We all know the Cleveland favorites (Lebron, Thome, Lofton, Kosar, etc.). But who were the little guys who helped propel those athletes to the top? The ones we so commonly forget about when we look back on Cleveland sports history? Well, look no further. Jiggy broke it down for you.
5. Delonte West
People forget, but the Cavs adding Delonte West to their lineup was a pretty big deal in the Lebron 1.0 era. The Cavs were notorious for not adding great talent around LBJ and when they brought in Delonte West to run point I was pretty excited. And what else could be said about this gem, Delonte? He’s just your friendly neighborhood Cavs point-guard. A real stand-up guy. Somebody you wouldn’t mind bringing around your mother.
4. Dennis Northcutt
The only reason Dennis Northcutt made this list is that everyone and their brother had a Dennis Northcutt jersey. I’m talking about everyone. I feel like the only other jersey sold around that time were Tim Couch jerseys, and we all know how that turned out…
3. Nick Swisher
I threw ole Nicky “Bro-HIO” Swisher in here just for the irony that he may have been one of the biggest BUSTS ever in the history of baseball. Nick “utter disappointment” Swisher got paid $56 million with an extra $14 million option from the Indians to suck up all the air in the 216 area code and be a glorified hype man who was only good for looking disappointed and confused during post-game press conferences. Good-bye and good riddance.
2. Albert Belle
You may be thinking, “Jiggy, Albert Belle was a stellar athlete. Why is he in your rag-tag group of Cleveland misfits?” Well, I’ll tell yuh. If you’re not from Cleveland, or if you live under a rock, you may not remember Albert Belle chasing down kids with his car on Halloween or the time that he was throwing baseballs at fans, or the period of time where he was corking his bat. I could go on forever on Belle, but the truth is, there is one thing that Albert could do and do well, and that was hit the stitches off the damn ball.
1. Anderson Varejao
There is one athlete that comes to mind when I think grit, determination, hard work, and, most importantly, hustle. And that man is Anderson Varejao. For a man that was so loved unanimously throughout the city of Cleveland, it took us 2-3 years to figure out how to say his name. “Vara-Hoo”, “Vuh-Ray-Jow”, “Fara-Hoe” are among my favorite mispronunciations. This guy was everything. He may not have been the most flashy player on the court. He could never stand a chance with the Harlem Globetrotters. But dammit did he hustle down the court and fight for every rebound like it was his last. You just can’t buy that type of teammate these days.
I hope you enjoyed this article! Comment below if you feel like I missed someone. Otherwise, sit back, have a beer, and enjoy the article.