THE THIRD ANNUAL OPTIMIST AWARDS BANQUET

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The Optimist


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Shalom, y'uns. Over the course of an 82-game season, it's become obvious to me that you people are Cavalier fans. I am known in certain circles as “The Optimist.” Let’s get it on, shall we?

Welcome, one and all, to my 2005-06 (Regular) Season Ending Awards Banquet. In the past two seasons, the Cavaliers year actually did end when all 82 games were up – most likely through the antics of those mangy dogs that the sporting world calls the Boston Celtics.

But this year, it’s different. Not only are the Wine and Gold advancing to the next plateau – the NBA Playoffs. But also because we’re going to go with a Season Ending Awards LUNCHEON. Low key. Intimate. Exclusive. Just you little dummkopfs and me in the Quicken Loans Arena lunchroom. There's Pepsi™ and Diet Pepsi™ in the machine and I strongly recommend the Twix™ bars -- they're so good you could plotz.

It’s not black tie this year, but as always, I’ll have to insist on no gang colors. I’m sorry.

The balloting was tight this year, my friends. I’ll be the first to admit it. Do you think I like leaving two-time All-Optimist Second Teamer, the Earl of Boykins, off the squad? Of course I don’t! He’s a former Cavalier from Cleveland Central Catholic! I didn’t want to do it. I felt I owed it to him.

So bear that in mind when you consider who did and didn’t grab the honors. Let’s pass out some hardware, y’uns!


2005-06 All-Optimist First Team

It seems to happen every year, but again, this season's All-Optimist First Team is loaded with an uncanny amount of Cleveland Cavaliers. The only real surprise was that reigning two-time First Team forward, Ira Newble, was left off this year’s squad. He’ll likely be furious.

Guard
Guard
Center
Forward
Forward
Head Coach
Eric Snow
Could have averaged 20 ppg. He just didn't feel like it.
Larry Huge
Svelte shooting guard made the starting squad in just 36 games.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas
The Large Lithuanian is still a top five Five. Shaq fears him.
TheBron
Still the best basketball player on the planet.
Drew Gooden
Double-double machine when he's on his game.
Mike Brown
Brought defense and road toughness to the Cavaliers.


2005-06 All-Optimist Second Team

Players don’t like to admit it, but privately they pine to be named to the All-Optimist Second Team. They realize that due to the Cavaliers’ overall strength – 1 through 5 – that this is the pinnacle of success. Notable omissions from this year’s squad include the Earl of Boykins, Manu Ginobili, Desmond Mason, Ron Artest, Didier Illunga-Mbenga, Zarko Cabarkaba, Zaza Pachulia, Boniface Ndong and of course, Ansu Sesay.

Guard
Guard
Center
Forward
Forward
Head Coach
Kirk Hinrich
Rags-to-riches story of kid who went from making toys in the North Pole to the NBA.
Nate Robinson
Jumped over Spud Webb sitting on Muggsy Bogues shoulders to win Slam Dunk.
DeSagana Diop
Former Cavalier came into his own as a shot-blocker. Has his own hip-hop song.
The AK-47
Can do it all on the court and has a hot wife who lets him stray. What's not to love?
Jermaine O'Neal
Outspoken star plays hard. Has the same birthday as Lenny Bruce, Ali G. and the Optimist.
Doc Rivers
It makes my heart heavy to name a Celtic of any kind a Second Teamer. I just love Doc.


2005-06 Optimist All-Nemesis Team

The 2005-06 All-Nemesis Team features some old faces, including all-time Cavalier-killers like Jalen Rose and Paul Pierce. I have nothing personal against these players; they just make life miserable for the Wine and Gold. Notable omissions from this year’s squad include Mateen Cleaves, Richard Jefferson, Tony Parker, The King and, of course, Rick Davis.

Guard
Guard
Center
Forward
Forward
Head Coach
Allen Iverson
Nothing personal against 'The Answer' but he averages 74.8 ppg against Cleveland.
Jalen Rose
Member of the Knicks, a sorry team the Cavs went 1-2 against. Nuff said.
Rasheed Wallace
Not your traditional center; busted open Z's melon and laughed about it.
Paul Pierce
Is a Celtic. Spit on us. You know the drill.
Carlos Boozer
Jilted the Cavaliers but got karmic comeuppance when Prince trashed his crib.
Red Auerbach
I know he's retired, but Auerbach gets grandfathered in on principle.


The 2005-06 Edgar Jones 7th Man Award

For the third straight year, the Edgar Jones 7th Man Award was one of the tougher decisions to make. This award goes to the player off the bench that fires up the Quicken Loans crowd and simultaneously contributes to the Cavaliers’ cause. Notable omissions include Damon Jones, Splasha Pavlovic, Alan Henderson, Stephen Graham, Ira Newble, Luke Jackson and, of course the most difficult omission – Little Martynas Andriuskevicius.

Flip Murray
Acquired in a deadline deal; might have salvaged the Cavaliers' season.
Anderson Varejao
The Wild Thing is nothing but hair, heart and hustle. A crowd favorite.
Donyell Marshall
The X-Factor began heating up late in the season, just in time for the playoffs.
The Nominees

The Winner
FLIP MURRAY