July 8th, 2010 at 11:33 PM ^


I wouldn't take much confidence in this guarantee, since he couldn't find a way to win a championship while he had Lebron on his team.

willis j

July 9th, 2010 at 8:06 AM ^

nobody wants to be in this shitty town. I love his enthusiasm though. But you cant really blame Gilbert for not winning. He put the pieces in place. Two years in a row the best record in the league and totally tanking in the playoffs. That falls on the coaching and players.

They should have been able to at least get to the finals and be competitive.


July 9th, 2010 at 4:32 PM ^

I think it's entirely justified to blame Gilbert.  He bought the Cavs when their value was very high - they were already considered an emerging force that just needed a few roster tweaks.  Gilbert failed to deliver those necessary tweaks.  I don't agree that he "put the pieces in place."  Take a look at the players LeBron has had around him the past few years.  Do you really think they were a championship-caliber supporting cast?  And hiring a bum like Mike Brown and keeping him employed for years falls right on Gilbert's lap. 

Gilbert's comments are incredibly self-serving.  He is accusing LeBron of doing everything Gilbert tried to get Tom Izzo to do (abandon his home community and team, etc.).  He inherited a great hand from the previous owner and has blown his window of opportunity.  And now, with these comments, he sounds like a lunatic.  NBA free agents are not going to want to play for him.  He'll be shunned like the Bulls were after 1998, when Jerry Krause forced everyone out the door.  I bet in the long run, Gilbert's ownership will be viewed as a disaster.


July 8th, 2010 at 11:34 PM ^

Dan Gilbert needs to shut up. He failed to reel in the biggest Cleveland star since Jim Brown. It's over. You can't win anymore. The cavs are DOA. I admire his courage in the face of the firing squad, but he's still facing the firing squad...


July 8th, 2010 at 11:35 PM ^

Rarely do you see such a show of emotion in a buttoned tight corporate world such as the NBA.  Wow.  I'm a little impressed...And yet so happy it is happening to Ohio. 


July 8th, 2010 at 11:36 PM ^

Stay classy Dan Gilbert. I hope that anyone that reads this immediately rolls their eyes and makes a motion with their hand that simulates jacking off. That entire statement is comical and also typical of Cleveland.


July 9th, 2010 at 6:25 AM ^

Ha...as they say on EDSBS: "MDWM" (Makes Dismissive Wanking Motion).

Logical people would wish Lebron well and thank him for making Cleveland a legitimate team, but it was obvious this type of reaction coming. I mean, these are fans we're talking about. Not exactly rational beings.


July 8th, 2010 at 11:36 PM ^

The good news is that the ownership team and the rest of the hard-working, loyal, and driven staff over here at your hometown Cavaliers have not betrayed you nor NEVER will betray you.

Dan, about that whole doubt negative thing we were trying to teach you...


July 8th, 2010 at 11:37 PM ^

if smack-talk is involved, I fully applaude.  Is it childish?  Poor sportsmanship?  Absolutely on both counts.  Is it delcious?  Very.

R Kelly

July 9th, 2010 at 7:35 AM ^

I'm a Packer fan, it has to be the Cav's.  At least Brett was 75 years old and probably didn't have very many years left, while Aaron Rodgers was looking very promising.  Lebron is only 25, Cleveland was expecting another decade of greatness from him.


July 8th, 2010 at 11:41 PM ^

I don't believe this is from Dan Gilbert.  I think someone hacked this website.  He flat out insults Lebron James.  I don't think anyone person who runs an organization would do that.  This letter is a fake. 


July 8th, 2010 at 11:50 PM ^

ESPN verified it.  It's Gilbert.

And, I think it's fantastic.  No love for Ohio or Cleveland here, but this whole thing was an atrocious display on LBJ's part.  He didn't even call and talk to Gilbert or explain the decision before he made it on television.  That seems like a pretty common courtesy, but I digress.  I think people in Cleveland aren't just mad about this, they're pretty hurt too.  For an owner...a "buttoned-up corporate type" as someone described above...to recognize that and not issue some vanilla "we're disappointed" statement, but instead try and identify with and rally his fans, is refreshing.  Good for him.


July 9th, 2010 at 12:03 AM ^

As you said ESPN has confirmed it.

Allow me to retort to your comments, in a friendly difference of opinion (although I know I'm going to get Neg Bombed b/c I always do when I differ from the majority but so be it).

Lebron James is a former employee of Dan Gilbert.  No matter how much money, or fame or publicity is put on the situation, LBJ was at once a contracted employee to Dan Gilbert's company. 

And so it is completely out of bounds for a former employer to publicaly insult a former employee in this manner.  Not to mention classless, but that is beside the point.  Gilbert has no right to use such extreme language when talking about an employee who is half his age, and is working in a profession that is solely for the purpose of entertainment.  Nobody died here, the people of Cleveland didn't lose half their city like New Orleans did.  There needs to be perspective. 

The only thing that happened tonight that hurt anyone is that Dan Gilbert's franchise lost half of its value.  He is the only one that was hurt. 

Frankly (and here is where I really get the Neg bomb) Dan Gilbert owes Lebron James an apology for that open letter.   

Just a fellow Wolverine's opinion. 

(I'm still glad it happened to Ohio) 


July 9th, 2010 at 12:20 AM ^

I understand, we just disagree.  I think almost the entire Cavaliers fanbase would disagree that Dan Gilbert was the only one that was hurt.  I don't read that letter as "crybaby."  I read it as push back against the spectacle that LBJ just put the franchise and fanbase through.  As a fan, when your team loses a star, let alone a super star, it's going to hurt.  When it lose him on national television following a two year process that can best be described as a pathetic stunt, it's going to hurt a lot more.  And, when you're Cleveland and haven't won a championship in anything in a generation (plus), it's hurts even more.  I think Dan Gilbert knows his fans pretty well and had that in mind when he wrote it.

I understand the notion that "he's just a former employee" but that's a pretty watered down, simplistic description in this case.  LBJ wasn't just some employee to this franchise and I think there's no chance he was treated like just some employee by that organization.  I'd bet he was treated like royalty (no pun intended) and that they bent over backwards to keep him happy.  No, they didn't get over the hump, but they weren't indifferent to that fact - we're not talking about Donald Sterling and the Clippers here.  As far as I know, Gilbert never got any outreach from LBJ to tell him he was leaving or why before tonight's ridiculous show.  I've never heard of bad blood between LBJ and Gilbert, so I can't imagine any excuse for not giving Gilbert that courtesy...well...other than the fact that you don't want the surprise decision to leak before your one hour primetime special.  I think, at the very least, LBJ owed them that courtesy.  He chose to build his brand instead, and Gilbert gave back to LBJ just what he deserved.  He humiliated (maybe that's too strong a word) Cleveland throughout the process and especially tonight. 

(And, I too am still glad it happened in Ohio)


July 9th, 2010 at 8:51 AM ^

Completely understand your point of view. Your employee/employer references intimates that you're looking at this through a sports-as-a-business lens, which isn't incorrect. But I think the reason that I like Gilbert's letter so much is that I like sports-as-sports and love the emotion that comes with it, raw and unfiltered. His response tries to plant a flag in the ground and reclaim some territory for those of us that aren't thrilled with the incessant business-like nature of sports franchises.

That may be a bit ironic considering Gilbert's prowess as a businessman, but on the other hand, you could argue that it's especially pointed coming from him. He would never do something like this with an employee at Rock Financial or whatever, and that's the point, I guess. Sports is different and special.


July 9th, 2010 at 11:13 AM ^

...the more I think it's genius.  He's not writing to LeBron.  He's not writing to America, who thinks he's a douche now.  He's writing to his fan base.  His season ticket holders.  The guys he has to convince to still fill the arena.  And they all feel exactly the same way.


July 8th, 2010 at 11:51 PM ^

or it wouldnt still be up over 30 minutes after this thread was posted. It does sound rediculous coming from an owner of a team and maybe if he had put that passion into building a team around lebron he wouldnt be in this position.


July 8th, 2010 at 11:53 PM ^

"This shocking act of disloyalty from our home grown "chosen one" sends the exact opposite lesson of what we would want our children to learn. And "who" we would want them to grow-up to become."

-Danny G


"I just went where I thought I'd be happy" -LBJ

Boom. wasted


July 8th, 2010 at 11:53 PM ^

Dan Gilbert, Michigan State University alumnus, said this?  That's unpossible.  Any former member of that fine institution would have to be classier than that.


July 9th, 2010 at 1:26 PM ^

... this is a great point.  If you read the story on ESPN where Gilbert further rips LeBron, he must have known for some time that LeBron wasn't staying. I wonder what Gilbert told Izzo about this while he was wooing him?

Izzo is lucky he stayed.  Cleveland is one jacked-up sports city, it makes Detroit seem sterling by comparison.  And East Lansing and basketball is like nirvana.  When you hear some of the callers from Cleveland slam LeBron, it sounds pathetic.  Just like the video.  

No decent NBA free agent will go to Cleveland, particularly after reading Gilbert's letter.  The Cavs are sunk for years.    

Sgt. Wolverine

July 9th, 2010 at 12:22 AM ^

"narcissistic, self-promotional build-up" is a great description of the LeCircus of the past few days.  I don't know how wise it was to publish the letter as a whole, but that particular phrase is spot-on.