08-04-2006, 05:13 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Pistons vs. Cavs (Detnews)
I always like O'Hara
W ar clouds are gathering on the banks of Lake Erie. All-out war.
The Cavaliers and Pistons are marching toward a scorched earth confrontation. Take no prisoners. Winner take all. Leave nothing standing.
Cavaliers owner Daniel Gilbert obviously wants what Pistons owner Bill Davidson has -- championships.
Davidson's Pistons have won three NBA titles. Davidson even has a Stanley Cup courtesy of his Tampa Bay Lightning.
You can't buy that kind of hardware -- even with the best adjustable rate mortgage available from one of Gilbert's Quicken Loans agents.
Gilbert, who bought the Cavaliers in 2003-04, believes the way to catch lightning is to model his franchise after the Pistons teams he grew up watching.
Folks around the NBA swear that if you watch a game at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, you'd think you were at The Palace. The game-night presentation and marketing effects are almost identical.
So, the war is on to catch up with the Pistons. Fast.
Gilbert won a round earlier this week when he hired sportscaster Fred McLeod as the play-by-play man for the Cavaliers. Among his other duties in a long, distinguished career in Detroit, McLeod did television play-by-play for some Pistons games.
Hiring McLeod didn't start the conflict. It only escalated it.
The first rounds were fired a year ago, when word seeped out late in the 2004-05 season that Gilbert was talking to Larry Brown about a job switch. After the season, Brown supposedly would take his vast experience to Cleveland -- as coach or travel agent. Or even general manager.
You might recall, Brown was still tied up with this little job. He was coaching the Pistons, who were on a mission to defend the NBA championship they won in 2004. The Pistons got close, losing to the Spurs in seven games.
By the end of the season, the Cavaliers had hired Mike Brown as coach. Larry Brown would end up coaching the Knicks -- for one season -- and the Pistons hired Flip Saunders.
The Pistons won a league-best 64 games last season, but withered in the playoffs and lost to the Heat in the Eastern Conference finals.
Along the way, they encountered Gilbert's Cavaliers. The Pistons blew a 2-0 lead, lost three straight, but won in seven games.
So, we're waiting for the next salvo from the south shore of Lake Erie.
Imagine the unthinkable.
The Cavaliers hire John Mason, whose distinctive, rumbling voice at The Palace has become legendary in the NBA.
Mason is a genuine NBA personality. We used to have Gus dancing in the balcony and Leon the Barber heckling.
Listen, we don't care Gilbert's fling with Larry Brown hastened his divorce with the Pistons. We wish McLeod well. The media has become a free-agent business.
But the intolerable act is hearing Mason's rumbling tone tell us "CLEEEEEEEV-land, BAS-KET-ball." Or, "at the line, wearing the Cavaliers 23, LeBron, 'Bron, 'Bron, 'Bron, 'Bron JAMES!!!!
I disliked McLeod anyway, so I'm glad he's gone. Maybe they can take Special K too.
I hate how they copy our introductions and even their PA sounds the same as Mason.
We'll still wipe the court with them at tip-off.