Spokane, Wash. -- Sorry for the absence, I've been bounding around Western Canada for the last week with two high school friends on a long-planned road trip. Been in beautiful places like Vancouver, Revelstoke, Radium Hot Springs, Banff and Canmore. Been offroading on an ATV, whitewater rafting, in a hail storm at the top of a mountain, negotiating for the release of my friends after they became trapped at the top of a dam, and making an unending series of profanity-laced U-turns. Here on some fresh thoughts on the Cavs.
--The Reggie Evans courtship isn't a total ruse, I think the Cavs have some interest. But I do think it's a ploy by both sides to apply pressure in another direction. Evans wants to pressure the Nuggets into making a deal while they seem to want for an answer from Keith Van Horn. The Cavs want to pressure Drew Gooden into taking the offer on the table. Interesting, though, that Drew's agent, who is also Carmelo Anthony's agent, wants Evans back in Denver (scroll down). Calvin Andrews is a smart guy.
--The firing of Michael Reghi was a mistake for Dan Gilbert. All the columnists have written this, both Terry Pluto and Bill Livingston of the Plain Dealer were on the mark as far I'm concerned. I've said many times that I respect Gilbert for his business acumen and his overall belief structure. If the guy who paid $400 million wants to hire the play-by-play man, Fred McLeod, he's known as a friend for 20 years and he's listened to as a Pistons fan then he has every right to do so. But he has to respect his customers opinions as well.
I've heard McLeod is a good guy and a pro, of course he is because the Pistons run a class organization. However, he's got no chance here at least for the first year or two. No matter what he does, fans will compare him to Reghi and he will never live up in many of their minds. That means Gilbert has no chance of being right. In life, I've learned that is a position you want to avoid.
The thing is, Reghi and Gilbert had a mostly good relationship. I have a pretty good feeling that the owner doesn't care for Joe Tait. Gilbert hates negativity in life, which he'll tell you if you ever want to join Quicken Loans. He fires people for being negative. Tait, as we all know, has no problem being negative on the air. He is not a cheerleader and that's what Gilbert wants. Tait has one year left on his contract and hinted in the past he'd retire when he's 70, which he'll be this year. But he also loves calling games with LeBron James in them and may very well want to stick to it. That should be an interesting situation to watch, huh?
Of course, with LeBron, people are going to watch and listen no matter what, we all know.
--As far as Drew Gooden goes, I have nothing to add that I haven't already written. I believe the scenario is the same and Drew is prepared to wait it out and direct pressure back on the Cavs.
--Interesting update on Lenny Cooke. When I covered LeBron at the ABCD Camp in New Jersey when he was 16, Cooke was all the rage. I remember him telling the local media that he wanted to challenge Kobe Bryant, who was there to speak to the players, to a 1-on-1 game. LeBron ripped him up in game a few days later and was named MVP. Cooke maintained for years he was better than LeBron, even though he went undrafted and at times couldn't get on the floor for summer league games because he didn't know the plays. But I do wish him well, he's been though a lot.
--I leave in a week for Japan for the FIBA World Championships. Please stay with me and Ohio.com, we're going to have good stuff including live blogging of games, podcasts, photos and perhaps video along with daily blog posts and, of course, game stories.