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Stern fines Dan Gilbert $100,000 for LeBron letter

Jul 12, 2010, 8:08 PM EDT

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David Stern has just announced that he will fine Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert $100,000 for his open letter to Cleveland fans, which Gilbert wrote shortly after LeBron James announced on ESPN that he would sign with the Miami Heat. When explaining the fine, Stern called Gilbert’s letter both “ill-advised” and “imprudent.” 
Stern was not a fan of the way LeBron’s decision was produced, but he did say that players are “within their rights to sign with any team,” which likely explains why he fined Gilbert for his letter. The money won’t mean much to Gilbert, but Stern’s condemnation of his actions must feel like a dash of salt in what was clearly a very deep wound for him. 
349 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. travis - Jul 12, 2010 at 8:22 PM

    i HATE David Stern….he is nothing but a NAZI…..Gilbert is well within his rights to voice his opinion….Stern needs to go and has needed to go for sometime

  2. luke - Jul 12, 2010 at 8:29 PM

    It still cannot be denied that Lebron was well within his rights to sign with another team. He is a free agent. Gilbert needs to concentrate on building his team, not bad-mouthing a player who has already left.

  3. dougbmorris - Jul 12, 2010 at 8:30 PM

    I feel that Dan Gilbert had the Right to Speak his Mind. Lebron James never Responded to any of his Texts or Phone Calls. At Least he Could have had the Decency to do That. In the Heat of the Moment who’s to Say most of us wouldn’t have Done the Same Thing!In our Land of Freedom it’s Like You can’t say What do want to without getting scorned or Fined! What’s Happened to Our Freedom of Speech These Days! At Least he Didn’t Call a Press Conference to Break a
    Whole City’s Heart. Talk about showing No Respect to the Fans that
    Gave There Hard Earned Money to Watch Him Play!

  4. wmw215 - Jul 12, 2010 at 8:34 PM

    So… $100K..WOW . I am wondering if that fine is tax deductable and did Dan feel better after publishing the letter??? Just wonderin cause it sure seems like he got a lot off of his mind… And when he told the little voice in his head that he was going to publish the letter anyway, did he hear “OK but I told you so”.

  5. ladydelia - Jul 12, 2010 at 8:34 PM

    It’s about time someone in the upper ranking fine that team’s owner. It was so dumb of him to do that. If I was a basketball player a really good player I would not go in there whooooa! lol!

  6. Kim - Jul 12, 2010 at 8:37 PM

    Has anyone stepped back and thought realistically what just occurred instead of assuming that LeBron was so WRONG.
    If LeBron was such a horrible person and player why was Dan Gilbert willing to pay him $125M to stay.
    If LeBron had been injured or could not play would Dan Gilbert be so loyal to continue to keep him on his roster and pay him.
    Has anyone assuemd that perhaps Dan has treated leBron like crap and that is why LeBron refused to return any of his calls or texts. GO MIAMI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. TexasMike - Jul 12, 2010 at 8:41 PM

    Hey David,
    You gonna have the stones to do an investigation into tampering by not only Pat Riley and the Miami Heat, but the players involved in this charade? NO, I THOUGHT SO.

  8. Jacko - Jul 12, 2010 at 8:44 PM

    Would you be saying the same thing if this were Mark Cuban? Guy gets fined every other week for speaking his mind.

  9. B - Jul 12, 2010 at 8:46 PM

    Do you type Like this Normally? Do You have Capitalization issues Regularly? What’s the Deal?

  10. Teacher - Jul 12, 2010 at 8:47 PM

    Freedom of speech has nothing to do with this. Free speech rights can only be asserted against the government, and the NBA is not the government. The rights owners and players have are defined by agreements between them, not by the Constitution. Under these agreements, Gilbert can be fined for his comments.

  11. DK - Jul 12, 2010 at 8:52 PM

    David Stern is a ‘Nazi’???
    He is Jewish, you imbecile.
    Don’t throw around words unless you truly understand their meaning, douchebag

  12. Will Morris - Jul 12, 2010 at 8:56 PM

    How much of this fine was for the use of Comic Sans, I wonder?

  13. Denverdude7 - Jul 12, 2010 at 8:56 PM

    Where has Bron-Bron’s website gone? It shouldn’t be much of a surprise it has been taken down. Bron-Bron doesn’t have the stones to stand up like a man and face the music. As evidence, I point to his playoff failures. Past and Future. He will choke again.
    I do have one question for fans of the nba though. Does a championship bought taste as sweet as a championship earned?
    What a turd Bron-Bron turned out to be.

  14. Bill in NM - Jul 12, 2010 at 9:00 PM

    Stern fines anyone who he feels makes the NBA look bad, and Gilbert looked like a angry child or pissed-off ex. That fits the criteria. He runs the league, and he has the right to do it to make a point.
    LeBron made himself look bad,not the league, so Stern can’t fine him for that.
    Since the key to win titles in Miami is for him, Bosh, and Wade to put their egos aside for the team to work together, that doesn’t bode well for the future. He’s shown nothing but ego from the beginning of this whole process (or arguably, since he’s been in the public eye).

  15. Odis in Atlanta - Jul 12, 2010 at 9:03 PM

    It’s about time Stern stepped up and did something about his tirade. Could you imagine if a player came out and started talking crap about a team owner? The who league would have came down on him the very next day. And lets keep it real, if Gilbert had thought it would have been in the best interest of his bank account he would have cut LeBron himself, loyalty be damned. It’s a business, not a high school prom.

  16. pete - Jul 12, 2010 at 9:08 PM

    screw you kim you have no idea what you are talking about!!

  17. Chance - Jul 12, 2010 at 9:08 PM

    Stern is a jackass. I’m sure “king james” had his filthy hands in this.

  18. Dennis - Jul 12, 2010 at 9:09 PM

    I just don’t see how any sane person can see the LeTraitor hour-long-slap-in-the-face-to-Cleveland as anything but cowardly and distasteful. I believe it would have been one helluva lot classier to just leave for Miami instead of that way. I truly thought LeTraitor had more class than that. But then again welcome to big money sports. The fan can’t rely on putting his loyalty behind most players when they leave for a different team and then play AGAINST the team they came from. I gave up on the NFL,MLB and now the NBA for that exact reason. As for the fine for Gilbert – hire a a lawyer and please show us we can once again get some damn freedoms back that our country was based on. ITS CALLED FREEDOM OF SPEECH STERN – YOU MAY NOT BE A NAZI AS MENTIONED BUT YOU ARTE NOT A TRUE AMERICAN EITHER EVIDENTLY. YOUR SPORT STINKS RIGHT NOW!!!

  19. Scott - Jul 12, 2010 at 9:10 PM

    Lets see….Garnett, Allen & Pierce. Sabathia, Arod and Texiera? Yea, tastes just as sweet.
    If LeBron brings all this baggage so many of you insist, then why so upset he left Cleveland?
    Stop the whining. He was a free agent just like Amare…just like Boozer….just like Wade…..just like Bosh….just like Joe Johnson….he left, went to a city he wants to play in with players he wants to [play with.

  20. Bill-Sonora - Jul 12, 2010 at 9:10 PM

    Hey David,
    You gonna have the stones to do an investigation into tampering by not only Pat Riley and the Miami Heat, but the players involved in this charade? NO, I THOUGHT SO.
    7 – Mon Jul 12,2010 8:41 PM ET

  21. jay - Jul 12, 2010 at 9:10 PM

    Good for David Stern. He has the right to fine the owner, he decides whats good for the NBA. Anyone disparaging David Stern should see how the NBA was doing before he took over. If Gilbert doesnt like it he should relinquish his ownership of the Cavs, which would be better for everyone. What an idiot, these NBA stars all stick together. How many stars did he turn off with his tirade against Lebron? Whats so wrong with Lebron leaving to a place where he has a better chance of winning. Good luck trying to win a title before the Heat. All those stars are chompin at the bit to play with Mo williams and Jameson. Puuhlease.

  22. Lev - Jul 12, 2010 at 9:10 PM

    Those team owners milk black athletes of their youth and talent, press them like an orange, and don’t care when they go broke or end up in trouble, or on the streets. Lebron is selling his skills to the right price when it is still time. He is a caliber of black athletes who know the business value they bring to the franchise and do not accept being locked somewhere making less when they can earn better somewhere else; the fat cat owners know that all too well. They do not give a damn rat’s ass if they have to ship a player somewhere when their value has decreased or when they want to acquire a better talent. it is all about money and the bottom line, it should be, not only for teams and their fat owners, but for the players too. We need the Lebron, the Kobe, to stand up to the fat cats who are making so much money.

  23. Bill Bridges - Jul 12, 2010 at 9:11 PM

    So much for freedom of speech. It shows Stern’s lack of professionalism, the fine does nothing but prove the Cavs right.

  24. Lakers4Lyfe - Jul 12, 2010 at 9:11 PM

    I can’t wait for the first Heat game in Cleveland.

  25. Al Spinelli - Jul 12, 2010 at 9:11 PM

    HAS Stern forgotten about our rights as Americians. FREEDOM OF SPEECH.

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