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Cavs owner Dan Gilbert is not pleased with LeBron James' decision

Jul 8, 2010, 11:30 PM EDT

In response to LeBron James’ decision to join the Miami Heat next season, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert has written a letter to fans of the Cleveland Cavaliers, which can currently be seen on the Cavaliers’ website. The tone of the letter was not pro-LeBron. Here are some excerpts:

As you now know, our former hero, who grew up in the very region that he deserted this evening, is no longer a Cleveland Cavalier. 
This was announced with a several day, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up culminating with a national TV special of his “decision” unlike anything ever “witnessed” in the history of sports and probably the history of entertainment…
…You have given so much and deserve so much more. 
In the meantime, I want to make one statement to you tonight: 
“I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER ‘KING’ WINS ONE” 
You can take it to the bank.
Some people think they should go to heaven but NOT have to die to get there. 
Sorry, but that’s simply not how it works. 
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. 
But the good news is that this heartless and callous action can only serve as the antidote to the so-called “curse” on Cleveland, Ohio. 

To read the full article on the Cavaliers’ website, click the above link. One thing is for sure; from the folks on the streets burning jerseys to billionaires, the city of Cleveland is not happy with LeBron James right now. 

  1. Joe - Jul 8, 2010 at 11:46 PM

    Is this guy serious?
    He’s a grow ass man. He made his decision on what was best for him and his family. He’s doesn’t owe Gilbert anything. Gilbert’s his boss and he’s a former employee. That’s it and that’s all.
    Anyone that is taking this much of the situation to heart that they are cursing the dude like this really needs to look in the mirror and check his own moral compass.

  2. Inwood - Jul 8, 2010 at 11:49 PM

    I don’t understand how Lebron is being disloyal? Gilbert was never able to even surround him with a competent team. He should blame himself before pointing the finger at LBJ. I also think it’s funny how all the angry Cleveland fans are calling him a traitor, but where the hell were they before he came along. Most of the so called “fans” didn’t sell out stadiums before LBJ came along, and they’ll probably abandon the Cavs next season once they go back to being bottom feeders.

  3. Me - Jul 8, 2010 at 11:51 PM

    Seriously, you’re really acting like everyone in Cleveland was going to be OK with this??? LMAO!
    He had do that, if anything to show those season ticket holders they need to keep their money in his company.

  4. Marley - Jul 8, 2010 at 11:55 PM

    This is the most unprofessional man I have ever seen. I can now see why LeBron had good reasons to WANT to move on to bigger and BETTER things. His words are simply disgusting and repulsive and it only makes The Cavaliers and Cleveland look bad. GREAT JOB Mr. Gilbert!

  5. shawneay - Jul 8, 2010 at 11:55 PM

    Dam Gilbert u can go straight to hell! have u forgotten that the nba is a business? since when did someone making the best decision for them become a crime? youre ridiculous & immature & this has rrally shown your true colors… that man has not one bad thing about the cavs or cleveland but u bash him & call him everything but a child of God?! jusg goes 2 show u that age doesnt have anything to do with maturity or wisdom. its cool because youll n out of a job n a yr or utwo tops anyway joker!

  6. RA - Jul 8, 2010 at 11:56 PM

    Well now Lebron can feel good about his decision. It is now at there for everyone to see that the Cavs owner cared only about Lebron as long as he did exactly what the owner wanted him to do. He now shows his true self as a classless, sore loser. He is also extremely immature to be in the position he is in. Gilbert you need to learn to move on and to ask someone other than your “yes” men when to publicly make a statement so the you don’t come off as an horses @ss.

  7. J - Jul 8, 2010 at 11:56 PM

    I certainly didn’t like the beyond narcissistic manner in which Lebron handled his decision, but I won’t fault the decision itself. If a player’s motivation for leaving a team is strictly about money or ego, fair enough. But if his goal is to win championships and he doesn’t believe that will ever happen where he is, then why should he stay?

  8. David C - Jul 8, 2010 at 11:56 PM

    I actually like it! Sure, a little over the top. But sports are emotional. Easy for “national” observers to scold Cleveland and Gilbert…..these are people who like the idea of Cleveland being uncompetitive losers.
    LeBron has the right to make any decision, obviously. But he does NOT have the right to brazenly and cruelly mock Cleveland and the Cavs by staging a ridiculous primetime “event” with his lapdogs from ESPN. That took it way over the line. Gilbert’s quite right to hit him back. It’s just a letter, does no harm. And of course a letter is a far cry from what LeBron’s doing. Sorry, people criticizing the victims here are the ones who need to check themselves.

  9. Flip - Jul 8, 2010 at 11:57 PM

    I think the letter was written from his heart and you can feel the anger when reading it. I don’t blame the owner for being peeved beyond belief. I don’t think he would have been nearly as mad if Lebron would have called him and told him his decision, instead of the silly television special.
    However the one thing I think he will regret is making the personal promise of delivering a championship before Lebron wins one. He is just setting himself up to have that thrown back in his face. I for one hope he pulls it off, but my gut tells me Lebron will probably win that bet.

  10. kyle s - Jul 8, 2010 at 11:58 PM

    there’s no excuse for going on national television to tell your hometown that you’re abandoning ship before you finish the job. gilbert may be crazy, but he’s right.

  11. Grumpy - Jul 8, 2010 at 11:59 PM

    This is just awesome. I thought i was done with the nba tonight but this will make me a Cavs fan forever no matter how awful they are or will be.
    Sports exist for the fans and should always be about the fans first. They are the ones who truely paid the bills. LBJ would be nothing if the fans didnt care about watching him play basketball.
    Tonight was nothing other than I am all about me and here is the finger to those of you who cared about me the last 7 years. People will just love me no matter where i go.
    Reminds me of the Brett Farve fiasco a couple of years ago when he dumped on the longtime packer faithful and signed with the hated Vikings.
    Sports stars are really not all that and should not take themselves so seriously.

  12. Kevin - Jul 9, 2010 at 12:01 AM

    Who would want to work for this man? This demonstrates what type of organization the Cavaliers operate and I would have left too. I’m sure leaving Cleveland was an easier decision than LeBron made it out to be if he had to deal with this type of executive leaderships at the Cavs. This guy should take notes from Pat Riley before he opens his mouth.

  13. Robozepp - Jul 9, 2010 at 12:04 AM

    1 word: WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!!

  14. Gary - Jul 9, 2010 at 12:05 AM

    Bottom line, LBJ can go where he wants. But, how it all came down really smells. Its clear that the three amigos had this planned for the last 3 years when they signed 3 year contracts and played together for USA. It was pure manipiulation. If Chicago had the cap space, they would all be in Chacago. Miami wasn’t the key. Whatever team had cap space was going to land all three as long as it was a big media market. Miami hasn’t been close to a championship team since 2006. Am wondering if Wade let Riley in on the three amigos plans sometime last year when Riley decided to shred contracts and not have many under contract for 2010?
    I’m guessing that Stern and several owners are quitely pissed off over this and will “take” back control under new collective bargainiong agreement. Have a feeling several agents don’t like it either. Bottom line, I expect majority of players around league will be hurt financially in the future due to this manipulation by three players. LBJ will no longer be in the conversation with Kobe, MJ, Bird, and Majec as best players all time even if he wins a few championships. MJ lost three years in row to Detroit and never thought about teaming up to win a championship. He went over them.

  15. willoughbymom - Jul 9, 2010 at 12:07 AM

    not one of you would accept that kind of treatment LBJ handed out, neither will gilbert. i’m glad gilbert’s not leaving cleveland.

  16. mjz - Jul 9, 2010 at 12:09 AM

    It’s okay Cleveland. Don’t cry over LaDouche. The boys in purple in gold will save the day.
    LAKERS 4EVA!!!

  17. sixerforlife - Jul 9, 2010 at 12:10 AM

    you could feel the anger in reading this, Bron Bron is going to have to move the family out of Ohio. I’ll be a Cavs fan for life if they win that bet. LOL

  18. Gary - Jul 9, 2010 at 12:10 AM

    Bottom line, LBJ can go where he wants. But, how it all came down really smells. Its clear that the three amigos had this planned for the last 3 years when they signed 3 year contracts and played together for USA. It was pure manipiulation. If Chicago had the cap space, they would all be in Chacago. Miami wasn’t the key. Whatever team had cap space was going to land all three as long as it was a big media market. Miami hasn’t been close to a championship team since 2006. Am wondering if Wade let Riley in on the three amigos plans sometime last year when Riley decided to shred contracts and not have many under contract for 2010?
    I’m guessing that Stern and several owners are quitely pissed off over this and will “take” back control under new collective bargainiong agreement. Have a feeling several agents don’t like it either. Bottom line, I expect majority of players around league will be hurt financially in the future due to this manipulation by three players. LBJ will no longer be in the conversation with Kobe, MJ, Bird, and Majec as best players all time even if he wins a few championships. MJ lost three years in row to Detroit and never thought about teaming up to win a championship. He went over them.

  19. KimH - Jul 9, 2010 at 12:10 AM

    Since when do owners have the moral high-ground on loyalty? LBJ was just exercising the same prerogative, in doing what’s best for his interests, as teams do when they unceremoniously trade a player, with little to no advance warning.
    Also… I’ll take you up on your retarded claim. I’ll wager ANYTHING you dare to put up, that LBJ and the Heat will win an NBA Championship before your now irrelevant Cavs. As a side bet, I’ll wager 100K, that the Heat win twice as many games as the Cavs, next season.
    GROW UP DAN GILBERT!!! If you can’t handle the business of the NBA, perhaps you should sell Avon products.

  20. vishaal - Jul 9, 2010 at 12:11 AM

    I love how all these idiots are trying to defend LeBron.
    It’s one thing if you’re gonna leave your long-suffering hometown. But after the Cavaliers did everything he wanted, he didn’t have the courtesy of saying, “Despite your best efforts, it saddens me to say that it’s impossible for me to stay in Cleveland if I wish to win multiple championships.”
    And to keep the city of Cleveland hostage (by the way I hate Cleveland fans) until publicly dismissing them in front of the world.
    Pathetic.
    D-Wade might be counting his fortunes right now, but I wonder if he’s aware two of his teammates are complete losers (Bosh who hasn’t done squat, and based off of the last 1+ last year, LeBron clearly)

  21. luffy - Jul 9, 2010 at 12:12 AM

    I agree that LBJ could go wherever he wants and the NBA is a business but thing is, he should’ve made the decision privately not in national television and let the Cleveland folks wait…
    and who to blame? friggin’ESPN! Could’ve done the deal like Boozer and Amare did but no, let’s do something that’d rock the world…
    Still… Boston-LA fianls next season, and Lakers will prevail, nothing can stop the 3peat…

  22. SMOOVE - Jul 9, 2010 at 12:16 AM

    TO ALL CLEVELAND CAVALIER FANS: BASKETBALL IS A 5 ON 5 TEAM SPORT. NO SINGLE, GREAT PLAYER WILL EVER WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP BY THEMSELVES! EVER! DURING LEBRON’S ANNOUNCEMENT, HE MADE REPEATED STATEMENTS ABOUT BEING A PART OF A “CHAMPIONSHIP ORGANIZATION.” FROM THE OWNER TO THE JANITORS, THAT’S WHAT MAKES UP A “CHAMPIONSHIP ORGANIZATION.” NOW LOOK AT THE CAVALIERS. LBJ HAS BEEN IN THE LEAGUE FOR 7 YEARS. NOW, LOOK AT THE ROSTER EACH YEAR FOR THE PAST 7 YEARS. HOW MANY OF THOSE YEARS DID THE CAVALIERS ACTUALLY FIELD A SERIOUS, CHAMPIONSHIP CALIBER ROSTER? NEVER! NEVER! NEVER! NEVER! LBJ HAS NEVER PLAYED WITH AN ABOVE AVERAGE PLAYER OR LEGIT NBA ALLSTAR SINCE COMING IN TO THE NBA. THE CAVALIERS WERE YEARS AND NUMEROUS TRADES AWAY FROM BEING A CONTENDER…..IF THEY WOULD HAVE EVER BEEN ONE! QUESTION, WHY WERENT THE CAVALIERS TRYING TO CLEAR CAP SPACE IN AN EFFORT TO TRY AND BRING ONE OF THE BIG NAME FREE AGENTS TO CLEVELAND TO PLAY WITH LBJ?

  23. Inwood - Jul 9, 2010 at 12:19 AM

    I can understand Gilbert’s anger b/c the value of his team is probably 1/4 of what it was last year, but he needs to show a little more professionalism. You would think the owner of a multimillion dollar franchise would be able to show a little more restraint.

  24. Ramon - Jul 9, 2010 at 12:19 AM

    the NBA is a business. When the contract runs out the contract runs out. LeBron can go where ever he wants to. To Miami because DWade and CB are both there and it made good business sense for him to go to a team which can truly compete for a championship. Even if he did leave more money by going to Miami he can make it up in endorsements once they do get win the championship…So LBJ is thinking for the future.
    Mr. Gilbert should grow up. he was not able to give LBJ any incentive basketball-wise to stay, instead appealing to his emotions and “loyalty”…he wanted LBJ to stay even if he could not win with the Cavs just so he can continue to sell out games…LBJ did what was best for LBJ and not Mr. Gilbert.

  25. Mel - Jul 9, 2010 at 12:20 AM

    Gilbert may have spoken from his heart but he didn’t use his head. He should have slept on it. He reacted rather than acted. My question is where was all the effort to bring in another quality player. We have watched all the other entries in this bidding war add players to the mix, and if Lebron stayed he would have had the same team as last year… Good… but not good enough.. I wanted him to stay, but do not curse him for leaving. He doesn’t need the money and he does want a championship..

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