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James reportedly "furious" over Gilbert's letter

Jul 9, 2010, 6:58 PM EDT

After LeBron James announced he was going to sign with the Miami Heat on Thursday night, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert wrote a scathing open letter to Cavalier fans regarding James’ departure

According to Brian Windhorst of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the letter did not go unnoticed by James:
This is obvious, but word is LeBron furious over Gilbert letter. This feud isn’t over, whether it expands now depends on if LJ responds.
The Cavs-Heat rivalry was already going to be something to watch next season. If there’s animosity on both sides, this could get ugly and explosive yet. LeBron James may be done playing for Cleveland, but something tells me that it will take James and Cleveland a long time to sort out their unfinished business. 
290 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Josh - Jul 10, 2010 at 4:08 AM

    Sorry Cleveland, it is just so funny to see Lebron set you up and smack you down like that. PWNED. Cleveland was just BEGGING for it, right? The governor (the governer of OHIO!!) actually SINGING, begging Lebron to stay. A grown man, singing a song to Lebron. I mean, probably to get votes, but still, how can Lebron stay in Cleveland with all that stupidity? Wouldn’t that make you uncomfortable? *jeez* What kind of stupid second rate state is Ohio anyways? Would we ever see Arnold, the governator, SINGING a rap song begging Kobe to stay on the Lakers? The level of retardation is just staggering. So yeah, Cleveland was just begging for it, and Lebron took them on TV and gave them what they apparently really wanted, which was to be humiliated completely, hurt, abandoned and then to go back to feeling sorry for themselves. *uhhhhhhh*

  2. Jake - Jul 10, 2010 at 4:11 AM

    Sorry Cleveland, it is just so funny to see Lebron set you up and smack you down like that. PWNED. Cleveland was just BEGGING for it, right? The governor (the governer of OHIO!!) actually SINGING, begging Lebron to stay. A grown man, singing a song to Lebron. I mean, probably to get votes, but still, how can Lebron stay in Cleveland with all that stupidity? Wouldn’t that make you uncomfortable? *jeez* What kind of stupid second rate state is Ohio anyways? Would we ever see Arnold, the governator, SINGING a rap song begging Kobe to stay on the Lakers? The level of retardation is just staggering. So yeah, Cleveland was just begging for it, and Lebron took them on TV and gave them what they apparently really wanted, which was to be humiliated completely, hurt, abandoned and then to go back to feeling sorry for themselves. *uhhhhhhh*

  3. Larry - Jul 10, 2010 at 4:16 AM

    LOL, I see Miami fans are defending LeQuitter. Ya know, he has become the least respected player in the NBA across this country because of the fiasco he pulled last night. Read and weep LeQuitter and you Miami fans:
    Go ahead and enable this little kid. What I found hilarious is that for the FIRST time in 7 years, I heard LeQuitter mention God. What a joke!!!

  4. MjB - Jul 10, 2010 at 4:19 AM

    Thanks Lebaron for all you gave back to community $$$ or in your case little to nothing. I know how tough it is with the economy and all. I wonder if Bill Gates left town would people be out along the roadways holding up signs “don’t leave Bill”.
    No hard feeling, and North East Ohio would like to give the “forgotten one” a going away gift, a box of tissues; directions not included, maybe mama can help. Sweet Judy I almost forgot the best part of all, gloria james is moving too!

  5. mr.g - Jul 10, 2010 at 4:25 AM

    thank u for not crying like that owner and telling it like it is. tell them (the fans) time heals. i will send the owner some depends when he pays me the salary that he needs to make his babyball team better!

  6. Larry - Jul 10, 2010 at 4:26 AM

    BTW, Gilbert’s letter was perfect. LeQuitter did fold in the Boston series. How many turnovers did he have? Probably more than he had all season. Intentional? I think most savvy fans realize that this whole fiasco has been planned for years. If anyone believes that LeQuitter actually asked Bosh to play in Cleveland, I have some swamp land in Florida for sale…right near Miami…LOL.

  7. Larry - Jul 10, 2010 at 4:35 AM

    To I_HATE_HILLBILLIES: I would rather be seen as a hillbilly than a swamp rat from Florida. You guys are classless and have no sense of true values such as loyalty, perseverence and honesty.
    LeQuiiter played with his ex-fans emotions throughout this whole process. He knew where he was going. That crap about talking to his mom that morning and making up his mind for sure was so laughable.
    Hey, a new name for LeQuitter: SwampRat!

  8. Roderick - Jul 10, 2010 at 5:03 AM

    First let me say I live in Dallas, however, I grew up in Cleveland and am still a big fan of Cleveland sports. My thoughts are that the man gave us six years to put something together to win a championship….we failed to do it and Lebron couldn’t get it done with the supporting cast. That tells me two things, 1)LeBrone recognize what we all recognize and that is that he simply is not good enough to win a championship with him being the sole focal point (My hat off to Hakeem,Magic, Bird, Jordan, Koby) 2) Next it tells me that Cleveland had six years to recognize this and address it and they did not (The answer was to bring in a 99 year old shaq..what I said it when they first signed him).
    I love my home town but the truth of the matter (don’t give me any crap about this because I spent 25 years on the lake front and suffered like everybody else) is that Cleveland is and always have been a hard luck story place. The sport team owners prefer to fleece the fans rather then spend the money necessary to put the right parts in place. The always look for the cheap way out. They paid Lebron and shopped at K-mart for his teammates. Get serious about a championship and not just lip service, reach into your pocket and spend money like the yankees have been doing for 30 years. If not, then shut the hell up and let cities that know how to put it together be about their business you bunch of losers!!

  9. Thomas - Jul 10, 2010 at 5:14 AM

    This is too funny to me.. Here’s my take on the whole thing. I’ll say this from the start, there were many things LeBron could have done better but those things are mere semantics compared to the real issues surrounding this situation.
    Chicago – LeBron couldn’t go there because no one in their right mind would want to live in MJ’s shadow everyday (NO ONE)… MJ wouldn’t come back to live in the shadow of his own legacy in that city.
    New York – LeBron is notoriously big on ownership and he doesn’t like or trust Dolan
    New Jersey – Although he loves the ownership, the team is far worse than Cleveland’s supporting cast with no guarantees of improving.
    This leaves Cleveland and Miami… There are several reasons why LeBron had to leave Cleveland but let’s touch on one big one (#1) but I want to focus on basketball (#2).
    1. The ENTIRE team and front office knew about his mom and Delonte West. Making him the laughing stock of the team behind his back.
    2. LeBron just completed his 2nd contract with the Cavs and during that 7 year period the team has refused to get him any significant help. Last season he begged for Amare Stoudemire and they refused and brought in Jamison (go Heels)… This has been consistent for 7 years. The point is that as they are trying to convince Lebron that “things will be different this time” and “we are committed to winning” – what exactly did they do to show him?!? NOTHING!!! The Knicks signed Stoudemire, the Bulls signed Boozer but the Cavs, who needed to dramatically show this guy their commitment to winning, chose to stand pat… and they are now upset because he didn’t “trust” them this time.
    Miami was clearly the best business decision for LeBron to make. He could have easily decided to stay home but they lost his confidence. Also, on the whole D-Wade team issue… this is the most BS issue out there and I’ll prove it.. How many HALL OF FAME caliber players did these great players play with & won championships…
    Bird – Parrish, McHale, Johnson, Bob McAdoo
    Magic – Kareem, Worthy, Cooper, Scott
    Jordon – Pippen, Rodman
    Barkley – Dr. J, Moses Malone, Maurice Cheeks, Olajuwon, Drexler (no rings for Barkley)
    Russell – TOO MANY TO LIST – you know the names
    Wilt – See Bill Russell
    I could go on but I hope you get my point.. I understand the argument that most of these guys stayed with the teams that drafted them but you must understand that the Cavs did not do their part in bringing him quality players. This is the reciprocity in that relationship. LeBron is used to winning and he got tired of losing because his teammates were avg or once great players well past their prime. Beyond those examples, let me remind you of the opposite… Who remembers that Vince Carter and T-Mac once made a GREAT tandem in Toronto and were building a championship contender but T-Mac had a need to be “the man” on his own team. What happened as a result of that move?!? Another example was Stephon Marbury leaving Minnesota when he and KG were young gunners in their prime ready to take over the league but he wanted to be the man on his team.
    If LeBron stayed in Cleveland for another contract he would be in year 12 of a career filled with great numbers and no championships. At that point everyone would be fine with him trying to FINALLY go somewhere else to get it as soooo many others had done when they were well past their prime. If these 3 guys decided to get together at that point, they would all be 30+ and not the same athletes they are today and everyone would be wondering “WHAT IF”. This was a golden opportunity in their prime to do something great. He decided to take control of his career knowing that the Cavs could have traded him at any point they felt he wasn’t living up to his salary. Hearing what Dan Gilbert had to say, I’m sure LeBron was well aware of his feelings or at least heard something about it. Remember the whole thing about the ownership being high on his list. Exactly!!
    Another thing… Let me remind you of 3 NBA Hall of Famers that were once the man on their own team and got nowhere… Pierce, Ray Allen, Garnett.. I’m sure they wish they would have done this sooner.

  10. Thomas - Jul 10, 2010 at 5:31 AM

    This is my point exactly.. you are mistaken that these guys did it by themselves… please take a look at my post. All of these guys were surrounded by other hall of famers. nobody wins championships by themselves. it’s just not possible. we remember the names but we forget that they had BIG help.
    LeBron has Boobie Gibson, Anderson Verujuo, Delonte West, etc.. He did get an old Shaq that was a decent amount of help. Kobe won most of his rings on “Shaq’s team” and his current supporting cast, while not blessed with fellow hall of famers, is FAR better than what they gave LeBron in Cleveland. Pau Gasol was once the man on his own team, Derrick Fisher, Lamar Odom… LeBron could at least compete with them. Perfect example… when Kobe got hurt.. I think his team when something like 11-1 (not exact) but they won MANY games. Can’t discount the impact of the coaching on the team’s success either. Phil Jackson is the greatest coach EVER in the league. Sorry Red, but it’s true.

  11. ImBetter - Jul 10, 2010 at 5:32 AM

    You obviously do not know anything of what you are talking about. You are not from NE Ohio. I AM by the way. Everyone who is not from NE Ohio commenting obviously has no idea what they are talking about. Most Ohio people and especially Cleveland people are not really mad at Lebron for leaving. Most of us are mad because of the way that he did it. He could have done it in a classier way, but he decided to make a spectacle of himself and drag Ohioans especially Cleveland in this ridiculous TV special and humiliate Cleveland for it. This whole TV special was so egotistical. Would Michael Jordan do that? NO! Would Magic Johnson do that? NO! Would Larry Bird do that? NO! NBA players use a press release and would not create this whole process like he did. Michael Jordan also never referred to himself in third person either which seems to be Lebron’s favorite way to refer to himself but thats another argument. Yeah Cleveland is a hard city, which is why he was so important here. Akron can be hard to and they treated him the same as Cleveland because it was one in the same. He gave people a reason to keep there chin up and to keep moving. After all these years it turns out that he didn’t care about the people here at all. He was truly the only hero the people around here had it wasn’t just about the economic influence he had. He truly was the name of this city and as long as he played basketball and won people could have some hope. It is they way he has left that hurts people here the most because they feel like there hero abandoned them. There is no star in this country that could have been treated as closely to a superhero as Lebron was treated in Cleveland and pretty much all of Ohio. He has ruined everything with the cold and hurtful way that he left. Yes we take it personal and it might be ridiculous to people that are not from here but that is just it you do not understand.

  12. Thomas - Jul 10, 2010 at 5:44 AM

    CORRECTION – Lakers went 5-1 without Kobe in February 2010.. my point is that the Cavs would go (sorry, would have gone) 0-10 if they play 6 games without LeBron. I’m being funny but that’s just the fact of the situation.

  13. Larry - Jul 10, 2010 at 6:19 AM

    Thomas, obviously, you didn’t follow the Cavs. Hmm, you are missing a few players like Z, Mo, Antoine to name a few. Those are quality players and they did well when LeQuitter rested. Gibson didn’t even play that much this year and West would come off the bench. He was a good 7th man when he was on. Why not try to list a few starters, moron.

  14. Jay - Jul 10, 2010 at 6:30 AM

    GET REAL!!!
    1.The owner is mad because he no longer has cash flow from LB.
    2.There wasn’t any effort to bring in talent to win the ring.
    3.LB was villified upon coming out of HS by the Cleveland people including his mother.Then he wins and is given the “KING”. Hypocrites!!
    4.If your a true sportsfan you still respect his talents regardless where he plays.
    5.Everyone knew that his contract was due to expire. Just because of locality that is suppose to make someone stay in the business of winner and the chance of a ring is a bit less likely then other teams? You expect him to stay? It like Barry Sanders doing all that rushing and never never getting the Superbowl ring.
    6. Im sure the owner has made deals in being a businessman that he bought or sold with certain partners vs others. How is this any different than LB, beside his TV airing? REALLY?
    Cleveland fans are upset that what was the currently best major team to bring some glory and bling to the city has departed on the train south or could of been anywhere.
    KARMA; Gilberts hateful words have done nothing more but encite more of the curse for the city. LB’s TV thing a bit goofy but no ill feelings. But that owner! You’ll have even more of lifetime of hurt with your words toward LB. You just should of taken a higher road and said you’ll be missed tremedeously and kept that negative BS to yourself. Because it was LB’s Way and not the owners or fans Way he’s the Villian. Sounds like LB was really that city’s puppet on their terms …ok Boy you go jump real high and win us that trophy over there and bring back to us. You do as I say til I tell you different”!

  15. chatdizzle - Jul 10, 2010 at 6:41 AM

    To call yourself Darrin is an insult to Elizabeth Montgomery. You obviously hav’nt an inkling as to what it means to be married to a witch. Your daughter Tabitha would be so disappointed. lol ;)…

  16. Anonymous - Jul 10, 2010 at 6:46 AM

    LOL, Jay, they had talent. You guys are deluded to buy into LeQuitters take on this team. They didn’t win 60 games only because they had LeQuitter. Maybe the rest of the Cavs weren’t egomaniacs that needed the league to take notice but LeQuitter wasn’t the only good player on the Cavs.
    In all the games they played and their averages
    1 LeBron James 29.7
    2 Antawn Jamison 15.8
    3 Mo Williams 15.8
    4 Shaquille O’Neal 12.0
    5 Sebastian Telfair 9.8
    6 Delonte West 8.8
    7 Anderson Varejao 8.6
    8 J.J. Hickson 8.5
    9 Zydrunas Ilgauskas 7.4

  17. chatdizzle - Jul 10, 2010 at 6:58 AM

    So what’s your problem, if the point is that they did not win the 60 games because of Lebron, then they should be able to win 60 games without him. It’s too easy…right?

  18. RW - Jul 10, 2010 at 6:58 AM

    Where’s David Stern? The Cavs owner bashes a player, publicly and there’s no response from the league. What would have happened if Lebron had talked about the Cavs owner? Answer, he would have been fined. People open your eyes, this is the same team that fired a coach which had the best record, for the past two years. Like him or not, the owner fired him, for selfish reasons. Where was the loalty there? The Cavs owner, better hope that he can sign another star. If I was a player, I would never sign with an owner like that. What will he say about the next guy, if he would bash a player, that built his kingdom. I guess that is the reason they called him the king. I look forward to watching 631 degrees of Heat.

  19. Nick - Jul 10, 2010 at 7:03 AM

    Trust me, there will be violence when the Heat visit the Cavs next fall.
    OK by me.
    Sometimes violence serves justice.
    The Bad Boy Heat gets cut down by the heroic Cavs.
    Can’t wait for the bang bang.

  20. in FLORIDA - Jul 10, 2010 at 7:05 AM

    talk about delusional. add those numbers up anonymous… it’s 86.7. some of LeBron’s 29.7 will be had by some of them when he’s gone? yeah, offset by how many those players got because of LeBron double-teams, assists, rebounds off missed shots, etc. not too many “W”s in the NBA scoring 87 per.
    face it, Cleveland, you’re screwed. if you win 30 games next year, Byron Scott should be named coach-of-the-DECADE.
    Gilbert, it sucks losing $100+ million in one night, but come on, the best you could do to entice LeBron to stay was show him a freakin’ cartoon? who’s laughing now?

  21. Anonymous - Jul 10, 2010 at 7:06 AM

    Cleveland fans should call some for help and dia 1-800-WAA-WAAAAA

  22. Thomas - Jul 10, 2010 at 7:06 AM

    Larry – you are wrong because I do follow the Cavs and root for them most of the time. I just think some perspective needs to be applied here. You mentioned Z, ANTAWN, and Mo.. you are making my point AGAIN!!! This is YOUR list and the best you can do!!
    Z – Fan favorite and good player. But he was never a hall of fame type dominant #2 option at any point of his career. He was often hurt but gave his heart every night. Drafted in 1996 and no longer on the team.
    Antawn – I ABSOLUTELY LOVE HIM (go heels)… but he was the solution to compliment LeBron this past season. Also, he and Z kinda cancel each other out since they were traded for each other. He was the 2nd/3rd option on a sub-par Wizards team (behind Arenas and Butler) but not what he once was. You gotta remember that he was drafted in 1998 and this would be his 13th season. I’m not looking to him as the future to build a championship team with.
    Mo Williams – He is another decent player that gives his all when he wants to. He is inconsistent at best. I hope you are not looking at Mo Williams as the cornerstone of the Cavs.
    MJ could not win championships with this roster. He had a similar team before Pippen came along and then they started winning rings. As a matter of fact – MJ’s pre-Pippen teams were even better than this team because they had Charles Oakley in his prime. If Cleveland had a Charles Oakley type player on their team they would have been MUCH better.
    Remember now, even with Pippen, the Bulls were bounced from the playoffs for years (Detroit) until Pippen’s 3rd or 4th season.

  23. Jay - Jul 10, 2010 at 7:19 AM

    Sorry but you comment is a joke! Do you really think that most of the US cares about how you and the rest of the Cleveland fans feel? They will be busy rooting for their damn team. There is no added love coming. Maybe you should try a Lebron hate campaign? Really you and that owner should be trying to find more quality players as a whole instead of relying on 1. I for one will not join in this crazy hate theme going on, life it too short for such negativity. I respect LB’s talents, that he’s a man to make his own decisions like any other, knowing this is a business/contract and things expire and people and deals move along(Why do you think there is free agency?). In reality and not a joke but common sense… if you have any. How many people and/or businesses have moved into and out of Cleveland, or any other city? WHY? I like an answer, the rest of the US would like an answer. Who gives you the right to decide for a person to stay or go/ live or die in one place? But in the business of sports player are commonly traded without their say so, unless they can figure out a “no trade” or some other certain options.
    Lastly all that hate is just brewing in that city is beyond belief. Maybe you all should take a vacation to Miami, etc. get back to be positive and let that hate and man go. Who wants someone that don’t want them? Its like some crazy or stocker after a woman. Just let it go, let it go!!! No joke!

  24. Corporate America - Jul 10, 2010 at 7:20 AM

    You are a stupid moron.

  25. dan todoran - Jul 10, 2010 at 7:22 AM

    you are a bag of douche. are you from boston or worse?

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