I learned of some sad, sad news yesterday. The kind of news hat when you hear it, you just stop everything and sit there opened mouth making sure you read/heard it right. It takes your breath away the same a kick to the stomach does, the same as looking at an overweight gross women who wears a shirt just short enough for her fat rolls to hang out under her shirt and above her pants. I read the news at work and had to go to the bathroom to compose myself. It couldn’t be. I came back to see if I had read it wrong or it was a joke news story. Nope, the sentence still read the same:
Even though there’s been no announcement, the Cavaliers have waived swingman Billy Thomas. The transaction occurred on Sept. 8. After the signing of Delonte West on Friday, the Cavs now have 15 players under contract heading into the start of training camp. The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Thomas had a contract worth $826,269 for the 2008-09 season. But it wasn’t guaranteed.
It was just a few months ago when BILLY was brought back to the Cavs and signed a contract for the 2008-09 season. All was right in the world. Now, in an instant, he’s gone. Back in to the basketball world of uncertainty.
The fact that there was no announcement makes you wonder. Were the Cavs trying to sneak this one by their fans, especially the BILLY lovers of J Beanie? Did they know there would be an uproar (from four of us)? Why were the Cavs being sneaky? What are they trying to hide? Are they hoping if there isn’t announcement, no other team will know BILLY is a free agent again and won’t sign him in the hopes of bring him back to the team if someone gets injured? If that’s the case, let’s hope West and Sasha get hurt. I don’t like anyone to get hurt but I want BILLY on our team.
Now that BILLY is gone, we here at J Beanie will do our best to keep up with BILLY’s where abouts. He is back at what he knows best; struggling to find a team. I think he’ll either end up on another NBA team or play next season in Europe again. He’s done this his whole career and I know he’ll be fine. It’s just saying good-bye which is so hard.
As we morn the loss of such a good friend, good basketball player and favorite Cavalier since Mark Price, let’s look back on some memories and remember BILLY for what he was, a gunner who loved to shoot and a hero to us all.
We were first introduced to BILLY on Feb. 22, the day after the big trade, in a game against the Washington Wizards. Here’s what I said then…
But my favorite part of the whole game was Billy Thomas. The NBDLer didn’t take his NBA moment for granted. He fired up 11 three-point attempts. That’s pretty impressive especially since he only played 19 minutes. I love it. He only made three but that didn’t stop him from shooting. He said, I know I shouldn’t be playing right now but I also know I may never get to play meaningful NBA minutes again, I’m going for it. Good for him. Keep shooting, Billy, where ever you may be.
From Feb. 29…
As good as it will be to see Hughes suck it up for some other team, what I’m looking forward to the most is seeing Billy Thomas. Please, Mike Brown, if you have a soul and care for the fans of the Cavs, you will play Billy. Even if he doesn’t get in, there’s a good chance I’ll wait for him outside the arena to get his autograph. PLEASE PUT IN BILLY THOMAS.
From April 17…
Before the season finale last night, the Cavs made their smartest move of the year and it shocked and inspired every Cavs fan across this great nation. Midway through the third quarter against Detroit in a game which neither team cared about, guess made his triumphant return to the Wine and Gold. That’s right. BILLY FREAKIN’ THOMAS!!!!
The hero of this blog has been signed for the rest of the year, the playoffs, and get this, all of next year. This is the smartest move made by Danny Ferry since he took over as GM. BILLY is an inspiration who never gave up on his dreams. He can be the emotional power this team needs to rally around. During his two ten-day contracts at the end of February and early March, the Cavs went 4-2 with him on the team. Without BILLY, the Cavs were 11-11. In the playoffs, all you need to be is one game over .500 for the series and you move on. BILLY can make that happen.
When I saw BILLY THOMAS enter the game last night, I felt like had I just seen Santa putting my presents under the tree. My phone wasn’t on me so I ran upstairs to get it so I could send a message to dedicated blogger Rosie. He beat me to the punch. He was at the game and at 9:06, this is what he sent me: Holy FUCKING BILLY THOMAS! WHERE DID HE COME FROM. I GAVE HIM A STANDING O WHILE THE PEPS NEXT TO ME SAID WHO THE F IS THAT?
Two things can be derived from that text message. One, true Cavs fans are as excited about this as they were when the Cavs won the Eastern Conference last year, and two, the guys next to Rosie aren’t true Cavs fans.
If, and when the Cavs win the East again, much will be made about how LeBron did it with a mediocre cast and all the same boring story lines from last year. Some talk will be about how the trades finally paned out and the team gelled together when it mattered. All that will be true, but the real reason behind the Cavs repeating as Eastern Conference champions will be the presence of BILLY THOMAS.
From April 22…
LeBron made key plays down the stretch to win Game 1. Game 2 the Cavs just dominated. You can say the difference was the defense or Wally and Ben playing like it was 2003 or it was LBJ again, but I’ll tell you the difference. I think you all know what it is. Say it will me now… BILLY FREAKIN’ THOMAS. BILLY made an appearance last night its no coincidence the Cavs pounded the Wizards. The easy thinking is BILLY played because the Cavs were up so much. I disagree. I say, the Cavs were up by so much because BILLY played. But he only played the final four minutes, you say. I say, the threat of BILLY coming in the game was enough to scare the Wizards. BILLY’S mare presence on the bench was enough to intimidate the Wizards. Let’s look at BILLY’S stat line for the four minutes he played. Scored three points on 1-of-1 shooting and had an assist. Project that out over 25 minutes a game and that’s over 18 ppg and almost seven assists. I need to get me a BILLY THOMAS jersey.
From Graig on April 8…
You guys as GM would be a disaster. But you could make it up for it with one signing. New Indians closer…Billy Thomas.
From May 16…
Game 6 of the Boston-Cleveland series is tonight. Mr. Game 6 himself Daniel Gibson will not play. Gibson has been great in Game 6’s the last two years. This isn’t a good sign for the Cavs… or is it? With Boobie out of the line up, someone is going to have to get his minutes. It will probably be someone who hasn’t played any significant minutes. Someone who has been stuck on the end of the bench. Someone who can come off the bench, play the 2-guard position and be ready to shoot, and make, the 3-ball even though he hasn’t shot one in a game for about a month. You know who fits that description… that’s right… BILLY FREAKIN THOMAS. BILLY could dress tonight and should see the floor. The last time he shed his suit for shorts, he canned several big threes. He’s a gunner. He’s a shooter. He’s a winner. Put BILLY in. Give him a chance and he won’t let you down. This is BILLY FREAKIN THOMAS we are talking about. BILL-Y… BILL-Y…BILL-Y… and BILL-Y-THOM-AS, clap, clap, clap-clap-clap, should be what rings out in The Q tonight. Rosenberg, make this happen.
Oh the memories. If you can read that without crying, you are a better man than me. I’ll miss you BILLY. Thanks for the memories and I know there will be plenty more down the road. (I don’t think I’ve ever been this sad over a break-up before.)
Who knows, now that he is a free agent, maybe Team River City can sign him.
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