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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. weezilgirl - Jul 13, 2010 at 1:09 AM

    Cleveland declined an investigation.

  2. Canadian - Jul 13, 2010 at 1:10 AM

    Is lebron acting how he should? Hes been elevated to mythicak status by all of us. So hes acting as expected. Hes living a life none of us can imagine. Why waste it by acting normal? Its his life he can do what he wants

  3. weezilgirl - Jul 13, 2010 at 1:13 AM

    “please show us we can once again get some damn freedoms back that our country was based on.”
    Interesting comment. Mr. James doesn’t have the freedoms that Gilbert does?

  4. Ken in NC - Jul 13, 2010 at 1:17 AM

    When a player spends many years with a team and makes them tons of money, it’s all good but when he is injured or not playing in year 5 or 6 like he did in his first year, the owner deals him away. It’s business as he wants to bring in fresh talent that can step in and shore up the weak spot. So when a player becomes a Free Agent and he wants to move to a team he considers better situated for winning than his old team, why is it so different when he makes the choice to leave? The Clevland Cavs owner was wrong. LaBron made the move just as the Owner would have made a move to replace him. The Cavs Owner is just a sore loser.

  5. weezilgirl - Jul 13, 2010 at 1:17 AM

    My God…..we have an oil spill in the Gulf and you people are throwing hissy fits over this? JC…..I cannot believe that so many on this thread are so damned hateful and arrogant.
    Chill, you people. I bet your wives and children would enjoy a change in you.

  6. Jack - Jul 13, 2010 at 1:18 AM

    Just like in any relationship. If someone is not calling or texting your back, then surely you know it’s over.
    If anyone believes that the owner didn’t know that James was leaving dig deeper. The signs were all over the place.

  7. Theresa - Jul 13, 2010 at 1:22 AM

    The quitting was game 5.

  8. GC - Jul 13, 2010 at 1:25 AM

    This isn’t so complicated – what does Miami offer that Cleveland doesn’t? Pat Riley – a multi-NBA champion coach/GM. If Gilbert could have spent whatever it took to attract decent management to bring a championship team to play with Lebron, there wouldn’t have been any question that Lebron would have stayed in Cleveland. He had 7 seasons to figure it out. The truth is that a pro basketball player’s career is short – so Lebron left for the best chances to get a championship – and that isn’t just Wade and Bosh – it’s really all about Riley.
    What Gilbert is really doing is trying to blame Lebron for what he was unable to do – it takes a great GM to make that happen; the Cavs never had the leadership needed to get the players on the court to get the championship.
    Like how Jerry West brought Kareem Abdul Jabar to the Lakers, and how the Lakers brought Pau Gasol to the recent Laker – it takes some really smart business to bring the necessary players to a team to make a champion.

  9. goodmove - Jul 13, 2010 at 1:25 AM

    he should have fined Dan $100,000 million, and recouped all the money LeBron made for him

  10. Jack - Jul 13, 2010 at 1:26 AM

    I think you Americans are forgetting that Basketball and NBA is no longer for the states. It’s world wide. LJ makes a lot money in Europe and China, just like your famous actors who wouldn’t get caught having their commercials shown in the states but they are shown through out Europe and Asia. That’s were people are making their money these days.
    NBA Viewership is increasingly coming from other countries so if you boycott it wouldn’t matter because there is someone else to take your place.

  11. moronsall - Jul 13, 2010 at 1:27 AM

  12. marinalizemorons - Jul 13, 2010 at 1:29 AM

    yeah, how about the Larry King show? DUH

  13. Anonymous - Jul 13, 2010 at 1:35 AM

    LeBron James has a right to leave Cincinnati and play for another team. In fact, he doesn’t even need a good excuse. Dan Gilbert has every right, as well, to be angry, hurt, disappointed and even vindictive if he so chooses. That both of these guys, as Americans and human beings have these rights is well established.
    However, Dan Gilbert should have kept that vitriolic and contemptable letter to himself! While he has every right to feel that way, sharing it with the rest of the planet, especially with Cav fans everywhere, is not something he has the right to do and expect no consequences. As a representative of the NBA, he has the responsibility to each and every one of the NBAs and Clevelands’ fans to rise above the shameful, childish and frivolous spectacle of emotional immaturity he put on display in his ‘open letter to fans’!
    Everyone has the right to feel however they want to… how a person decides to ACT on those feelings is the definition of responsiblilty and maturity. Personally, I think James dropped the ball on a lot of self-respect in how he chose to announce his leaving the Cavaliers, as well. But in his case, the reflection is more on himself than it is on Cav’s fans everywhere.
    I know that if I were a Cavs fan, I’d be hiding my head in shame and embarrassment…
    Even more so than I do as a Cubs fan here in Chicago!

  14. crzy8 - Jul 13, 2010 at 1:35 AM

    7+ championships….Heat will be dang lucky to win 7 playoff games……..Gasol, Kobe, Artest have more heart in their pinky fingers than Lebron James has in his whole food stamp certified family…if he could find them! lol

  15. marginalizemorons - Jul 13, 2010 at 1:37 AM
    he told us on Larry King; how come nobody said that was a bad interview? Americans are morons

  16. crzy8 - Jul 13, 2010 at 1:37 AM

    “daddy where are you?”…………Lebron

  17. GEMSNBCLalaland - Jul 13, 2010 at 1:39 AM

    I suppose you believe everything Jeff Immelt says too

  18. alan - Jul 13, 2010 at 1:39 AM

    Look- LeBron is an a-hole for how he stabbed that city that supported him for years right in the heart and turning the knife with that national,televised announcement. I know he meant well to give the proceeds of the program to charity, but he shouldn’t have done it that way. Those fans didn’t deserve it. It sucks. I will continue to enjoy watching him play, but I will NEVER root for him for what he did to those fans. I only wish the Cavs will win before the Heat does with LeBron.
    Gilbert is an a-hole for his low-class letter. Sure he has the right for free speech, but he should have just stated he was very disappointed on how LeBron did it and his views that Lebron would have had a better chance in Cleveland to win, and take the high road. You never know, if things don’t work out for Lebron in Miami, the door could have been still open for his possible return to Cleveland in the future. Yes a long shot, but Gilbert not only closed that door tight, but he superglued it and nailed it closed. Lebron will never return now.

  19. Theresa - Jul 13, 2010 at 1:39 AM

    Hey Teacher – How can Gilber recruit other top notch players if he was already maxed out with the salary cap? He was leaving it all on the table for LeBron! Had LeBron been serious about winning in Cleveland, he wouldn’t have quit in the playoffs and he would have offered up a paycut to free up more money so Gilbert had the tools to make something happen to bring in a wingman. Also, you have to remember, LeBron set his own stage and that was HE wanted to be the man in Cleveland so why would Gilbert even think bringing in a high ranked/known # 2 as a role player to LeBron IF LeBron never expressed his willingness to cooperate and make it happen. And would you have believed that LeBron really wants to be a role playmer himself and not have the pressure to lead a team!? I think everyone is stunned by that discovery! Certainly changed my view of LeBron even if he had handled this departure in the most eloquant and respectful fashions. So who really is LeBron? Certainly not a number 1 anymore?

  20. americansaremorons - Jul 13, 2010 at 1:41 AM
    americans are morons

  21. alan - Jul 13, 2010 at 1:44 AM

    Cincinnati? Does Cincinnati have a pro basketball team Lebron played for? Wow, I didn’t know.
    Actually Cincinnati hasn’t had a pro basketball team in like, over 40 years. Wake up hon.

  22. footinmouthdisease - Jul 13, 2010 at 1:47 AM

    Top 3 condenders for foot in mouth disease:
    (maybe Jay)

  23. yah right - Jul 13, 2010 at 1:49 AM

    if i was lebron i will do thesame thing its been 7 years.. look what happen to AI he stayed in 76ers for how many years and look what happen to him now.. wait a minute does he still play? so move on while you still can.. what you ganna do, join another team when your 50?

  24. anotherone - Jul 13, 2010 at 1:50 AM
    Jack Welch doesn’t like that blonde
    April 13, 2004
    Print this article
    Email to a friend
    In his coming book, Testosterone Inc: Tales of CEOs Gone Wild, Christopher Byron chronicles the tumultuous lives, both public and private, of four controversial and high-living US executives. But there on the cover, perched in a sultry pose atop a Mount Rushmore of Jack Welch, Ronald Perelman, Dennis Kozlowski and Al Dunlap, is a provocatively dressed, cigar-clenching blonde.

  25. byebye - Jul 13, 2010 at 1:52 AM

    LeBron should have left a long time ago

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