Last week, Scott at WFNY referenced a Sole Collector report that detailed plans for the Cavaliers to wear their Electric Blue Throwback uniforms at some point during the 2012-13 season. This is great news, and good on everybody for making it happen. Not to be lost in the celebration, however, is an opportunity to honor the player who put these very jerseys on the cover of Sports Illustrated. His name is Thomas Terrell Brandon.
Back in October, I made the claim that Terrell Brandon is the most under-rated Cavaliers player of All-Time. I suggested then that we should take an opportunity to honor Terrell by holding a Terrell Brandon Appreciation Night. After revisiting this concept with Ben Cox, Cleveland Jackson, and others last week upon reports of the Electric Blues, the feverish momentum towards an actual Terrell Brandon Appreciation Night has never been more apparent.
We are looking to engage Cavaliers Nation on ways to get involved with this grass roots movement below. First, a reminder of why Terrell Brandon Appreciation Night is so important:
The Terrell Brandon chapter is often forgotten when paging through the history of Cavaliers lore even though he was awesome. He wasn't really part of those Mark Price teams (even though he was a solid back-up) and he wasn't part of the LeBron James years either. In fact, when Brandon was playing for the Cavaliers, LeBron came to his basketball camp as a 7th grader. If the galaxies could have realigned somehow, and Brandon could've replaced Jeff McInnis, Eric Snow, Damon Jones, Larry Hughes, or even Mo Williams for one season or even two with James...oh well.
The truth is, I'm as guilty as anybody else of actually forgetting how good Brandon was as a member of the Cavaliers too. I didn't really start thinking about it again until I interviewed Chauncey Billups for an article I wrote for SLAM Online a few weeks ago. In a conversation about the Knicks 17th pick overall this past June, Iman Shumpert, Billups told me this about the type of pro that Terrell Brandon was:
“There were a few guys who helped me develop the right mentality to play in this League when I first came in. Guys like Jason Kidd and Tim Hardaway did a lot for me,” Billups added. “I used to talk with those guys about the attitude and the mentality you needed in this game, Sam Cassell was great for me also, but the player who’s done the most for me over my career was Terrell Brandon. I had the pleasure of playing with him for two years in Minneapolis and he made the biggest difference for me of any player in my career. I do plan to pass those things along to Shumpert as well the more we get to know each other.”
I think Brandon's overall production as a member of the Cavaliers is widely overlooked too based on the fact that he only started two seasons in Cleveland. If you don't believe me, I bet you didn't realize a two-year starter could be 4th in Assists and 11th in Scoring all time.
Here is where Terrell currently ranks, specifically, on the Cleveland Cavaliers All-Time Career Leader Board:
- 3rd in Free Throw Percentage (87%)
- 4th in Total Assists (2,235)
- 5th in Total Steals (621)
- 10th in 3-point Field Goals Made (261)
- 11th in Total Points Scored (5,793)
I'm not bringing this up to necessarily argue that his jersey should be retired, but I am saying maybe a Terrell Brandon Appreciation Night is in order next season at least. There aren't too many players on the Cavaliers who were ever called into the argument for "best in the NBA" at their respective position - ever. Whether he was or he wasn't, Terrell Brandon earned himself a mention in that conversation, which is pretty impressive if you step back and think about it. Just about every player who's jersey is hanging in the Quicken Loans rafters never really was in that discussion themselves, except arguably Brad Daugherty and / or Mark Price, but Brandon definitely was for a minute.
There are plans to include discussion of Terrell Brandon in Cavs Zine 3. I can confirm conversations between Cavs Zine Editor Cleveland Jackson and I have taken place on this subject. I can't say anymore than that for now. As for Terrell Brandon Appreciation Night, we are open to ideas. The goal is to increase awareness amongst Cavaliers fans about how great Brandon was during his time in Cleveland. It's to remind people of the fact that when CLEVELAND HOSTED THE NBA ALL STAR GAME it was Terrell Brandon who held things down all weekend long for the Cavaliers. The Sports Illustrated cover story crowning him as the best in the game was published just prior to All Star Weekend that year.
For now, we are asking Cavaliers fans to get involved in this Grass Roots Effort to formally Appreciate Terrell Brandon. We're looking to accomplish minor feats like allowing Terrell Brandon Appreciation Night mentions to trend world wide on Twitter, YouTube videos chronicling his greatness to register one million views, things along those lines. We might have a Terrell Brandon Appreciation Night Tweet-Up during a game to accomplish this, everything is very fluid right now. Email me at StepienRules [at] gmail.com with any ides you have. We'll be revisiting this in a couple weeks with more of a concrete outline. Thanks for your help.