Bringing back memories
When I walked into Conseco Fieldhouse for shootaround on Tuesday morning, it brought back memories of the last time I was there.
It was the day before the trade deadline in February 2008. Rumors were flying hot and heavy. Forward Donyell Marshall came over to the three beat writers sitting courtside late in the game and said, "I think I'm going to be traded."
I said something totally unsensitive like, "Well, it's about time."
That was the kind of relationship we had with Old Yeller. He was a neat guy, one that loved his Steelers. In his way, he was trying to say goodbye.
I didn't realize I wouldn't see him again in a Cavs' uniform. He was truly a pleasure to be around. He was nearing the end of the career - he's now in Philly - but he was a go-to guy in the locker room.
Later in the Cavs' locker room, guard Larry Hughes seemed to be talking about being on the Cavs team in the past tense. If you read between the lines, he thought he was going, too. Of course, both of them were traded the next day, along with forward/center Drew Gooden, for four players.
Coming to the Cavs were Ben Wallace and Joe Smith from Chicago and Wally Szczerbiak and Delonte West from Seattle (now Oklahoma City). It was a true blockbuster trade.
I was working a different angle at the deadline - Memphis guard Mike Miller. The Cavs had even agreed to take on Brian Cardinal's whacked out contract. That was how much they wanted Miller. But that possible deal feel through that night in Indiana.
The Cavs are still being linked to Miller now, even though he's playing in Minnesota.