hope to see the site grow over time with contributions from other writers, musicians, and artists. It’s an open invite to anybody wanting to create anything consistently. If you want to join in on the fun, email whatever you want to CreatedWeekly@gmail.com whenever you want, or reach out to myself or Fred personally.
It’ll be fun, and also challenging. I have enough ideas right now for the next few weeks. Once those are written, the real fun begins. It’ll be an interesting ride, but I’m looking forward to it.
Yesterday marked 18 years ago that the Google.com domain was registered. What a crazy 18 years.
In honor of their 18th anniversary, here are 18 other words that Google could have used and a sample sentence to show how different our conversations could sound today.
“Can you Barnsnatch the directions to the nearest Thai place? I’m in the mood for lo mein. Is that Thai? I hope so.”
“I made the mistake of Uniturding Hitler and reading some of his backstory. That dude was a prick.”
“Have you ever looked up your own name on Pruzzelgong?”
“Yeah, all that comes up is porn.”
“What’s Johnny Lee Miller’s middle name?”
“I don’t know, Weenbungle it.”
“Did you see the Zizzenwool doodle today? It’s adorable!”
“What’s that new Searchything website everybody’s talking about?”
“I think you can use it to searchy things.
“You know what’s cooler than a lot of money? A lot more money. Also, drop the “The”. No TheGoogle. Just…”
“OK, Randalzorq. Can you get me the phone number to Pizza Emperialist?”
“What’s that? Did you need me for something?”
“Oh, I’m sorry, Randalzorq. I was talking to my phone.”
“Nobody ever talks to me.”
“If anybody could read my incognito Hashtagfind search history, I’d never find work again!”
“Do you think that Barbecuehandjob Car will ever actually hit the market?”
“Zizzenxxy Plus is a cool idea, but it’ll never compete with TheFacebook.com.”
“I saw a dude earlier today wearing Tacoboatparty Glass. He looked super cool.”
“Burgledurg really excels at creating services you love and then redesigning them to the point of being unusable.”
“I saw on 123456789010111211313 that Scott Bakula died. Ruined my whole day.”
“Sweetie, I’m going to be late coming home from work. If you need help with your homework, look up the answers on Drippingsnatchesmakemecum and I’ll double check it when I get home.”
“Twistadong just bought YouTube.”
“Doingdoingbongotown Maps have their flaws, but they’re much better than any other maps app out there.”
“Have you used Voogle yet?”
“No, but that’s a stupid name for a website
Today marks the 30th Anniversary of the debut of one of the greatest sitcoms about old ladies ever, The Golden Girls. So it got me to thinking, after 30 years isn’t it about time to reboot the show for a new generation?
With Jon Stewart leaving the daily show tonight, there will be a ton of “In Memory Of Jon Stewart” articles on the internet, so here’s another one.
I fell in love with Jon Stewart in the mid 90s when he got his own show on MTV. I had seen him on You Wrote It You Watch It, but was never super into that show. But once he got The Jon Stewart Show, I was hooked.
Talk shows were a huge part of my teenage years. Nightly I would watch Letterman, then switch over to NBC to watch Conan. So when MTV had their own talk show, which seemed more catered to me than the others, I adored it instantly.
You replaced the fancy business suits, with a laid back pair of jeans and a leather jacket. It felt way more casual, like we were hanging out instead of going to the theater for a show.
You replaced the witty band leader and the quick witted Andy Richter with a weird, hilarious sidekick named Howie. To be honest, my love for the show was born with Howie. Conan was doing a lot of weird stuff that I loved, but Howie was something else. He was so committed and went for it with everything they asked him to do. He was a perfect balance of absurdity to Stewart’s laid back cool dude.
From the same network that had allowed me to begin finding just what kind of sense of humor I had while giving me The State, I was now learning a lot more about what I found funny, and what was possible with comedy.
Unfortunately, the show didn’t last very long. But I still had Letterman and Conan to fill my talk show needs. Occasionally I’d fall asleep during Letterman, which was always the worst because I would then wake up during the Late Late Show with Tom Snyder, and I hated Tom Snyder.
Until one night when I woke up and Tom Snyder wasn’t there. Instead, there was Jon Stewart filling in. But it wasn’t the jeans wearing leather jacket toting Stewart, this was suited Jon Stewart. There was no Howie. There was no craziness. It was just Jon Stewart sitting across from the guest having a conversation, just like Tom Snyder always did. And it was fabulous.
He was so natural, he was so likable. His interviews felt like conversations, despite the more formal setting. And he was filling in a lot, so it was awesome. Jon Stewart filling in on the Late Late Show was the only thing that ever prevented me from switching over to Conan.
Then came the time for Tom Snyder to leave the Late Late Show, and I was ecstatic. Obviously Jon Stewart was going to get the job. I’d no longer have to change the channel after Letterman. I loved Conan and always would, but a Letterman/Stewart lineup couldn’t be beat.
But, it didn’t happen. Instead, Craig Kilborn got the job. I enjoyed the daily show enough, but had no interest in Kilborn following Letterman. Out of this came some good news though, as Stewart would be replacing Kilby on The Daily Show. The Daily Show was OK, but it wasn’t nothing special. I felt Jon Stewart deserved something better. Something bigger.
I’ll be honest here, I am the one person that enjoyed Jon Stewart as an actor. I saw Big Daddy in theaters, not for Adam Sandler, but for Jon Stewart. I waited a long time for the opportunity to see Playing By Heart, not for young up and comers Ryan Phillippe and Angelina Jolie, or my beloved Gillian Anderson, but for Jon Stewart. I saw the Faculty opening night, for Jon Stewart. I legitimately love Death To Smoochie.
As disappointed as I may have been that he had to settle for the Daily Show, I was still happy to have the opportunity to watch him four nights a week. I enjoyed him phasing out the 5 questions bit that Kilby did, and doing it cleverly early. I enjoyed watching him transfer the show from something that lightly joked about the headlines, to something that really tackled them. The day’s news was no longer just quick one liners. It was expanded upon, mocked, torn apart. And it was glorious.
The only negative about my love for Jon Stewart, is that he’s made such a large impact on the planet that it’s hard to talk about him without it turning into something about politics. Which is a shame.
To me, the Daily Show was never about politics. It’s about the media, 100%. It’s a comedy show that took it upon itself to start calling the media out for nonsense in a time when we needed the media to be called out.
In that process, Jon Stewart showed me that comedy could be more than just telling jokes if you wanted it to be. You had the power to make jokes as powerful as you wanted. You could do more with them if you wanted to. Sure, there were comics that had pushed boundaries.
I could go over my favorite moments of his during the Daily Show era, such as going through four elections with him, or his amazing CrossFire take down, or the Jim Cramer confrontation, or any number of thousands of memories that come to mind of the Daily Show, but I won’t. That would be too hard.
I’ve always dreamed of doing something that would get me to the level of fame to be a guest on a talk show, and my biggest goal for that dream was to sit down across from Jon Stewart and derail the interview by professing my love of his movie career. As much as I love Conan and Letterman, Stewart was always my biggest dream to be interviewed by. That dream is currently on hiatus until we figure out what he does next, and that’s a bummer to me.
My love for Jon Stewart predates the Daily Show, and will live on beyond it. I thank him greatly for all the laughs so far, and any that will come in the future.
Two summers ago, my pal Ryan and I briefly had a weekly sports talk radio show on a local AM station. Despite it running through the summer, I was able to take a lot of the focus off of the current baseball season and would try my damnedest to shift the conversation to things I loved. I was able to talk about Lebron, as the Heat were in the process of winning a title against the Spurs, I’d manage to squeeze in some Steelers snippets, and man would I reach as hard as I could to try and get some Cavs talk in there.
Sometimes it was easier than others. But I remember the pure joy and excitement after the Jarrett Jack and Andrew Bynum signings. As a Cavs fan, these kind of signings were what we needed. After three miserable seasons, we were finally getting quality free agents to choose Cleveland. There was also the Earl Clark signing. I didn’t get it, but they obviously saw something I missed, so I was into it. Pair all those up with the upcoming first pick in the draft, and this team can fight for the sixth seed in the playoffs. And once they’re in the playoffs, maybe they get hot and go on a run.
As for that first pick in the draft, we were live on draft night. That pick could have gone anywhere. I really loved Otto Porter, Victor Oladipo, or Ben McLemore. I thought any of those were the missing piece. Yet I would have understood going big and taking a chance on Alex Len or Nerlens Noel. There were so many picks it could be, and we’d get to be live on the air when that pick happened. I was beyond ready to welcome the missing piece that would help push Kyrie, Andy, TT, Jarrett Jack, Bynum, CJ Miles, Alonzo Gee and Dion towards the playoffs, where they would get hot and make a run.
As we were anticipating the pick, I made a quip heading into the last commercial break before the pick was to come through saying “As long as we don’t do something like take Anthony Bennett first overall, we’ll be just fine.” Then, live on the the air, we reacted as the Cleveland Cavaliers selected, from UNLV, Anthony Bennett with the first overall pick in the NBA Draft.
I was speechless. All I could do was laugh. This moment summed up the three years since Lebron left. This was what the Cavs were. This is what the Cavs, perennial championship contenders just a few years ago, had become. It was always two steps forward, then a few steps back. But maybe I missed something. Maybe they saw something that everybody missed. They drafted Dion and TT in spots that most people laughed at, and I loved Dion and TT. They once picked JJ Hickson and got laughed at, and I loved JJ. Clearly I was missing something.
I’ve always been more on the optimistic side of being a sports fan. I always believe my teams can win. And I bought into it. I thought that Kyrie would blossom into a super star. I thought Jarrett Jack would help. I believed Bynum would take some pressure off Andy and allow TT and Bennett to develop. I loved the young backcourt pickups of Sergey Karasev and that undrafted Australian point guard who looked awesome in summer league. I liked that Earl Clark gave us some size and could play the 3 or the 4. This team could fight for the six seed, hell, possibly even the five. And once they’re in there, if everything falls into place, this team can make a run.
I truly believed that. Heading into the 2013/2014 NBA season, I thought the Cleveland Cavaliers had a chance. After an offseason that included signing Earl Clark, Andrew Bynum, and Jarrett Jack, and selecting Anthony Bennett first overall, I thought this was the year.
So imagine how I felt heading into the 2014/2015 season after an offseason that included the greatest player in the world coming home, the addition of an All Star power forward, and the locking up of our now legitimate superstar point guard.
I always knew Lebron would come home. I always had a gut feeling he would end his career with the Cavs. I didn’t expect it to happen last summer. I thought he’d play out that last year on his contract in Miami and take another crack at it, then come home in time for Bronny to attend SVSM. But once he opted out of that final year with the Heat, I knew it was happening. Thinking back to how confident I was that he was coming home, I truly don’t know how I would have handled it if he went elsewhere. I knew in my heart he would be a Cav. Nothing else was a possibility for me.
Lebron leaving was rough. He had become my favorite player of all time, playing on my favorite team.
I once worked with a girl whose boyfriend was obsessed with Lebron while he was still at SVSM. He would always go to their games, and I would go with him on occasion. Sure, I wasn’t super into high school basketball, but I thought it was cool how good this kid was. I remember how excited I was when the Cavs got the first pick the year he was coming out of high school. It all felt like fate. It was meant to happen. Perhaps it was rigged to happen, but I didn’t care. This was going to be something special.
The Decision ripped my heart out. I wasn’t angry. I didn’t hate him for it. I was sad. I was disappointed. He didn’t deserve my anger or my hate. He did everything right. He played out his contract and never seemed to look ahead. Perhaps The Decision wasn’t the best way to go about it, but nobody had done anything like that before. I don’t blame him for trying it. I think he immediately realized how poor of a choice it was. Not to mention the amount of money it raised for charity. If the worst thing you’ve done raises a lot of money for a good cause, you’re not a villain in my eyes.
It was hard sitting through an aging Antawn Jamison being the best player on the roster. It was tough seeing Omri Casspi being brought in and passed off as the answer at small forward. I hated seeing Mo Williams shipped off and discarded. Baron Davis is a badass though. Alonzo Gee, Jemario Moon, Anthony Parker. These were now the players that had to be my favorite Cavs. It was tough.
But, it all lead Kyrie, TT, and Dion. Andy had become more of a leader and taken on a bigger role. The team had become young and fun to watch, despite not being very good. They were growing together, developing.
Plus, I still loved Lebron. It was still great being able to see a kid from Akron, Ohio become the best in the world at something and win two titles. Sure, I wish they’d have been won with Cleveland, but it was still awesome being able to watch him win.
Then the King came home.
Adding him to that roster was enough for me. This was a championship team in my eyes. Oh, you want to add Kevin Love as well? Go for it. Trim some fat off the roster and add some vets with winning pedigrees? Awesome! Be my guest.
Sure, there’s chemistry, and a first year coach, and three superstars who now have to learn to play together and adapt to their new roles, and a young roster that needs to learn how to win. It’s going to take some time.
And it did. The season started off rough. The team wasn’t playing well, Lebron got hurt. Maybe this wasn’t the magical season it was supposed to be. Then the GM stepped in and worked his magic. They turned Dion, some scrubs, and some non-desirable draft picks into JR Smith, Iman Shumpert, and Timofey Mozgov.
Now the magic was back. JR Smith was forever my least favorite player in the league, but he was endearing once he was in the wine and gold. His antics were now awesome. I loved his game. He had quickly went from my least liked player in the league to one of my favorite players on my favorite team. I always loved Iman’s game. And Timo came in as a beast, far exceeding anybody’s expectation.
They steamrolled through the rest of the season. They plowed through the first round of the playoffs. There was no way they could beat Chicago in the second round after Love got hurt, but they did. They can’t compete with Atlanta, but they swept them.
This team was special. This team was far more magical than I even realized. There’s no way they don’t beat Golden State in the finals. Everything is working out. Everything is falling into place. This is the Cavs’ year.
This team reminded me of the 2005 Steelers. That season was magic, and by the time the playoffs came around, them losing wasn’t even a possibility in my mind. It was meant to be. I had that same feeling.
Going up 2-1 in the Finals didn’t make that feeling go away. I was convinced they’d win out and take it in 5. They lost game 4, no biggie. They’ll win in six. And so on.
Until it was over.
The season didn’t end with a championship. But it was still magical. It was still one of the most fun seasons I’ve ever witnessed with any of the teams I love. I’ve lived through seeing my favorite teams with two Super Bowls, two National Championships, and three Stanley Cups. The Cavs winning this title, the way they would have won it, may have topped them all.
I’m not mad. I don’t even think disappointed is the right word. I’m disappointed the Cavs didn’t win, but not disappointed with the Cavs. I thank them for the season. It was a hell of a ride. They gave it everything they had. I couldn’t have asked for any more.
It’s going to be an interesting offseason, but I trust the Cavs will make it work. I doubt they’ll sign Jarrett Jack, Earl Clark, or Andrew Bynum, but I still have a pretty strong feeling about the 2015/16 NBA season.
I think the Cavs have a chance. I have a feeling this is their year.