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Paxon Fired, Hallelujah!
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Old 21 Apr 2005, 03:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Paxon Fired, Hallelujah!

Cavaliers fire GM Jim Paxson

By TOM WITHERS, AP Sports Writer
April 21, 2005
CLEVELAND (AP) -- Jim Paxson was fired Thursday as general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers, whose stunning second-half collapse this season cost them their first trip to the NBA playoffs in seven years.

Paxson's dismissal has been expected for weeks and came exactly one month after Paul Silas was fired as coach by owner Dan Gilbert, who has had a tumultuous first 50 days running the franchise.

The Cavaliers were 31-21 on Feb. 25, and 34-30 when Silas was fired. But the team fell apart down the stretch despite the play of LeBron James and finished 42-40, losing a tiebreaker with New Jersey for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Gilbert, who took over as principal owner from Gordon Gund on March 1, said he released Paxson with two years and $2 million left on the GM's contract because he said change was necessary.

``We felt the team had made progress in the past two years,'' Gilbert said. ``But to get to a championship level we felt we needed to bring our own people in.''

Gilbert also said interim coach Brendan Malone, who went 8-10 after taking over for Silas, will not be a candidate to be the Cavs' next coach. Malone, however, will remain with the organization.

In missing the playoffs again, the Cavaliers wasted an MVP-caliber year from James, who averaged 27.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.2 assists in his second pro season. Gilbert, who made his fortune in online mortgage banking, understands the importance of bringing in better players to complement James.

``We've got who we feel is the best basketball player in the game,'' Gilbert said. ``We need to build a team around him and not settle for mediocrity or a .500 season. We want to win a championship or more.''

Gilbert said he doesn't have names for a possible successor to Paxson. He wants Cleveland's next GM to hire the team's coach.

Gilbert said Paxson handled his dismissal as well as could be expected.

``Jim has been a class act the entire time,'' he said. ``He has a wealth of knowledge and has been the consummate professional.''

A two-time All-Star as a player, Paxson's six-year tenure as Cleveland's GM will be remembered for poor draft picks, a litany of head coaching changes, the arrival of LeBron James, Carlos Boozer's defection as a free agent, but perhaps most importantly, no playoff appearances.

Although critics are quick to point out Paxson's failings, he was also responsible for ridding the team of some burdensome contracts -- leftovers from previous GM Wayne Embry -- that had prevented the Cavaliers from improving with offseason moves.

Paxson traded Shawn Kemp and his four-year $70.8 million contract to Portland in 2000. He also was responsible for freeing the team of deals that Embry and former principal owner Gordon Gund gave to players including Lamond Murray, Bob Sura, Wes Person, Brevin Knight and Cedric Henderson.

Paxson has finally put the Cavaliers in position to spend money on free agents this summer, but now he won't get the chance.

Paxson joined the Cavaliers as their vice president of basketball operations in 1998 and succeeded Embry as GM the following year. He got a contract extension and promotion last July from Gund, who has retained a 15 percent share in the team now owned by Gilbert.

The Cavaliers were 185-307 in Paxson's six seasons in charge.
================================================== ========

Maybe Gilbert's not as much of an idiot as I thought he is...Paxon's best moves were trading away Kemp and Ricky Davis. Just about everything else was average at best. LeBron was a gift via the Fixed NBA Lottery, and Zydrunas Ilgauskas was there before Paxon was.

Maybe the Cavs will be inspired by the Browns' efforts to make their organization better. Do what it takes to get over the hump and in so doing keep LeBron in town. Reaction? Anyone other than myself care?

Late.
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Old 21 Apr 2005, 04:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I care. But I doubt anyone cares that I care. ;D

Keep the same team. Bring in the greatest coaching you can. Get the full potiencial of all the players and Cleveland could easily take it next year. And I hate them even.
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Old 21 Apr 2005, 05:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'd like to see Ray Allen or Mike Redd brought in to play guard alongside LeBron.

But I agree about Jim. He can join Butch Davis in the ashheap of history.
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Old 21 Apr 2005, 05:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard Dean
I'd like to see Ray Allen or Mike Redd brought in to play guard alongside LeBron.

But I agree about Jim. He can join Butch Davis in the ashheap of history.

Whoa. Can you imagine that team?

Ray Allen at Shooting guard
Z at Center
Lebron James at Point guard
Drew Gooden at Small forward, perhaps?
Bring in a Decent Power forward and they might do well.
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Old 21 Apr 2005, 07:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard Dean
I'd like to see Ray Allen or Mike Redd brought in to play guard alongside LeBron.

But I agree about Jim. He can join Butch Davis in the ashheap of history.
While Michael Redd is more realistic...yeah, either of those scenarios would work for me. If Paxon was any kind of fucking GM, Redd would be a Cav as we speak, but he isn't...

Late.
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Old 22 Apr 2005, 12:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Glue
While Michael Redd is more realistic...yeah, either of those scenarios would work for me. If Paxon was any kind of fucking GM, Redd would be a Cav as we speak, but he isn't...

Late.

Ah. Wait. If Cleve got Redd...They'd still have a good amount of money to spend.

I'll say it now. If they keep Z, Keep Lebron and get at least one more semi-star and ONE role-player, They will do quite well.
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Old 22 Apr 2005, 09:51 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Question? Can we just rename that team the Cleveland LeBrons? Just being realistic, he's the only reason they don't blow chunks. <--see like that guy.
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Old 22 Apr 2005, 01:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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^
agreed

here is his draft resume

Draft Resume:
2000- Traded Jamal Crawford and cash for Chris Mihm.
2001- DeSagana Diop; Traded Brendan Haywood for Michael Doleac; Jeff Trapagnier
2002- Dajuan Wagner; Carlos Boozer
2003- LeBron James; Jason Kapono
2004- Luke Jackson
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