A friend who is not from Cleveland sent me a text message this week.
He wrote: Dion Waiters thinks Cavs are a 6-seed next year.
I responded: Yeah I saw that.
He then added two of those cartoon emoticons to suggest he was laughing so hard he was crying.
I then concluded the conversation with: I think it's awesome DW said that.
The quotes we were discussing--in case you missed it while consumed in NBA Draft, NBA Finals and Larry Nance Jr. talk--were published on Thursday.
Dion Waiters was celebrity judging a dunk contest in Philadelphia. A reporter asked him how good he thought the Cavaliers would be next season.
His response was as follows according to Jake Fisher at SLAMonline.com.
“We don’t want to settle for no 7- or 8-seed,” Waiters said. “We could probably be a 6-seed or something like that. We just got to work hard and believe in each other and have each other’s backs and just play.”
When asked what he thinks the Cavs will do with the No. 1 pick, Waiters said, “I don’t know; I’m not sure. I haven’t talked to anybody on the team about it. But we definitely want somebody who’s a winner and is going to come in and help us win.”
People who don't live in Cleveland, like my friend, might not fully understand why Cavs fans could appreciate this type of commentary.
Is the No. 6 seed realistic in 2013-14? Who knows and who cares at this point. What's important, at least to me, is that Waiters believes in himself and his teammates enough to go on the record and suggest as much.
I'm not trying to come off all Rhonda Byrne-ish here either, but this type of attitude is where actual winning begins.
In the modern discussion of assets and salary caps, the winning mentality is often undervalued. The sum total of assets an NBA team eventually acquires needs to also include people like Waiters who are not interested in asking permission to be good.
One season together was enough for Dion to believe in the direction of the Cavaliers' organization. Right or wrong, he is supremely confident that his team can compete with anyone in the League.
While others might wonder if the Cavs would be actually able to outplay five teams from the group of Miami, Indiana, New York, Chicago, Brooklyn (that's five), Boston, Atlanta, Milwaukee, Toronto, or Philly to actually earn the No. 6 seed, Dion's just worrying about Cleveland.
Here's hoping whoever the Cavs do select with the No. 1 pick, whether it's Noel, Porter, McLemore, Len or somebody else entirely, feels the same way.