Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Franchise - By Terry Pluto and Brian Windhorst...Revisted

With about a week to go before the Cavaliers tip it up again, there is no time like the present to take a flip through the pages of Terry Pluto and Brian Windhorst's book The Franchise...LeBron James and the remaking of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

In reading through the book again yesterday, there were some additional highlights that I wanted to touch on, in addition to my previous post back in March.

As the Cavaliers sit in the midst of a title run, you are presently aware of how much is owed to the calculated efforts of Dan Gilbert, Danny Ferry, Mike Brown, and most obviously LeBron James, for the 66 plus wins and counting. However, a debt of gratitude is owed to the embattled GM before Ferry, Jim Paxson, who my opinion of changed drastically after reading this book, as well as the owner that saved pro basketball in Cleveland, Gordon Gund, and his remarkable story.

Jim Paxson: In the past I wasn't the biggest supporter of Cavaliers ex-GM. However, after reading this book my opinion is changed. While he might not have been the best GM the NBA has ever seen he certainly wasn't the worst. Given the circumstances with which he had to operate, in retrospect, he did give the job everything he had, and had the best of intentions for Cleveland, the Cavaliers, and their fans. While Jiri Welsh, Trajan Langdan, and Luke Jackson will always haunt him as a GM, unloading Shawn Kemp was an unbelievably remarkable move, and deserves your respect as a Cavs fan. Additionally, while fans may want to blame him for Boozer, this book clearly details that this move wasn't Paxson's fault. And making the move to get Gooden and Varejao - for Tony Battie - after losing Boozer was a stellar play, and showed a lot about the resiliency of this man.

Gordon Gund: This book is worth the read if for no other reason than to gain an understanding of who Gordon Gund was as an owner, and what he stood for. This book tells the story of how he saved pro basketball in Cleveland by rescuing the Cavaliers from Ted Stepien, and also details the sense of moral obligation and decency with which he operated the franchise during his tenure. His battle with blindness is a courageous tale, and makes you sit back and think about how much more we might learn if we listened in the way that he does.

Thanks again to Gray and Company Publishers for sending me this book...it is a great read, and I encourage everyone to go buy it today if you haven't already done so. It will make you appreciate this title run that much more!

1 comment:

Cold as Ice said...

Excellent post! I also have a copy of this one, and it was one of my favorite reads in a long time. Really makes you respect the job these GM's do around the league. Great job Danny Ferry and company, keep this run going.