Welcome to Cleveland, Dion — Voice of the Syracuse fan

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And With the Fourth Pick of the 2012 NBA Draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers Select…

All day I read the Cavs had suddenly showed interest in Dion Waiters. I should have known these whispers were more than just rumors. As Cavs fans, we denied staunchly the “rumors” that LeBron was leaving us for Miami and they were confirmed. But, I denied it all day. As any sports fan, I am too superstitious to admit that’s what I wanted. One of my favorite Syracuse players leading my team? Not possible. Besides, it was unlikely that Waiters would go that high, no matter how much his stock had been rising.
My Cleveland fan base doesn’t know Dion as they don’t really follow Syracuse basketball. They know their Buckeyes beat him in Boston. That’s it. He didn’t work out. The reaction so far has been, “That kid didn’t even start! He was too excited when they called his name!”
As Cuse fans, we saw him grow emotionally and physically by leaps and bounds. He was a leader on the team despite not starting. We loved him. We cried with him. He bled for us. He wore Orange tonight. He will find a similar fan base in Believeland. Clevelanders are so thirsty for an athlete they can love and I know Dion fits that mold. I hope there is not a trade in the works behind the scenes because I think he would do well at Cleveland.
Dion Waiters, welcome to my hometown.

–Lian Shalala

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