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Called for Traveling

The Wine & Gold Dish on Life on the Road

Cavs.com Feature:
Called For Traveling

The Wine & Gold Dish on Life on the Road


In the Oscar-nominated film “Up in the Air,” George Clooney’s character laments: “Last year I spent 322 days on the road, which means I had to spend 43 miserable days at home.”

The Cavaliers – and the support staff that travels with them – is much, much happier being home than Clooney’s character. But there are times during the unkind grind of an NBA season that make it feel like it’s been 322 days out on the road.

Yes, the Cavaliers (and said staff) stay at the nicest hotels in the country and yes, they get fans’ adoration wherever they go. And if I told you how easy it was to check luggage and board a plane, you’d probably want to take your laptop or mobile device and smack me in the head. (I wouldn’t blame you.)

One of the NBA luxuries of living in a Midwestern city, the Wine & Gold log less air miles than most teams. They’re annually one of the least-traveled squads, and that’ll be the case again this year. The Cavs will pile up 35,670 miles in 2018-19. The league max varies from year-to-year, but Boston, Minnesota and Portland are annually among the league leaders. The NBA max this year is 48,277 miles.

The league even breaks down the schedule in terms of games played Fresh (did not play the day before and opponent did), Tired (played the day before and opponent did not) and Even (both did play or both did not play the day before). This year, Cleveland plays 14 games fresh, 11 games tired and 57 games even.

None of these numbers – nor any of the creature comforts described above – mean much when you’re sitting alone in a hotel room on Thanksgiving or Christmas night (as the Cavs will this year in Philadelphia and Memphis, respectively). They haven’t built a hotel room nice enough to make you not miss your family.

But this is the NBA life that’s been chosen – and nobody’s complaining.

Life on the road is life in the league. And only one thing is guaranteed: That the minute the season wraps up and you’re ready to put away your suitcase – in either April or May or June – the first thing your significant other will suggest is to plan a trip somewhere.

With travel on the brain, we asked some of this year’s Cavaliers about some of their travel preferences and peccadillos as they work their way through the 82-game grind …


Larry Nance Jr. and Kevin Love on the bus to the arena for their game.
Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images


Do you have a “clean clothes vs. dirty clothes” system on the road?

Cedi Osman: I don't like to have stuff in one spot; I have to keep everything separate. But one thing I can’t handle is dirty clothes on the floor. Even if I'm going to just go lay down and chill -- you know, it's a hotel, whatever -- as soon as I lay down, my eyes are going to focus on the stuff on the floor! I just don't feel comfortable with that. I have to pick it up.

Sometimes I'm getting mad at myself. ‘Why can't you just leave it there?’

But I can't. I can't.

Jordan Clarkson: Put my dirty clothes in a separate bag than the clean clothes.

Rodney Hood: Yeah, I keep all my dirty clothes in a bag on the floor.


Do you over-pack or under-pack and buy a lot on the road?

David Nwaba: I definitely over-pack instead of under-pack. I don't really buy things on the road.

Channing Frye: I pack everything and don't buy anything – unless I'm in New York. And I only shop at a couple of places in Soho. It's literally the only place I'll buy clothes from. And then if I'm either in New York or L.A. – 3 X 1 jeans and, not to be snooty, but Louis Vuitton ready-to-wear is amazing. I still have a jacket from, like, eight years ago.

Larry Nance Jr.: Oh, I pack 100 percent. If I'm in my hotel room, I'm not leaving. As far as clothes, anything team-issued – you'll see me in that.


What’s your favorite NBA city?

Osman: My favorite NBA city is Miami. And I like L.A., too.

Frye: I have three. Shockingly, one is New York. Portland, because I'm at home. And L.A., because I have so many friends and it's always good to be there and just be by the water. I'm a big ‘water’ guy.

Hood: That would probably be Toronto -- especially when the weather's not too cold and you get a chance to experience the city.

Nwaba: Chicago and L.A.

Clarkson: Can I pick three? Probably New York, Toronto and Miami.

Nance Jr.: I love Portland. It's pretty awesome.

Ante Zizic: Miami, for sure.


Ante Zizic and Channing Frye arrive to Barclays Center before their game against the Brooklyn Nets.
Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images


Do you take the tiny soap and shampoo when you leave?

Osman: No!

Clarkson: No.

Nance Jr.: If it’s a long trip, I do.

Zizic: No.


Any road superstitions?

Osman: No. Mostly, I just text to my parents that I'm good when we land and get to the hotel.

Hood: I always pray before I get on the plane. You just never know, with all the turbulence and stuff.

Frye: I always sit in the same seat, for the most part. And I always check the movie when I get to the room. The first thing I do is check what movies they have to rent. I check to see what I haven't seen, and if there’s something good, I'll be like: 'Ahhh, I don't want to go to dinner.'

Clarkson: Nah, but I DO believe in ghosts. And there’s been a couple of hotels that I've stayed where the room, I feel like I've heard stuff before. But who knows?

Nance Jr.: Well, the hotels we stay at in Oklahoma City and Milwaukee are haunted, so therefore I stay down the street.

The Skirvin (in Oklahoma City) – I’m sure it’s a lovely hotel. But I'll get off the bus, get my bags and walk to the Intercontinental down the street. Lou Williams taught me all this.


What’s the first thing you do when you get home from a road trip?

Osman: Just chill on the iPad or phone. Just watch what happened today, like read today’s news on the phone to see if I’ve missed something. Or maybe watch highlights from the other games.

Nance Jr.: Play with the dogs.

Zizic: Play video games. What else do you want me to do at 3:00 a.m. or something like that? I can't go to sleep.

Hood: Hug my two-year-old old son. He always runs to me when whenever I come in the house.


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