Optimist Second Annual Awards Banquet

The Optimist
Konichiwa, Cavaliers fans. Don't worry, it's just me, the Optimist, checking in from cloudy Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A.

This is the final installment in my Four-Part Season-Ending Trilogy. We've already looked back on the season that was: the halcyon days of the first half, the creamy middle and the fateful finale. And now, it's time for the Season-Ending Awards Banquet. This is the time where everyone can kick back and enjoy the fruits of their labor.

Who doesn't love an awards banquet? My high school football team won exactly "0" games when I was a senior. And yet, based on the awards ceremony, you would have thought we were '72 Dolphins. So, let's forget about the up-and-down 2004-05 season and hand out some accolades.

Of course, the Awards Banquet is strictly a black-tie event; this means no gang colors.

2004-05 All-Optimist First Team

Once again, this season's All-Optimist First Team is loaded with an inordinate amount of Cavaliers, but after crunching the numbers using both math and science, I couldn't come up with any other conclusions. When you put together a season like 2004-05, you're bound to pile up the post-season hardware.

Head Coach
Eric Snow
Edged out J-Mac for the starting spot. Toughness, leadership, Canton.
Ira Newble
If there's a better two-guard in the Eastern Conference, I haven't seen him.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas
The second-time All-Star played the final week with nine fingers.
Simply the best basketball player on the planet.
Drew Gooden
Had big shoes to fill and had the big feet to fill them.
Brendan Malone
Eked out First Team honors by a few votes over the Papa Bear.

2004-05 All-Optimist Second Team

The All-Optimist Second Team features some of the most dangerous non-Cavaliers from around the league. Don't hold it against them, they're still nice ballplayers. Apologies for any omissions, including Desmond Mason, the AK-47, Antonio McDyess, Joe Johnson, Zarko Cabarkaba, Zaza Pachulia, Jamsion Brewer and of course, Ansu Sesay.

Head Coach
The Earl of Boykins
I mean, what's not to love about the Earl?
Manu Ginobili
Along with Boykins, goes for back-to-back starts on the All-O First Team.
Didier Ilunga-Mbenga
With Shaq in the East, Ilunga-Mbenga's reign of terror now begins in the West.
Chris Bosh
The hosers got a true gem in the the smooth southpaw from Georgia Tech.
Jermaine O'Neal
Decked a Pistons fan. Has the same birthday as Ali G, Nipsey Russell and the Optimist.
Mike Fratello
Give the Czar a team and a hairstyle and he'll take them to the NBA Playoffs.

2004-05 Optimist All-Nemesis Team

The 2004-05 All-Nemesis Team features some of the most lethal and frightening Cavalier opponents ever to grace the halls of the Gund. Noticeable omissions are Kurt Thomas, Mateen Cleaves and Rick Davis.

Head Coach
The Earl of Boykins
Love the Earl, but he sticks it in our pupil every time he comes back to town.
Jalen Rose
Will be devising ways to destroy Cleveland all summer long.


Paul Pierce
Is a Celtic. Spit on us. Shall I go on?
Carlos Boozer
From All-Optimist First Team to All-Nemesis Team in one year. (sigh.)
Red Auerbach
I know he's retired, but I just didn't have the heart to put Doc Rivers here.

The Edgar Jones 7th Man Award

The inagural Edgar Jones 7th Man Award goes to the player who isn't the first player off the bench but still contributes mightily both on the floor and in the hearts of the Gund Arena faithful.

Splasha Pavlovic
Could develop into the three-point ace the Cavaliers have been looking for.
Robert Traylor
The Tractor came up huge down the stretch and it's just fun to watch him crush people.
Anderson Varejao
The Wild Thing was a monster on the glass and a crowd favorite.
The Nominees

The Winner