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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. 
289 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Taxman - raised in Cleveland - Jul 10, 2010 at 10:33 AM

    LeBron had every right to chose a team to play with. He chose to be with DWade and Bosh in Miami. The problem I have is that the decision was made at his last contract signing 2 years ago. Watch his interviews since then. It is clear he planned to leave Cleveland and time his free agency to join his pals. The city was up in the air (maybe even that was agreed upon before this year), but the decision to leave was final. If you watch the last two playoffs, he quit. Gilbert probably shouldn’t have written the letter, but he is right. LeBron quit and that is a violation of his contract, and is morally reprehensible. If he had played up to the end of the games, and brought a championship to Cleveland (one or two), then he couldn’t have left to join his buds. That is why he quit

  2. P.Diddy - Jul 10, 2010 at 10:39 AM

    Your comments are right on. C-Mon where was he going to get help in Cleveland. Someone just tell me this. They didn’t have anything, and some slugs making way to much already. Ferry overpaid for labor that didn’t produce. Everyones expectation for Lebron was to high. It takes five. Every dynasty had 2 or 3 greats on it, go back over history. Where’s Lebron 2 others in Cleveland. Big Z, and Mo not. Gilbert and his management are to blame for not bringing in a better support system for Lebron. Now this guy is going to play with two other very talented individuals. If Lebron would have stayed in Cleveland he would have stayed King. He wouldn’t win a championship but he would of stayed king. He’s proving again just like on the court he wants rings and is willing to sacrifice for the potential to win rings. Series potential

  3. Anonymous - Jul 10, 2010 at 10:40 AM

    Akron is Cleveland’s backdoor neighbor for those of you who say he’s from Akron not Cleveland. Needless to say he betrayed Ohio by making it a nationally televised event. The owner has every right to be pissed and say we will all see Lebron’s true colors. Lebron quit on the team a long time ago. He wants the title, but I doubt he will get the title in Miami, too much ego going around proves Lebron wrong just like it did in the past.

  4. Texan - Jul 10, 2010 at 10:46 AM

    It sounds like he was right to leave a team with an owner who acts like a baby.

  5. JW - Jul 10, 2010 at 10:49 AM

    This debacle displays and exemplifies all that is wrong with professional sports and free agency. Selfishness and greed on the part of today’s professional athletes and owners is disgusting and a sad commentary on our society. Destroy competition and destroy the league. Let’s hope it happens soon and to all professional sports.

  6. Texan - Jul 10, 2010 at 11:01 AM

    Of course, all the proceeds from that nationally televised event went to the Boys and Girls Club. AND, people watched it.

  7. Larry Parker - Jul 10, 2010 at 11:03 AM

    This was all a plot by the NBA,ESPN and Lebron. Lebron should have told the fans he was leaving the night of getting put out of the playoffs. Lebron knew the NBA would never let Cleveland win a title. Every pro sport has it out for the Ohio teams. The Umps and refs never give an Ohio team a break. And If your going to win a championship in Ohio you got to come out and club them early and often like 1990 Reds that went wire to wire. I don’t Major league baseball has ever forgave the reds for that. And ESPN only likes big market teams and ignores the rest. Good luck selling tickets NBA. You may have people in the seats in the big markets, But I bet you’ll have a hard time everywhere else. Good luck Lebron your going to need it the curse is a powerful thing.

  8. Kels - Jul 10, 2010 at 11:04 AM

    Everyone in cleveland including the owner is a whinning ass bitches!!! Lebron dont owe you or your stupid city a thing!! The only person that yall should be mad it is the owner, they did nothing to get lebron the help he needed to win a championship. And the owner wants to talk about lebron and his charachter and dog him out, talking about lebron quit on his team, well why would you want a quitter on your team, you was willing to give him max payout for a quitter..Wow Dan Gilbert, that show your charachter. And I bet Lebron will win 100 Championships before your dumbass Cavs!!!

  9. WhatsTheFuss - Jul 10, 2010 at 11:10 AM

    Owners trade players all the time. They like to say running an NBA team is a business. Businesses do what’s good for the business. So how come it’s so bad when a player does the same thing?

  10. DL - Jul 10, 2010 at 11:19 AM

    “he had every right to leave to a better team. Hello, this is America.”
    It is America, but it IS respect. People keep complaining on how the country is turning to worse, this is one of the instances right here that teach our kids and our future that ‘hey, I don’t have to be loyal’

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

    LB doesn’t owe Cleveland anything. They were a bottom-dwelling team before they drafted him, and he brought them to within one series of an NBA championship. They’ll take the elevator straight down to the bottom after he leaves. LB made the Cleveland franchise hundreds of millions of dollars in ticket and merchandising sales. Why do you think you had the mayor of New York filming a personal appeal for him to come to NY? LB is no doubtedly tired of feeling like he has to carry the team’s winning aspirations solely on his back every game. He’s no doubt looking forward to playing on a team where that burden is shared by at least two others. You can’t compare Kobe and the Lakers or MJ with the Bulls to LB in Cleveland. The Lakers let Kobe develop at his win pace, it took seven years or so to come into his own, and the Lakers were comfortable with that. MJ took years to hone his talents to. LeBron was expected to deliver almost immediately. On a team that was mediocre in every other respect. Kobe and MJ had another piece in place too – Phil Jackson. Note that Kobe didn’t win it all until Phil came along.

  12. JBP - Jul 10, 2010 at 11:24 AM

    Here’s the bottom line:
    a. LBJ set himself up with a bunch of un-educated high school friend, who has no idea of what advise LBJ should have been given.
    b. LBJ brand is finished. He is considered a second tier player behind DWade. He is to DWade what Pippen was to MJ, Bosh id Deenis Rodman to DWade & LBJ, the sad part of it, he does not realize that.
    c. Any championship the 3 wins is realy DWades’ championship. You(LBJ) cannot go into a man’s home(DWade) and become king to his cattle.
    d. Finally, Kobe must be laughing his ass off at LBJ. He is not in Kobe’s calliber of a player. DWADe just moved up with LBJ’s help.

  13. lb4lb - Jul 10, 2010 at 11:33 AM

    well said! He took care of business.

  14. AR - Jul 10, 2010 at 11:33 AM

    Where was Gilbert in the past years?
    If he would have got at least another 1-2 top players and not be so stingy with the best player in his hands – he would have had him forever.
    No one on that team was a leading winner.
    The only one who delivered in the playoffs was Lebron…including the last game…
    I don’t like him that much – but after being the only top player in this team for so many years – the only erson Gilbert can blame is himself!
    Shameful behavior.

  15. Jay - Jul 10, 2010 at 11:46 AM

    Before you start dissing on the players you need to l@@k at the owners and mgmt first. They own what it called the “team” in pro sport. How much are these teams valued at, how much does it cost own or be a part owner? Hmmm how much money do you got? See what you fail to see that those owners are living vicariously through the players to obtain the ultimate goal, title, trophy, etc. Hmmm but you don’t see any selfishness, and greed in their part? The Heat got money to get a team put together and in this case some of the player took a pay cut to make it happen. And don’t tell that in your job if you have one that you wouldn’t want more money for your work, without OT. Or you so humble to work your @ss off for free?
    If you don’t like what pro sports is about. Turn it off and go play some board games. Don’t hate the player, hate the game(business).

  16. Joe D. - Jul 10, 2010 at 11:50 AM

    Lebron has gone…. to Wade county.. teaming up with Bosh will make a Killing money wise and accomplishments wise… NOT to MENTION..that Pat Riley is considering leaving the office to coach again…..poor lakers…. and celtics…. and dallas and SA.. and everyone else!….

  17. FringeDivision - Jul 10, 2010 at 11:52 AM

    You people in Cleveland are really pathetic! Lebron has done nothing but bring cash into your third rate city, so why shouldn’t Lebron look to feather his own nest for the future of his family. And, most importantly, he will finally win Championships under the guidence of Pat Riley, something he would’ve never won in Cleveland, so now, after winning over 60 games each of the last couple of seasons, thanks to The King, your pathetic losers in Cleveland will be lucky to win over thirty games, and go from 1st Place, to last place. Enjoy the basement! Hehe While we welcome The King and his court to the home of the next NBA Dynasty, The Miami Heat!!!

  18. Vanny - Jul 10, 2010 at 11:56 AM

    Seriously, who give a rats a$&!!! They are all prima donna’s with big ego’s!!!

  19. New to Ohio - Jul 10, 2010 at 12:07 PM

    While I don’t particularly care for LeBron either way, people in Ohio take their sports way too seriously! GET A REAL LIFE OHIANS! Case in point, they still play the 2002 NCAA National Championship game video at the Columbus airport! Ohio people are very passive-aggressive and if you don’t do things their “way”, they ostracize you.

  20. derric leander - Jul 10, 2010 at 12:12 PM

    first of all jack ass, bron was a free agent, second get your damn facts correct when you open your head up to speak!

  21. In the end it's just basketball - Jul 10, 2010 at 12:13 PM

    Thank you for this. It is nice to see there are some rational people in this world. It is just a sport and there are more important things going on in the world.

  22. JW - Jul 10, 2010 at 12:14 PM

    If James was such a problem and a quitter, how come everyone in Cleveland wanted him to stay? Why did Gilbert even try to sign him? Simple. $$$$$…everybody wants the $$$ that LJ can bring in. No wonder nobody wanted to play in Cleveland…the guy played there for what? …6 years?…7 years? …..this is the thanks he gets. How about “we’re sorry that we couldn’t get you a supporting cast to HELP you win a championship for Cleveland LJ…good luck with the rest of your career”. If I were another NBA star…that would be the last place I went to based on that letter from the owner.

  23. Jay - Jul 10, 2010 at 12:16 PM

    There is a notion called “TEAM” and “ROLE PLAY”. Yeah, maybe you could be so, so right. But you don’t think each of those caliber players didn’t understand what they would be giving up in order to win a ring? That they must share the ball in ways that allows each to excel in their strengths and up their weaknesses? I believe they understand that being “THE MAN” on the team doesn’t work to get there. Your Kobe laughing is only that knows the less kept secret that you must surround yourself other player that have enough skill sets to be consistant and know their place to help the team overall. Pau Gasol, Lamor, etc. Your team if its Cleveland didn’t have enough firepower to endure to even get out of the East let alone face LA or whomever.
    There is a great coach/GM in Heat in his own rights to Phil J. If he can figure out get them to play together the HEAT will be a Heatwave to contend with. Dumb@ss Gilbert obviously couldn’t see or maybe knew it was going to be a challenge to get more adequate players to come to Cleveland? You don’t see many knocking down the door to get there…hint, hint! Sorry! I didn’t hear of much recruiting. How long was LBJ suppose to wait to get the right cast of players? Or did you want him to be like other NBA stars or like Barry Sanders running all those yards only to chase something that wasn’t going to be obtained? Would you stay at a job that couldn’t allow you to be the best? And what’s with fire the coach? How come you not sticking up for that? OH, yeah that’s the nature of the business, huh? Just like expiring contracts. Let me the man go do what he wants and live with his choices. Clearly staying with an Owner with such attitude and fans burning jerseys the choice was best to leave. Just FYI, I’m not of fan of any of those teams envolved, but I do understand the nature of sports business.
    JBP why don’t you share with us who you would of got to come to Cleveland to help if that would of really happen even in the near future.

  24. kupp67 - Jul 10, 2010 at 12:18 PM

    What? And you expect LBJ to play out his entire career with the hapless Cavs? With virtually very little chance of reaching the goal that every NBA teams strives for all season? Get realistic Cleveland fans, and grow up.

  25. Anonymous - Jul 10, 2010 at 12:25 PM

    No. The best thing about Cleveland is the sign to points to Pittsburgh. Lol….

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