The Cavaliers play downtown, but they practise in the edge city of Independence in an ill-named facility called Cleveland Clinic Courts.

They built it for LeBron James, in order to shorten his drive in from Akron by 10 minutes.

Today, all the organization's survivors have to schlep out there every morning so that Dan Gilbert didn't pay $25 million for nothing.

At the entrance to the football-field sized practice courts, there's a memory wall. In a nice, Stalinesque touch, it includes only two pictures of James.

Lots of Brad Daugherty. A family album's worth. Two pictures of the best player in club (and perhaps league) history.

The team may be working to erase the recent past, but the fan base here can't forget the man until they've moved past him.

Winning NBA franchises generally fade out. After James left, the Cavaliers cut to black.

That's left a charged atmosphere behind, and precious little patience for rebuilding (the Browns and Indians not helping much in that regard).

Exhibit A — Brampton's Tristan Thompson.

Cleveland knew what they were getting when they took the lengthy University of Texas freshman fourth in the 2011 draft — an energetic defender, an athletic rebounder, a willing student and an offensive work in progress.