10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Cleveland Cavaliers

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For 45 years, the Cleveland Cavaliers have compiled a huge amount of memories, both good and bad, for their fans. Those good memories: two NBA Finals appearances, the “Miracle of Richfield” and the selection of LeBron James in the 2003 NBA Draft are countered with the bad: a forgettable start, the Ted Stepien era and “The Shot.”

All of those are etched into the memory banks of Cavalier fans, but there are also historical moments for the franchise that aren’t quite familiar to even the most avid of boosters. Below is a list of 10 memories that people may not be familiar with when it comes to Cavs’ history.

10. Humble Beginnings

Bill Fitch and Nick Mileti in 1970

The Cavaliers were born in early February 1970, and less than two months later were conducting their first college draft. Their infamous expansion draft method of using statistics on the back of trading cards was still to come, but when the college picks were chosen, the Cavs were still barely out of the womb.

They had no nickname yet and had no official offices yet. That meant that they needed a place to be part of the 17-team conference call, a far cry from the current hoopla associated with the draft.

That place of operations turned out to be the offices of the local ABC affiliate, WEWS, which happened to be just down the street from the Cleveland arena, which would be their new home. Amazingly, the 10-round draft took just over two hours, with Iowa forward John Johnson being the Cavs’ top pick, undoubtedly due to the fact that Cleveland head coach Bill Fitch was familiar with him during the latter’s time as head coach at the University of Minnesota.

Next: One Final Appearance for Big Nate

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Brad Sullivan is a lead writer for Cavaliers Nation. He has spent much of life in the Cleveland, Ohio area, and has remained a Cavalier fan from their 1970 beginnings through the return of LeBron James. While that fandom was sorely tested during the Reign of Error known simply by one word, Stepien, that overall historical perspective will be part of his writing for Cavaliers Nation in the months ahead.