The Optimist

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Cowabunga from California, Cavalieros! My name is the Optimist, and like I told the guy from ABC: “Danger is my business!”

Yesterday, as the Team Bus rumbled through the deep, dark Nevada night, it struck me that a West Coast trip was just what the squad needed.

Quicken Loans Arena houses the greatest fans in the National B.A. But on the cusp of four straight losses – including Sunday afternoon’s pusillanimous performance against OKC – getting out of town to reflect upon our thoughts might be just what the doctor ordered.

Mere moments before we pulled into California’s capital, the Wine and Gold – before playing a single game out West – were mathematically eliminated from postseason contention with Indiana’s win over New York.

Like most negative events in this transitional season, mathematical elimination is part of a painful, yet necessary, growing process. To most Clevelanders, it’s the Indians that are mathematically eliminated early. But with the Cavaliers having a down year, the Tribe will have to wait until mid-May before packing it in for the summer and trading everything that’s not nailed down to the Yankees, Red Sox or Phillies.

But even before the Pacers upset of the Knicks on Tuesday night, reaching the playoffs would have been an awfully tall order for this year’s Wine and Gold.

That’s still no excuse for listless performances like last Sunday’s matinée at The Q.

I know that whenever I catch myself “mailing one in” like the Cavaliers looked to be doing on Sunday, I think about how lucky I am – even during a difficult season – in comparison to some of the less fortunate people in this world. Right now, there are people out there putting the pieces of their lives back together, surviving on little more than their wits.

Of course, I’m speaking of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who – as of last Friday’s lockout – will live on just $1.00-American per day, every day, until the league’s labor brouhaha is settled.

So while you people are out there – fretting over iPhone reception or Charlie Sheen’s broken brain – a working class joe like Roger Goodell is coming home, pulling a slice of bologna out of his wallet and cutting it up with a plastic knife and fork JUST TO FEED HIS FAMILY!

Hopefully, the Cavs will use tales of adversity like this as motivation against the Kings on Wednesday night in Sacramento.

Despite the perception back home about the “Left Coast,” Sacramento – like Cleveland – is packed with working class slobs like you, me and the Commish. It’s a hard-working, blue collar town, just like ours, and it’s also taken its share of grief and abuse. I’ve heard even fellow Californians call it names like “Excremento.”

Ridiculous.

I’ll be rooting for the Kings right after the Cavaliers stomp them on Wednesday night. And why not? The city’s mayor is a former Cavalier. Their arena is packed some of the NBA’s best fans – along with having one of the league’s best pregame buffets and foxiest dance teams. It’s, hands-down, one of mine and Joe Tait’s favorite stops.

If I could actually tell the future, Joe Tait and I would be wearing 14 rings between us. I can’t, but I do have a good feeling about Wednesday’s particular outcome – led by a reborn Ramon Sessions.

Quiet and cool, Sessions has been looking over his shoulder since Baron Davis arrived. But on Wednesday out West, I see Sessions letting his freak flag fly.

Thankfully, I don’t do administrative work like stats and final scores no more. I can just assure you that Samardo Samuels, who owned DeMarcus Cousins in a Summer League matchup, will do so again on Wednesday. And I strongly believe that Daniel Gibson will drain three threes in the winning effort.

Although the score is not as indicative of how close the matchup actually was, Byron Scott’s squad leaves Power Balance Pavilion with a rare double-digit road win.

Of course, most of my focus will be on said victory. But a small part of me will be back in C-Town – at the Wolstein Center – where my beloved Garbage Heights Bulldogs are attempting to represent boy’s hoops in the region at next week’s State Championships in Columbus. All they have to do is drop St. Ed’s for the second time this season.

It is high time for Garbage Heights to represent! As I’ve said before, we’re the Cleveland of Cleveland. Just getting out of the District last week ended a 61-year drought. The city is built on top of two landfills – and the methane gas coming out of the ground doesn’t kill us. It just makes us stronger!

Everyone thought Garbage Heights was going to just explode, explode. They didn’t expect that we were going to explode onto the basketball scene.

One day the city might actually blow up real good. I’d just like to have that State Championship hardware when it does.

That’s about all for today, dummkopfs.

And don’t forget, if you’re going to celebrate “St. Practice Day” tonight to prepare yourself for the actually day of Irish debauchery tomorrow, please act responsibly. As always, don’t fill your car up to the steering wheel with Patron or your motorcycle helmet with a cold brew. I really shouldn’t have to go over this again, but I’d feel bad if one of you Junior Optimists got pinched by the po-po.

The Wine and Gold have 16 more games left after tonight’s victory in Sacramento. The Cavaliers have one more must-win – (Miami) – and they are another team’s must-win – (New York).

Perhaps I’ll check back with you knuckaheads before we head home on Saturday afternoon. In the meantime, remember – in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, in quiet solitude or blasting across the Alkali Flats in a jet-powered, monkey-navigated rocket car – please honor your vow to …

Keep the faith, Cleveland

Su hermano,
The Optimist