Larry Hughes was a huge free agent signing for the Cleveland Cavaliers a couple years ago. By huge, I mean his contract and certainly not the “results” in the box score from games that Hughes isn’t sitting out with injuries. To call Hughes a disappointment is like calling Katrina scattered showers. Hughes was supposed to be a legit running partner for LeBron, but I think we can safely say that this will never be the case. On Wednesday night at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, it became abundantly apparent that Cleveland fans have officially given up on Larry Hughes.
Before you get all over Cleveland fans for turning on one of their own, I have to say just how out character this behavior is in Cleveland. Remember that this is the same town where a bloated Shawn Kemp was given every benefit of the doubt until he was finally rolled out of town on a flatbed truck. This is the same town where Albert Belle was cheered from the moment he beaned a fan, to the moment he cursed out Hannah Storm, all the way to the moment that he attempted to run down trick-or-treaters with his SUV. It took him snubbing the Indians for more money in Chicago before the fans to finally turned on him. Hell, Cleveland was even willing to give a troubled, racist John Rocker a shot to redeem himself.
With this in mind I must embrace the fact that Cleveland has officially turned on Larry Hughes, and probably for good. I was in The Q on Wednesday night during a frustrating overtime loss to Orlando, and long before the game became a contest, the fans were all over Larry Hughes. He missed shots left and right, and he just kept shooting. Cavs fans are tired of giving him the benefit of the doubt and they were relentless all night long. I think they even booed his first miss, which says a whole lot for a Cleveland crowd.
The night progressed and even as Hughes hit his first shot at some point in the second half, the cheers were of the Bronx variety and it was blatantly obvious to everyone. The night finished and Hughes’ box score line showed 2-12 from the field for four points and three turnovers. It is surprising just how little you get for $13 million nowadays, isn’t it?
I don’t know how this whole thing is going to end. The Cavs haven’t been able to unload Hughes over the last couple of years and we all know just how unmarketable a huge contract like Hughes’ can be. At the same time, how long can the Cavs survive in a league of short rosters with a guy who takes up a huge amount of cap space and yet can’t fill up even a single positive statistic in the box score? One thing is for sure, the historically patient Cleveland Cavaliers fan base has had enough of Hughes and that doesn’t bode well for him turning it around in Cleveland.Powered by Sidelines