In the years following their 1998 first-round playoff loss to the Indiana Pacers
, the Cavaliers dropped to the bottom of the league and became a perennial entrant in the annual NBA Draft Lottery
. The franchise's freefall bottomed out during the 2002-03
season, as the Cavs fell to a 17-65 record, tied with the Denver Nuggets
for the league's worst.
However, the fortunes of the franchise shifted dramatically in May 2003, when the Cavs won the first overall pick in the draft lottery. The Cavaliers selected high school phenomenon LeBron James
from St. Vincent-St. Mary High School
in nearby Akron
, providing the team with a centerpiece player around which to build.
The Cavs revised their look for the 2003-04 season, introducing a new logo and a variation on the wine and gold color scheme used by the club during the 1970s. Dark blue was also added as a trim color.
Despite James being with Cleveland for the first season, Cleveland still did not make the playoffs, still needing improvement.
- Facing the Sacramento Kings in his first NBA game, LeBron James recorded 25 points, 9 assists, 6 rebounds, and 4 steals and shooting 60% from the field. After recording a season-high 41 points against the New Jersey Nets, James became the youngest player in league history to score 40 points in a game.......