LeBron James came home on a mission: Lead the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals and give Cleveland fans their first title in 52 years. Could he restore his reputation, revive the franchise, and reward the fans? Down 3 games to 1 in the 2016 Finals, he and the Cavs launched an epic comeback and delivered glory. Cleveland's top sportswriter tells how.
Author: Brian Windhorst
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Release Date: 2017-04-11
Genre: Sports & Recreation
Now a New York Times bestseller! The inside story of LeBron James's return and ultimate triumph in Cleveland. What really happened when LeBron James stunned the NBA by leaving a potential dynasty in Miami to come home to play with the Cleveland Cavaliers? How did the Cavs use secret meetings to put together the deal to add star Kevin Love? Who really made the controversial decision to fire coach David Blatt when the team was in first place? Where did the greatest comeback in NBA history truly begin-and end? RETURN OF THE KING takes you onto the private planes, inside the locker-room conversations, and into the middle of the intense huddles where one of the greatest stories in basketball history took place, resulting in the Cavs winning the 2016 NBA title after trailing the Golden State Warriors three games to one. You'll hear from all the characters involved: the players, the executives, the agents, and the owners as they reveal stories never before told. Get the background on all the controversies, the rivalries, and the bad blood from two reporters who were there for every day, plot twist, and social media snafu as they take you through the fascinating ride that culminated in a heart-stopping Game Seven.
This epic homecoming tale recounts one of the greatest sports stories in Cleveland history — how LeBron James and the Cavaliers took fans on a roller coaster ride from despair to hope and, finally, to glory as the 2016 NBA champions. Fans felt gut-punched in 2010 when local hero and MVP LeBron James announced he was leaving the Cavaliers and Northeast Ohio for Miami. The Cavs nose-dived in the standings and struggled to recover. Then, in June 2014, LeBron announced he was coming home. And he had a mission: Lead the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals and give Cleveland its first championship in 52 years. But would LeBron’s return be enough to restore his reputation, revive the franchise, and reward long-suffering Cleveland fans? Award-winning sportswriter Terry Pluto tells how it all happened. How LeBron won back fans with a heartfelt message — and savvy PR . . . How the Cavs’ front office crafted a championship-caliber team with a big three of James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love and a bench stocked not only with talent but character and chemistry . . . How LeBron’s added experience from four seasons and two titles in Miami prepared him for this second chance in Cleveland . . . How the Cavaliers reached the 2016 NBA Finals to face a Golden State Warriors team, led by MVP Stephen Curry, that had just set an NBA record for wins and had vanquished the Cavs in the Finals the previous season . . . How LeBron and the Cavs, down a historically hopeless three games to one, sparked an unprecedented come-from-behind surge (symbolized by LeBron’s superhuman block in Game 7) to stun Golden State and bring home the NBA Championship . . . And how the ecstatic fans joined the team in a joyful celebration that brought more than a million people together in downtown Cleveland. Pluto tells it all with insightful analysis, extensive front-office details, and a deep empathy for the fans.
Author: Terry Pluto
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2011-07-19
Genre: Sports & Recreation
What do Julius Erving, Larry Brown, Moses Malone, Bob Costas, the Indiana Pacers, the San Antonio Spurs and the Slam Dunk Contest have in common? They all got their professional starts in the American Basketball Association. What do Julius Erving, Larry Brown, Moses Malone, Bob Costas, the Indiana Pacers, the San Antonio Spurs and the Slam Dunk Contest have in common? They all got their professional starts in the American Basketball Association. The NBA may have won the financial battle, but the ABA won the artistic war. With its stress on wide-open individual play, the adoption of the 3-point shot and pressing defense, and the encouragement of flashy moves and flying dunks, today's NBA is still—decades later —just the ABA without the red, white and blue ball. Loose Balls is, after all these years, the definitive and most widely respected history of the ABA. It's a wild ride through some of the wackiest, funniest, strangest times ever to hit pro sports—told entirely through the (often incredible) words of those who played, wrote and connived their way through the league's nine seasons.
Scott Raab's big-hearted companion to his darkly comic "sports-jeremiad-slash-memoir" The Whore of Akron follows the first two years of LeBron James’s return to Cleveland, where everybody just loves a good story of forgiveness—especially when you fulfill your promise and bring home an NBA Championship, the first major title for a Cleveland team since 1964. "If I had a chance to return to Cleveland, and those fans welcomed me back, that’d be a great story." —LeBron James in 2010, days after "The Decision" In 2010, when LeBron James announced to the world that he was leaving for Miami, he broke the collective heart of his native city and destroyed the hopes of an entire tortured generation. As LeBron headed south, unofficial spokesman Scott Raab sent him off with a middle-finger salute of his own—a deliciously obscene aria of sports fandom, Jewishness, and weight gain that became infamous as The Whore of Akron. Four years—and two NBA championships later—LeBron came home to the Rust Belt faithful who had vilified him mercilessly, none more so than Raab. You’re Welcome, Cleveland is the story of both LeBron’s and Scott’s redemption as they pursue the one thing they crave more than anything in life—an NBA title for the city that made them men. LeBron is back. So is Scott Raab. It’s a great story. You’re Welcome, Cleveland.
All In. The moment that LeBron James declared his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014, there was no doubt the franchise was all in on ending the city of Cleveland's over half-century drought without a major sports championship. From the mid-season coaching change to a 3-1 NBA Finals deficit, the Cavs were determined to overcome any obstacle to capture the first NBA title in franchise history. Unlike in 2015 when they were decimated by injuries, they stayed largely healthy in the 2016 playoffs and torched the Pistons, Hawks, and Raptors on their way to a Finals rematch versus Stephen Curry and the record-breaking Warriors. Packed with unmatched analysis and dynamic color photography, Cleveland Is King takes fans through the Cavaliers historic and improbable journey, from Tyronn Lue taking over as coach during the season, to LeBron shaping the team in his image, to the team rallying from the brink of elimination in dramatic fashion to steal the championship in Oakland. This commemorative edition also includes in-depth profiles of King James, Finals hero Kyrie Irving, big man Kevin Love, and more key players in the Cleveland's extraordinary championship run.
The inside, Moneyball-esque story of 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers and the team's hero, LeBron James, telling the four-year story of how the Cavs lost their star player, but immediately put together both a plan and team that would bring the city a long-awaited NBA Championship.
"Not your typical sports biography . . . Take[s] the reader behind the scenes in the Cavaliers’ front office, revealing how championship contenders are built" — Library Journal Two award-winning sports journalists give an in-depth look at how a team and a city were rebuilt around superstar LeBron James. When the Cleveland Cavaliers drew the top pick in the 2003 NBA draft, an entire city buzzed with excitement. After all, how often does a LeBron James come along? Especially for Cleveland, a midmarket Rust Belt city without a sports championship in forty years. Especially for the Cavaliers, a long-struggling team that had never reached the NBA finals. Soon, everyone had something riding on LeBron—billionaire team owner Dan Gilbert looking for a return on his investment . . . teammates eager for a championship ring . . . the league in need of the next Michael Jordan to promote . . . the shoe company with its multimillion-dollar endorsement deal . . . even popcorn vendors in the stands of Quicken Loans Arena and servers waiting restaurant tables in a downtown that now booms every game night. Terry Pluto and Brian Windhorst tell the converging stories of a struggling franchise that had to get worse in order to get better and a highly touted teenage phenom, the local kid who became their future. This book will fascinate any basketball fan who wants the inside story of how LeBron James became the young superstar shouldering the weight of an entire NBA franchise. Chock full of facts and analysis.
After 52 long years, the city of Cleveland finally has a new championship team, thanks to LeBron James and his Cavaliers. Scott Raab—Cleveland super-fan—has suffered for every one of those five decades of drought. In the tradition of Frederick Exley’s cult-classic sports book A Fan’s Notes, The Whore of Akron is Raab’s hilarious and unhinged plea for deliverance from all those years of pain. Traveling from Cleveland to Miami and back again, Raab heads out on an obsessive quest to uncover the soul of one of today’s greatest basketball players: LeBron James, the man who finally brought Cleveland out of sporting exile.
King James Brings The Land a Crown chronicles Cleveland's victorious journey back to that summit led by this generation's greatest sports icon in search of his storybook ending. In one move James went from Judas to Galahad, bringing home the golden cup to a hollowed-out industrial city desperate for sports sunshine after decades of acid rain. As told by Chris Parker, a seasoned freelance writer turned Cleveland beat reporter who followed the team for two years for the Cleveland Scene, King James Brings The Land a Crown is a travelogue of the ups and downs of their historic season. A diehard basketball fan, and long-time Cleveland, Ohio resident, Parker cut his journalistic teeth in feature writing penned over 3,000 articles for magazines and weeklies around the country. He brings a special flair, interview acumen, and journalistic rigor often absent from sports reporting. The book features a rich pastiche of play-by-play vignettes, coach and player quotes, strategic basketball analysis and deeper insight into how the Cavaliers overcame their inconsistency to stage the greatest comeback in NBA Finals history against a team that had just completed the best regular season ever. The story winds over 320 pages from opening night in Chicago with President Obama in attendance, through the season's 82 games to a game-by-game ride through the playoffs. You'll read about Love's one-on-one games with his dad, how Channing Frye and Richard Jefferson brought the team together, how players build, hone and polish go-to moves, and of course an in-depth examination of Tyronn Lue's value to the team and the circumstances of David Blatt's firing. It includes a beat-by-beat review of that Finals game for the ages, Game 7, that's almost like hearing it on the radio. There are also 16 pages of color photos including shots of James and Carmelo Anthony competing in high school, Kyrie Irving's game-winning three and LeBron's incredibly block on Andre Iguodala.
Showcasing one of professional basketball's best players, this book spotlights the life and career of hardcourt superstar LeBron James. More than just a biography, it relates James' story while also establishing his prominent place in NBA history. By examining his skills and statistics in a variety of categories and comparing him to other NBA legends—including Magic Johnson, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, and more—the guide makes a strong case for James as basketball's greatest. Along the way, his best and most memorable moments are revisited, from his days as a high school stand-out in Akron, to his first stint with the Cavaliers, to "The Decision" to join the Miami Heat, and the show-stopping performance in the 2016 Finals to bring an NBA title back to Cleveland. LeBron James vs. The NBA is certain to stir up lively debate and is a must-have for Cavs fans and basketball buffs alike.
The Soul of Basketball tells the story of an NBA prodigy, his league and their sport in the throes of crisis during the pivotal 2010-11 season. It began with The Decision, that infamous televised moment when uber-star LeBron James revealed that he was leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers – thereby distancing himself from his role model Michael Jordan – to pursue his first championship with his former opponents on the Miami Heat. To the great fortune of LeBron, the NBA and basketball itself, the mission didn’t work out as planned. In the cultural tradition of Moneyball and Friday Night Lights, veteran NBA writer Ian Thomsen portrays the NBA as a self-correcting society in which young LeBron is forced to absorb hard truths inflicted by his rivals Kobe Bryant, Doc Rivers and Dirk Nowitzki, in addition to lessons set forth by Pat Riley, Gregg Popovich, Larry Bird, David Stern, Joey Crawford and many more. This is about the making of a champion. Brimming with inside access, The Soul of Basketball tells the inspiring story of LeBron’s loneliest year, insecure and uncertain, when his ultimate foe was an unlikely immigrant who renewed the American game’s ideals. From Miami to Boston, Los Angeles to Dallas, Germany to the NBA’s Manhattan headquarters, the biggest names in basketball are driven by something more valuable than money and fame – a quest that will pave the way for Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and future generations to thrive.
Author: Brian Albrecht
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
Release Date: 2015-11-02
Berthed on the Cleveland lakefront, the battle-hardened submarine USS Cod serves as a proud reminder of the wartime contributions from the Greater Cleveland community. Clevelanders did their duty and more, from round-the-clock work on the factory assembly lines to the four Medal of Honor recipients on the front lines. The Cleveland Bomber Plant churned out thousands of B-29 parts, while Auto-Ordnance Co. developed the design for the Thompson submachine guns used by GIs on nearly every battlefield. Indians pitcher Bob Feller left the game to go into the service, and Clarence Jamison flew with the famed Tuskegee Airmen. Through interviews and archival material, authors Brian Albrecht and James Banks honor a time when Clevelanders of all stripes answered the call to arms.
The DREAM TEAM was a bunch of kids from Akron, Ohio-LeBron James and his best friends-who first met on a youth basketball team of the same name when they were ten and eleven years old. United by their love of the game and their yearning for companionship, they quickly forged a bond which would carry them through thick and thin (a lot of thin) and, at last, to the brink of a national championship. They were a motley group who faced challenges all too typical of inner-city America. LeBron grew up without a father and had moved with his mother more than a dozen times by the age of 10. Willie McGee, the quiet one, had left both his parents behind in Chicago to be raised by his older brother in Akron. Dru Joyce was outspoken, and his dad, who was ever-present, would end up coaching all five of the boys in high school. Sian Cotton, who also played football, was the happy-go-lucky enforcer, while Romeo Travis was unhappy, bitter, even surly, until he finally opened himself up to the bond his team mates offered. In the summer after seventh grade, the DREAM TEAM tasted glory when they qualified for a national championship tournament in Memphis. But they lost their focus, and had to go home early. They promised each other they would stay together and do whatever it took to win a national title. They had no idea how hard it would be to pursue that promise. In the years that followed, they would endure jealousy, hostility, exploitation, resentment from the black community (because they went to a "white" high school), and the consequence of their own over-confidence. Not least, they would all have to wrestle with LeBron's outsize success, which brought too much attention and even a whiff of scandal their way. But together these five boys became men as they sought a national championship. From the Trade Paperback edition.