The Cavaliers selected a point guard and pitch man.
Moments after the team selected Collin Sexton with the No. 8 pick in the NBA draft Thursday night http://www.eaglesauthorizedshops.com/authentic-avonte-maddox-jersey , the Alabama playmaker made his appeal for LeBron James to re-sign with Cleveland.
”Man, LeBron, let’s do it,” Sexton said during ESPN’s telecast from the draft in Brooklyn. ”Let’s do it. I’ve seen you needed a few extra pieces this past season, and let’s do it. Let’s go back to the Finals.”
The Cavs believe Sexton – and perhaps a few more tweaks to their roster – will help convince James there is no reason for him to leave home for the second time in his career.
”I hope,” said general manager Koby Altman, adding the club has no plans to trade Sexton. ”I think the pick along with our youth and our momentum as a franchise, for LeBron and for everybody, I think there’s a real energy here. And I think the talent level of Collin I’m almost sure LeBron recognizes.”
Sexton averaged 19.2 points and 3.6 assists as a freshman for the Crimson Tide, and the 19-year-old also led the school to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2012. He’s confident, a proven scorer and he addresses a major need for the Cavs, who traded All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving to Boston last year and spent all season trying to replace him.
Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue started eight different point guards during the regular season.
Despite their issues at guard, James led the Cavs to their fourth straight Finals, but they sorely missed Irving and didn’t have nearly enough firepower to hang with the Golden State Warriors http://www.saintsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-tre_quan-smith-jersey , who swept them and won their third title in four years.
Cleveland used the pick to draft Sexton – previously owned by Brooklyn – that it received from the Celtics in the Irving trade.
The Cavs’ front office led by Altman entered the draft in the dark on James’ plans. The three-time champion must notify the team by June 29 on whether he intends to opt out of his $35.6 million contract for next season – a move he is expected to make.
Altman said he has had ”really good dialogue” with James’ management team.
”LeBron has more than earned the right to approach his contracts the way he does,” Altman said. ”He’s done that before, so this is nothing new for us. We want to respect his space during this process. We don’t take him for granted. We love him, this city loves him. He means the world to us and this franchise.”
Sexton has been on Cleveland’s radar for some time. The Cavs scouted him throughout the season, and the day after they lost Game 4 in the Finals, Sexton worked out at the team’s facility and owner Dan Gilbert referred to him as a ”very intriguing draft prospect” on Twitter.
”Loved the substance and character that he was about, and then he came here and had an unbelievable workout,” Altman said. ”And what was really encouraging about the workout is he actually shot it a lot better. It looked more pure, looked more natural, and his work ethic I know is going to be even better. I don’t want to put too much into the workout, but it helped. And then you feel people, like, you feel them. You’re going to feel this kid.”
While Sexton certainly improves the Cavs’ backcourt and adds a young player capable of breaking down defenders, there is no guarantee it will do anything to impact what James will do.
In the meantime Korey Toomer Color Rush Jersey , Sexton has his fingers crossed that he and James will soon be teammates.
”He’s one of the best players to ever play basketball,” Sexton said. ”Just being able to come in and learn from him, it’ll be big for me and big for my growth.”
James will factor family and his quest to win more championships into his decision. The 33-year-old has been unusually quiet on social media since the Finals ended, and he has given no hints about his future.
If James doesn’t stay in Cleveland, there’s a strong chance he’ll look to join the Los Angeles Lakers, who have salary-cap room to sign two maximum contract players. James already owns two homes and a film production company in Southern California.
Based on his wardrobe for the draft, Sexton may have had an inkling Cleveland was going to take him. He wore a crimson-and-black tuxedo jacket that perfectly complemented the wine-colored Cavs cap he was given before taking the stage to shake hands with Commissioner Adam Silver.
Sexton burst on the national scene last season with several strong performances, including a 40-point game against Minnesota when Alabama had to play 10 minutes with just three players because of disqualifications.
He went on to be named the SEC’s top newcomer and a first-team all-conference selection.
”It just shows all my hard work paid off,” Sexton said. ”I just grinded, started from the bottom and came back up to the top. That was the biggest thing, just show people what I can do.”
For those who think game plans and play calls are complex, it would be helpful to take a behind-the-scenes look at the medical setups that go into an NFL game.
Talk about multi-faceted.
The league provided such an opportunity at US Bank Stadium this week, and it was enlightening.
From the spotters’ booth upstairs to the exam rooms, locker rooms and ETM facilities in the bowels of the building to the blue tent on the sideline http://www.lionsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-kerryon-johnson-jersey , dozens of people are involved in health and safety protocols.
They range from neurotrauma physicians and athletic trainers to data technicians to ambulance drivers and emergency personnel, with perhaps 30 medical folks on the sideline.
Even the game referee is a part of the procedures.
The league has been criticized for years that it rarely has had player safety and health as a focal point, and it’s placed a high priority on upgrading every such area.
Game day includes a pregame meeting, new this season, held 60 minutes before kickoff that involves everybody on the health side of football.
”It’s a big group,” said Dr. Allen Sills, the league’s chief medical officer.
That group goes over the Emergency Action Plan, an exhaustive outline that describes who does what in virtually every case of injury or emergency. It’s so detailed that it includes arm or hand signals to help all involved determine what action is needed.
”The collaborative effort between teams is where it should be … seamless and flawless,” said Vikings head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman.
The emphasis, of course, is on immediate treatment whenever an injury occurs. The hour-long meeting’s value became apparent when Bears tight end Zach Miller dislocated his left knee and tore an artery that supplies blood to the lower leg in a game at New Orleans. Miller could have lost the leg had it not been for the quick action by the well-schooled medical staffs.
”These are the kind of situations we’re practicing for,” Sills said. ”They’re incredibly rare, but we want to be prepared for it.”
They need to be prepared for injuries large and small, ranging from situations when a visit to the blue tent is enough – a retaped ankle Adam Ottavino Colorado Rockies Jersey , perhaps – to sending a player inside to an examination room, or even to the hospital for particularly major issues.
U.S. Bank Stadium has a specific ”quiet room” for examining concussions – all stadiums must have an area for such exams. Naturally, with revelations in recent years about the dangers of concussions in football, more attention is paid to head trauma than ever.
In that ”quiet room” are the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant and a team physician or member of the team medical staff. They compare the player’s baseline test to his current status. Sugarman said he has never seen a disagreement between them about a player’s condition after the 10-12 minute exam.
”Sometimes, after two minutes you know they’ll fail the test,” Sugarman said.
No one from a team – coaches, executives, owners – is allowed into any of the exam areas, not even the blue tent just a few yards away on the sideline.
”I don’t have owners telling me to get him ready … sooner,” Sugarman added.
The roles of the concussion spotters have increased in importance and attention after a handful of players, most notably Houston quarterback Tom Savage, clearly were hurt but didn’t get the immediate care required. There will be four UNCs – unaffiliated neurotrauma consultants – at this Super Bowl. Typically, each sideline is staffed by one. After the protocol changed in December following the Savage case, an additional one was added for the playoffs http://www.brownsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-denzel-ward-jersey , as well as a centralized UNC based at the league. That central UNC will be in the spotter booth for the Super Bowl.
The jobs are usually filled in each city by certified athletic trainers charged with noticing player head injuries from their upstairs booth. The spotters are paired with video technicians who watch the broadcast feed and tag plays that result in injuries – although they’re not always easy to spot.
A spotter can communicate with sideline medical personnel in a variety of ways. If there’s a reason to stop the game to get an injured player off the field, he has that power, often shouting into his device: ”Medical Timeout.”
The referee will stop the game when so instructed; Sills estimated it occurred eight to 10 times this season.
A sideline monitor then can show video of the play to team or unaffiliated medical personnel. A decision can be made more quickly and accurately about the next steps, if any are needed, and the medical staff has a better idea of what happened than how the player might describe it.
Sugarman is more than grateful for the assistance and the technology that makes it possible.
”People like me might have looked at it with a crooked eye,” he said with a smile. ”Big Brother looking over your shoulder. But it’s been invaluable. You can’t see everything. It’s very protective to know they’re looking out for you.”
Last summer for the first time the league brought together all sorts of medical staffers from each team, plus unaffiliated consultants and spotters for a training session dedicated to head trauma and concussions. Those sessions will continue.
Sills bristles when he hears that the NFL is not doing enough regarding head injuries. Standing in a specialized X-ray room underneath the Super Bowl stadium, he vigorously defends the NFL concussion policy.