Carlos Boozer

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Posted by kaori 03/04/2009 @ 23:08

Tags : carlos boozer, basketball players, basketball, sports

News headlines
Carlos Boozer prefers to re-sign with Jazz - Rotoworld.com
Carlos Boozer wants to remain in Utah, he said on Tuesday, despite his ability to opt out of his contract this summer. Boozer has until June 30th to decide whether to opt out of the final year of his contract, worth $12.7 million....
The Boozer Question / Power forward says he wants to stay in Utah - StandardNet
By Jim Burton SALT LAKE CITY -- Carlos Boozer likes it here and wants to continue playing for the Jazz. Of course that doesn't mean the former All-Star power forward is going to come cheaply. Shortly after Utah's season ended with a first-round playoff...
Utah Jazz: Utah faces likely roster shakeup during bad economy - Salt Lake Tribune
For the Jazz, the offseason will be defined by the opt-out decisions Carlos Boozer, Mehmet Okur and Kyle Korver have to make by June 30. Each can opt out of the final year of his contract and become a free agent. Steve Luhm and Ross Siler offer more...
What's Carlos Boozer gonna do? - ABC 4
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC-4 Sports) - Amid all the off-season questions surrounding the Utah Jazz, the biggest has to do with the future of Carlos Boozer. He missed 45 games this past season, but is clearly, along with point guard Deron Williams,...
What does the Utah Jazz' Future Hold? - Bleacher Report
They were led by new gold medalists Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer, fueled by a nearly-untouched roster, and bolstered by the addition of "veteran" backup guard Brevin Knight and rookie center Kosta Koufos. Owners of two straight division...
Kragthorpe: Game 5: Not another San Antonio - Salt Lake Tribune
By Kurt Kragthorpe Utah Jazz forward Carlos Boozer (5) during game 4 of the NBA playoffs at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City Utah Saturday, April 25, 2009. Jeremy Harmon/The Salt Lake Tribune At this time, I would like to commend the 60000 or so...
The End Of An Era: Is It Finally Time For Jerry Sloan To Step Down? - Bleacher Report
Jerry has never altered the times in which stars like Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer enter and exit the game. In fact, he has a certain point at the end of the first quarter and end of the third quarter where he always pulls the plug on D-Will....
NBA Opinion - Miami Heat need to land Carlos Boozer - BetUs.com
The best option out there is Carlos Boozer, who will show absolutely no loyalty to the Utah Jazz after what happened to them in Round 1 against the Lakers. Boozer is looking for a mega contract, and if Miami is smart they'll do what's necessary to lure...
1A track and field: St. Joseph girls, Rich boys win with depth - Salt Lake Tribune
"It was kind of like the Jazz playing without Carlos Boozer and Deron Williams." The Jayhawks certainly fared better than the Jazz would have. They finished with 111 points, good for a 20-point margin over Rich. They did it with their depth -- an...
Jazz's big offseason tipping off - Deseret News
And some — namely starting power forward Carlos Boozer, starting center Mehmet Okur and backup shooting guard Kyle Korver — truly get to make them. Until they do, the hands of Jazz brass largely are tied. As it stands, though, as many as nine members...

Rob Pelinka

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Robert Todd Pelinka, Jr. (born December 23, 1969) is an American lawyer, sports agent and former college basketball player from Lake Bluff, Illinois (suburban Chicago). As a sports agent he is best known as NBA MVP Kobe Bryant's agent and President and CEO of The Landmark Sports Agency, LLC. He is the agent for the seventh overall selection in the 2008 NBA Draft, Eric Gordon. He has also been the agent for NBA All-Star Carlos Boozer, which has been controversial. He currently represents thirteen National Basketball Association (NBA) players, five of whom play for Los Angeles teams.

As a basketball player he is former high school All-American. As a junior he led Lake Forest High School to its first conference championship. As a senior, he was overlooked by many scouts and recruiters at the Division I-level entering his senior season, but his MVP performance in a four-game tournament where he made all 42 of his free throws and impressive senior season statistics propelled him to a highly recruited status. He was selected to several regional all-star lists and to play on several regional all-star teams as a senior.

He eventually went to the University of Michigan where he has the distinction of having been a member of three NCAA Final Four entrants: the 1988–89 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Champion University of Michigan Wolverines as well as both the 1991–92 and the 1992–93 national championship runners up that were best remembered as the Fab Five teams. Pelinka holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan Law School and B.B.A. Business degree (BUS: BBA 1993) from the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business. Pelinka was also named the 1993 NCAA Male Walter Byers Scholar Athlete of the Year.

Pelinka is the son of a Robert Todd Pelinka, Sr., a former high school basketball coach who taught him the fundamentals of basketball. He became a high school All-American basketball player at Lake Forest High School. By the time he was a junior teammate of long-time Chicago Bears quarterback Bobby Douglass' stepson Bill, he was regarded as one of the best shooters in the Chicago area. As a 6 ft 3.5 in (1.92 m) junior, he led Lake Forest to their first conference championship as an all-conference guard. However, the team lost in the first round of postseason play in 1987.

By his senior season, he was listed at 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m), and moved to the point guard position from the shooting guard position in the absence of Douglass, who had graduated and who would become a Big Ten opponent as Wisconsin's starting point guard. As a senior, Pelinka was a preseason selection by the Chicago Sun-Times as one of the top 50 Chicago metropolitan area high school basketball players and top five North Suburban players. However, he was not a national preseason top 500 pick by Street & Smith's basketball magazine, which may have been because his senior season marked the first season that the three point shot was adopted by state high school associations and Pelinka was mainly a shooter. Nonetheless, scouts who questioned his true height and dribbling, doubted whether he was talented enough to play for either of his targeted colleges (Michigan and Notre Dame) even in late December of his senior year despite his having had multiple 30-point efforts already.

During the four-game December 1987 Elgin tournament, in which he was named MVP, he made all 41 of his free throws and recorded 139 points including 45 in one game. Pelinka's free throw streak ended at 45, but later recounts showed he had 42 free throws in the tournament and 46 consecutive overall, which ranked fourth in Illinois high school basketball history at the time of his graduation. After his tournament performance, Pelinka responded through the press to a scout who felt he might be limited to Division II or mid-major programs like William & Mary that since he was able to score 45 points against a player committed to play for DePaul, he could succeed at the Division I high-major level. He had only been recruited by William & Mary, Navy, Wisconsin-Green Bay and Ivy League schools prior to his tournament performance. Afterwards, at least three Big Ten Conference schools showed interest (Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin), although no scouts were allowed to attend any games before February 8.

By the beginning of February of his senior year, he was listed as one of the top ten Illinois Class AA (the larger school class) basketball players in Illinois by Illinois High School Basketball magazine. By the time of the scouting deadline of February 8, which enabled college scouts to attend his games, Pelinka was averaging 30 points and 10 rebounds per game and Illinois, Michigan, Notre Dame and North Carolina were interested in him. Even previously doubtful scout Kaplan noted that of the players who waited until the April signing period instead of signing in November, Pelinka was one of the best in the Chicago area. Pelinka was named to the post-(regular) season All-Chicago area top 20 players by the Chicago Sun-Times. He was named among the 20 Class AA All-state players in a class that included Eric Anderson, LaPhonso Ellis, Acie Earl, and Deon Thomas. In addition to various all-star lists, Pelinka was selected to play for various regional all-star teams. Pelinka's final decision came down to a choice between Illinois and Michigan. Pelinka chose Michigan because of its academically strong law school and business school. After selecting Michigan, he had memorable performances in his regional all-star games, including a 27 point performance in the annual City-Suburban all-star game.

As a guard, he became the first athlete to reach three NCAA Tournament Final Fours during his Michigan Wolverines career. He played in the 1988–89, 1990–91, 1991–92, and 1992–93 seasons, and the team reached the championship game of the final four in all of those season except 1990–91. As a true freshman member of the 1988–89 National Champions, his teammates included Glen Rice, Terry Mills, Loy Vaught, Rumeal Robinson, Sean Higgins, and Demetrius Calip. As a redshirt member of the 1991–92, and 1992–93 national runners up his teammates included Chris Webber, Juwan Howard, Jalen Rose, Jimmy King, Ray Jackson (the Fab Five), and Eric Riley. He was one of several upperclassmen on the Fab Five teams and served as co-captain of the 1992–93 team.

During his freshman season, Michigan was picked by many to win the Big Ten Conference and was the preseason number one ranked team in the nation according to some polls. Pelinka's only start of the season came in the December 12, 1988 game against Holy Cross. This game followed the team's first loss of the season, which had come against Division II Alaska-Anchorage after an 11–0 start and after which coach Bill Frieder benched three starters. Pelinka posted his season highs in points (8), rebounds (5) and minutes (18) in this game. During a practice, Pelinka was knocked unconscious and lost two teeth. As the team entered the March stretch run Pelinka and Calip were the only reserve guards backing up Robinson and Higgins. The team went on to win the 1989 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament. Pelinka then redshirted the 1989–90 season due to a knee injury.

During his redshirt sophomore season, he was not called on to take many important shots. He did have an opportunity to take a 20-foot shot with five seconds left in what turned out to be a 76–74 loss to Texas on December 29, 1990. He missed the shot. In this game, he played a season-high twenty-eight minutes in his only start of the season. The team finished with at 14–15 overall (7–11 Big Ten) record and did not compete in postseason play.

During his redshirt junior year, he was joined at Michigan by the Fab Five, who were all true freshmen. He was injured for part of the season. However, after sitting out the first half he scored the overtime opening three point shot and made three of four overtime free throws in a January 29, 1992 89–79 road victory against Michigan State at the Breslin Center. Pelinka also contributed his season-high nineteen minutes and a second-half career-high eleven points (eclipsed in his senior season) in a March 11, 1992 70–61 victory against Purdue at the Mackey Arena. The team lost in the final game of the 1992 NCAA Tournament.

As a 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 200-pound (91 kg) fifth-year senior, Pelinka started back-to-back games twice during the season. Early in the season, he started in place of the injured Jackson, but came down with the flu after two starts against Kansas and Eastern Michigan on December 30, 1992 and January 2, 1993 respectively. During his other set of back-to-back starts against Ohio State and Iowa on January 26 and January 31, 1993, Pelinka started even though Jackson played. Pelinka set several season- and career-highs, including points (16), in the 72–62 home victory over Ohio State. Pelinka was an important role player for the team who drew the most charges on the team and contributed important defensive minutes as the sixth man. During the 1992–93 season, he led all reserves in minutes and assists and was second in points and rebounds. During the Final Four weekend in New Orleans, Louisiana, Chris Webber slept with Pelinka's 1989 Championship ring under his pillow. Nonetheless, the team lost in the final game of the 1993 NCAA Tournament. After his senior season, he played in an NBA Summer Camp in Long Beach, California and considered offers to play professionally in Europe. At this time, he first met Arn Tellum and decided not to play basketball.

At Lake Forest High School, Pelinka became a starting basketball player as a junior during the 1986–87 season. College basketball regulations allow for two periods in which high school basketball players can make commitments to accept athletic scholarships. The first period is in November and the second period is in April. As a result of his junior season athletic and academic performances he was recruited during the first period by William & Mary, Navy, Wisconsin-Green Bay and Ivy League schools. The schools with traditionally stronger basketball programs largely ignored Pelinka to his dismay. His father sent out profiles to newspapers and colleges, and Pelinka decided to wait for the second off-campus recruiting and signing period. As his senior season progressed, top Division I basketball programs began to scout him for athletic scholarship offers. Immediately after his MVP basketball tournament performance in early January, Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin became interested in recruiting him. The off-campus recruiting for the April signing period began on February 8. As the season progressed and Pelinka compiled all-star basketball statistics, the list of top basketball programs increased with schools such as Illinois, Michigan, Notre Dame and North Carolina expressing interest in him by the time of the off-campus recruiting season. Pelinka hoped he would be able to sign with a Big Ten school. When Pelinka made his final decision in April 1988, he chose Michigan over Illinois.

Pelinka entered the Bachelor of Business Administration program at the School of Business Administration where he accumulated a 3.9/4.0 grade point average. During his time at Michigan, he developed a close relationship with University of Michigan tax law professor Doug Kahn and his wife. In January 1993, Pelinka announced he was accepted to the University of Michigan Law School and the Northwestern University School of Law and stated that he hoped to become a professional sports agent after his athletic and academic careers were complete. After winning the West Regional Final, Pelinka flew to St. Louis, Missouri for a final interview for the Walter Byers Scholarship. During the week before the Final Four, Pelinka was honored with the 1993 Walter Byers Scholar as the NCAA's top male scholar athlete. In addition to winning the Byers Award, Pelinka earned a variety of other scholar athlete awards.

Pelinka chose to attend Michigan Law School immediately after graduating from his undergraduate program instead of playing basketball in Europe and became a top law school student. During his first year of law school, several of his former teammates appeared in Blue Chips: Billy Douglas (Lake Forest), Eric Anderson (Chicago All-star), and Demitrius Calip (Michigan). While in law school, he took several classes from Kahn. During his second year in law school, he be came the home game color analyst for Wolverines basketball play-by-play announcer Chuck Swirsky on a 16-station broadcast network that originated from a WJR-AM. He interned for Winston & Strawn LLP while in law school. Pelinka earned his Juris Doctor Cum Laude.

After passing the Illinois bar examination and receiving his license to practice in 1996, Pelinka joined Mayer Brown. After two years at Mayer Brown, Arn Tellem convinced Pelinka to become a lawyer for SFX management, and Pelinka eventually became an agent for SFX. While with SFX, he worked with Tellem who represented Eddy Curry, Jr., Kwame Brown, Kobe Bryant and Tracy McGrady, all of whom went directly from high school to the National Basketball Association. Pelinka had become Bryant's agent by the time of the Kobe Bryant sexual assault case. While at SFX, he also became the agent for several of his current clients.

He then branched out on his own and founded The Landmark Sports Agency. He currently represents 13 active NBA players (2 All-Stars). The current players represented by Pelinka are (alphabetically) Carlos Boozer, Kobe Bryant, Keyon Dooling, Derek Fisher, Channing Frye, Eric Gordon, Andre Iguodala, Chris Kaman, Corey Maggette, Morris Peterson, Saša Vujačić, Gerald Wallace, and Julian Wright. A Los Angeles, California resident, Pelinka represents three Los Angeles Lakers (Bryant, Derek Fisher and Saša Vujačić) and two Los Angeles Clippers (Eric Gordon and Chris Kaman). Pelinka also represents two players who played high school basketball in the Chicago area (Corey Maggette, and Julian Wright) and Iguodala had been an Illinois Class AA standout in high school like Pelinka. He has represented several Arizona Wildcats players including Andre Iguodala and Channing Frye. The 11 players he represented during the 2007–08 NBA season earned a total of $76,163,730. Neither Maggette nor Dooling was signed for the 2008–09 NBA season at the end of the 2008 season. Gordon was drafted seventh overall in the 2008 NBA Draft.

Rob Pelinka was involved in a complex negotiation which led to both SFX resigning as the agency for Carlos Boozer and to Pelinka briefly resigning as his agent. Pelinka currently represents Boozer as his agent. The issue involved discrepancies on an unconfirmed handshake agreement between Boozer and the Cavaliers owner Gordon Gund. Boozer at the time had a $700,000 option year remaining on his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Boozer had originally been signed to a two-year guaranteed contract for $989,000 with a team option for the third year. However, his market value was much higher than that after two seasons in the NBA. Supposedly, Cleveland general manager Jim Paxson agreed not to exercise the team’s option in an effort to sign him to a long term six-year $41 million dollar contract. Once the team option expired, the Utah Jazz signed Boozer to a $68 million offer the Caveliers would not match because they were over the NBA Salary Cap. Pelinka was attacked in the press for allowing his client to go to the highest bidder rather than forcing him to honor the unconfirmed handshake agreement. As a result, SFX dropped Boozer as a client, and Pelinka left the firm. A year later, after a short stint with another agent, Boozer re-hired Pelinka who has become President and CEO of his own sports agency, The Landmark Sports Agency, LLC.

On April 7, 2008, Pelinka attended a press conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, where Eric Gordon, a freshman basketball player at Indiana University, announced his intentions of going pro. Although Gordon was still officially shopping for an agent, he was seen sitting courtside at a Laker game. Pelinka is now Gordon's agent.

Vujačić, a 2008 restricted free agent, left his old agent, Bill Duffy, and hired Pelinka to be his new agent in July 2008. Maggette signed on July 10 with the Golden State Warriors for $50 million over five years. On July 21, Dooling was traded to the New Jersey Nets from the Orlando Magic in what was described as a sign and trade deal with no terms of the signing revealed. Dooling's 2008–09 cap hold (salary cap allocation) with the Magic was $7,192,000. On July 25, Vujačić who had rejected a 3-year $12 million dollar offer after receiving a qualifying offer of $2.6 million and had planned to accept an offer to play in Europe, signed a 3-year $15 million dollar offer to return to the Lakers.

The Philadelphia 76ers made Iguodala a qualifying offer of $3,800,625 for the 2008–09 season. This gave the 76ers the right to match any superior offer sheet signed by Iguodala and gave Iguodala the option to play under the terms of the qualifying offer for one season in order to be an unrestricted free agent afterwards. In 2007, Iguodala rejected a $57 million contract extension. Iguodala has a 2008–09 cap hold of $11,401,875. On August 12, the 76ers and Iguodala agreed to a six-year $80 million contract.

Gordon withdrew from NBA Summer League play with a strained left hamstring in mid July 2008. However, rookie first round draft picks are on a strict two-year pay scale with team options for the third and fourth year according to the collective bargaining agreement. Gordon had signed a three-year $8.4 million contract with the Clippers in early July. The contract has a fourth year qualifying option.

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2002 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament

2002 ACC Tournament logo

The 2002 Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Basketball Tournament took place from March 7-10, 2002 in Charlotte, North Carolina at the Charlotte Coliseum. Duke won the tournament for the fourth year in a row, defeating NC State in the championship game. The two teams would go on to meet in the championship game in the next season. Duke's Carlos Boozer won the tournament's most valuable player award.

The University of Maryland were the ACC regular season champions, but lost to NC State in the semifinal round. Maryland would go on to win the NCAA Championship for the first time in school history.

Duke defeated all three of their in-state rivals on their way to the tournament championship. They defeated arch-rival North Carolina in the quarterfinal round, Wake Forest in the semifinal, and NC State in the championship game.

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Carlos Boozer

Carlos Austin Boozer, Jr. (born November 20, 1981) is an American professional basketball player and an Olympic gold medalist currently with the Utah Jazz of the National Basketball Association.

Although born at a military base in Aschaffenburg, West Germany, Boozer grew up in Juneau, Alaska, in the US. As a child, Boozer and his father practiced outside at his local middle school, throughout the cold Alaskan seasons. He attributes his physical and mental toughness to these sessions. He attended Juneau-Douglas High School. He and his wife Cece reside in Salt Lake City during basketball season and in Los Angeles and Miami during the offseason. They have three children.

Boozer was a two-time member of the PARADE All-American high school basketball team, leading the Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears to back-to-back state titles. He was recruited by many top-tier collegiate basketball programs, including St. John's and UCLA, but Boozer elected to play for coach Mike Krzyzewski at Duke University, helping the team win the 2001 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship.

Boozer declared for the 2002 NBA Draft, relinquishing his final year of NCAA eligibility. He was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round of the NBA draft, where he played two full seasons. Boozer averaged 10.0 ppg and 7.5 rpg in his rookie campaign, and followed it up with 15.5 ppg and 11.4 rpg his second year while playing alongside LeBron James.

After the 2003-04 NBA season, the Cavaliers had the option of allowing him to become a restricted free agent, or keeping him under contract for one more year at a $695,000 salary. The Cavaliers claim to have reached an understanding with Boozer and his agent on a deal for approximately $39 million over 6 years, which he would sign if they let him out of his current deal.

Once Cleveland eliminated the final year of Boozer's deal, making him a restricted free agent, his agent began to receive calls. He received an offer from the Utah Jazz.

The Jazz had participated in the free agent market in previous years and had failed in attempts to sign Corey Maggette, Jason Terry and Elton Brand. They were determined to be successful and offered the most they could under the circumstances. Boozer signed their offer sheet, and Cleveland had the option to match, but were already over the salary cap, and so could match only up to the Mid-level exception, thus they 'chose' not to re-sign him. Boozer joined the Utah Jazz in July 2004 for six years and a total of $70 million.

In his first season with the Jazz (2004-05), Boozer averaged 17 points and 9 rebounds, showing promise and the ability to be the go-to guy, while learning a new system. However, he suffered an injury, missing the later part of the season, which contributed to the Jazz missing the playoffs for only the second time in 22 years, and he was publicly criticized for a lack of effort by team owner Larry Miller.

As the 2005-06 NBA season began, Boozer was still recovering from injury, and then aggravated a hamstring, causing him to miss the first half of that season as well. He returned to action in late February, easing into action by coming off the bench for the Jazz. In the middle of March, he was placed back into the starting lineup. From that point, he finished the season in impressive fashion, averaging over 20 points and almost 10 rebounds per game and firmly establishing himself as the Jazz's starting power forward once again.

Boozer got off to a strong start in the 2006-07 season, winning the Western Conference Player of the Week Award and helping the Jazz to win eleven of their first twelve games. Boozer was named part of the NBA All-Star roster as a reserve, but could not participate because of a hairline fracture in his left fibula.

In an April 23, 2007 game vs. the Houston Rockets (game two of the first round of the 2007 playoffs), Boozer scored 41 points, tying the career high he had set a month earlier on March 26 (vs. the Washington Wizards). He also led the Jazz past the Rockets in game 7 of the first round in the NBA Playoffs, scoring 35 points, grabbing 14 rebounds and two clutch free throws to secure the victory in Boozer's first playoff series.

The Jazz would go on to win their 2nd round series against the upstart Golden State Warriors, 4 games to 1, and advance to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 1998. Even though they lost 4 games to 1 to the more experienced San Antonio Spurs, Boozer proved valuable and durable. He ended the season averaging 20.9 points per game, 11.7 rebounds, and playing in 74 of 82 games. He was even better in the playoffs, increasing his output to 23.5 points and 12.2 rebounds per night and appearing in all 17 Jazz playoff games.

In November, early in the 2007-08 season, Boozer was named Western Conference Player of the Month. By mid-December, he was among the league's top five performers in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage. Although he later slipped in all of these categories, he continued to produce solid numbers, and he currently has the second-most double-doubles of any player in the league (behind Dwight Howard) with 40. Boozer was again chosen as a backup in the All-Star Game, finishing with 14 points and 10 rebounds in just 19 minutes of play. He registered his first career triple-double against the Seattle SuperSonics on February 13, 2008, with 22 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists.

In the playoffs, the Jazz faced the Houston Rockets in the first round for the 2nd year in a row. Determined to not allow him to beat them, the Rockets geared their defense more to stopping Boozer and his production was somewhat limited (16.0 pts and 11.7 rebounds per game), but the Jazz still downed the Rockets, 4 games to 2. In the second round of the 2008 NBA playoffs the Jazz lost to the top seeded Los Angeles Lakers in 6 games.

Boozer has been dealing with a quad injury for much of the 2008-2009 season, replaced in the lineup by Paul Milsap.

Boozer was selected as a member of the 2004 USA Olympic men's basketball team which won a bronze medal at the 2004 Olympic Games. He was also named to the 2006-08 USA Basketball Men's Senior National Team, but did not compete in the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship due to his wife's pregnancy. Boozer did participate in the 2008 Summer Olympic Games as the USA went unbeaten en route to the gold medal, defeating 2006 World Champion Spain for their first gold medal since the 2000 Olympics.

Since his 2002-03 rookie year, Boozer has finished the season among the NBA's top ten performers in field goal percentage five times and has been among the top ten rebounders twice. He is highly regarded by scouts and sports journalists for his strength, rebounding and offensive skill set. For example, David Thorpe, an analyst for ESPN.com, lists Boozer among the "game's best post players" and among the best at scoring (or "finishing") under the basket using either hand. Boozer credits his father for helping him develop his amibidextrous ability. Boozer is represented by Rob Pelinka.

In the 2006-07 NBA season, Boozer appeared in the NBA Fundamentals series hosted by TNT, in which NBA players explain certain aspects of basketball. He explained the topic "post play". In this clip, Boozer highlighted the technique of how to establish position in the low post, and how to most effectively score from that position. Boozer showcased his array of ambidextrous slam dunks and hook shots, and reminded viewers to insert an occasional jump shot to confuse the opponent. He also expressed his admiration of retired NBA greats Karl Malone and Charles Barkley, who he sees as masters of low post scoring, as well as contemporary colleagues Lamar Odom, Chauncey Billups and Gary Payton.

In January 2006, Boozer initiated legal proceedings against music star Prince. The dispute involved a Los Angeles home owned by Boozer through his corporate entity, C Booz Multifamily I LLC, and being leased by Prince. In the lawsuit, Boozer's corporation alleged that Prince had had several unauthorized alterations performed on both the exterior and interior of the house. Attorneys for Prince denied the allegations and noted that the December and January rent payments for the property had been accepted "without objection".

The two sides apparently reached a subsequent agreement, as Boozer's corporation asked in February that the suit be dismissed. The dismissal was granted "without prejudice", meaning that it could have been reinstated later if Boozer had had further complaints. However, the remainder of Prince's tenancy at the residence proceeded without incident.

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Mike Krzyzewski

Mike Krzyzewski - basketball coach.jpg

Michael William "Mike" Krzyzewski (Polish: Krzyżewski; /kʂɨˈʐɛ(f)ski/; in American English pronounced "Sha-zhef-skee") (born February 13, 1947) is an American basketball coach. Currently the head coach of the Duke Blue Devils men's basketball team, he also coached the United States men's national basketball team at the 2006 world championship and the 2008 Summer Olympics, culminating with the gold medal at the Olympics. Affectionately known as "Coach K", Krzyzewski has led the Blue Devils to three NCAA Championships, ten Final Fours (third most in history), and ten ACC Championships over 28 seasons at Duke. Currently the winningest active men's NCAA Division I coach, Krzyzewski has amassed an NCAA-record 69 NCAA tournament victories, while averaging more than 25 wins per season. He has also coached an NCAA record nine 30-win seasons in his tenure. Sixty-one of the 65 four-year players under his tutelage since 1986 have competed in at least one Final Four. On March 1, 2008, Mike Krzyzewski became the sixth men's basketball coach in NCAA history to reach the 800-win plateau. He was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame following the 2001 season.

Krzyzewski, the son of Polish immigrants, attended Weber High School in Chicago, Illinois. He then attended The United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, and played basketball under Bob Knight while training to become an officer in the Army. He was captain of the Army basketball team in his senior season, 1968-69, leading his team to the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) at Madison Square Garden in New York City. From 1969–74, Krzyzewski served in the Army and directed service teams for three years and then followed that up with two years as head coach of the U.S. Military Academy Prep School at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

In 1974, he resigned from the Army having attained the rank of captain. Bob Knight, his former coach at Army, offered Krzyzewski, then 26 years old, a graduate assistant position at Indiana University. That 1975 squad posted an 18–0 Big Ten mark and a 31–1 overall record.

Prior to joining the Duke program, Krzyzewski spent five years building the program at his alma mater in West Point. He led the Black Knights to one NIT berth and left with a five-year record of 73–59 (.553).

In 1980, Krzyzewski took over as the head coach at Duke University after having accumulated a 73-59 win-loss record in five seasons at Army. After a few years of rebuilding, he and the Blue Devils have been a fixture on the national basketball scene with 13 consecutive NCAA Tournament berths from 1996-2008 and 24 in the past 25 years. Overall, he has taken his program to postseason play in 25 of his 28 years at Duke and is the winningest active coach in NCAA Tournament play with a stunning 69-21 record for a .767 winning percentage.

Krzyzewski inherited a Duke squad in 1980-81 with a thin talent base outside of All-America Gene Banks, Kenny Dennard and Vince Taylor. The squad hustled its way to a bid in the NIT, but it was obvious that the recruiting trail was Krzyzewski’s only answer if the team was to succeed in the long run.

He landed a recruiting class in 1982 made up of Johnny Dawkins, Mark Alarie, David Henderson, Jay Bilas and Weldon Williams. It was rated one of the nation’s best and put Duke on the map to stay.

Joining that powerful group was guard Tommy Amaker in 1983. Duke won 24 games with that nucleus in 1984 and earned the first NCAA bid under Coach K.

With the class of Dawkins, Alarie and company now seniors and the addition of freshman Danny Ferry, the 1986 Duke team won an NCAA-record 37 games while claiming Big Apple NIT, ACC regular season, ACC Tournament and NCAA East Regional titles. They established a school record with a 21-game winning streak during the year (that has since been broken), were undefeated at home, advanced to the NCAA Championship game in Dallas and played more games (40) than any other team in college basketball history.

With the loss of the five seniors, many expected Duke to drop considerably in 1987, but not Krzyzewski. Led by Tommy Amaker, the team won 24 games and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament before losing in a tight game to eventual national champion Indiana. Amaker ended his career as the National Defensive Player of the Year, closing out a season that Coach K looks back on as the one that demonstrated the winning consistency of the program.

The 1987-88 campaign began Duke’s amazing streak of five straight NCAA Final Four appearances as the Blue Devils won 28 games, again swept to the ACC title, won another East Regional championship and found themselves in Kansas City. Senior Billy King followed Amaker by winning the second straight National Defensive Player of the Year award by a Blue Devil.

The role of leadership again fell to the senior class in 1988-89. This time, it was the National Player of the Year Danny Ferry, Quin Snyder and John Smith taking the reins. They guided the team to another trip to the NCAA Final Four with a win over heavily favored Georgetown in the East Regional final. Duke lost in the national semifinals to Seton Hall following an injury to Robert Brickey after leading by 18 early in the game.

In 1989-90, seniors Alaa Abdelnaby, Robert Brickey and Phil Henderson led the way to the Final Four with a 29-9 record, landing just one game shy of the title in Denver. The group won its third consecutive East Regional championship with an overtime triumph over top-seeded Connecticut.

Then came 1990-91, a season that forever changed the face of basketball at Duke. After the 30-point loss to UNLV in the 1990 final, Krzyzewski’s team was determined to avenge the loss. The Blue Devils won the regular season ACC title and posted four consecutive lopsided victories in the Midwest Region for yet another trip to the Final Four.

In the semifinals, Duke got another shot at the Runnin’ Rebels, who were undefeated, and this time Coach K led the Blue Devils to a 79-77 victory to earn a matchup with Kansas for the title. Duke’s crowning glory came on April 1, 1991, with a 72-65 victory over the Roy Williams coached Jayhawks as Christian Laettner earned MVP honors in Duke’s first national basketball championship.

In 1992, behind National Player of the Year Christian Laettner and fellow All-Americas Bobby Hurley and Grant Hill, the Blue Devils rolled to a 34-2 record and held the No. 1 ranking from start to finish (18 polls). Duke won its second consecutive NCAA crown with a 71-51 victory over Michigan. Along the way, the Blue Devils captured their fifth consecutive regional championship, won the ACC regular season and tournament titles and equaled the school record to that point for ACC victories with 14. This season included the dramatic last second overtime win over Kentucky on a Laettner shot in the Eastern Regional Finals in Philadelphia.

In 1993–94, the Blue Devils and Coach K were back knocking at the door of another national championship. Duke piled up a 28–6 overall record, won the ACC regular season championship, was ranked from start to finish in the nation’s top 10, captured the Southeast Regional title with an upset win over top-seeded Purdue and advanced to the national championship game before bowing to Arkansas, 76–72, in Charlotte.

Krzyzewski coached the first 12 games (9–3) in 1994-95 before taking a leave of absence after having back surgery and recovering from exhaustion. Pete Gaudet coached the final 19 games (4–15) as interim head coach. With "Coach K" no longer available to the team, Duke sports information director Mike Cragg checked with the NCAA on how to handle the win-loss record for the rest of the season and then assigned the games to Gaudet,. In 2007, Krzyzewski said "I should have been credited with all of the losses Overall, the bottom line is, I'm responsible, even though I'm not there." To date, Duke University continues to exclude the 15 losses and four wins from Krzyzewski's overall coaching record.

The Blue Devils finished the 1998-99 campaign equaling the NCAA record for most wins with 37, winning the NCAA East Regional title, winning the ACC Tournament for the first time since 1992, recording the first 16-0 record in the ACC regular season, securing a school-record 32-game winning streak during the year and wrapping it all up as the NCAA runner-ups. Elton Brand was the consensus National Player of the Year, Shane Battier was the NABC National Defensive Player of the Year and Trajan Langdon was a first team All-America for Duke.

In 1999–2000, Duke finished with a 29–5 record, its fourth consecutive outright ACC regular season championship with a 15-1 record, its second consecutive ACC Tournament title and the final regular season No. 1 ranking in both major polls. Senior Chris Carrawell and junior Shane Battier were named consensus All-Americas and Battier earned his second consecutive National Defensive Player of the Year award. The Blue Devils accomplished this despite losing four starters from their 37-2 squad that advanced to the national championship game in 1999. Duke also had seven freshmen, the most on a Blue Devil team in school history, on its roster.

On November 17, 2000, Krzyzewski’s numerous accomplishments at Duke were recognized as the fabled Cameron Indoor Stadium court was named Coach K Court in his honor in a postgame ceremony.

Continuing to build on his reputation as one of the top college basketball coaches of all time, Coach K led Duke to its third national championship in 2001, joining just three other coaches — Wooden (10), Adolph Rupp (4) and Bob Knight (3) — who have won three or more NCAA titles. The Blue Devils finished the season with a 35-4 record, including 10 consecutive victories to end the year, their third consecutive ACC Tournament championship, fifth straight ACC regular season championship and the TiVo Preseason NIT title. Duke also was ranked at the top of the final Associated Press poll for the third consecutive season, marking just the second time in NCAA history a program had accomplished that feat (Wooden’s UCLA squads did it from 1971-73).

With its 82-72 victory over Arizona in the 2001 national championship game, Duke ended a four-year run with 133 victories. The Blue Devils lost just 15 games during that four-year span. The 133 wins broke the previous NCAA standard of 132 set twice by Kentucky from 1995-98 and 1996-99. In fact, 10 of the best 35 four-year runs in college history belong to Coach K-led Duke teams.

Individually, Coach K passed two major milestones in 2000-01: his 500th victory at Duke (98-85 over Villanova) and his 600th win overall (79-53 over sixth-ranked North Carolina in the ACC Tournament final). He reached 600 career wins faster than all but 10 coaches in college history.

Under Krzyzewski’s guidance, not one, but two of his student-athletes earned National Player of the Year awards in 2001 (Shane Battier was the consensus selection, while Jason Williams earned the NABC award). It was the first time in college basketball history that two players from the same team received National Player of the Year recognition by the major outlets. Battier and Williams were both unanimous first team All-Americas, and Battier, the sixth overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft, earned his third consecutive National Defensive Player of the Year award.

Krzyzewski led Duke to another outstanding season in 2001–02. The Blue Devils finished 31–4 overall, won the ACC Tournament title for a record fourth consecutive year, were a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament for a record fifth straight season and finished No. 1 in the final AP poll for the fourth consecutive season, another NCAA first. Three Duke players — Jason Williams, Mike Dunleavy and Carlos Boozer — earned All-America honors and Williams became just the seventh repeat winner of National Player of the Year honors in college basketball history. That Duke threesome also departed for the NBA, where all three were drafted. Williams and Dunleavy were selected second and third, respectively, making them just the second set of teammates to be taken among the top three picks of the NBA Draft (UCLA’s Lew Alcindor and Lucious Allen went one and three in 1969).

In perhaps one of his finest coaching jobs, Krzyzewski led his 2002-03 team, featuring six freshmen, to a 26-7 record, its record fifth consecutive ACC Tournament championship and the school’s sixth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Sweet 16. Senior Dahntay Jones, the squad’s leading scorer, was Duke’s lone All-ACC representative and an honorable mention All-America selection. Jones became Coach K’s 17th first round NBA pick on 2003 Draft night.

Guided by the leadership of senior point guard Chris Duhon, Duke returned to the Final Four for the 10th time in a 19-year period in 2003-04. Duke finished the season 31-6 and won its sixth ACC regular season crown in eight seasons with a 13-3 league mark. Duke reached the No. 1 national ranking for four weeks during the season, marking the seventh consecutive year that it had reached that height (only UCLA’s streak of 12 straight years of achieving the No. 1 ranking from 1964-75 is longer). The Blue Devils ended the year by dropping a one-point decision to eventual national champion Connecticut in the Final Four in San Antonio. Duhon, J.J. Redick and Shelden Williams each earned All-America honors, bringing Coach K’s total selections to 19 in 24 seasons. In the 2004 NBA Draft, Luol Deng, after playing just one season at Duke, was selected seventh overall and Duhon was taken in the second round.

The 2004–05 squad featured Daniel Ewing, who would become the 36th NBA Draft pick under Krzyzewski, Redick, a National Player of the Year choice, and Williams, the National Defensive Player of the Year honoree. The Blue Devils went 27–6 and captured the ACC Tournament championship.

In 2005-06, the Blue Devils posted a 32–4 record, including a 14–2 mark in regular season league play. Duke captured the NIT Season Tip-Off crown and went on to win both the ACC regular season and tournament titles. Krzyzewski’s 10th ACC Tournament Championship came in the 1,000th game of his coaching career, a 78–76 win over Boston College at the Greensboro Coliseum on March 12. Redick, a consensus National Player of the Year, set the ACC career scoring and the NCAA three-point field goal records and Williams grabbed National Defensive Player of the Year honors for the second year in a row. Redick and Williams also became the ninth set of teammates selected as AP first team All-Americas and the first since Jason Williams and Shane Battier accomplished the feat in 2001.

Duke featured the school’s youngest team in more than 60 years in the 2006-07 season with 10 of the 12 players on the roster either freshmen or sophomores. Despite the youth, the squad recorded a 22–11 record and reached the NCAA Tournament. Coach K recorded his 700th career victory at Duke against Georgia Tech, making him the second-fastest coach in NCAA history to record 700 wins at one school.

Coach K had the Blue Devils among the top teams in the nation during the 2007-08 campaign as the team won 22 of its first 23 games. Krzyzewski became only the sixth head coach to reach 800 career wins with a victory at N.C. State. Duke would go on to finish the year 28-6, reaching the NCAA Tournament for the 13th consecutive season. DeMarcus Nelson was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year and a third team All-America, while Kyle Singler was the ACC Rookie of the Year and a Freshman All-America.

Krzyzewski has thus led Duke to Final Fours in 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1999, 2001, and 2004, winning NCAA championships in 1991 and 1992, with another national championship in 2001. With 69 career wins in the NCAA tournament, Mike Krzyzewski is the winningest coach in the history of the event.

During his years at Duke, Krzyzewski has led Duke to eleven Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) regular-season titles and ten ACC tournament titles (through the 2007-08 season). Five of the ACC tournament titles were in consecutive years (1999–2003). In addition, Krzyzewski has won twelve National Coach of the Year awards. On February 27, 2008, and March 1, 2008, Krzyzewski earned his 799th and 800th victories as a head coach with a 71–58 win over Georgia Tech and a 87-86 win over North Carolina State.

In 2005-06, Krzyzewski passed John Wooden to move into first on the chart of coaches who have led their respective schools to a No. 1 national ranking. Coach K has now led Duke to the top spot in the AP poll in 13 seasons, including eight of the last 11 years.

A total of 49 former Duke players have appeared on an NBA roster, including 13 entering the 2007-08 season (as of Oct. 1, 2007). In 2007, Josh McRoberts became the 39th draft selection under Mike Krzyzewski. Duke has had nine NBA lottery selections the past nine seasons, more than any other school. In 1999, Duke became the first program in the history of the NBA Draft to have four players from the same school selected in the first round. Three of the four — Elton Brand (Chicago), Trajan Langdon (Cleveland) and Corey Maggette (Seattle) — were lottery picks. In 2002, Jason Williams (2nd overall) and Mike Dunleavy (3rd) became just the second set of college teammates in the history of the NBA Draft to be the first two collegians selected.

Krzyzewski has totalled 800 career victories (as of 1 March 2008), making him the second winningest active coach in the NCAA Division I ranks, behind only Eddie Sutton. Other such coaches with 750 or more wins include Bob Knight, Dean Smith, Adolph Rupp, Jerry Tarkanian, Lute Olson, Jim Calhoun, and Jim Boeheim. His total coaching record through the 2007–08 season is 803–269.

During his long tenure at Duke, Krzyzewski has been given the opportunity to coach in the NBA three times. The first time came after the 1990 season when he led the Blue Devils to their third straight Final Four appearance. The Boston Celtics offered a coaching position to Krzyzewski, but he soon declined their offer. The next season, Krzyzewski proceeded to lead the Blue Devils to the first of two straight national championships. In 1994, he was pursued by the Portland Trail Blazers, but again he chose to stay with Duke. In 2004, Krzyzewski was also interviewed by the Los Angeles Lakers following the departure of high-profile coach Phil Jackson. He was given a formal offer from Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak, reportedly for five years, $40 million and part ownership, but again turned down the NBA.

Duke has named the floor at its basketball venue, Cameron Indoor Stadium, Coach "K" Court in his honor. Similarly, the grassy area outside of Cameron has been named Krzyzewskiville or "K-Ville". On 28 February, 2007, Duke named its new basketball practice facility the Michael W. Krzyzewski Center - Dedicated to Academic & Athletic Excellence. The 56,000-square-foot (5,200 m2) building was dedicated on February 8, 2008 and also houses the Academic Support Center for all of Duke's 600 student-athletes and an expanded Sports Hall of Fame and event center.

Krzyzewski was picked to coach the U.S. men's national team at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing on October 26, 2005. In the 2006 FIBA World Championship, the team won a bronze medal after losing in the semifinals to his old friend Panagiotis Giannakis and his Greece team and then beating Argentina for third place. Krzyzewski was named the 2006 USA Basketball Coach of the Year and the Men's Senior National Team was named USA Basketball's team of the year as well. Krzyzewski also was the head coach of the US men's national team in the 1990 FIBA World Championship, when he led a team of American collegians to a third-place finish. In addition he was also one of the assistant coaches of the 1992 USA Olympic "Dream Team".

On August 24, 2008, Krzyzewski coached the U.S. men's national team to their first gold medal since the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. "The Redeem Team", known for their success on and off the court, finished the 2008 Beijing Olympics a perfect 8–0 and solidified U.S. basketball's return to dominance led by spectacular performances from leading scorer Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and the rest of Team USA.

Krzyzewski's coaching success has given him opportunities outside of sports. In recent years, Krzyzewski has become a very popular speaker to corporate management groups. Krzyzewski has commanded fees up to $100,000 per session. Krzyzewski is a devout Roman Catholic. He is involved in fundraising for Catholic charitable organizations in North Carolina, including Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.

Three former players (Steve Wojciechowski, Chris Collins, and Nate James) currently work under him as assistants at Duke. Another former player, Chris Carrawell, has been on staff since the 2007-2008 season.

No team coached by one of Krzyzewski's former players has beaten the Blue Devils. However, during the 2007 NCAA tournament (1st round) the Blue Devils fell to Virginia Commonwealth, whose core players had been recruited by former VCU coach Jeff Capel before he left for the head coaching position at Oklahoma.

Krzyzewski has also coached NBA General Managers: Danny Ferry with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Billy King, formerly of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Sources: * Only coached the first 12 games this season before leaving the team for back surgery and exhaustion.

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Utah Jazz

Utah Jazz logo

The Utah Jazz is a professional basketball team based in Salt Lake City, Utah. They are currently members of the Northwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The franchise began in 1974 in New Orleans, but the team moved to Utah in 1979 after just five seasons.

The Jazz were one of the most unsuccessful teams in the league in their early years, and it would be 10 years before they made a playoff appearance (in 1984). They would not miss the playoffs again until 2003. During the late 1980s, John Stockton and Karl Malone arose as the franchise players for the team, and formed one of the most famed point guard/power forward duos in NBA history. Led by coach Jerry Sloan, who took over for Frank Layden in 1988, they became one of the powerhouse teams of the 1990s, culminating in two NBA Finals appearances in 1997 and 1998, where they lost both times to the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls. Both Stockton and Malone moved on in 2003 and after missing the playoffs for 3 seasons, they have returned to prominence under the on-court leadership of the franchise duo of point guard Deron Williams and power forward Carlos Boozer, seen by many to have taken over the mantle left by Stockton and Malone.

In 1974 the Jazz franchise began in New Orleans, Louisiana. The team's first major move was to trade for star player Pete Maravich from the Atlanta Hawks for 2 first-round draft picks, 3 second-round picks, and 1 third-round pick over the next 3 years. Although he was considered one of the most entertaining players in the league and won the scoring championship in 1977 with 31.1 points per game, the Jazz's best record while in New Orleans was 39-43 in the 1977-78 season. Maravich struggled with knee injuries from that season onward.

Venue issues were a continual problem for the team while in New Orleans. In the Jazz's first season, when they played in the Loyola University Fieldhouse, the basketball court was raised so high that the players' association made the team put a net around the court so that players wouldn't fall off of the court and into the stands. They played their later seasons in the Superdome, but things were no better due to high demand for the stadium, Maravich's knee problems and onerous lease terms. For instance, during the 1977-78 season, the Jazz were in the midst of a playoff drive when Mardi Gras festivities forced the team on a month-long road trip. Even if they had made the playoffs that year, they would have been forced to find another place to play in the event of a conflict.

By 1979, the Jazz were sinking under the weight of $5 million in losses over five years. Original owner Sam Battisone decided to move to Salt Lake City, even though it was a smaller market than New Orleans at the time. However, Salt Lake City had proven it could support a pro basketball team when it played host to the American Basketball Association's Utah Stars from 1970 to 1976. The Stars had been extremely popular in the city, but their financial picture inexplicably collapsed in their last two seasons, and they folded in December 1975 after playing only 16 games of the ABA's final season. Although Salt Lake City was not known for its jazz culture, the team decided to keep the name, as well as the team's original colors of green, purple and gold (the colors of Mardi Gras).

The Jazz's attendance actually declined slightly after the team's move from New Orleans to Utah, due to a late approval for the move (June 1978) and poor marketing in the Salt Lake City area. They continued to struggle for six seasons, in part due to a move to the tougher Midwest Division.

In 1984, the Jazz drafted point guard John Stockton from Gonzaga University and the next year added the second half of one of the NBA's greatest pairings in power forward Karl Malone from Louisiana Tech. In both the 1984-85 and 1985-86 seasons, the Jazz barely scraped into the playoffs. In 1986, the Jazz traded Adrian Dantley to Detroit. During the next few seasons, the Jazz began to establish themselves as a respectable team in their own right. Center Mark Eaton was, perhaps, one of the more notable defensive players of the era. And for their part, Stockton and Malone soon became superstars. Stockton and Malone developed into a very effective combo, running pick-and-roll plays with great success. "Stockton to Malone" became a common phrase, as Stockton regularly found ways to pass the ball to Malone in good scoring position. Despite the regular season successes, however, the Jazz were never able to advance past the second round of the NBA Playoffs during the 1980s. During the 1988-89 season, Frank Layden stepped down as head coach to become president of the Utah Jazz. Assistant coach Jerry Sloan took over head coaching duties. Sloan guided the Jazz to their first 50-win season ever with a 51–31 record, also winning the Midwest Division. Once again, however, the Jazz flopped in the postseason, losing to the Golden State Warriors in the first round.

Throughout the early 90's the Jazz playoff woes continued, with the Jazz losing in the first round in 1990 to the Phoenix Suns and in the second round in 1991 to the Portland Trail Blazers. In 1990-91, the Jazz acquired Jeff Malone, and after the 1991-92 season they waived veteran Darrell Griffith. In 1991 the Jazz also moved out of the old Salt Palace and into the new Delta Center. In 1992, the Jazz finally made it to the conference finals, losing to the Portland Trail Blazers in six games. In 1993, the Jazz had a disappointing run in the playoffs again, losing to the Seattle SuperSonics in the first round. During the 1993-94 season, the Jazz traded Jeff Malone to the Philadelphia 76ers for shooting guard Jeff Hornacek, who provided high three-point and free throw shot percentage. The Jazz made the playoffs with a 53–29 record, shutting down NBA scoring leader David Robinson and San Antonio 3–1, then fought off a determined, upstart Denver Nuggets team 4–3 in the Conference semi-finals (almost blowing a 3-0 series lead), and advanced to the Conference finals, where they lost to the eventual NBA champion Houston Rockets 4–1.

In the 1994-95 season, the Jazz had significant depth and talent at their disposal and were expected to make a serious run for the championship. The Jazz finished with a 60–22 record during the regular season. Despite this, however, the Jazz lost to the Houston Rockets in the first round of the playoffs in five games. Big man Greg Ostertag was added to the team for the 1995-96 season, and the Jazz reached the conference finals for the third time in history, almost overcoming a 3–1 deficit and narrowly losing to the Seattle SuperSonics 4–3.

In the next two seasons, the Jazz were finally able to capitalize on their regular season success. In 1996-97, The Jazz had their best record in franchise history at 64–18, with such players as Stockton, Malone, Hornacek, Russell, Ostertag, Antoine Carr, Howard Eisley, and Shandon Anderson. They finally reached the NBA Finals for the first time ever after beating the Los Angeles Clippers 3–0, Los Angeles Lakers 4–1, and Houston Rockets 4-2 to meet Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in the NBA Finals. A three-pointer at the buzzer by John Stockton in Game 6 of the 1997 Western Conference Championship sent the Jazz to the finals. This shot remains one of the highlight shots of the Jazz franchise. In the 1997 NBA Finals, the Jazz lost to the Bulls 4–2, after losing the last two in the final seconds of the games (90–88 and 90–86). Malone won the MVP for the regular season for the first time ever.

During the offseason, the Jazz made no significant changes to their roster. During the 1996-97 season, expectations were high for another championship run. However, Stockton suffered a serious knee injury before the season began and missed the first 18 games. Despite the setback, the Jazz were still able to finish at 62–20. In the playoffs they beat the Rockets 3–2, the Spurs 4–1, and the Los Angeles Lakers 4–0 to advance to their second NBA Finals appearance in a row. Utah, an aged core made up of veterans Stockton, Malone and Hornacek, were facing a Lakers squad comprised of Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant, two young superstars of the NBA at the time. Though the Jazz were favored to beat the Lakers, since they owned home court advantage, there were doubters. Many felt the Lakers were far too talented and athletic and that the Jazz's age would show. Yet all thoughts of this were dispelled in game one, where the Jazz dominated the Lakers to a 112–77 victory. It was the worst playoff loss in franchise history for the Lakers and set the tone for the series. Though games were far closer than what occurred in game one, Utah would go on to sweep the Lakers and return to the NBA Finals for the second straight year. In the 1998 NBA Championship, the Jazz took Game 1 at home 88–85. However, the Bulls overcame a slow start to win Game 2 93–88, easily took Game 3 96–54 and won a closer Game 4 86–82 to lead 3–1 in the series. The Jazz fought back to win Game 5 83–81 at the United Center and the series returned to Salt Lake City, where the Jazz had always been dominant. The Jazz held a lead in most of Game 6, but the Bulls rallied, and in the last seconds of the game, Michael Jordan made a jump shot to win the game, 87–86. This loss highlights the Jazz's struggles in the postseason, despite their overall, consistent success. Former referee Mike Mathis, an adament critic of current NBA officiating, did not cite the supposed offensive foul on Jordan and stated it was the correct no call in an article denouncing NBA officials following the Tim Donaghy incident. The game was also controversial because of two incidents early in the game. In the second quarter Howard Eisley made a three pointer, but the officials incorrectly ruled that the shot was taken after the shot clock expired. Later in the game, Ron Harper made a two-pointer after the shot clock expired, but this time the officials allowed it. Many Jazz fans also feel that these "phantom five" points also cost them the game, since the final margin was only one point.

In the 1999 season, shortened to 50 games due to a lockout, the Jazz finished the season 37–13, tied with the Spurs for the best record in the league. They defeated the Sacramento Kings in five games in the first round of the playoffs. However, they lost in the second round of the playoffs to the Portland Trail Blazers. Despite yet another disappointment, Malone was awarded his second MVP. During the 1999-00 season, the Jazz finished 55-27 and won the Midwest Division but once again struggled in the postseason, losing to the Portland Trail Blazers, again during the second round. During the offseason, Hornacek retired and Howard Eisley was traded in a four-team deal that brought in Donyell Marshall. They selected promising high school basketball star DeShawn Stevenson in the first round of the NBA Draft. In the 2000-01 season, they went 53–29, but their playoff woes once again struck when they blew a 2–0 series lead in the first round of the playoffs to the Dallas Mavericks, a team that had not made the playoffs since 1990.

In the 2001-02 season, Andrei Kirilenko made his rookie debut, but overall the Jazz began to show their age and dwindling talent. The Jazz finished just 44–38 and lost to the Sacramento Kings 3–1 in the first round of the playoffs. In 2002-03, Marshall and Russell moved on to other teams. Matt Harpring, however, was brought over from the Philadelphia 76ers, contributing to the offense and experiencing his best season. The Jazz approached 50 wins going into the playoffs, ultimately going 47–35 and again losing to the Kings 4–1. After the season, the end of an era came when Stockton retired and Malone moved to the Lakers in the hunt for a championship ring with several other future Hall-of-Famers (The Lakers fell to Detroit in the Finals the following season, after which Malone retired).

In the 2003-04 season, the Jazz finished with a 42-40 record. The team featured several unheralded players who emerged into key contributors, including Kirilenko, Raja Bell, Matt Harpring, and Carlos Arroyo. In particular, Kirilenko demonstrated versatility on both offense and defense and earned a spot in the All-Star Game. Kirilenko helped the team late into the season's playoff hunt, in which the Jazz missed out by just one game to the Denver Nuggets, ending their streak of 20 consecutive seasons in the playoffs. Jerry Sloan finished second in the voting for the NBA Coach of the Year Award, losing to Hubie Brown of the Memphis Grizzlies.

In the 2004 offseason, the Jazz obtained free agents Carlos Boozer (from the Cleveland Cavaliers) and Mehmet Okur (from the Detroit Pistons) and Greg Ostertag left as a free agent to the Sacramento Kings. The franchise was again expected to contend in the West. The season began well for the Jazz, but a series of injuries, first to Arroyo and Raul Lopez, and later to Boozer and Kirilenko, caused the team to fall to the bottom of the division. There were rumors of internal discontent between the younger players and Sloan, leading to the trading away of Arroyo mid-season to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Elden Campbell (who was immediately waived). They ended the 2004-05 season with a record of 26–56, their worst since the 1981–1982 season.

In the summer of 2005, the Jazz continued to shape their roster by dispatching some of their underperforming young players and trading three draft picks in order to acquire the #3 pick overall, with which they selected point guard Deron Williams of the University of Illinois. Raja Bell left the team for the Phoenix Suns, the Jazz re-obtained Greg Ostertag from the Kings, and oft-injured point guard Raul Lopez was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies.

The 2005-06 season was injury-plagued before it even started; Boozer missed the first 49 games and Gordan Giricek and Kirilenko both missed significant time due to injuries. Okur and Kirilenko, however, showed consistently good play, while Williams, despite a midseason slump, did not disappoint. However, rumors of discontent between Jerry Sloan and the young players persisted, while team owner Larry Miller continually expressed his displeasure with the team's effort. They stayed in the playoff race until the third-to-last game, when they lost to the Dallas Mavericks. The Jazz ended the season 41–41 and just 3 games out of the playoffs. Ostertag retired at the end of the season, having spent 10 of his 11 seasons with the team.

In the 2006 NBA Draft, the Jazz selected promising University of Arkansas shooting guard Ronnie Brewer in the first round and in the second round selected point guard Dee Brown and power forward Paul Millsap. Several young players were traded away for Golden State Warriors guard Derek Fisher, giving them a veteran point guard. The Jazz were heralded by several major sports websites for drafting well and making good offseason moves.

The Jazz developed a very deep and well-rounded team during the 2007 season. Boozer mostly avoided injuries (although missed his first All-Star game selection due to a minor leg injury) and Okur, who had developed a reputation as a great clutch shooter, was selected to the All-Star game as well (as an injury replacement). Deron Williams improved considerably, finishing second in the league in assists per game with 9.3 (behind Steve Nash). The team also developed a deep bench; in the 10 games that Boozer and Okur (the two leading scorers) missed, the team went 8-2. Paul Millsap became one of the biggest surprise rookies of the year and became a competent backup to Boozer. Despite the elevated play of the Jazz's budding stars, Kirilenko showed a significant drop in his statistics and had struggles adapting to his reduced role. This eventually led to a well-publicized breakdown early in the first round of the playoffs. The Jazz clinched the playoffs as the #4 seed with a 51-31 record.

The Jazz went on to face the Houston Rockets in the first round. The series was a physical, close-fought one, with each of the first 6 games being won by the home team. The Jazz were able to break this trend in the 7th game, beating the Rockets 103-99 in Houston. The Jazz then went on to face the eighth-seeded Golden State Warriors, who were coming off a historic upset of the #1-seeded Dallas Mavericks (who had gone 67-15 in the regular season, one of the best in NBA history). However, the Jazz easily handled the Warriors, winning the series 4-1. The Jazz went on to face the San Antonio Spurs, fresh off a controversial victory over the Phoenix Suns, in the Western Conference Finals, but were eliminated from the playoffs 4-1.

During the offseason, the Jazz gained a hometown D-League affiliate in the Utah Flash (based in Orem), that they share with the Boston Celtics. During the offseason, the Jazz selected shooting guard Morris Almond in the first round, although ultimately they made few lineup changes. The most significant move was in letting Derek Fisher go. Fisher had also become a fan favorite due to his daughter's well-publicized battle with a rare form of eye cancer; he moved to Los Angeles during the offseason to be closer to better care for his daughter , and later signed with the Los Angeles Lakers, with whom he won 3 championships from 2000-2002. Offseason controversy arose after Kirilenko led his Russian national team to a win in EuroBasket 2007 (the European championship), a tournament in which he was named MVP. After this, Kirilenko posted on a blog that he wished to be traded from the Jazz and would be willing to walk away from his contract. He later reaffirmed this in interviews. However, no trade was made and Kirilenko has since backed off these requests (although he has also not said that he has changed his mind).

During the 2007-08 season, after a trade that sent disgruntled shooting guard Gordan Gay Giricek to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Kyle Korver, the Jazz ran off a record-tying 19 game home winning streak and improved on the road after a rough December. Despite the offseason controversy and trade talk, Kirilenko elevated his play, improving all stats from the previous season and seeming content with his new role more as a defender and a facilitator as opposed to a scorer. Carlos Boozer again won an All-Star selection, while Deron Williams continued to elevate his play, averaging 13.3 assists per game in March (as opposed to 10.5 for the season as a whole). The Jazz finished the regular season 5th best in the west with a 54-28 record. That included a 37-4 home record, but they did not have a good year on the road going 17-24, which included two defeats against the Minnesota Timberwolves (22-60) and a loss against the league worst Miami Heat (15-67). They also sold out all 41 home games for the first time since the 1997-98 season. They won their division, giving them the no. 4 seed in the playoffs. Once again, they faced 5th seeded Houston in the opening round of the playoffs with the Rockets (55-27) having homecourt advantage over the Jazz (54-28). The Jazz struck first with a 93-82 victory over the host Rockets in Game 1, followed by another victory 90-84 to give them a 2-0 edge returning to Salt Lake City. In Game 3 The Rockets quickly rebounded with a rare win in Salt Lake, but were halted after another Utah win on April 26 to put the Jazz up 3-1 in the series. However, the Jazz suffered a staggering loss in Game 5 in Houston, 95-69. The Jazz countered this embarrassing defeat by dealing the Rockets a 22-point blowout loss to give them the series-clinching victory 113-91, thus eliminating the Rockets for the second time in as many years.

Utah faced the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 1 of The 2008 NBA Western Conference Semi-Finals which began on May 4 at Staples Center. It was the first time these two franchises had competed in a post-season series since the 1998 Western Conference Finals. Four individuals from that series were present in this one: Laker players Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher, and Utah Head Coach Jerry Sloan and Assistant Coach Phil Johnson. Conversely, it was also the first playoff series meeting between Coach Sloan, and Lakers' Head Coach Phil Jackson since the Chicago Bulls defeated the Jazz in the NBA Finals that same year, 4 games to 2. Utah lost game 1 and game 2 in Los Angeles. However the Jazz held up their great home winning record by defeating Los Angeles in Games 3 and 4. The Jazz lost game 5 in L.A. and were eventually eliminated in Game 6 at home - a game where they trailed by as much as 19 in the second half, only to come back in the last two minutes. Their season ended with two desperate 3-point attempts by Mehmet Okur and Deron Williams as time expired that would have sent the game to overtime. On November 7, 2008 Jerry Sloan had little to complain about Friday. The unbeaten Jazz raced to a 29-point halftime lead en route to a 104-97 home victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder, making Sloan the first NBA coach to win 1,000 games with one team.

The Houston Rockets have been a frequent rival of the Utah Jazz. They continually met in the playoffs during the 1980s and especially the 1990s. They first met 1985, when the Jazz defeated the Rockets in the first round of the playoffs. The Jazz and Rockets met each other 4 times in 5 years during the mid-90s. They met in the conference finals in both 1994 and 1997, with the Rockets winning the first time and the Jazz the second time. In 1995 the Rockets beat the Jazz 3 - 2 and 1998, the Jazz defeated the Rockets in the first round, with the Rockets taking the #1-seeded Jazz to the full 5 games in 1998. The rivalry was re-ignited in the 2007 and 2008 playoffs, where the Jazz defeated the Rockets in the first round both times. In the old Western Conference, Utah and Houston were divisional foes; however, the Jazz have since relocated to the Northwest Division, while Houston is now in the Southwest Division.

The Jazz, as one of the dominant team of the 1990s, struck up a rivalry with the Eastern Conference Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls that resulted in the Jazz meeting and losing to them in the 1997 and 1998 NBA championships. The Portland Trail Blazers, who share their division, were a frequent rival throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. More recently, the San Antonio Spurs, who shared the division with the Jazz until 2004, the Denver Nuggets, and the Los Angeles Lakers have become heated rivals. The Jazz have lost 20 consecutive games on San Antonio's home court dating back to 1999.

On Monday, June 23, 2008, it was officially announced that team members Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer were selected for the 2008 U.S. Olympic basketball team that participated in the 2008 Summer Olympics in China. The Jazz were the only team in the NBA with two players on the 2008 U.S. Olympic squad. The Redeem Team was awarded the gold medal.

Williams and Boozer joined former Jazz players John Stockton and Karl Malone as the only Jazzmen to be selected to play for the U.S. team. Stockton and Malone won gold medals at the 1992 and 1996 Olympic games.

Andrei Kirilenko also represented his home country of Russia at the 2008 games.

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Cleveland Cavaliers

Cleveland Cavaliers logo

The Cleveland Cavaliers (also known as the Cavs) are a professional basketball team based in Cleveland, Ohio. They began playing in the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1970 as an expansion team and won their first Eastern Conference Championship in 2007.

The Cavaliers first began play in the NBA in 1970 as an expansion team under the ownership of Nick Mileti. Playing their home games at Cleveland Arena under the direction of head coach Bill Fitch, they compiled a league-worst 15–67 record. The team hoped to build around the number one 1971 draft pick Austin Carr who had set numerous scoring records at Notre Dame, but Carr severely injured his leg shortly into his pro career and did not recover sufficiently to become a great pro player.

The following seasons saw the Cavaliers gradually improve their on-court performance, thanks to season-by-season additions of talented players such as Bingo Smith, Jim Chones, Jim Cleamons and Dick Snyder. Cleveland improved to 23-59 in their sophomore season, followed by a 32–50 record in 1972–73, and a small step backwards to 29–53 in 1973–74. In 1974, the Cavaliers moved into the brand-new Richfield Coliseum, located in the cornfields thirty miles south of downtown Cleveland in Summit County. That season, the Cavaliers finished with a 40–42 record, falling just short of a playoff berth.

In the 1975-76 season with Carr, Smith, Chones, Snyder, and newly acquired Nate Thurmond; Fitch led the Cavaliers to a 49–33 record and a division title. Fitch received the league's Coach of the Year award as the Cavs made their first-ever playoff appearance.

The Cavs won the series against the Washington Bullets, 4–3. Because of the many heroics and last-second shots, the series became known locally as the "Miracle of Richfield." However, hampered by injuries, particularly to Jim Chones, the Cavs proceeded to lose to the Boston Celtics in Eastern Conference Finals of the NBA playoffs.

Cleveland won 43 games the next two seasons (1976–77 and 1977–78), but both those seasons resulted in early playoff exits. After a 30–52 season in 1978-79, Fitch resigned as head coach. The following season, after going 37–45 under Fitch's successor Stan Albeck, original owner Mileti sold his shares to minority owner Joe Zingale.

Early on in his tenure, Stepien proposed to rename the team the "Ohio Cavaliers", part of a plan that included playing their home games not just in the Cleveland area but also in non-Ohio markets such as Buffalo, New York and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He also introduced a polka-flavored fight song, which was widely-ridiculed by fans and the media.

The ensuing chaos was reflected by the Cavs' on-court performance and attendance woes, going 28–54 in 1980–81 (Stepien's first year as owner), followed by an abysmal 15–67 mark in 1981–82. The 1981–82 team lost its last 19 games of the season which, when coupled with the five losses at the start of the 1982–83 season, constitute the NBA's all-time longest losing streak at 24 games. Although the team improved its record to 23–59 the following year, local support for the Cavs eroded which eventually bottomed out that year by averaging only 3,900 fans a game at the cavernous Coliseum which seated more than 20,000. Stepien threatened to move the franchise to Toronto and rename it the Toronto Towers, but brothers George and Gordon Gund purchased the franchise in the mid 1980s and decided to keep the team in Cleveland. (In 1993, Toronto would, in fact, get an expansion franchise, the Toronto Raptors.) Two years later, the Gunds changed the team colors from wine and gold to burnt orange, red and navy blue. Also, the team officially adopted "Cavs" as a shorter nickname for marketing purposes; it had been used unofficially by fans and headline writers since the team's inception.

In 1986, under the Gund brothers as owners, the team acquired, either through trades or the draft, Brad Daugherty, Mark Price, Ron Harper and Larry Nance. These four players (until Harper was later traded to the Los Angeles Clippers in 1989 for the rights to Danny Ferry) formed the core of the team, under the direction of head coach Lenny Wilkens, that led the Cavs to eight playoff seasons in the next nine years, including three 50+ win seasons.

However, in 1989, the Cavs were paired against the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the playoffs. In the fourth game of the best-of-five-series, Cleveland managed to beat the Bulls in overtime 108–105 to level the series at 2–2. Home court advantage went to Cleveland. The game was evenly matched, until Cleveland managed to score on a drive and raise the lead by one, with three seconds left. Chicago called for a time-out. The ball was inbounded to Michael Jordan, who went for a jump shot. Cleveland's Craig Ehlo jumped in front to block it, but Jordan seemed to stay in the air until Ehlo landed. "The Shot" went in as time ran out, with Chicago winning the series 3–2. Although replay would show that Jordan cleared Ehlo with his arm in order to get an open look, the buzzer-beater is considered one of Jordan's greatest clutch moments, and the game itself one of the greatest. But the pinnacle of the Cavs' success came in the 1991-92 season, when they compiled a 57–25 record and advanced to the Eastern Conference finals, losing again to the Chicago Bulls 4–2.

Soon after, the Cavaliers entered into a period of decline. With the retirements and departures of Nance, Daugherty and Price, the team lost much of its dominance and were no longer able to contest strongly during the playoffs. After the 1992-93 season, in which the Cavs boasted a 54–28 regular-season record but suffered an early exit from the playoffs in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals to the Chicago Bulls, Wilkens left to coach the Atlanta Hawks.

Following the hiring of Mike Fratello as head coach starting with the 1993–94 season, the Cavs became one of the NBA's best defensive teams under the leadership of point guard Terrell Brandon. But the offense, which was a half-court, "slow-down" tempo installed by Fratello, met with mixed success. Although the Cavaliers made regular playoff appearances, they were unable to advance beyond the first round.

In 1994, the Cavs moved back to downtown Cleveland with the opening of the 20,562-seat, state-of-the-art, Gund Arena. Known by locals as "the Gund", the venue also served as the site of the 1997 NBA All-Star Game.

Later on, players like Shawn Kemp and Žydrūnas Ilgauskas added quality to the team, but without further success. Fratello was fired following the shortened 1998-99 season.

An all time low for the Cavs was set by Ricky Davis on March 16, 2003. With Cleveland ahead in the game 120-95, Davis was one rebound short of a triple-double with only a few seconds left on the clock. After receiving an inbound pass at the opposing team's end of the floor, Davis banged the ball off the rim and caught it in attempt to receive credit for a rebound. Utah's DeShawn Stevenson took offense to this breach of sportman's etiquette and immediately fouled Davis hard. The play did not count as a rebound since firing at the other team's basket does not count as a shot attempt, and in fact is a technical foul under NBA rules. However, since the referees had never seen anyone shoot at the opposing team's basket before, they were unfamiliar with the rule and play was allowed to continue. This and countless other selfish acts contributed to the Cavs trading of Davis later that year, and ushering in a new type of team.

Several losing seasons followed which saw the Cavaliers drop to the bottom of the league and become a perennial lottery draft team. After another disappointing season in 2002-03, the Cavaliers landed the number one draft pick in the NBA Lottery. The Cavaliers selected local high school phenomenon LeBron James. Also in 2003, the team colors were changed from burnt orange, red and navy blue back to wine and gold along with a new primary logo.

James' status as both an area star (having played his high school basketball at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in nearby Akron) and as one of the most highly touted prospects in NBA history led many to view his selection as a turning point in the franchise's history. Embraced by Clevelanders as "King James," the 2003-04 season offered great hope for the future, as James rose to become a dominating player, winning the NBA Rookie of the Year Award. Hope was even greater for the 2004-05 season. James increased his production in terms of points, rebounds, and assists per game. Despite the loss of Carlos Boozer in the offseason, James teamed with Žydrūnas Ilgauskas and Drew Gooden to form the core of the team. After a promising start, the Cavs began a downward spiral that eventually led to the firing of coach Paul Silas and general manager Jim Paxson. The team failed to make the playoffs that year, tied with New Jersey Nets for the final playoff spot, however the Nets owned the tiebreaker.

The Cavaliers made many changes in the 2005 offseason. Under new owner Dan Gilbert, the team hired a new coach, Mike Brown, and a new general manager, former Cavaliers forward Danny Ferry. The team experienced success on the court in the following season, clinching their first playoff appearance since 1998. After a first round win over the Washington Wizards, the Cavaliers rebounded from a 2–0 deficit in the second round against the Detroit Pistons, winning three consecutive games to come one game away from the conference finals. However, they lost a close Game 6 at home, and followed it with a 79–61 loss in Game 7. in game seven, the Cavs set two records for futility deciding playoff games: least points scored in a game (61) and in a half (23). The playoff rounds were a showcase for the emergence of LeBron James, who achieved many "youngest ever to..." records during the run.

The Cavs continued their success in the 2006-07 season. The team earned the second seed with a 50–32 record, generating a series of favorable matchups which included home court advantage in the first two rounds. The Cavaliers' first-round was a rematch with the 7th-seeded Wizards, who finished 41–41 and struggled with injuries down the stretch. The Cavaliers swept this series 4–0—the first sweep of a playoff series in franchise history—and faced the New Jersey Nets in the second round. The Cavs won the series 4–2 with James scoring 23 points and adding 8 rebounds and 8 assists in an 88–72 win in Game 6.

The Cavaliers faced the Pistons for the second straight playoff year, this time in the Eastern Conference Finals. After again losing the first two games at Detroit, the Cavaliers won the next three to take a 3–2 series lead. This year the Cavaliers eliminated Detroit in Game 6. The wins included a 109–107 double-overtime thriller at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Game 5, in which LeBron James scored the last 25 points for the Cavs, and his performance in this game is recognized as one of the best in NBA history. They continued to a dominant 98–82 win at home in Game 6. Rookie Daniel "Boobie" Gibson scored a career-high 31 points in the series clincher, and the franchise won its first ever Eastern Conference championship. The team's first trip to the NBA finals was a short one, as they were outmatched and outplayed by the very strong San Antonio Spurs, who swept the Cavs 4–0.

After struggling through an inconsistent 2007-08 regular season which saw the Cavaliers finish with a record of 45–37, the team met the Wizards in the first round of the playoffs for the third straight year. The Cavaliers jumped out to a three games to one lead, but failed to close out the series at home as James missed a potential game-winning layup at the end of the game. In game 6, James had a triple double and led the team to a 105–88 win and a 4–2 series win. They moved on to face the top-seeded Boston Celtics in the 2nd round in a series that featured the home team winning all of its games. Because of this, and with Boston having more home games, the Cavaliers lost the series 4–3. James scored 45 points in game 7, but it was not enough as Boston's Paul Pierce scored 41 points to lead the Celtics to victory.

The Cavaliers' uniforms switched from the blue, black and orange jerseys to wine and gold jerseys in 2003. The team's original colors were wine and gold, were changed to orange and blue during the mid-1980s, and to blue, black and orange in the mid-1990s.

Their home jerseys are white with wine lettering of the name and navy blue lettering on the numbers. Their away jerseys are wine with a gold trim and white lettering on the name and number. Their alternate jerseys are navy blue, with white lettering on the name and number, and a checkerboard trim of wine and gold. They wear white socks and shoes when wearing the white or blue jerseys, while they wear black shoes and socks when wearing the wine jerseys.

In 2008-2009, The Cavaliers will wear retro uniforms during six selected "Hardwood Classic" home games styled after their uniforms from their inaugural season of 1970-71. Those uniforms are gold (with wine colored trim) featuring wine lettering on the name and number with white socks and shoes. There is also an alternate version of the retro uniform, which is royal blue with wine and gold trim, gold lettering on the name and number, with white socks and shoes.

The Quicken Loans Arena created some notoriety when it added the DIFF to the scoreboard—the difference between the two teams' scores. This scoreboard addition made such an impact that Tom Batiuk, author of the comic strip, Crankshaft, created a Sunday morning entry "honoring" (or lamenting?) it. Quicken Loans, also owned by Dan Gilbert, began the Quicken Loans blog, themed, "What's the DIFF," pointing out "the DIFF" between "average and excellent." The blog, of course honored Crankshaft's lament of the DIFF.

In 2007 the Cavaliers opened their new state-of-the-art practice facility, Cleveland Clinic Courts, in Independence, Ohio, a Cleveland suburb. It features many extravagant luxuries, 2 courts, a team meeting room, front office offices, as well as a kitchen among other features. Cleveland Clinic Courts replaces the former 1-court center the team used within Quicken Loans Arena.

WTAM (AM 1100) in Cleveland is the flagship station of a 16 station Cavaliers radio network. Select games can be heard on backup station WMMS (FM 100.7) when there is a conflict with the Cleveland Indians. All playoff games air on WTAM, and any conflicted Indians games go to WMMS.

Veteran broadcaster Joe Tait has served as the team's radio play-by-play announcer since its inception in 1970, with a brief break away from the team in the period when it was owned by Ted Stepien. Tait is considered one of the prominent announcers in professional sports. On March 26, 2008, Tait was honored by the organization for calling his 3,000th Cleveland Cavaliers game.

WTAM morning co-host/sports director Mike Snyder hosts the pregame, halftime, and postgame shows, and fills in for Tait when he is out. Producer/reporter Scott Zurella is also featured during pre and post game coverage. Former Cavaliers big man and color analyst Jim Chones joins Snyder for the post-game show.

The vast majority of Cavaliers' TV games air on cable and satellite on FSN Ohio, with select games (both regular season and playoffs) simulcast on WUAB (Channel 43) in Cleveland, the longtime free TV home of the Cavs. Channel 43 has aired games from 1973 to 1987, from 1994 to present.

Play-by-play announcer Fred McLeod and analyst Austin Carr, a former Cavaliers star, handle local TV commentary. Veteran Cleveland sportscaster Jeff Phelps and former Cavaliers star Campy Russell host the pre-game, halftime, and post-game shows.

Moondog is the official mascot of the Cavaliers. Like a growing number of NBA Mascots, the character has a unique connection not just to the team, but to city or area. Cleveland is known worldwide as the rock and roll city, due to famed Cleveland radio disc jockey Alan Freed, who popularized the phrase "rock and roll", breaking new ground and sparking a music explosion.

Freed called himself the "Moondog", and his listeners were "Moondoggers". When the Cavaliers looked to create a new mascot which represents the city, Moondog was a natural selection. Like Alan Freed, the mascot aims to be innovative, fun-loving, passionate and controversial.

Moondog was an NBA All-Star selection in 2003 and 2004. He is best known for his behind the back half-court shot and fierce loyalty to his Cavaliers. His first appearance was on November 5, 2003.

The Committee is an invitation-only consortium of Cleveland Cavalier thought-leadership. The group is named after the Cleveland Cavaliers' leadership contingent, which includes Lebron James, Ben Wallace, Mo Williams and Zydrunas Ilgauskas. Committee membership is limited to select, hand-picked individuals displaying an astute understanding of core Cavalier issues and the implication that material events may have on the organization. The Committee is rumored to have connections to the local press and certain Cavalier players.

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Source : Wikipedia