You can take Donyell out of Cleveland, but you can't take Donyell out of Cleveland. Or something like that.
Not that we’re keeping track or anything, but after we watched from a press box in the Q as the Cavs efficiently destroyed Boston Saturday night, the team is 2-0 in games C-Notes has attended this playoffs. They’ve won those two games by a combined 50 points. Meanwhile, they’re 3-4 in games we haven’t gone to. Clearly, the sight of us munching on jumbo nachos in the super-auxiliary press box 14 sections up sends nervous titters along the Cavs' bench.
Why? Because we don’t miss a thing. Case in point:
-- The first thing our hawk-eyes noticed on Saturday was LeBron pumping his chest and forming a Roc-a-fella diamond with his fingers at the end of the star spangled banner before the game. Yet another sign he’s Jersey-bound? We tried to enter the data into the Lebron Leave-o-Meter
, but unfortunately, we had left it unplugged all night and it was out of power.
-- LeBron and Resident Loud Guy Damon Jones unveiled a new handshake as they amped themselves up before the game. We thought we were the only ones entertained, until we read the Plain Dealer’s befuddled play-by-play this morning: “Both seem to pantomime rolling some dice, then scooping something up off the ground in handfuls. We might need translators for that one.”
That’s money, PD. They were scooping up imaginary money that they won. Ya’ll ain't never played cee-lo? You guys have the street cred of a Bush twin.
-- We forgot about Donyell Marshall the moment we banished him to the land of cappuccino-foaming tournaments, Sasquatches, and Japanese people, Seattle. But he hasn’t forgotten about us. It seems like every game C-Notes goes to, we spot an iced-out Marshall in attendance, sitting in one of the guest boxes.
We approached him mid-nacho tub, but he was kind enough to answer a few questions. Marshall, who still lives in Cleveland, denied that it was a melancholy nostalgia that had him tracking his former team. “I’m just here to follow basketball,” he said. “I live here, so I figured I’d get my games in.”
Asked if he’d ever seen LeBron have two games as crappy as the first two of this series, Marshall responded, “Nah, I’ve never seen him play like that. But he’s a big critic of himself. I’m sure he’s been as hard on himself as anybody else in making sure he turns it around.”
And asked to comment on the series in general, Marshall pointed out the obvious so far: that it’s all about home-court advantage. “Right now, it’s a tale of two cities,” he mused. We didn’t have the heart to tell him we never read the book.
-- Walter is an old bespectacled man that runs the media elevator in the Q. Every home game, he sits in his high stool in front of the floor buttons, as an overhead speaker blares radio feed from the game. Naturally, he’s a huge fan. We asked him what it’s like to piece together every game from the radio feed. “I come from an era where you we didn’t have TVs. We only had radios. You had to use your imagination. So I’m used to it, sitting here, and making believe that I’m watching it.”
Ask Walter what he thinks of the team’s chances before a game, and he’ll clasp his hands together in a praying gesture and start, “Our father, who art in heaven…”
Forget LeBron. Walter might be the soul of the team.
-- LeBron’s mom, Gloria James, can often be spotted cheering on her son’s team wildly from her seats in the first few rows. During the promotional ball-toss, she likes to take an armful of the little plastic balls and troll the seats around her, saying, “Where my babies at?” and lobbing them to little kids who raise their hands. We approached her after the game, with the sinister plan of couching the interview as something about Mother’s Day coming up, before segueing into how long it’s been since she gave her son a timely spanking
. But the NBA’s soon-to-be first billionaire apparently got his savvy from his momma. Behold, the quote of the day, from Gloria James:
“I don’t interview.” -- Gus Garcia-Roberts