After two years of virtually nothing but good news coming out of Cavsland, this summer and early fall have been a bit of a shock to the system. Some of it is understandable and some of it isn't, but it surely seems like I've written more negative-toned stories about the franchise over the last 10 days than the previous year.
The latest being about Shannon Brown getting in a fight at a bar. The video that has been on TV shows Shannon getting the worst of it and there appears to be good reason for him to be upset. The Cavs have done some homework, too, and have dug up a bunch of other details behind the scenes that support Shannon's side. However, I've read the police reports and Shannon is accused of breaking the club rules and hitting a bouncer in the face. Who knows if the police will bring charges, but it wasn't a good incident from either side based on my viewpoint.
Add the contract stalemates, Damon Jones' trade demands and Eric Snow's knee surgery and this has not been a great start to the season. In my opinion, there are more headaches to come. The trip to China in two weeks will be a great team-building exercise and a nice diversion for this group. But take it from someone who has spent a period of time in the Far East, it will take a week for them to get right when they come home. Because they are going in the middle of the preseason instead of now -- when a bunch of teams are in Europe and Hawaii -- it will have a lag until nearly the start of the regular season I suspect. Trust me, it will show up. Then there's that start of the season, a brutal schedule that immediately sends them to the West Coast for their toughest road trip of the season. Last year the Bulls went 1-6 on a West Coast trip in November and it took them a month of great play to recover.
But my job along with reporting this news to you is also to add perspective and so here it comes. All the problems the Cavs currently are dealing with are fixable and they have plenty of time to deal with all of it. Some adversity now pay actually pay off in the long run, the Cavs have been a team over the last few years that reacts well when challenged and they are certainly being challenged right now.
Here are the positives right now and they are significant. LeBron James is in great shape and is looking good in camp. The rest of the Cavs' front line is healthy. There is a lot of optimism about Daniel Gibson and Shannon Brown from the coaching staff. There is also a lot of talk about more new offensive components being installed by Mike Brown. I am from Missouri on that one, I'll be watching closely in the preseason and reporting to you. But so far the players are positive about it.