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If you tell someone you’re from Ohio, you might be asked the questions, “Are you a fan of the Cavs? How do you feel about LeBron James?” Although there is plenty to do in the state of Ohio, anyone from out-of-state only seems to be familiar with the professional NBA team, the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Early History of the Cavs

The Cleveland Cavs were founded in 1970 and became a member of the National Basketball Association’s Eastern Conference Central Division. The NBA started way before the 70’s, but the Cavs were added as a league expansion team along with a few more additions (the Portland Trail Blazers and the Buffalo Braves).


Their first few years as a team the Cavs seriously struggled. During the first season they lost the first 15 games and never placed higher than 6th place within the Eastern Conference during their first 5 seasons. But in 1976, the tables started to turn for the Cleveland Cavs when they won their first Central Division Title.

Changes in Cavs’ Ownership

In the early 80’s the Cavs changed ownership and Ted Stepien took over. Because of his disastrous ownership and management practices, the Cavs began to fall short again. Things started to brighten up a bit in 1983 when the Cavs were purchased by George and Gordon Gund.

The Cavs and NBA Playoffs

From the mid 80’s to the late 90’s the Cavs made the NBA playoffs 10 times. From 1997 to 2003, the professional basketball team struggled once again. That is until the team got lucky with a #1 draft pick for the 2003-2004 season.

The LeBron James Era

Although there is a lot of controversy about LeBron James and the Cavaliers, James was the best thing that could happen to the team in 2003. He was the #1 pick for the NBA draft that year, and the Cavs snagged him.


In addition to James, the Cavs switched ownership, management and added a few more star players to the roster between 2003 and 2005. Between the years of 2006 and 2010 the Cavs made it to every NBA Playoffs, but unfortunately they were never able to take home the title. It wouldn’t be fair to attribute this solely to James’ talent, but the basketball prodigy had a lot to do with it.

Controversial Times for LeBron and the Cavs

In 2010, James made a HUGE announcement to the world of basketball. He would be transferring to the Miami Heat the following season and leaving his years with the Cavs behind. Cleveland basketball fans became infuriated with LeBron and felt as if he betrayed their trust (even though he was technically a free agent at the time and had every right to make the change).


LeBron made another big announcement in 2014 and told the world he would be moving back to the Cleveland Cavs. The team struggled without LeBron on the roster, so he was of course welcomed back with open arms. The betrayal felt by Cleveland fans has since been forgotten and LeBron is once again a hero in their eyes.