<
>

Ultimate Standings 2009: No. 5

Last Year's Rank: 49
Title Track: 37
Ownership: 6
Coaching: 23
Players: 1
Fan Relations: 4
Affordability: 30
Stadium Experience: 14

Bang for the Buck: 15

The Cavaliers' spike in the Standings is thanks to the best regular-season record in the NBA and an even better effort to soften the burden on fans' wallets. While the club could have very easily upped the freight to see the most popular player in the league in Delonte West (we kid because we love), the team actually lowered the average fan cost per game this season by 12%. Cap costs were slashed from $16.75 to $13.99, programs from $10 to free, and average tickets inched down from $56.10 to $55.95. Remarkably, out of every team in this year's Standings, fans voted Cavalier players the most likeable. Why? Maybe it's because of the time Daniel Gibson and J.J. Hickson spent bowling with 18 Cleveland ninth-graders at Corner Alley last November. Or that February day when King James himself showed up to Holy Cross Elementary School and taught 26 lucky sixth-graders his yoga routine as part of the club's Fit as a Pro program. After the team fell short in the Conference finals versus the Magic this year, owner Dan Gilbert personally guaranteed he would deliver a championship to the title-starved city in the very near future. But if you-know-who walks as a free agent in the summer of 2010, the Cavaliers' next season may be their last grasp at any kind of a trophy for awhile.