The Cava-List: Known Unknowns
September 6, 2013
A sleeping-looking Larry Nance, whose number is retired by the Cavaliers, won the first ever Slam Dunk Contest in 1984, throwing down two balls in one dunk. His competition that year included Ralph Sampson, Orlando Woolridge, Dominique Wilkins, Darrell Griffith, Julius Erving, Michael Cooper, Clyde Drexler and, yes, Edgar Jones.
Lance Allred, who played in three games for the Cavaliers in 2007-08, is the first legally deaf player in NBA history and the author of the book, Longshot: The Adventures of a Deaf Fundamentalist Mormon Kid and His Journey to the NBA.
Drew Gooden played 292 games in four seasons with the Cavs. During the 2006-07 season, Gooden grew a "Gucci patch" -- a square patch of hair on the back of his head. He was also known for randomly yelling "YEEE!!" both on the court and off. Nobody knew why.
Tree Rollins played 108 games over two seasons with the Cavaliers in the late '80s. When with the Hawks, he once bit Danny Ainge during a playoff brawl. The headline in the papers the next morning famously read: "Tree Bites Man."
Free-spirited Scot Pollard is the only Cavalier to sport a mid-season mohawk -- which he later dyed blonde. Pollard would routinely get on the bus driver's microphone during team rides to and from the arena, acting as an impromtu tour guide. He also once gave kids some really bad advice on camera.
Damon Jones, who played 209 games over three seasons with Cleveland, once labeled himself "The Greatest Shooter in the World" then proceeded to hit one of the biggest shots in franchise history against the Wizards in 2006.
Current OKC Thunder head coach Scott Brooks played 43 games with Cleveland in 1997-98 and lived with Zydrunas Ilgauskas in his Reserve Square Apartment. It was supposed to be a couple weeks, but turned into the rest of the season. “He was a good roommate,” said Z. “He was quiet. That was good.”
Ronald "Flip" Murray played in 28 regular season and 13 playoff games with the Cavs during the 2005-06 season. He got his nickname because he participated in gymnastics as a youngster.
Mike Mitchell, who played four seasons with Cleveland and was named to the All-Star Game (in Cleveland) in 1981, was also a gifted tailor. Bill Fitch, who drafted and coached Mitchell, once famously said: "Mike could score 39 points and just say, 'Shucks.' Another guy would score 39 and say, "Where’s my agent?'"
Mr. Cavalier, Austin Carr was drafted by the Wine and Gold with the No. 1 overall pick in 1971. With his first paycheck, A.C. bought a purple Toronado with a white top and white interior. When he brought it to his parents house, his mother made him return it, saying: "You can take that back to the dealer this week. I did not raise a pimp."
Ricky Davis played three seasons with the Cavaliers during some lean years. He famously shot at the opponent's rim in an attempt to notch a triple-double against Utah, earning the nickname "Wrong Rim Ricky." The refs had never seen that before so they let play continue.
Mark Hendrickson played 10 games for the Cavaliers in 1999-2000. The 6-9 lefty played for four NBA teams and five MLB clubs, amassing a 58-74 career mark.
Cedric Henderson played four seasons and 248 games with the Cavaliers. Henderson once lost a pregame shooting contest to Cavaliers radio producer and play-by-play voice of the Canton Charge, Scott Zurilla and, according to Zurilla, has never paid up.
Chris Dudley played three seasons in Cleveland and shot .412 from the free throw stripe. In 2010, he was the Republican nominee for Governor of Oregon.
It's not a Cava-List without the great Edgar Jones who played two seasons with the Cavs. The famously front-toothless Jones lost his two front teeth after catching an elbow in a 100-66 blowout loss to BYU when he was at Nevada-Reno.
Luke Walton has spent much of the last two seasons in Cleveland. Walton once described family holiday gatherings at the Walton household in which his dad, Hall of Famer Bill Walton, would ask off-the-wall trivia questions and reward right answers with boxes of power bars or old media guides.
Manny Harris', who played 80 games over two seasons with Cleveland, real name is Corperryale L'Adorable Harris.
Christian Eyenga was taken with the 30th overall pick in the 2010 Draft. As a rookie, he revealed that his father had five wives, had his car filled with popcorn as punishment for not picking up the Krispy Kremes and sprinted off the court in L.A. when he heard a man was weilding a knife. “I mean, it's America,” said Eyenga. "If he says he has a gun and he's going to kill everybody. I just start running."
Steve Kerr, who played four seasons with the Cavaliers in the early '90s, spent much of his childhood in Lebanaon and the MIddle East. In 1984, his father, who was then serving as president of the American University of Beirut, was assassinated by suspected militant nationalists.
Derrick Chievous played two seasons in Cleveland. He wore a band-aid on a different part of his body in every game. That tradition began when he was a junior in high school in New York City. In a game, he was cut above his right eye after being elbowed and went on to score 45 points.
Lonnie Shelton played in 180 games over three seasons with the Cavs. The 6-8, 265-pound Shelton once subdued a man trying to mug him, tackling the assailant before he could pull his gun out of his pocket and preaching to him for 20 minutes while waiting for cops to arrive. Shelton suffered a cut that required four stitches and even doubted the wisdom of his action s in hindsight, considering the gun went off twice during the scuffle without hitting anyone.
Jamario Moon played two seasons with the Cavaliers. The winner of the Austin Carr Good Guy Award (pictured here with Bob Finnan) was known in the Cavaliers locker room for sporting several pairs of cowboy boots.
Jim Brewer, who played six years with the Wine and Gold, is also Doc Rivers' uncle.
When Walt Frazier -- who played part of three seasons with the Wine and Gold -- lived with Jim Chones and his family, Chones claimed, "Sometimes, (Walt) would be in his room doing yoga, and my daughter would run in there and squat down and kiss him while he was upside down. I’d say, 'Kareeda, come on!' And he’d say, 'Nah, that’s alright.'"