Shopping cart

Classic Cavs

The 50 Greatest Games in Cleveland Cavaliers History



A countdown of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ greatest games

It’s far too easy to allow the national media and disparaging fans to undermine Clevelanders’ views of their professional sports teams. While the Browns, Indians, and Cavaliers have caused more than their fair share of frustration and heartbreak over the past century, there are countless moments of glory in the fertile athletic history of Northeast Ohio that receive little notice east of Shaker Heights or west of Rocky River.

Jonathan Knight’s Classic Cleveland series sets out to combat this trend, bringing together the most memorable moments of Cleveland’s beloved athletic clubs. In three separate publications, Knight ranks the fifty greatest games in each franchise with entertaining accounts of each contest, properly placing them in the broad landscape of civic history.

Regardless of what the current editions of the Browns, Indians, and Cavaliers accomplish, every contest played is another chapter in an epos connecting each generation of fans to the ones before it. The Classic Cleveland series colorfully illustrates that regardless of today’s final score, the simple continuation of the saga is reason enough for reflection and celebration.

Classic Cavs counts down the fifty greatest Cleveland Cavaliers games, from their 67-loss inaugural NBA season in 1970–71 through their record-breaking 66-win campaign in 2008–9. The rich, four-decade history of the Cavs is woven into these tales, tying together the early games at rickety old Cleveland Arena, the incredible highs and heartbreaking lows played out at Richfield Coliseum, and the fierce battles waged at the “Q.”

Knight ranks last-second nail-biters alongside satisfying routs and postseason epics, from Michael Jordan’s franchise-altering shot to the phenomenon known as the Miracle of Richfield. Included in these pages are the heroics of Cavs greats like Bingo Smith, Austin Carr, World B. Free, Larry Nance, Craig Ehlo, Shawn Kemp, and LeBron James. Whether it was because of the score or an amazing individual performance, each game included in Classic Cavs is worth remembering and revisiting. Sure to spark interest and debate, Classic Cavs will appeal to Cavaliers fans everywhere.


A lifelong follower of Cleveland athletics, Jonathan Knight has written five books on Cleveland sports history and numerous articles. He has a degree from Ohio University’s E. W. Scripps School of Journalism and was an award-winning sportswriter in Columbus, Ohio. Knight currently manages communications for Franklin University.