CLEVELAND (AP) Austin Carr fondly remembers his glory days playing guard for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 1970s.
Under coach Bill Fitch, they didn’t have as much talent as many other teams, but those wine-and-gold expansion Cavs had something special.
“We were 12 men deep,” Carr said as he helped the Cavs unveil new uniforms for 2010-11. “You knew every night we were going to play 100 percent. Nobody was going to quit.”
Realizing he had taken a shot at former Cavaliers’ star LeBron James, Carr raised his eyebrows and shrugged his shoulders.
At this point, what else can be said?
Long before James announced he was leaving as a free agent for Miami, the Cavs planned to wear new uniforms next season and Tuesday they presented their “updated” look, a throwback to their early years in the NBA.
The uniforms include a “deeper” wine and “brighter” gold hue than the team’s previous uniforms. They also include the word “Cleveland” written in a block-style lettering as opposed to the script of the past.
On Monday, owner Dan Gilbert said jokingly that the new uniforms would include the Comic Sans font. It’s the style he used in his infamous letter to Cleveland fans on July 8 after James announced he was leaving Cleveland.
The Cavs insist they are trying to move on, but James was again in the news being quoted in an upcoming GQ interview that he feels Gilbert never cared about him and his hatred for Cleveland dates back to his days as a kid growing up in Akron.
Carr, who was the league’s No. 1 overall draft pick in 1971 and Cleveland’s first bona fide hoops star, remains disappointed in James’ departure. The two-time MVP announced his decision in a prime-time TV special, breaking the hearts of his biggest fans.
“As an ex-player, I might have left myself,” said Carr, a color analyst for the team. “So I don’t begrudge him for that. But the way he did it was unprofessional and uncalled for.”
After James announced his decision, Gilbert fired off his impassioned letter ripping James for being “narcissistic” and predicting the Cavs would win a championship before “the self-titled former king.” Later, he told the Associated Press that he felt the superstar quit in this year’s playoffs.
Although it seems the Cavs are trying to move on, James’ magazine interview has reopened the issue. He’s the one who can’t seem to let things go.
“That’s his problem,” said Carr, who cried unashamedly the night the Cavs won the NBA draft lottery and the rights to draft James. “Not ours.”
Carr was joined by former teammate Campy Russell at a launch party for the new uniforms. Both players laughed at the length of the shorts compared to the tight-fitting ones they wore.
“We wore Daisy Dukes,” Carr said.
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