Top 10 Cleveland Sports Stories of 2015
It's time to start looking back at 2015, and ahead at 2016. Will the Browns fire everyone? Will the Buckeyes beat Notre Dame at the Fiesta Bowl? Can the Cavs win a title for Cleveland?
While we don't know the answers to those questions yet, we do know what happened in 2015, and today we take a step back at the Cleveland sports landscape and remember the stories of the year and the joy and agony that they all brought us.
10. Johnny Manziel Checks into Rehab
In early February Cleveland's tantalizing quarterback Johnny Manziel's camp released a statement that he was checking into rehab for undisclosed reasons. The ex Agee reportedly spent over two months in the facility, eventually being released in mid-April.
9. Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving injuries
Another disappointing moment for Cleveland sports fans came when the Cavs lost Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving to injuries during last year's playoff run. Love dislocated his shoulder on a sketchy play against Boston's Kelly Olynyk in the first round of the playoffs. Kyrie lasted a bit longer, not being officially shutdown until the first game of the finals when he broke his knee cap. Irving was a shell of himself throughout the playoffs, however, battling numerous injuries up until that fateful overtime loss in game 1 of the finals.
8. Indians off Swisher and Bourn
Turning two negatives into somewhat of a positive, the Tribe was able to offload super-disappointing free agent siginings Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn. The pair was traded to Atlanta in exchange for 3B Chris Johnson on August 7th, ridding the Tribe of two of the worst free agent signings in recent memory. Johnson was released by the Indians a week ago.
7. Browns are still awful, in new uniforms
New uniforms, same Browns. The jerseys definitely got oranger, and brighter and..you fill in the blanks. The change was supposed to signify a new Browns era starting in 2015. Unfortunately, things look painfully similar to the last 18 years of depressing Browns play. At the moment, the Browns are 3-11, right on par with the average season since the franchise returned.
6. Free Agent WR Dwayne Bowe a Bust
Then there was the big free agent splash the Browns made- wide receiver Dwayne Bowe. On March 20 the 30 year old receiver signed a two year contract with 9 million dollars guaranteed. It was by far the Browns biggest signing of the off-season. Through 14 games, Cleveland has not gotten the return on their investment as they may have hoped. Bowe sits at 5 receptions for 53 thus far this season. The hope was that line would be a bad game for the veteran. What a Cleveland Browns move.
5. St. Eds goes Back-to-Back
The high school football power house on Detroit Avenue did something most schools can only dream of- won the state championship for the second time in a row. after a 9-1 regular season, the Eagles turned it up a notch in the playoffs, breezing through the competition en route to a 45-35 win against Huber Heights Wayne in the championship game.
4. Love and Lebron Resign
After a season full of speculation on where Kevin Love may bolt to as a potential free agent, Cleveland quickly got some good news on July 1st. Despite the non-stop rumors of Love visiting numerous teams, having strong interesting L.A and so on, the versatile Power Forward quickly put all the gossip to rest with his article in the Players Tribune that announced he was signing the maximum contract to stay in Cleveland long term. A few weeks later, Lebron also resigned with the Cavs. That move was foreseen by many but still felt good to see in ink.
3. "The Trades"
Two of the biggest moves in Cavs recent history came very early in 2015 when Cleveland acquired J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert and Timofey Mosgov in two seperate trades. On January 6th the Cavs traded Dion Waiters along with some fill ins to acquirre J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert from the Knicks. Two days later on Janruary 8th, Cleveland sent two first round picks out and received long-coveted center Timofey Mozgov from the Denver Nuggets. The Cavs took off after the trade, finishing the season 34-9 and making a run to the NBA finals.
2. Indians remain cheap
After a disappointing 2015 season in which the Indians finished, many fans had high hopes the Tribe would make a move to push them over the top. They came off a season that saw the team put together arguably the best pitching staff in the league and looked to be a piece or two away from serious contention. Tribe management, as they did last off season and at the trade deadline, chose smaller moves to fill in the needs, however. Still needing a big bat in the middle of the lineup,the Indians signed journeymen Raja Davis and Mark Napoli to fill in their needs. Same old Tribe.
1. Cavs run to the NBA Finals
Ah, feels good to end on a (mostly) positive note. After a tough to watch 19-20 start to the season, the Cavs put it all together in the second half and played some of the best basketball in the league. They stormed passed the Celtics in the first round of the playoffs and followed that up with a 4-2 series win against Chicago. Facing the team with the best Eastern Conference record in the Eastern Conference finals, the Cavs showed that they are the class of the east, cruising to a dominate sweep of the Atlanta Hawks to set up their second trip to the NBA finals in the team's history.
After falling behind 0-1 to the Golden State Warriors and losing two of their top three players (Love and Irving) the Cavs somehow managed to win the next two games to go up 2-1. Lebron, putting on a finals performance for the ages, did all he could to finish the job but the Warriors depth proved too much. Golden State won the next three games to claim the NBA title.