The Franchise: LeBron James and the Remaking of the Cleveland Cavaliers

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Gray & Company, Publishers, Dec 6, 2007 - Sports & Recreation - 206 pages

"Not your typical sports biography . . . Take[s] the reader behind the scenes in the Cavaliers’ front office, revealing how championship contenders are built" — Library Journal


Two award-winning sports journalists give an in-depth look at how a team and a city were rebuilt around superstar LeBron James. 


When the Cleveland Cavaliers drew the top pick in the 2003 NBA draft, an entire city buzzed with excitement. After all, how often does a LeBron James come along? Especially for Cleveland, a midmarket Rust Belt city without a sports championship in forty years. Especially for the Cavaliers, a long-struggling team that had never reached the NBA finals. 


Soon, everyone had something riding on LeBron—billionaire team owner Dan Gilbert looking for a return on his investment . . . teammates eager for a championship ring . . . the league in need of the next Michael Jordan to promote . . . the shoe company with its multimillion-dollar endorsement deal . . . even popcorn vendors in the stands of Quicken Loans Arena and servers waiting restaurant tables in a downtown that now booms every game night. 


Terry Pluto and Brian Windhorst tell the converging stories of a struggling franchise that had to get worse in order to get better and a highly touted teenage phenom, the local kid who became their future. 


This book will fascinate any basketball fan who wants the inside story of how LeBron James became the young superstar shouldering the weight of an entire NBA franchise. Chock full of facts and analysis. 

 

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Contents

Cover
Whywould Iwant this team?
The Chosen One
I knew why we were doing it but I still hated it
That guy should be yours He looks like an NBAplayer right now

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About the author (2007)

Terry Pluto is a sports columnist for the Plain Dealer. He has twice been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, is an eight-time winner of the Ohio Sports Writer of the Year award, and has received more than 50 state and local writing awards. In 2005 he was inducted into the Cleveland Journalism Hall of Fame. He is the author of 23 books, including The Curse of Rocky Colavito (selected by the New York Times as one of the five notable sports books of 1989), and Loose Balls, which was ranked number 13 on Sports Illustrated’s list of the top 100 sports books of all time. 


Brian Windhorst covered the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Akron Beacon Journal until he moved to the sports department at the Cleveland Plain Dealer in 2008 and then ESPN. His writing has been honored by the Professional Basketball Writers Association and the Associated Press. He earned a degree in journalism from Kent State University in 2000. 

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