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LeBron receives standing ovation at Cavs-Celtics

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LeBron receives standing ovation at Cavs-Celtics


CLEVELAND — LeBron James, primary author of the only championship in Cavaliers’ history, was greeted by thunderous applause and a standing ovation during a timeout in the first quarter of Cleveland’s playoff game against the Boston Celtics on Monday night.

James, 39, attended the game with his wife, Savannah, and longtime agent and business partner Rich Paul, who still represents multiple players on the Cavs’ roster.

As is customary when any former Cleveland player from the franchise’s glory days of four consecutive finals from 2015-18 returns, James was treated to a highlight video and bone-rattling introduction. Fans, some of them perhaps unaware he was seated courtside, watched the video presentation during the timeout, and any cheers were drowned out by the sound from the jumbotron.

But when James was introduced, and shown seated in his jean jacket and backwards cap, well, Clevelanders went berserk.

Screaming. Applause. Towel waving.

James sipped his drink of choice, this night a nice white wine, from a disposable coffee cup, while speaking animatedly to Paul throughout the game. Maybe he was into it, or perhaps it was just trying to be heard over the booming music and shrieks of a delighted crowd during a close game.

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James, who was born about 40 miles south of Cleveland, in Akron, Ohio, and played 11 of his 21 NBA seasons as a Cavalier, was the MVP of the 2016 Finals in which Cleveland won in a dramatic, seven-game series. He left the organization for the second time as a free agent in the summer of 2018 and headed to the Los Angeles Lakers, who, for now, still have him under contract.

James has a $51.4 million player’s option with the Lakers for next season. He can opt out and become a free agent. Also, his son, Bronny James, a freshman at USC, declared for the NBA Draft, and it so happens the Cavs have the 20th pick.

Does any of this mean that either LeBron or Bronny is coming to Cleveland? No (the Lakers are expected to make him a huge contract offer and, if he wants them to, would draft his son), but James showing up courtside for a Cavs playoff game brings about such speculation.

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When he was here for the 2022 NBA All-Star Game, he refused to rule out another return to the franchise when asked by The Athletic. Or, it just could have been LeBron and Savannah getting back to the Akron area for Mother’s Day, or a drop in at the public school in Akron he opened. Or all of the above.

Members of the Kardashian family, and actor Mark Wahlberg, a noted Celtics fan, were also expected to attend the game.

Required reading

(Photo: Lauren Leigh Bacho / NBAE via Getty Images)





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Cleveland, OH

When Will The Cavaliers Hire Their Next Head Coach?

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When Will The Cavaliers Hire Their Next Head Coach?


For the first time in nearly five years, the Cleveland Cavaliers are searching for their next head coach. This isn’t a process the front office wants to rush and it shouldn’t be. Whoever they bring in will have the important task of bringing this group to the next level.

But when could Cleveland hire their next coach? Koby Altman, Cleveland’s President of Basketball Operations, shed a little light on this during his end-of-the-year media availability last Friday.

“I think we’d love to have a coach in place for the draft,” said Altman. “I think that might be even… that’d be probably too aggressive of a timeline. It’s when we come up with the right decision for who’s the right match for this group. And if it has to drag on a little longer, it does.”

Watch Koby Altman’s Full Media Availabilty Below:

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The NBA Draft is from June 26-27th this year. If Cleveland ends up following this “aggressive” timeline, then the Cavs could have someone in the position within the next three to four weeks. 

It may not be a straightforward answer, but finding the right person for the job appears to be much more important to Altman than following a specific timeline. 

He continued,” This is such an important decision for us. Like I said, we haven’t had a search in a half-decade, so we need to get back together as a group and really talk about criteria, the specific questions, who we want from a cultural standpoint, create a list and then really dive deep into those candidates, get to a finalist. But I wouldn’t say it’s something that we need to rush.”

Sep 14, 2022; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers president of basketball operations Koby Altman talks to staff and media during an introductory press conference at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 14, 2022; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers president of basketball operations Koby Altman talks to staff and media during an introductory press conference at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports / David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Cavs already have a few names at the top of their list as numerous reports indicate to.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on Tuesday that the Wine and Gold currently have two names at the top of their list.

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”I definitely think Kenny Atkinson and James Borrego are at the top of the list,” said Windhorst.

This lines up with a report from The Athletic’s Jason Lloyd who said on Sunday that Atkinson appeared to be Cleveland’s current top candidate.

Shams Charania of The Athletic also reported that Atkinson and Borrego were contenders the moment that J.B. Bickerstaff’s dismissal was announced. 

Both Atkinson and Borrego were head coaches in the past which could meet the “certain criteria” that Koby Altman alluded to last Friday. 

It appears Cleveland will take their time to make sure they find the best fit for the future. 

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Next Man Up: Powerful Johnathan Rodriguez Gets His Chance With Cleveland Guardians

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Next Man Up: Powerful Johnathan Rodriguez Gets His Chance With Cleveland Guardians


The Cleveland Guardians continue to try to uncover a consequential, game-changing power hitter from within their farm system.

In their quest to add a legitimate, long-ball threat to the middle of their lineup, the Cleveland Indians, now the Guardians, have held auditions for sluggers at the big league level.

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The latest power hitter being given an opportunity to carve out a niche in the team’s batting order is young, right-handed hitting, Johnathan Rodriguez.

He’s the Next Man Up.

Rodriguez, who won’t turn 25 until November, made his major league debut with Cleveland May 21, 2024. He went 0-for-4 in the game, striking out twice against the New York Mets.

Rodriguez got his first big league hit May 22, a single against those same Mets.

Major league players often share how difficult it is to hit a baseball that comes upon them anywhere from the low 90’s to 100 miles per hour. Or, the pitch has so much spin and movement, the ball is difficult to track in the split second the player has to make a swing decision.

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Rodriguez joins a number of young, promising players that were given opportunities to provide power, but just couldn’t find success with Cleveland at the major league level.

Other Cleveland Sluggers Who Tried:

Recently, and until their very exciting start to this season, the Indians, now the Guardians, have struggled to score runs.

This season, with a concerted effort being made by the team’s players to make hard contact, Cleveland is hitting more home runs. They are driving balls to the gaps, and scoring runs with extra base hits.

Johnathan Rodriguez is now being given his opportunity to add a big, loud bat to the Cleveland offense.

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Here is a list of three other Indians/Guardians power hopefuls who tired valiantly to supply the long ball, but fell far short of expected results:

#1-Bobby Bradley-3rd round 2014 draft pick of the Cleveland Indians.

6-1, 115 pounds. Bats Left. Played first base with Cleveland for parts of 2019, 2021, and 2022.

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Bradley, now 27, hit 17 homers in 345 plate appearances.

Bradley was released by the Guardians in 2022.

Bradley is not playing professional baseball.

#2- Franmil Reyes=International free agent from the Dominican Republic signed by the San Diego Padres in 2012. Reyes was just 16-years-old when he signed.

6-5, 265 pounds. Bats Right. Plays Outfield.

Traded to Cleveland July 31, 2019.

Reyes hit 10 homers for Cleveland in 2019, nine homers in 2020, 30 homers in 2021, and nine Cleveland homers in 2022, before he was placed on waivers and selected by the Chicago Cubs.

Reyes, who turns 28 in July, had 1,181 plate appearances with Cleveland.

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Reyes’ 30 homers in 466 plate appearances in 2021 offered great hope. However, he wasn’t able to build on his career year, and the team moved on from him.

Reyes was signed as a free agent by the Kansas City Royals in February 2023, was granted free agency, and signed by the Washington Nationals in May 2023.

Reyes was released by the Nationals in August 2023.

Reyes is now playing for the Nippon Ham Fighters in Japan.

#3- Oscar Gonzalez-Signed as an international free agent from the Dominican Republic by Cleveland in 2017, at the age of 17.

6-4, 240 pounds. Bats Right. Plays Outfield

Gonzalez, just 26, hit 11 homers in 382 plate appearances for Cleveland in 2022, and another two in 180 plate appearances in 2023, before he was placed on waivers, and selected by the New York Yankees in December 2023.

Gonzales is now playing for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, in the Yankees organization. He is hitting well, and may have discovered more consistency in his approach at the plate.

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Enter Johnathan Rodriguez:

Prior to gaining his promotion to the parent Guardians, Johnathan Rodriguez was ranked the 16th best player in the team’s farm system by MLBPipeline.com.

Rodriguez was selected out of the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy in the third round of the 2017 Major League Baseball draft.

Drafted at the age of 17, and signed for $450,000 as the No. 102 player taken in the draft, Rodriguez didn’t get a full season of professional baseball under his belt until his fifth professional season.

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When Rodriguez was 22, he played in 107 games, with 79 games coming at Class-A Advanced Lake County, and 28 games played at Double-A Akron.

Rodriguez hit a 26 combined home runs in that 2022 season, and began to make some loud noise with his bat.

Last year, playing again at Akron, and moving on to Triple-A Columbus for 47 games, Gonzalez hit a combined 29 home runs.

At the time of his graduation to the Guardians, Rodriguez had registered seven homers in 185 plate appearances for Columbus.

This old scout had plenty of looks at Rodriguez this spring in Guardians camp.

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Clearly, the power is there. But so is a longish swing, and a need for more consistent hard contact.

As was the case with Bradley, Reyes, and Gonzalez, there are plenty of strikeouts with Rodriguez.

However, with power hitters comes the expectation of swings-and-misses.

But Rodriguez is young. He can learn. He can improve.

He has to listen to his coaches.

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He has to learn from hitters like Jose Ramirez and Josh Naylor.

Because Rodriguez hits right-handed, he should get plenty of opportunities in a Cleveland lineup that features some solid left-handed hitters.

The Next Man Up is now Johnathan Rodriguez.

Maybe this time, the Guardians have found their coveted, young power hitter.



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28-year-old man dies following shooting on Cleveland’s East Side: Dispatchers

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28-year-old man dies following shooting on Cleveland’s East Side: Dispatchers


CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) – A 28-year-old man died Monday morning following a shooting on Cleveland’s East Side, according to investigators.

Dispatchers with the Cleveland Division of Police say officers were called to the 13700 block of Caine Avenue at approximately 8 a.m. on May 27.

Cleveland EMS dispatchers say they transported the man, found with multiple gunshot wounds, to a local hospital. EMS dispatchers confirm the victim died from his injuries.

The victim has not been identified.

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19 News reached out to the Cleveland Division of Police for more information.



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