The Beginning Years
In 1970, Nike Mileti founded the Cleveland Cavaliers. The team had a rocky start and didn’t win any titles until 1976, when they won the Central Division title and went to the playoffs for the first time. In 1980, Mileti sold the franchise to Ted Stepien for $2 million. Under Stepien, they lost nearly $15 million in coaching changes, trades and drafts, and poor attendance from the team's fans. There is now a rule in place named the “Stepien Rule”, which bars teams from trading consecutive first round draft picks.
This led to financial turmoil and Stepien sold the team to George and Gordon Gund for $20 million. This purchase also allowed the Cavaliers to remain in the Richfield Coliseum, which was owned by the Gunds. The Cavaliers returned to the NBA playoffs in 1988 and the following season, achieving a record of 57 wins and only 25 losses, making it clear the Cleveland Cavaliers were on the rise.
Although the team did not win the finals, they still made it to the playoffs for five consecutive years in the early 1990s. After that, the team floundered and did not return to the NBA playoffs from 1998 to 2005. In 2005, the Cavaliers were bought by Dan Gilbert for a hefty price of $375 million. The following year, and largely thanks to LeBron James, the Cavaliers returned to the playoffs in 2006.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have only won one NBA championship in 2016 against the Golden State Warriors. The championship was a monumental victory for Cleveland, as they became the only team to come back from down 3-1 in the finals.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have been through a few different logos through the years.
1970 - 1974
In 1970, the Cleveland Cavaliers donned a yellow and red jersey with a feathered accent on the letter C to represent a Cavalier’s hat.
1974 - 1980
In 1974, the Cavalier’s jersey received an update and was a red jersey with yellow accents and block letters and numbers.
1980 - 1983
In 1980, the Cav’s jersey moved into a more monochromatic world with a tan jersey and wine red and white accents.
1983 - 1987
1983 saw yet another rendition of the Cavaliers’ jersey and this time it reflected the team’s logo. The jersey was red with the word CAVS on the chest and the V was turned into a basketball net.
1987 - 1994
In 1987, the Cavaliers’ jersey was inverted to a blue jersey with red letters and accents.
1994 - 1999
In 1994, the team donned a white jersey with a blue streak across the middle and the team's name in orange block letters on the chest.
1999 - 2003
In 1999, the Cavaliers’ wore a black jersey with red and blue accents.
2003 - 2010
In 2003, the team rocked a red jersey with a small font update for the team’s name on the chest.
2010 - 2017
By 2010, the Cavaliers chose to wear a yellow jersey with deep red accents.
2017 - Today
The jersey worn since 2017 is the most rustic yet. This jersey has “CAVS” in dark red font and yellow accents, with sharp looking numbers just below.