Written by: JP Lococo (@jp_lococo)
Edited by: Curt Ashcraft (@cashcraft740)
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In honor of training camps starting up in the NBA, I thought I'd kick off the season for basketball articles with one that should bring some humor. In saying that, many of our followers are Cleveland sports fans & tailoring this post towards a bad time in Cavaliers history may bring some unwanted memories as well. But for me, I find that season humorous solely because of how bad the Cavs actually were. Fortunately enough for many of the people reading this, the 2013-2014 Cavaliers should be quite competitive and most have moved on.
All wasn't bad about 2002. After all, that season did lead to the Cavs getting the #1 Overall Pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, which they used on then high school phenom, LeBron James. The following years were some of the best in franchise history and should be remembered as such.
That said, I thought it would be an entertaining exercise to see just who comprised the Cavaliers roster that was led by the duo of coaches John Lucas and Keith Smart to an overall record of 17-65.
Still plays in the NBA
Boozer was a rookie in 2002 and might be most remembered for his controversial signing with the Utah Jazz & Jerry Sloan. Boozer has had a solid NBA career averaging over 16 points per game & 9 rebounds in his 12 NBA seasons. Over that time, Boozer has played for Cleveland, Utah & most recently, Chicago. Additionally, he helped the USA win the Bronze medal in the 2004 Summer Olympics & a Gold metal in the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Spoiler alert for the rest of this article: Carlos Boozer is easily the most accomplished NBA player who was on the 2002 Cavs roster.
Yes, DeSagana Diop still plays in the NBA in 2013. Well, sort of. Diop was added to the Cavs training camp roster a week ago. Pretty crazy thought right? Diop has had quite the NBA journey playing in Cleveland, Dallas, New Jersey, Charlotte & now back to Cleveland. Who would have thought that Diop, of all people on the 2002 Cavs roster, would still be in the NBA? After all, the highest PPG average that Diop has had during his career was 3.0 PPG in Dallas in 2008.
Not a Player, but Still in the League
In 2012, Ilgauskas became assistant general manager for the Cavaliers under general manager Chris Grant. "Big Z" is a Cavs legend and has held numerous records during his tenure, such as games played & blocks.
Ilgauskas has always been one of my favorite players and it makes me happy to know Dan Gilbert and the organization has kept him in Cleveland and a part of the Cavalier family.
For those avid NBA followers, who remembers the 1995 All-Star game? Well, if you go in the archives you will find a roster that included Tyrone Hill. Most notably known for his "hard hat" style of play, Hill played with the Cavs in two different stints and even started in the 2001 NBA Finals with the Philadelphia 76ers. Currently, Hill is an Assistant Coach with the Atlanta Hawks.
The Rest that Need Mentioning
Unfortunately for Mihm, his career will be remembered for bouncing around the league from team to team and never reaching his full potential. During his third season with Cleveland, he missed his first 27 games due to a strained left hamstring. In Mihm's fourth and final season with the Cavaliers, he played 22 games for them. He was traded by the Cavaliers with Ricky Davis, Michael Stewart and a second-round draft choice to the Boston Celtics for Tony Battie, Kedrick Brown and Eric Williams. Let's also not forget that the Bulls drafted Mihm in the 2000 draft and we traded Jamal Crawford to get him. Safe to say that did not work out in Cleveland's favor. Mihm is currently retired from the NBA.
Where do I start with him? I must admit that I 100% bought into the hype that surrounded him coming out of high school and his ability to score in high volumes. And he showed his promise early on his career by averaging almost 14 PPG, although he did shoot a low percentage. Unfortunately, Wagner also never reached his potential as he was hampered by numerous injuries and illnesses that caused him to be out of the league after two short seasons.
Wagner is currently retired and spends the majority of his time in his home state of New Jersey.
To this day, Darius Miles remains one of my favorite NBA personalities of all time. Whether it was his ridiculous and ignorant shot selections or his crazy "forehead tap" he would seemingly do after a good play, I was a fan. Maybe it was because during this season the Cavs were a joke so I just liked to see him having fun and I thought he was hilarious.
"D-Miles" bounced around NBA teams through the years and even had a successful acting role in the movie, The Perfect Score, in 2004. Acting alongside Scarlett Johansson isn't the worst thing in the world, is it?
On August 3, 2011 Miles was arrested in Lambert-St. Louis International Airport for carrying a loaded gun. I think that is the last time we have heard any news from Darius Miles.
The other ring-leader of ridiculousness during the 2002-2003 season was Ricky Davis. To this day, despite averaging over 20 PPG during a season in Cleveland, Davis is known almost solely for his shot at the Cavaliers hoop against the Utah Jazz as he attempted to pull down a 10th rebound and a subsequent triple-double. That explains him in a nut-shell.
In saying that, Davis did have talent to score the basketball and continued to play after his time in Cleveland. He even traveled overseas and played in Turkey, France & China.
So where is he now? You won't believe this but according to Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report, Davis has been invited into preseason camp with the New York Knicks. So apparently Davis doesn't want to give up the idea of playing in the NBA yet as he is seemingly making one last attempt this season.
According to Wikipedia, In September 2013, he signed a one-year deal with Levski Sofia of Bulgaria.
Parker bounced around the league from team to team after his quick stint with the Cavs in 2002. He signed a 1 year deal with Peristeri of the Greek League earlier this year.