The Cleveland Cavaliers are still riding the high of bringing home the NBA championship for the first time in their 47-season history when they overcame a 3-1 deficit in the 2016 NBA Finals to win the series against the Golden State Warriors.
The Cavaliers date back to 1970 when they were admitted into the NBA along with a couple of other teams. While they’ve had plenty of postseason appearances (20 so far), their history also includes spells of difficulty, including the mid-1980s and the early part of the 21st century when winning seasons were scarce and the postseason didn’t happen.
Upon the drafting of LeBron James No. 1 overall in 2003, their fortunes turned, and the team soon returned to postseason play. The four years during which King James played in Miami were marked by a string of losing seasons. Once he returned to Cleveland, however, they went to the finals two straight years in a row and won it all in 2016.
As the Cavs battle their way in hopes of returning to postseason play (and possibly a third-straight finals appearance), let’s take a look at where the current roster comes from, and what college conferences led to today’s Cleveland Cavaliers.
Heading to Believeland
LeBron James, arguably one of the NBA’s most recognizable players, not only plays professionally in Ohio but also is a native Ohioan. Hailing from Akron, he was highly touted as the next Michael Jordan, and his draft stock was so high he went No. 1 overall to the Cavaliers in 2003.
Other Cavaliers stars include Kevin Love, who calls Lake Oswego, Oregon, home, and played college ball at UCLA. His father, Stan Love, also played pro-ball for the Los Angeles Lakers and Washington Bullets. Kyrie Irving is from West Orange, New Jersey, and attended Duke. Iman Shumpert comes from Oak Grove, Illinois, and went to the Georgia Institute of Technology. DeAndre Liggins also hails from Chicago and attended the University of Kentucky.
Kyle Korver, Creighton University alumnus, is from Pella, Iowa, and Channing Frye, who is from Phoenix, went to the nearby University of Arizona.
Cavaliers’ College Conferences
When looking at the Cleveland roster as a whole, the Pac-12 Conference contributed the most players (30.8 percent). Three players came from the University of Arizona (Frye, Richard Jefferson, and Derrick Williams), and the other Pac-12 player, Love, came from UCLA.
The Atlantic Coast Conference isn’t far behind, with 23.1 percent of the Cavaliers coming from schools in that conference. In addition to Irving and Shumpert hailing from the ACC, James Jones, from Miami, Florida, attended an ACC school (the University of Miami).
There are also a few players who were the sole contribution from their university conference, such as Tristan Thompson, a Big 12 player from the University of Texas (Austin), and Kay Felder, who shot hoops at Oakland University, which is part of the Horizon League.
While the Pac-12 makes up a large portion of the Cleveland squad, there were contributions from several others as well. As you root for your Cavaliers to continue their quest for another shot at the national title, be sure to check out Fanatics to get the best Cavs gear around.