Cleveland Cavaliers

photo of Q renovation prject
Cleveland Cavaliers

With the collapse of the Quicken Loans Arena deal, Cleveland joined St. Louis and San Diego on the list of cities where public sports projects have fallen through. Two experts talk about the state of stadium financing.

Smith College Professor Andrew Zimbalist says it’s long been the case that the public rejects some stadium deals. But he says there’s increased sensitivity to public financing in recent years.

The View From Pluto: Life After Kyrie

Aug 23, 2017
photo of Kyrie Irving in wingfoot Cavs jersey

Kyrie Irving is headed to Boston. The Cavs all-star guard, who asked team owner Dan Gilbert to trade him earlier this year, has been sent to the Celtics for fellow all-star Isaiah Thomas and a couple of other players. WKSU Sports Commentator Terry Pluto talked about the trade.

Photo of Cleveland Cavaliers players on the court

The Cavs are in a familiar spot -- playing Game 3 of the NBA finals down 2-0. But a lot has changed since the NBA champs pushed the Golden State Warriors to seven games last season. WKSU Commentator Terry Pluto says that winning tonight’s game is crucial.

“No team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit in NBA history,” he says. “In fact, what often happens is when you go down three games to none, you lose game four because the players themselves know it’s over.”

photo of Cavs home court

The Cavs come home down 2-0 in the NBA Finals, after losing to the Golden State Warriors on Sunday.

Golden State beat the Cavs 132-113 with strong performances from Steph Curry and Kevin Durant. It's the second consecutive year Golden State won the first two games of the Finals. Last year, Cleveland rallied to win last year's series in seven games.

LeBron James said even though they lost, the Cavs were much more physical on Sunday than they were in Game 1. LeBron acknowledged there's room for improvement in upcoming games.

photo of Cavs home court

The Cavs showed why they're underdogs in the NBA finals, losing to the Golden State Warriors 113-91 in the first game last night. Our WKSU sports commentator, Terry Pluto, says defeat was in the air from the very beginning of the game.

“You could sense the Cavs were in huge trouble,” Pluto says. “The Warriors just attacked them.”


The NBA is a very big business and a very small world. On the eve of the Cavs third consecutive trip to the NBA finals, our sports commentator Terry Pluto talks about Mike Brown – the assistant coach for Golden State who is filling in for ailing head coach Steve Kerr – and whose basketball career has included not one – but two – stints in Cleveland.

Everyone expected a rematch between the Cavs and the Warriors. But not everything has gone as expected, Pluto says.

photo of Cleveland Cavaliers, Cavs, Golden State Warriors

Officials in Cleveland are preparing for the NBA Finals, with a lot of activity scheduled even on days when the Cavs will be on the West Coast.

There could be as many as four away games during the Finals, beginning Thursday night. And Quicken Loans Arena is planning to hold watch parties for all of them. On top of that, ESPN is broadcasting several shows during the finals, live from the Hofbrauhaus restaurant near Playhouse Square.

photo of Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving, and LeBron James

The Cavs trailed by 10 points at halftime in game four of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Celtics. Then Terry Pluto says the 'Big Three" came through.

"In the third quarter, the whole game just turned around," Terry Pluto says.

Pluto says the credit goes to LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love.

Irving scored a remarkable 42 points in the game, a career playoff high. Love had 17 rebounds, also unprecedented for him in a playoff game.

photo of Cavs home court

Here’s how Terry Pluto sums up game three of the playoffs:

“The Cavs just suddenly decided, ‘Well, we can just go home.’ And they pretty much did, mentally.”

The Cavs blew a 21-point lead in Cleveland on Sunday, ultimately losing by a mere three points to the Boston Celtics. 

Pluto somehow knew this would happen.

“Even in basketball, pride and arrogance are deadly sins,” he says.

Photo of LeBron James
Brian Babineau / NBAE via Getty Images

The Cavs dominated the Boston Celtics last night, beating them 117-104 in the first game of the Eastern Conference Finals.

WKSU commentator Terry Pluto says Cleveland did exactly what it needed to do in Boston. 

"The Cavs completely dominated early and totally took out Isaiah Thomas, who is Boston’s 5’9 guard, took him right out of the game. I think he was like 3-of-11 shooting in the first half, and he just looked worn down and confused. It was just a force.  A completely dominating performance by the Cavs."

photo of Kyrie Irving in wingfoot Cavs jersey

While the Cavs work to defend their NBA title, the team has been making big money moves off the court.

The Cavs recently got a commitment for $140 million in public funding for renovations to Quicken Loans Arena. This week, the team announced a partnership with Akron-based Goodyear Tire and Rubber for its signature wingfoot logo to appear on jerseys next season.

WKSU commentator Terry Pluto explains why both of these moves have been controversial but necessary:

wingfoot logo

The NBA is the first pro sports league in the U.S. to OK corporate logos on uniforms. And the Cavs have followed through with what reports is a $10-million-a-year deal with Goodyear.

Cleveland Indians Vice President Bob DiBiasio says he expects more teams will follow, and that the Cavs were fortunate to find a logo that fits the team’s character.

“The Goodyear logo is pretty cool, with the winged foot, just sitting up there on the left. So it’s not like SOHIO. … It just really looks cool and I think they lucked out on that look.”

photo of Kyrie Irving in wingfoot Cavs jersey

Goodyear’s  “wingfoot” logo will soon be featured on Cleveland Cavaliers jerseys as part of a multi-year deal.

During a press conference today, Goodyear CEO  Rich Kramer explained why his company is partnering with the Cavs.

With the wrap-up of a sweep of the Toronto Raptors last night, Cleveland tied an NBA record with its 12th consecutive win in series-clinching games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The record was first set by the Lakers from 2000-2004. Cleveland won its third-straight trip to the Eastern Conference finals with a 109-102 win in Toronto. The key to the series was shooting from a  distance Cleveland outscored Raptors by by 102 points from 3-point range.

Here's our sports commentator Terry Pluto on what's going so well for the Cavs: 

The Cavs’ first two playoff games have shown just how difficult defending their NBA title is going to be. Cleveland is up 2-0 over the Indiana Pacers, but both games have come down to the final minutes. 

WKSU commentator Terry Pluto says the Cavs’ regular season struggles are evident early in these playoffs, but  the Cavs have some time to settle in: 

The slogan for the Cavs’ postseason is “Defend the Land.” And Pluto says players need to start taking that literally. “They better start defending somebody.”

LeBron James
Brandon Davis

The defending NBA champion Cavs are in a mid-season slump and star LeBron James is losing patience. James publicly criticized the front office Monday, following the team’s fifth loss in seven games. WKSU commentator Terry Pluto explains what’s going on with James and the Cavs and what they must do to get back on track: 

1. Rest your star
Pluto says that LeBron James is averaging 38 minutes on the court per game, more than any other player in the NBA.  "He is not superman,” Pluto says.

You’d have to be living under a rock in Northeast Ohio to miss the fact that the dreaded curse ended this year.  The 52-year-pro-sports championship drought came to an end when the Cavs came from being down 3-games-to-1 in the NBA Finals to win Game 7 on the road.

The NBA is tapping into fans’ nostalgia by encouraging teams to wear retro uniforms for a handful of games this season. It’s a promotion intended to sell more jerseys. But for the Cavs, bringing back the bright orange of the mid 1980’s carries a deeper meaning.

WKSU commentator Terry Pluto says it all started in 1980 when Ted Stepien bought the team. "Arguably, the worst owner in the history of pro sports,” Pluto says. 


Quicken Loans Arena is slated for a major $140 million renovation that will extend the life of the 23-year-old downtown Cleveland sports and entertainment complex.

A.J. Rocco's

Cleveland is getting ready for the Indians’ first World Series run in 19 years. The first game will be at Progressive Field in Tuesday. WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports on the sports frenzy in Northeast Ohio. 

The World Series tickets went fast, too fast for Robert Kesizer of Wadsworth who got in line about a half hour before they went on sale at Progressive Field.

Nate Thurmond finished his career with the Cavs

Way before LeBron James, Akron had another hometown NBA hero – Nate Thurmond. Thurmond grew up in Akron and at the end of his career, played for the Cavs. He died last weekend from leukemia at age 74. WKSU commentator Terry Pluto says the Hall of Famer made a big impact during his short time here.  

Matthew Dellavedova

While the Cavaliers are still basking in the glory of their first championship, other NBA teams have begun the frenzy of assembling their rosters for next year. It’s called free agency – a period when teams can sign players whose contracts are up. And this month, they’ve been doling out dollars like never before. WKSU commentator Terry Pluto says there have been some outrageously huge contracts handed out in the first week of free agency. 

Lessons Police Learned From The Big Cavs Celebrations

Jun 26, 2016
Cavs championship celebration

The huge crowd that descended on Downtown Cleveland last week to celebrate the Cavaliers’ NBA Championship was a good test for the city’s police. The upcoming Republican National Convention will attract just a fraction of more than a million people at the Cavs event. But as WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports, some police officials say that doesn’t mean the RNC will be an easier job. 

NBA Tital Celebration in Akron

It was Akron’s turn to celebrate the end of the curse.  Last night, the city honored it’s hometown hero, LeBron James and Cavs first-ever NBA title.

The skies parted. The golden evening sun burst through. Goodyear’s silver blimp arrived on cue.  It

was 7 p.m. in downtown Akron -- time for the throng of thousands around Lock 3 to begin celebrating LeBron James and the NBA title he and his Cavalier teammates just brought to Ohio.

Cavs victory rally

An estimated one-point-three million people filled downtown Cleveland Wednesday for something not seen in Northeast Ohio in more than half a century, a parade and rally honoring a major professional sports championship. It was a celebration billed as the end of a drought often referred to as “The Curse.”