Rebuilding in any sport is a grueling and sometimes long process. It takes the right head coach, the right players, and most importantly, the right kind of owner. Without these three thing, you end up in a rebuilding limbo that just never seems to take hold, ala the Cleveland Browns of the NFL. The Browns seem to never be able to get the right combo to get out of the gutter of the AFC, a fact that grates on their fans, some of the most devoted in sports.
Luckily for them, the other professional Cleveland team seems to be making a fast track with their rebuilding.
That other team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, have been a pleasant surprise this year for a fan base that is used to disappointments and underachieving. Sitting at 10-14 in the early going of this reduced season may not seem like much, but considering they went 19-63 just a season ago, well, you can get where any growth would be met with applause.
This years Cavaliers team isn't the one that's supposed to make them contenders but it does have some pieces in place for the future. The most notable one is rookie point guard Kyrie Irving. Irving, drafted number 1 overall, has far exceeded what even his best supporters thought he could do in the early going. At only 19 and with only 11 college games under his belt, Irving has stepped onto the court in the pro's and looks like he was born there. Averaging 18 points a game and 5 assists while playing smart ball and not turning it over much, Irving justly merits All-Star consideration, even with this being his first year.
A good point guard, like Irving (who has the potential to be great), is perhaps the most important piece in building a contender. Like a stud Quarterback, a point guard, a true pg, is in control of his team and elevates the play of those around him with his reads and good decisions. That's what Irving does and that's why this team is going nowhere but up in the near future.
With that position secured, the major decisions for this franchise is before them with players like Ramon Sessions, Daniel Gibson, Antawn Jamison and Anderson Varejao. All of these players are prime contributors at this present time but most aren't viable pieces for the Cavaliers moving forward. The team is trying for good and young and while the majority of these guys aren't that aged, their value to the team could be more on the trade market. The next couple of weeks will be interesting in this department.
All that being said and whatever changes may befall this team this season, one thing is for certain. The team is heading in the right direction, one that the Browns should take note of and emulate with the drafting of quarterback Robert Griffin III.
But that's an article for another time.
Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS