Originally written on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 1/25/13

NEW ORLEANS - JUNE 29: New Orleans Hornets Head Coach Byron Scott addresses the media at a press conference for Julian Wright, the 13th overall draft pick in the 2007 NBA Draft at the Dreyads YMCA June 29, 2007 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the term and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2007 NBAE (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)
You might not have been at the Renaissance Hotel located in downtown Cleveland last night, but five of us from Waiting For Next Year were there for you — Rick, Scott, TD, Jon Cole and I. Earlier this morning, I shared with you some of the highlights in narrative form. But now it’s something a bit more. Thus, courtesy of Jon Cole’s awesome photographic skills and our media permission from the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, we are honored to share with you a look inside the incredible spectacle that is the 2012 Sports Awards. We hope you enjoy the gallery and we look forward to seeing you there next year. What gallery is complete without the Cavalier girls? They were perusing the crowd during the cocktail reception, with many pictures being taken such as this.     Here are some of the many auction items on display, and a little look at the early crowd in the cocktail reception area. It got much more crowded after this. For good measure, the requisite shot of the WFNY logo on the giant sponsorship screen located at the cocktail reception. The entertainer of the night, as he’s been his entire career, was Cleveland native Don King. As Scott tweeted, you think you’re well-dressed going into a fancy night like this, then you see him. Sir C.C. was there, along with Moondog, Chomps, Slider and plenty of other mascots. Nice shot here, Jon, of C.C. and I. Larry Nance hopped on Cleveland.com’s streaming radio last night with Dan Labbe and Glenn Moore (not pictured). Hard to miss the once-6-foot-10 Nance in a crowd. Austin Carr is always a crowd-pleaser, and here he shared moment on the air with TV 20′s Christian Patterson.   Unsurprisingly, Jimmy Haslam III again was clad in his usual blue shirt and orange tie. He always was quick to introduce his wife Dee to any fan he met. And I had a chance to chat with him briefly during the cocktail reception about the importance of events like this. That’s the money shot, Jon. One last shot of the reception: I chatted with Cavs’ broadcaster John Michael on the positives he’s seen from the Cavaliers over the last month. As many others tweeted, Kyrie Irving was backstage calling more friends and family shortly after receiving the news about his All-Star selection. Now, on with the show. Scott Van Pelt was the delightful host, and here he was delivering his opening monologue. The second award of the night was Professional Athlete of the Year, which GM Chris Grant and head coach Byron Scott presented to Cavs star Kyrie Irving. He’s still only 20, folks. Haslam has a mighty firm handshake. And along with former Brown Eric Metcalf, he helped present the Lifetime Achievement Award to the team’s current broadcaster Doug Dieken. Can’t get away with a post like this without the obligatory shots of Mayor Frank Jackson and the Fox Sports Ohio Girls. Not going into politics. Just trying to be a bit of paparazzi. New Browns coach Rob Chudzinski presented the Cleveland Clinic’s Courage Award to Molly Miller, a 14-year-old cancer survivor. Miller’s father passed away from cancer in 2009 and was Chudzinski’s childhood best friend. Urban Meyer, who just like last year on this stage still hasn’t lost as a Buckeye head coach, presented the Collegiate Athlete of the Year honor to the Kent State University baseball team. Did I mention yet how Don King was the entertainer of the night? He continued to ramble on stage, even with Cleveland State head coach Gary Waters at his side, while making some closing remarks to end the evening. Once again, thank you to the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission from all of us at WFNY. Scott, Rick and I had this fun shot taken by Jon during the reception. We never were able to get all 5 of us together at one time — but I can promise you, we all are real Internet people who truly love Cleveland sports. – (Photos: Jon Cole/WFNY)
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