Word Association Day: Old vs. New

February 24, 2012; Orlando FL, USA; Team Chuck guard Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers (2) dribbles the ball during second half of the BBVA rising stars challenge against Team Shaq at the Amway Center in Orlando. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

It's Wednesday so that means we've got another SBNation themed post throughout the NBA sites. Personally, I think this may be the coolest one yet. Today is Word Association Day. Basically, each blog manager was asked to fill out a spreadsheet and write the one word (or phrase) that first came to mind when they thought of each team. Now we've got the results and here's what people said about the Cavaliers.

  • Heartbroken
  • Decision
  • LeBron
  • LeBron-less
  • Tortured
  • Japan-After-World-War-Two
  • Promising
  • Rebound
  • Cleveland
  • Lucky
  • What's Eating Gilbert's Gripe
  • Kyrie (x2)
  • comic sans (x4)
  • deserted
  • pillaged
  • bridesmaid
  • intriguing
  • depressing
  • betrayed (x2)
  • patience
  • Kyrieligious
  • young
  • Wine and Gold
So apparently that's what the blogosphere thinks of the Cavaliers. Some pretty interesting results, no? You can really split the answers into two groups. On the one hand you've got words or phrases that are related to LeBron James and that whole era. You see the sentiment that the franchise is kind of pitied after LeBron decided to leave. The four "Comic Sans" entries are obviously referring to the letter that Dan Gilbert wrote in the wake of The Decision. The franchise has obviously tried to separate themselves from that previous era in recent years. They totally re-designed the jerseys, marketing campaigns, etc. Judging by these answers, however, it hasn't quite done the trick yet. For a good portion of the bloggers, the LeBron era and the consequent betrayal are the things that first come to mind.

The other category of answers have to do with the new look of the franchise. Several refer to Kyrie Irving and others focus on the rebuilding and promising future of the team. It is my hope that if we did this exercise next year, an even greater percentage of answers would be talking about Kyrie and the post-LeBron Cavs. For now, however, it seems as though the 7 years of highlights, playoff runs, and that stupid one-hour TV special are still the things that come to mind.
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