Monday, 02 July 2018 11:51

The Kid from Akron L.A. Bound

July 11, 2014: 

"I'm Coming Home:" the article posted to, courtesy of Sports Illustrated writer Lee Jenkins, were the words of LeBron James: Northeast Ohio's Hero turned Villian turned Prodigal Son. 

After winning a pair of titles in South Beach with his cast of characters, LeBron James vowed to bring the Larry O'Brien Trophy to Cleveland... To Akron... To Northeast Ohio... 

June 19, 2016: 

The final seconds had ticked off of the Clock in Oakland, California. Cavs 93, Warriors 89... Tears streamed down the cheeks of the two-time champion, four-time MVP, Kid from Akron...

Meanwhile, more than twenty-four hundred miles away, Cleveland, Ohio was swarmed with fans sharing the same tears, hugging perfect strangers, dancing on police cars while officers watched in shared jubilation.

He did it; he kept his promise. LeBron had returned to Cleveland and brought the title with him. 

Cavs Parade

(Photo Credit: Justina Bucceri, Rubber City Radio Group) 

June 8, 2018: 

With still more than four minutes remaining on the game clock in Game 4 of the 2018 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena, LeBron James walked off the court wearing number 23 for the Cleveland Cavaliers. While giving congratulations to members of the Golden State Warriors, who would go on to win Game 4, completing the sweep of the Cavs in the Finals, The Kid from Akron was met with a standing ovation and chants of "MVP! MVP! MVP!" from 20,562 fans, most, if not all of whom were on their feet. 


Respect for the man who had put an entire team..., an entire city on his shoulders, and carried them all back to the NBA Finals for the fourth year in a row. A little help from his friends, sure; but "a little" doesn't begin to stress the perceived solo mission LeBron embarked on throughout the 2018 NBA Playoffs. 

July 1, 2018: 

The daylight was dwindling, but the heat still sweltered. With most of the region wrapping up the day, the news broke, just about 8 p.m.: 


Just hours into the NBA Free Agency, LeBron's decision was made, speculation could rest, and a fanbase could be content with a superstar's decision and begin to move forward (or not). 

It didn't take Cavs owner Dan Gilbert too long, much like after LeBron's first exit, to respond to LBJ's decision, but the difference in those two responses was night and day: 

"We will always remember the evening of June 19, 2016 as the Cleveland Cavaliers, led by LeBron James, ended the 52-year drought delivering the long elusive championship that many thought they would never see... A championship that united generations of Clevelanders, both living and passed.

Virtually anyone with roots in Northeast Ohio paused and felt the memories of the past and the utter joy that the burden of the so-called 'curse' was finally a thing of the past. Cleveland, Ohio was the home of a championship team for the first time since 1964. Words do not express the meaning and the feeling this accomplishment brought to the people of Northeast Ohio.

None of this would have happened if LeBron James did not agree to come back home and lead the Cavaliers to the promised land. The entire Cavaliers franchise thanks LeBron for that precious moment and for all of the excitement he delivered as he led our team to four straight NBA Finals appearances.

LeBron is a family man, first. We wish his kids, his wife Savannah, his mother Gloria, and LeBron himself nothing but the best in the years and decades ahead. LeBron's connection to Akron, Cleveland and all of Northeast Ohio will most certainly endure as his commitment to the region and his support of many important causes has been impactful to so many kids and families.

LeBron, you came home and delivered the ultimate goal. Nothing but appreciation and gratitude for everything you put into every moment you spent in a Cavaliers uniform. We look forward to the retirement of the famous #23 Cavs jersey one day down the line..."

July 2, 2018: 

A deep breath.

A moment of reflection.

A realization that most of us in Northeast Ohio do not wake up with the presumption that an athlete or a sport is going to dictate how our day goes. For so many of us, there are our families, our friends, our pets (Hi Amos!), our careers, our hearts and our souls, our love, and the list goes on and on. 

Taking solace in that, I tip my cap to you LeBron. I thank you for giving Northeast Ohio that moment on the night of June 19, 2016, when we cried tears of joy, alongside family, friends, and fellow fans; when you swelled a community with pride, love, and unrelenting joy. 




Published in Local

Fomer 12-year NBA point guard and Cleveland Cavaliers 1st round pick Brevin Knight spoke with Sam and Brad to give his thoughts on the NBA Finals and Game #3.


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NBA insider Sam Amico from Amico spoke with Sam and Brad after Wednesday's Game #3 loss.

 Game #4 is set for Friday at Quicken Loans Arena.

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FS1 NBA reporter Chris Broussard spoke with Sam and Brad ahead of Game #3 of the NBA Finals here at Quicken Loans Arena.

Golden State holds a 2-0 lead over the Cavaliers in this series.


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Forner NBA referee and author of the book Personal Foul Tim Donahgy spoke with Sam and Brad about the officiating during last night's NBA Finals  Game #1 between the Cavaliers and Warriors.



Check out Tim on 

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Vince Cellini of Cavaliers in the Paint for Fox Sports Ohio discussed the wild finish to last night's NBA Finals Game #1 in Oakland.


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NBA writer and insider Sam Amico joined Sam Bourquin and Brad Russell to talk about the NBA Finals Game #1 tonight between the Cavaliers and Warriors.

Amico says the Cavaliers have a chance because you can never know what can happen in a seven-game series.

Published in Sam and Brad

They're back at it again for the fourth consecutive year.

The Golden State Warriors will be facing off against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals.

Tom Withers of the Associated Press talked about the perspective from the home side of things, as LeBron and the guys defeated Boston in Game #7 Sunday with Sam and Brad. 


On the other side, Ryan Leong of the Associated Press caught up with the guys to talk about things from the Warriors perspective. They defeated Houston in 7games on Monday.


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Rick Noland of the Medina Gazette joined the Sam and Brad Show Monday ahead of Game #5 between the Cavaliers and Warriors tonight.


For the full interview, click here.


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Former NBA veteran Eddie Johnson and Sirius XM Radio Host Eddie Johnson joined Sam and Brad Friday ahead of Game #4 between the Cavaliers and Warriors.


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Greg Papa from 95.7 The Game in the Bay Area joined Sam and Brad live on site at the Q ahead of the Cavaliers and Warriors in Game #4 of the NBA Finals.


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Thursday, 08 June 2017 16:19

AUDIO Russell: Do Or Die For Game #4

FoxSports Ohio's Campy Russell joined the guys on Thursday to talk about the Cavs' deflating Game #3 loss in the NBA Finals against the Warriors.


For the full interview, click here.


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Wednesday, 07 June 2017 20:23

AUDIO Pluto: It All Starts With Defense

Terry Pluto from and Cleveland Plain Dealer joined Sam and Brad live on site to join the guys ahead of Game #3 of the NBA Finals at the Q.


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Sam Amico from Amico Hoops joined the Sam and Brad Show Tuesday ahead of Game #3 between the Cavs and Warriors at the Q Wednesday.

He said the role players have to have more of an impact if they are to win on Wednesday.


For the full interview, click here.


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A local Akron City Schools teacher is standing up for Akron's own super hero, LeBron James, after his Los Angeles-area home was vandalized last week before the start of the NBA Finals in Oakland. 

Jennifer Pennington, an English as a Second Language teacher at Jennings CLC says tells the Jasen Sokol Show that when she heard that someone had spray-painted a racial slur across the outer gate of LeBron's west coast home, she wanted to get the message out that this word shouldn't be used to describe LeBron or anyone for that matter. 

"I just kept thinking about it and thinking about it," Pennington said, "and I thought I just want to do this; I want to put some signs up and I want to respond." 

And respond she did, with homemade signs that read "Hero" and "Humanitarian" and "Role Model" and more. She pulled up to LeBron's Bath Township home, and with the OK of the security working the property, she put them up outside along the street. 

There's been no response from LeBron, who is back home ahead of the NBA Finals Game 3 at Quicken Loans Arena Wednesday against the Warriors; but there's no doubt he's heard about it as Sports Illustrated was one of the first news outlets to run with the story.

The Cavs are down two games to none to the Warriors in the Finals. Game 3 tips off just after 9 p.m. Wednesday night on 1590 WAKR. 

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Sports reporter and anchor for News 5 Hakem Dermish spoke with Sam and Brad Monday to discuss the Cavaliers loss to the Golden State Warriors on Sunday night, 132-113.

The Cavs are down 0-2 and will head back to Cleveland for Game #3 on Wednesday. 


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Joe Vardon of spoke with Sam Bourquin and Brad Russell about the Cavs and where they go from here after last night's tough loss to the Golden State Warriors.

Game #2 of the NBA Finals is Sunday right here on 1590 WAKR.


For the full interview, click here.


Published in Sam and Brad
Thursday, 01 June 2017 17:12

AUDIO "Mr. Cavalier" Breaks Down Finals

It's finally here.  The NBA Finals starts tonight at 9pm and the Cavaliers and Warriors are ready to hit the hardwood for the Larry O'Brien trophy.

"Mr. Cavalier" Austin Carr from Fox Sports Ohio joined the Sam and Brad Show Thursday to break down the series and Game 1 tonight. 

Catch the game here on 1590 WAKR with pregame beginning at 8:30pm.


For the full interview, click here. 


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Wednesday, 31 May 2017 18:27

AUDIO Elmore Smith Discusses NBA Finals

Cavalier legend Elmore Smith joined the Sam and Brad Show to talk about the matchup between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals for the third consecutive year.


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Former NBA veteran, Cleveland Cavalier, and Golden State Warrior Antawn Jamison spoke with Sam and Brad ahead of the NBA Finals, discussing how LeBron James has grown as a player heading into his seventh straight NBA Finals.


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Digital Writer from John Schuhmann discussed the upcoming NBA Finals between the Cavaliers and Warriors next Thursday.

The Cavs defeated the Boston Celtics on Thursday in the Eastern Conference Finals to earn a third consecutive trip to the championship series. 


For the full interview, click here. 


Published in Sam and Brad

The Cavaliers are playing with a great deal of confidence, and heading into the biggest game of the year on Sunday, that could spell a championship for a city that's been longing for one the last 52 years.

ESPN Basketball Insider Chad Ford joined the Sam Bourquin Show to talk about LeBron's on-court and off-court leadership down this Finals stretch and how they are playing their best basketball at the right time.

"You're seeing just the perfect balance between scoring the ball and passing the ball," Ford said.  "Everyone is better when he is on the floor."


Chad says the Cavs are going to need a triple-double from LeBron if they're going to get that first ever NBA Championship,  but it all comes down to them just playing their game.

"If they play the same way Sunday, they did the last two games, they'll beat the Warriors," he said. "It all comes down to LeBron James." 

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With last night's Game 6 win at the Q, the Cavaliers and Warriors are heading for a Game 7 winner-take-all showdown in Oakland on Sunday.

Spencer Davies from Amico Hoops and Fox Sports Ohio joined the Sam Bourquin Show on a "Feel Good Friday" to talk about the Cavs' shot at erasing 52 years of coming up short and finally winning it all.

He said Tristan Thompson was strong coming out of the gate and never let up.

"He set the tone early, getting those 50/50 balls, shooting well on his free throws, it really set the tone," Davies said. 

 Thompson finished with a double-double in both points and rebounds. 

As far as Sunday goes, the Cavaliers will have to keep the officials off their minds and just play their game, but they will have to overcome some calls they might deem questionable and keep doing what they do best.


Published in Sam and Brad

If you were looking to go to Sunday night's Cavs Watch Party, you're out of luck both inside and outside the Q... because they're out of tickets. But there's another option in Akron.

But there will be a watch party for Sunday's NBA Finals Game 7 here in LeBron James' hometown of Akron, at his high school home arena.

The Cavs Watch Party at St. Vincent-St. Mary's LeBron James Arena on Sunday night. Admission will be $5 for adults and free for St. V students and children under 13.

Tickets will be sold at the door only - doors open at 7:15, and the game starts at 8.

There'll be a 20 x 12 screen brought in.

LeBron James Arena seats about 1,800 people, so those tickets will probably go fast.

Akron city officals are suggesting that fans watch Sunday night's game by patronizing establishments in the city...and it's probably likely that anywhere with a TV will be showing the game.


We will be hosting a CAVS WATCH PARTY for Game 7 of the NBA finals! Join your STVM friends, support alumnus LeBron James VM03, and ?#?witness? this moment in history at The LeBron James Arena!

Doors open at 7:15PM. Game starts at 8PM. Admission is $5 per adult. STVM students and children under 13 are FREE. Tickets sold at the door only!

The folks at FunFlicks Ohio Outdoor Movies are bringing in a 20x12 ft screen for an amazing viewing experience!

Published in Local

One more game here at the Q tonight, and the question remains: Can the Cavaliers keep their title hopes alive and force a Game 7?

Chris Parker from Cleveland Scene joined the Average Sports Show live from Quicken Loans Arena to break down Game 6 and talk about tonight's matchups.

Aside from the usual suspects LeBron James and Kyrie Irving providing their usual solid play, Chris is looking for Iman Shumpert to provide a spark both offensively and defensively.


Published in Brad Russell
Wednesday, 15 June 2016 19:08

AUDIO Jeff Schudel Talks Game 6

With Game 5 now in the rear view and Game 6 at the Q coming up tomorrow, the Cleveland Cavaliers and their fans are feeling pretty confident about evening the series.

Jeff Schudel from the Morning Journal and News Herald joined Brad in the Average Sports Show to talk about the injury to Warriors big man Andrew Bogut, and how that can impact the Wine and Gold tomorrow night.

Schudel says Bogut's absence will open up driving lanes for LeBron and Kyrie at the Q.

 "He's (LeBron) is getting to the foul line more, and I think this is going to shape up good for the boys."

Published in Brad Russell

With the influx of people converging on downtown Cleveland with the success of the Lake Erie Monsters and Cleveland Cavaliers, that means the local economy is doing well, right along with the sports teams.

Michael Deemer Vice President of Business Services for the Downtown Cleveland Alliance joined Brad Russell in the Average Sports Show to talk about the economic impact generated by the Cavaliers and Monsters.


Published in Brad Russell

The Cavaliers strong showing in Oakland during Game 5 of the NBA Finals has many fans in Northeast Ohio and beyond very optimistic about their chances as the series shifts back to Cleveland.

Former Cleveland Cavalier coach and NBA Hall of Famer Lenny Wilkens joined the Sam Bourquin Show to talk about last night's game, especially the fantastic play of point guard Kyrie Irving and forward LeBron James.

 "I thought they played really well," Lenny said. "I thought Kyrie Irving played outstanding."

The two combined for 82 points in the 112-97 win. Game 6 is back at the Q on Thursday night at 9 p.m.  For the full interview with Sammy B and Coach Wilkens click right here.

Published in Sam and Brad
Monday, 13 June 2016 17:18

AUDIO Eric Snow Talking NBA Finals

One former Cavalier discussed what he's seen so far during the NBA Finals and what the Cavs need to do in order to have a Game 6 at Quicken Loans Arena Thursday.

Former Canton McKinley standout and NBA veteran Eric Snow joined the Sam Bourquin Show Monday to talk about what he thinks about the series and how the games have been officiated.

With Draymond Green being out for the Warriors due to suspension, Snow put his coaching hat on and said that Tyronn Lue has to think about in regards to his lineup.

"I think you have to play big more," Snow said. "It gives you more flexibility to play different guys and try some different things to win this game and get back home."

For the full interview with Eric Snow, be sure to click here. The Cavs and Warriors tip off from Oracle at 9 p.m. on 1590 WAKR. 

Published in Sam and Brad

The NBA was busy on it's Sunday day off between the NBA Finals Game Four and Game Five with decisions that sideline the Warrior's Draymond Green, assessing a technical foul against LeBron James and digging $25,000 from Cavaliers Coach Ty Lue for daring to question the officiating from Game 4's Cleveland loss to Golden State.

In Green's case, it wasn't just the dust-up with James from Friday night's game but the last straw in a lead-up of bad boy actions. James received the technical foul for his part in the late-game confrontation.


( Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green has been assessed a Flagrant Foul 1 upon league office review, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

In accordance with NBA rules, Green will serve a one-game suspension without pay for accruing his fourth Flagrant Foul point of the 2016 postseason. He will serve his suspension Monday, June 13 during Game 5 of The Finals at Oracle Arena.

The incident occurred when Green made unnecessary contact with a retaliatory swipe of his hand to the groin of Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James with 2:48 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Warriors’ 108-97 win in Game 4 of The Finals at Quicken Loans Arena. Under league rules, any player who accumulates four flagrant foul points over the course of the playoffs will be automatically suspended for one game, and every additional flagrant foul will result in either a one-game suspension (for a Flagrant Foul 1) or a two-game suspension (for a Flagrant Foul 2). “The cumulative points system is designed to deter flagrant fouls in our game” said VanDeWeghe. “While Draymond Green’s actions in Game 4 do not merit a suspension as a standalone act, the number of flagrant points he has earned triggers a suspension for Game 5.”

James has been assessed a technical foul upon league office review for his role in the altercation, which included a physical taunt.

- - -

( Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue has been fined $25,000 for public criticism of officiating, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations. Lue made his comments during the postgame press conference following the Golden State Warriors’ 108-97 victory over the Cavaliers in Game 4 of The Finals on June 10 at Quicken Loans Arena. 
Published in Local

As the Wine and Gold get closer to Game 4 here at the Q, they will look to implement the same magic formula that propelled them to a win on Wednesday night in front of the home crowd.

USA Today basketball writer Jeff Zillgitt joined Brad Russell to talk about whether or not Kevin Love should start Game 4 tonight, or if he should come off the bench and provide some scoring help for the Cavaliers.

 He also says that a lot of what the Cavs did well in Game 3 needs to carry over tonight in terms of effort and execution.

"They're going to have to do the same, and they're going to have to do it right out of the gate," Zillgitt said.

Published in Brad Russell

The Cavaliers are looking to even the NBA Finals tonight at the Quicken Loans Arena against the Golden State Warriors with the same formula that notched them a 30-point win in Game 3 Wednesday.

Terry Pluto stopped by the Sam Bourquin Show on a "Feel Good Friday" to weigh in on the importance  of tonight's game at home.

"You certainly don't want to go to Golden State down 3-1," Pluto says.

Game 4 can be heard on 1590 WAKR with coverage beginning at 8:30.

Published in Sam and Brad
Friday, 10 June 2016 12:26

Cavs Fans Reporting Ticket Scams

After recent reports of fake tickets popping up for the NBA Finals game, Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine is warning fans to pay extra close attention.

Dewine said in most cases, people bought the tickets on Craigslist but didn't get anything in return. Some cases also included scammers who printed out counterfeit tickets.

The Attorney General's Office recomends fans to "be skeptical" when they come across an offer that appears to good to be true.

Published in Local
Thursday, 09 June 2016 18:15

AUDIO Cavs Win Game 3, Gain Confidence

The Cavaliers got a win on the home court Wednesday night, and in addition to being victorious, the Wine and Gold gained some much-needed confidence heading into Friday's Game 4.

Rafael Hernandez Brito, Spanish play-by-play voice of the Cavs joined the Sam Bourquin Show to talk about the game and the energy the Cavs played with, something that was lacking in Games 1 & 2.

 "It was amazingly loud, and they (the Cavs) stood up the first quarter, and they fed off the crowd's energy," Brito explained.

Game 4 at the Q will take place Friday night, tip off at 9 p.m.

For the full interview with Rafa, click here.

Published in Sam and Brad
Wednesday, 08 June 2016 18:02

AUDIO Parker: Frye, Jefferson Key For Cavs

With Kevin Love being out for Game 3 of the NBA Finals tonight, one of the Cavaliers' most recent additions might have to play a bigger role in securing a win at the Q this evening.

Chris Parker from Cleveland Scene joined Brad Russell and I high atop Quicken Loans Arena. He explained Channing Frye provides a need for Coach Lue's group with his outside shooting, something that Love was adept at while in the lineup.


Published in Brad Russell

As the Cavaliers get ready for Game 3 tonight at the Q, one former Cavalier and Golden State Warrior talked about what adjustments the Wine and Gold need to make in order to pick up the win.

Antawn Jamison joined the Sam Bourquin Show Wednesday ahead of tonight's matchup.

With Kevin Love being out for tonight's game due to a concussion, Jamison says adding center Timofey Mozgov will give the Cavs the rim protector they need, despite a lack of playing time over the last couple of months.

There is no word on Love's availability for Friday's Game 4 at the Q. Tip time is at 9 p.m. on 1590 WAKR.


Published in Sam and Brad
For decades, the officiating in the NBA has been the subject of scrutiny, mainly due to its alleged ties to gambling. That all came to a head in 2007, when a rogue referee came forward and admitted to calling unfair contests because there was money on the line.

That ref was Tim Donaghy, and he called into the Ray Horner Morning Show to discuss the 2016 NBA Finals. Donaghy shared his thoughts on the Cavaliers and Warriors, and he touched on how far he has come since 2007, which included a trip behind bars.

Before the championship series began, Donaghy tweeted "This will be the worst officiated Finals in the history of the NBA, both sides will be furious.”

Published in WAKR RAY HORNER

As the lights get brighter for the NBA Finals back home at the Q for the Cleveland Cavaliers down 0-2, they have to make some serious adjustments in order to get in the win column.

Former Cavalier coach and current NBA TV and TNT analyst Mike Fratello joined the Sam Bourqin Show Tuesday.  He said the Cavs have to play at a more frenetic pace in order for them to compete with the Warriors in Game 3 and keep that agressiveness throughout the series.

 The Cavs and the Warriors will square off tomorrow night at 9pm on your home for the Wine & Gold, 1590 WAKR.

For the full interview with Coach Fratello, click here.

Published in Sam and Brad

The Cavaliers are getting ready for Game 3 at the Q Wednesday night, as they look to pick up a win against the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.

Campy Russell, former Cavalier and current analyst for FoxSports Ohio joined the Sam Bourquin Show to talk about the Wine and Gold and what they need to do to make this series more competitive.

"I just think it's one of these situations, good news is we're back home, we have an opportunity to play in front of our fans, and I feel good about our chances coming up against the Warriors on Wednesday, Campy said.


Published in Sam and Brad

The Cleveland Cavaliers are down 0-2 heading into Game 3 at Quicken Loans Arena, and the Wine and Gold need an infusion of renewed toughness when they take on the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday.

Hakem Dermish from News Channel 5 Sports joined the Sam Bourquin Show to talk about the Cavs and what they need to do to get things going in the NBA Finals.

"They're (the Cavaliers) a better basketball team, they just have to figure out a way against this team," Dermish said.

The Cavs will try and get it right against Golden State Wednesday night at the Q at 9 p.m. on 1590 WAKR.

Published in Sam and Brad

The Cleveland Cavaliers are going back to the drawing board after Thursday night's loss to the the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the NBA Finals 104-89.

Former 10-year European league veteran and current WEWS-Channel 5 basketball analyst Chet Mason joined the Sam Bourquin Show on a Friday afternoon to talk about the Wine and Gold and what they need to do to turn it around.

Mason said the Cavs missed a lot of easy shots that they're used to making.

"That's tough to miss 28 chip shots like that, especially on that stage," Chet said. "You're not going to get chance after chance like that."

Mason also thought that there was two big stories from last night, the Cavaliers lack of bench scoring as well as their defense against the backcourt tandem of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.

 "That's a testament to Coach (Tyronn) Lue and the coaching staff," he said.


 In addition to his work with Channel 5, Mason was a four-year starter at Miami University in Ohio, and is the current coach of the Brush Arcs boys' basketball team.


Published in Sam and Brad