What the Cleveland Cavaliers can learn from Van Halen

“’’Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all”

-Alfred Lord Tennyson, 1849

“Ain’t talkin’ about love.”

-Van Halen, 1978


The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame resides in Cleveland, Ohio.  Perhaps the Cavaliers can learn a little something from one of its members.

I was talking hoops the other day with the newly appointed technical sergeant.  I’m no military guy so I have no idea what a technical sergeant does other than perhaps sergeant technically.  This particular tech sergeant, however, knows his basketball.

While discussing the rather tenuous situation in Cleveland, and this was days before all-star point guard Kyrie Irving demanded a trade, I couldn’t help but think of David Lee Roth.

For those of you who don’t know, David Lee Roth once fronted one of the greatest rock-and-roll acts of all-time: Van Halen.  Egos in this band were so overwhelming, however, that ultimately Roth and the Van Halen brothers parted ways.  David Lee went off to record pablum 80s rock while Van Halen substituted Roth’s vocals with another lead singer, Sammy Hagar, to create a completely different sound.

Years after their break-up, Roth and Van Halen reunited.  With the hopes of recreating previous magic, it wasn’t long before they realized they simply could not co-exist.  The break-up, while sad, was meant to be after all.

This Cleveland Cavaliers team has a lot of Van Halen in them.  After dipping off to Miami for a few years, the Akron-born LeBron James felt homesick.  He returned home to Cleveland to appear in three straight NBA Finals, winning one of them.

All was right with the universe (or at least the Mid-West) as the greatest player of his generation had fulfilled on his promise to bring a championship to “the Land.”  I reviewed a book not long ago written by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.  The portly Windhorst, who we are led to believe is the journalist best equipped to write this Cleveland glory story, told how Cleveland was rebuilt in Camelot-like fashion.  All was hunky-dory as the town celebrated its first championship in fifty years.

While that was only last year, it now seems like ages ago.  After getting manhandled in the 2017 Finals to a far superior Golden State Warriors team, things have de-escalated quickly.  Cleveland fired their GM who was, according to Windhorst, instrumental in building the team that went to three straight Finals.  This off-season, while other NBA teams actively adjusted their rosters to narrow the gap between themselves and the Warriors, the Cavs sat by and did nothing.

In fact, it was rumored that players in Cleveland were telling key free agents NOT to go there.  All the Cavs needed was one key piece.  They didn’t get it.  In fact, they might be about to lose it.

Kyrie Irving wants out.

Let’s get one thing straight.  Just because Kyrie Irving asked to be traded doesn’t necessarily mean that he will be traded.  Kobe Bryant once tried to piss and moan his way out of L.A.  Remember that?  Kobe Bryant retired a Laker.

Now that I just made Cavaliers fans smile for a brief second, let me state once again what’s going on in Cleveland is NOT good.  Not only might the team lose Kyrie but LeBron could leave after next year too.  That… would be bad.  I’d say at least you have the Browns but that would be rubbing salt in the wound.

The Cavaliers’ brand, new GM must now try to find a home for their disgruntled point guard who, let’s be honest, played like arguably the best point guard in the NBA in last year’s Finals.  There will be a market for his talent.  What Cleveland should be more concerned with is whether there’s any way to reconcile this situation before his bags are packed.

Kyrie eleison on the road that I must travel; Kyrie elesion through the darkness of the night.

I’m not going to jump the gun on this one but rather see how things play out.  I haven’t heard a soundbite from either LeBron or Kyrie.  All I’ve heard is speculation, albeit speculation from credible sources.

Maybe Kyrie got his feelings hurt with LeBron being far chummier with Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul, with whom he does not play.  Maybe Kyrie felt LeBron was a little too hard on him during last year’s Finals where Kyrie was the second, best player on the floor… behind Kevin Durant.  Maybe there’s truth to Kyrie wanting to see if he can do it on his own.  Maybe nobody in Cleveland can stand the sight of Dan Gilbert and wants out as soon as humanly possible.

I don’t know how this will all end.  I do know that Clevelanders are getting very little sleep right now.  When LeBron left town, Cleveland went from contender to irrelevant.  When he returned, they almost won it all and ultimately did.  Without Kyrie, they’ll contend but there aren’t too many guards in this game that can do what he does.  If I’m Koby Altman, who has been the Cavaliers GM for approximately two minutes, I’m calling these two players together and seeing if there’s any way possible they can hash out their differences for one final run.

If Van Halen did it, so can the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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12 Replies to “What the Cleveland Cavaliers can learn from Van Halen”

  1. They are all leaving a sinking ship. Welcome back Cleveland to mediocrity in a year or two. Wonder why George didn’t take the bait? Players have the power at this point. Let”s see…can I live on 100 mil with a new team that could compete or do I need 200 mil to continue to lose and be a constant on the sports networks? I couldn’t spend a 100 mil in my lifetime and my kids can earn their own living like I did. Just saying…..

  2. Kyrie Irving wants out , Kevin Love remains there for what reason no one knows and the supporting cast beyond LeBron James might as well be a bunch of washed up geriatrics. As for Koby Altman succeeding David Griffin as the general manager. Altman has no pedigree as a front office executive , as it was Griffin who was the architect of the championship winning team as well building the franchise as a contender. Team owner Dan Gilbert chased after the proverbial pot of gold . Now the Cavaliers are hemorrhaging red ink having lost over $100 million in the last two years .

    This organization is now putting the D back into the word dysfunctional and there’s talk the Cavaliers are interested in signing Derrick Rose to a one-year contract. Rose doesn’t have a game and he can’t play a lick of defense.

  3. Moose…

    The recent collective bargaining shelled out too much (power and coin) to the players… but don’t worry, the owners are also getting theirs. Just imagine how much money they’re making if the players are making that much.

    I mean, the Rockets owner now wants to sell and he’s in the middle of building a team. That either tells me a) he wants to sell high or b) he’s experiencing some serious buyers remorse with that Harden contract.

    This will all level itself out though… I think. We’ll just have to see how ugly it gets when it does.

  4. Al…

    I was surprised Rose’s name came up in all this.

    I mean, for pennies on the dollar maybe but I can’t see him leading a team at this point. Especially not that one.

  5. The most appropriate VH song for what’s going on in Cleveland right now is this one:


    …As in dumpster.

    Seriously though…Fuck Dan Gilbert right in his filthy mouth. After him being one of the most vocal anti-Lakers voices that lead David Stern to the implement the veto, this is sweet justice in my eyes.

    LBJ ending up wearing purple and gold with PG13 and who knows what other free agents will be the cherry on top for me.

  6. I won’t lie, Bleed.

    That would be a nice little line up.

    And if there’s any way you can throw DeAndre Jordan into that mix, I’d be cool with that too.

  7. I can only pray that it comes to fruition because I have an inkling that Lonzo knows how to keep his teammates happy:


    I grew up in Pasadena. Van Halen country. My aunt went to PHS with Eddie. My mom went to Valerie & Eddies wedding. They played a party at the house I grew up in before I lived there. And they broke up before I got to see them live.

    Then I suffered through the Van Hagar years.

    Wrong. Just wrong.

    Then by some miracle, the stars aligned and in 2007 I got to see David Lee Roth once again front my favorite group at Staples. Sure, it was Wolfy instead of Michael Anthony and they were old and a bit off key…But more importantly, it was Diamond Dave up there belting out the soundtrack of my youth.

    If that happened, then KG was right…
    Impossible is nothing and the Lakers could potentially come full circle at Dumbfuck Dan Gilbert’s expense.

    That my friend, would be more epic than an Eddie solo. So let it be written. So let it be done.

  8. My feel is that it’s tough for Kyrie to stick around on a sinking ship. If Lebron isn’t willing to commit to a long term deal Kyrie knows he’ll be the only one left to pick up the pieces upon Lebron’s departure. In the meantime Kyrie sees the contenders that are being built elsewhere and he can’t help but think about his immediate options.

  9. D Rose’s best days are behind him. Now there’s talk the Cavaliers are interested in trading Kyrie Irving in exchange for the Celtic’ Isiah Thomas. I can’t see Cleveland doing that and then knowing in re-signing him it would have to be to a max deal at best. There was never any long-term thinking to the Cleveland Cavaliers’ plan along with their losing so much money over the last two years (over $100 million) . There’s smart and then there’s being complete idiots and that’s the situation the franchise now finds itself in.

    Your thoughts Jordan Speith’s win of The Open ? Just one more leg and he wins the career Grand Slam all done before the age of twenty five . Only other players to achieve the feat so young were Gene Sarazen and Jack Nicklaus.

  10. And Eddie could play the national anthem one night at Staples when LeBron and the Lakers make the Finals.

    See? I just got you even more excited than you already were.

    You’re welcome.

  11. Liar North…

    That’s actually the most reasonable and sensible explanation I’ve heard about this situation yet.

    Their contracts re-up don’t coincide.

    That being said, everything we’re hearing is that Kyrie legit doesn’t want to play with LeBron anymore.

    I’m sure there will be more to come out on this. I’d just like to find out why, assuming there’s any truth to it to begin with.

  12. Al…

    Spieth played with confidence from the opening round. He was a tough act to beat that weekend.

    Kid seems to have his head on straight and will hopefully avoid any Perkins-like bumps in the road unlike one of his predecessors.

    Re: Derrick Rose, I suppose signing him to the league minimum is a pretty good deal. That way they’re not losing much money when he only ends up playing 22 games.

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