Ever since that guy left to play for the Miami Heat, the Cleveland Cavaliers have been relatively invisible to the national NBA audience. They've had some miserable seasons and aren't talked about much by analysts and commentators on TNT or ESPN. Obviously, that is directly related to their pathetic win-loss record over that time and they won't really draw much attention until they get back into playoff contention.
But the standings don't really matter all that much on All Star Weekend. The teams are on break and the participating players are simply divided by conference. And with four members of the Wine and Gold taking part in the All Star festivities, it gives Cleveland a chance to get some recognition.
Gaining national relevance takes some time, but the Cavs seem to be on the right track. Last year, Kyrie Irving exploded during the Rising Stars Challenge and made sure that the camera saw the word "Cleveland" across his chest as he held up the MVP trophy.
This weekend, he'll be joined by fellow 2011 Draft classmate, Tristan Thompson -- as well as rookies Dion Waiters and Tyler Zeller. The BBVA Rising Stars Challenge starts at 9 PM on Friday and is on TNT. Kyrie, Dion, and Tyler are all on Team Shaq while Tristan is all alone on Team Chuck.
And then, Kyrie will be competing in the Foot-Locker Three Point Contest on Saturday night. The events start at 8:30 PM on Saturday and the Three Point Contest is the third event of the night. All of those events are on TNT as well.
Finally, Kyrie is an All Star. The main event starts at 8 PM on Sunday night. Kyrie will be playing with the best players in the NBA because he is one of the best players in the NBA.
So Cleveland will be represented every night this weekend (mostly by Kyrie Irving) and hopefully that kicks off some national recognition for our young talented players. Furthermore, the Cavs' first game after the break is February 20th at home against the New Orleans Hornets. That game is televised nationally on ESPN.