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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. loveblue2 - Jul 10, 2010 at 9:30 AM

    Dead on, Redwing! I thought LeBron’s whole “stop the world, I’m announcing where I’m going to play” thing was tacky, but, Gilbert doesn’t care any more about LeBron than the average corp executive cares about an employee. Corps will downsize thousands and lose NO sleep over it; owners will trade players and do the same.

  2. MagicMan - Jul 10, 2010 at 9:31 AM

    One correction to make to my comment. LaBron found out before Game Four about Delonte and his mother; not Game Six.
    Sorry for the error. The rest of the post is absolutely accurate.

  3. EAGLEMAN - Jul 10, 2010 at 9:33 AM

    Cambodian you said “I just wish he would’ve gone to OKC and teamed up with”

  4. Ron K - Jul 10, 2010 at 9:36 AM

    It’s funny how all of a sudden many people are talking about how the Cavs didn’t have any talent on the team except LeKing. Where were all these know it alls during the regular season when they won 61 games? Never heard a peep out of anyone while they were winning games. Then they crapped out during the playoffs as usual and LeKing would like everybody else to take the blame. Naturally a superstar like himself can’t take any heat. He’s untouchable.
    This crybaby only cares about his individual statistics and nothing else. His playoff record shows what he’s made of. NOTHING!
    CRAPOLA. Just an overpaid player who needs his ego stroked all the time. Wouldn’t it be hilarious if Miami falls flat next season. Wade and Bosh better be ready to take all the blame because the crybaby sure won’t.

  5. Gerald - Jul 10, 2010 at 9:38 AM

    Dan Gilbert and the Cleveland fans need to grow up. James had every right to exercise his right to leave Cleveland. As far as I’m concerned, LeBron is just a 25-year-old kid who wanted to play basketball with some of his friends. I’m sure LeBron, Wade, and Bosh had discussed playing with each other in the past. Bosh made it clear that he didn’t want to go to Cleveland (who could blame him)? It’s funny that Gilbert said that James quit during the playoffs. As an owner, why didn’t he come out and challenge James at the time? Hell, the Cavaliers quit during the “entire season” before James came, so they could select him with the number one overall draft pick. When Gilbert fired Mike Brown as head coach, Brown didn’t come out and blast him in public — Gilbert has no class and showed his true colors. Gilbert wasn’t calling James a coward when he was kissing his ass in an attempt to resign him.

  6. Splicelite - Jul 10, 2010 at 9:38 AM

    What planet are you from?

  7. manup - Jul 10, 2010 at 9:39 AM

    If you are a quitter of course Miami.

  8. Grumpy Old Man - Jul 10, 2010 at 9:41 AM

    LBJ showed his true colors this week.
    I agree with most of what Dan Gilbert said – but Dan must remember that he enabled LeBron/LeBum/LeGone/LeQuitter.
    Calling him out for quitting was over the top – even though it is probably true.
    Need to put things in perspective…Its just a game
    This situation illustrates the professional athletes have gone too far … too absorbed in themselves
    So what is going to happen with LBJ’s mansion in Akron? Will his Mother live there with her new bf…Delonte (Nothing says THUG like neck tatoos) West?

  9. Hawkeye - Jul 10, 2010 at 9:42 AM

    Gilbert’s classless rant just cost Cleveland every good free agent who comes down the pipe in the coming years. Who wants to play for an owner who will throw you under the bus as soon as you upset him? Did Gilbert show any ‘loyalty’ to Brown who was Coach of the Year and coached the Cavs to the most wins in the NBA last year?? Please.

  10. ee - Jul 10, 2010 at 9:43 AM

    I might choose Miami, and that was his choice, but the way he went about it was awful. It’s fine to choose a new team to play on, but how about a conversation with the old team, and a small press conference – not “the decision” as a slap to all the other teams who tried to woo him over. One call to Gilbert, and the outcome might have felt different – but this way? Not good.

  11. MagicMan - Jul 10, 2010 at 9:43 AM

    A couple of comments about Dan Gilbert’s letter. On the face of it, it did lack in class. But, as fans, don’t you want a passionate owner who sticks up for the city and the team? I am not from Ohio and have never been a Cavs fan but I’m thinking that I would want an owner like that.
    Now, that said, does it make it more difficult to get some free agents in when players might think that the owner is a loose cannon? Maybe but at this point, I think Gilbert was speaking to the fan base, of which, 90% probably agreed with every word he said.

  12. John Pileggi - Jul 10, 2010 at 9:44 AM

    The fans of Cleveland are the only ones who have been hurt here. LeBron and Gilbert are very wealthy men who have prospered by their relationship. Stop by the arena in Cleveland and see how many businesses are made viable by the team and its drawing power. LeBron has significantly damaged a lot of people, but Mr. Gilbert is not one of them. I feel for all the fans who LOVED LeBron and made him an important part of their lives.

  13. Jorge - Jul 10, 2010 at 9:47 AM

    Gilgert is just crying because he couldn’t sign him. However he was willing to pay him max salary even thought he says he quit in the Boston series. How about Gilbert getting rid of the coach after having all those winning seasons. If James was older, Gilbert would have probably traded him and forgotten the loyalty part just like all these owners all over the league do it. It didn’t go his way this time and so its sour grapes. Ask Big Z how he feels about the organization after giving them all those good years.

  14. Lawrence Simmons - Jul 10, 2010 at 9:49 AM

    Classic Case: Lebron finally breaks away from his users/abusers
    By Lawrencesimmons | 07/10/10 – 12:58 am
    He gave the Cavs. 7 years of his talents. Cleveland (Owners) were totally satisfied with the status quo. The Organization was not too concerned about winning a championship, because the BIG, BIG money was still rolling in, from day one. The owners’ symbolic ring was merely having ownership of Lebron. Their goal: to maintain ownership–Lebron’s goal: winning Championships. They were never going to make any serious changes or spend big money to get big named, quality players to increase Lebron’s chance of winning a ring. And now the Ownership has the nerve to trash Lebron for leaving, as well trying to turn Cleveland loyal fans against him. Cleveland keep your extra 30m you are now willing to pay Lebron to stay in a “used and abused” relationship. He’s outta there! It’s just too late to promise to be good owners. He saw through your scheme, though he was man enough to wait until he fulfilled his obligation to you before he left. So, owners you declared that he did not inform you that he was leaving. Well normally, abused people don’t make formal departure announcements to the abuser; they just leave. And like Lebron, they feel free when they do leave. You know, “(FREE) AGENT.” GOOD LUCK LEBRON!! Reality

  15. Jabbok - Jul 10, 2010 at 9:51 AM

    In Miami he will have to work together with others to accomplish a goal. I knew Cleveland would not win a title with Lebron, not because of him but because they were willing to think that he should carry them through down the stretch all the time. Championship basketball is about true teamwork. You need at least three exceptional players and a few better than average ones on your roster to get a championship. I have never seen a team with one superstar and a bunch of role players win a championship. Each player during the series, in more than just a passing moment, has to step up and ignite a fire. Each has to feel the power of the whole, the synergy of it, through the ups and downs. Not ever should a player just step back and expect one man to carry them to the trophy, what kind of a champion is that? Wade knows how to get there, he got one done with Shaq a few years ago. If Lebron has truly started to grow up we’ll see the Heat in the championship next year, probably against the Lakers.
    As for Cleveland it has been a long time without a championship of any kind and some of the hurt feelings are very understandable. Sports figures are proxies for many of our own hopes and dreams. The current economy of Ohio probably made it hurt more and feel like a personal insult to alot of already suffering folks. Ohio will get over it and find a championship team soon. I would not be surprised either to see some places in Ohio lead the nation in economic recovery as well.

  16. Concerned Taxpayer - Jul 10, 2010 at 9:51 AM

    Dan Gilbert is an idiot.
    By stroking his own ego (or licking his wounds) he has put off any other major free agent from ever wanting to play in Cleveland. All these players are egomaniacs and Gilbert’s actions certainly won’t be looked at favorably.
    Dwayne Wade commented that he was glad that he plays for an owner like Mickey Aronson and a GM like Pat Riley. They made him welcome enough to overcome the emotional ties to Chicago. The three accepted salaries less than they could have (obviously so that the Heat can build a team around them) and now have a solid goal ahead of them.
    Riley and Aronson are happy to sit in the stands and allow the players to strut their stuff while counting the millions of dollars going into the bank. They sold out the season, raised ticket prices and made a killing on merchandise the last two days. If that means keeping their mouths shut, so be it.

  17. Omnius - Jul 10, 2010 at 9:57 AM

    Dan Gilbert does have a right to be angry that the King of Jerk left for Miami instead of staying with the franchise. It does show how the rich and greedy like Gilbert think they’re entitled to whatever they want, as does LeBoring James who thinks he’s entitled to a championship ring just because the braindead sports pundits declared him King before he ever shot a basket in the NBA. I certainly love seeing betrayed Cleveland fans burning James’s jersey. The worst thing to happen to pro sports was free agency, I remember the good old days before free agency when teams were more important than players and players tended to spend entire careers with one team. After free agency pro sports has gone downhill as players are too absorbed with themselves and only play for the money.

  18. Frank Lopez - Jul 10, 2010 at 10:00 AM

    And all this time you’ve been putting LeQuitter on the same sentence as Jordan and Kobe and prior to them, the great ones… jajajaja what a joke! he quit against Boston, not once, multiple times, he quit against Orlando the year before, but get what? the press ignored the story even though it was in our own eyes. Maybe not in his world, but in ours, when you are leaving a job for another one, you have the courtesy to inform and even gives them at least two weeks notice to plan ahead. Why? You can’t burn unnecessary bridges. We don’t know what tomorrow hold for us. So, why would I hold this quitter to a higher standard than I hold myself?

  19. Jabbok - Jul 10, 2010 at 10:01 AM

    BTW, I agree that in many ways the Cleveland Cavaliers organization has treated Lebron poorly by simply milking his star potential for money without seeming to care enough about what it takes to put together a true team. They have made us watch him jump through the ‘you must be a superstar’ hoops on demand. When the fans started boo-ing it just confirmed the problem. He was supposed to super-achieve without significant help for the sheer thrill of the colisseum crowd. He tried to please but has had to learn that championships are made of different things than the stew in Cleveland. Phil Jackson, Red, these guys know(knew) something about teams and how to meld egos and talent together into a champion. It takes more than money.

  20. Bob - Jul 10, 2010 at 10:11 AM

    For a team executive to write such a letter in very unprofessional. Mr. Gilbert should be fined by the Commissioner. Furthermore, Mr. Gilbert could take a lesson from the past and a great football coach from Green Bay. Coach Lombardy told his player “Alway show your class”. All Mr Gilbert did was show his lack of class,

  21. VINNIE - Jul 10, 2010 at 10:11 AM


  22. drv - Jul 10, 2010 at 10:12 AM

    Anyone outside of Cleveland just doesnt get it. If it happened to your team, you’d all be humming a different tune and throwing roses at your owners feet. Never in the history of sports has a city, this sports-strapped-devastated-laughing stock-national joke of a city, had a hometown hero of his caliber. He ripped our hearts out on national TV. Thats unparalleled. All of you who root for teams who have tasted victory just dont get it

  23. adagio - Jul 10, 2010 at 10:12 AM

    If you wanted to cement your legacy, you stay in Cleveland and you take that frachise to the top, the way MJ and Kobe have done. They made everyone around them twice the players they could have hoped to be. LeBron will NEVER replace Jordan is the Greatest now. If you want to win NOW, you go to Chicago where the pieces are all in place. No matter what, he’s moving to D-Wades team, and I have a feeling that this will not be the “slam dunk” that they think it will be.

  24. TheHeat - Jul 10, 2010 at 10:29 AM

    He can “fall back on” the millions that he’s made already.

  25. Hawkeye - Jul 10, 2010 at 10:30 AM

    Gilbert’s classless rant just cost Cleveland every good free agent who comes down the pipe in the coming years. Who wants to play for an owner who will throw you under the bus as soon as you upset him? Did Gilbert show any ‘loyalty’ to Brown who was Coach of the Year and coached the Cavs to the most wins in the NBA last year?? Please.

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