The story of the Cleveland Cavaliers, also known as the Cavs, begins in 1970 when they came into existence as an expansion team – defined as a brand new team in a sports league, usually from a city that has not hosted a team in that league before, and formed with the intention of satisfying the demand for a local team from a population in a new area. The name Cavaliers was chosen by supporters in a newspaper competition over alternatives which included "Jays", "Foresters" and "Presidents". The Cavs compete in the NBA (National Basketball Association) as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Central Division.
The Cavs play out of the Quicken Loans Arena in their native city of Cleveland, Ohio; the owner of the team franchise since 2005 is Quicken Loans Chairman Dan Gilbert. They have won four Central Division championships (1976, 2009, 2010 and 2015) and two Eastern Conference championships (2007 and 2015). The Cavaliers have reached the playoffs 19 times without a single NBA title throughout their entire 45-year history. However, the team has also had a number of dubious distinctions, such as former owner Ted Stepien's tenure, which led the NBA to create a rule regulating the trading of draft picks ("The Stepien Rule"), and a 26-game losing streak in 2010–11, which tied the record for the longest losing streak in major American professional sports.
Any basketball fan interested in catching a team approaching the top of their form would do well to catch up with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The team currently revolves around several star players including small forward Kevin Love and center Lebron James, as well as center Kyrie Irving, small forward Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith. The Cavs are coached by former Maccabi Tel Aviv coach David Blatt.
Lebron James has had a notable and not uncontroversial career - having won two NBA championships (2012, 2013), four NBA Most Valuable Player Awards (2009, 2010, 2012, and 2013), two NBA Finals MVP Awards (2012, 2013), two Olympic gold medals (2008, 2012), an NBA scoring title (2008), and the NBA Rookie of the Year Award (2004) and is the Cavaliers' all-time leading scorer. He left the Cavs for Miami in 2010 but returned in 2014 where he helped the team reach the NBA finals where they were defeated by the Warriors, meaning that the top prize in US basketball still seems to elude them.
Stars who have featured in Cavs teams of previous eras include Austin Carr – a center who in 1975-78 helped the Cavs to three straight play offs, center Brad Daugherty who held the Cavs’ all-time scoring record until overtaken by Lebron James, and American-Lithuanian Zydrunas Ilgauskas who broke the record for the number of games played.
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