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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. Theresa - Jul 13, 2010 at 1:53 AM

    Ah, thank you for recognizing the core of this issue. I’m tired of reading it was LeBron’s choice, he was a free agent, his right to go whereever and that Gilbert didn’t do anything to grow this team. The only think Gilbert is guilty of is all attention was on JAMES – that is where the money was spent. Gilbert did what LeBron wanted him to do until there was no salary cap to bring in better players and again, mums the word from LeBron that he would be willing to take a cut in pay! He schemed this for a long time. I’m just glad to read that someone else gets it and understands you just don’t do that to deeply loyal fans from a blue collar state where sports is what holds the city together! And hell no – not to expect some sort of backlash. I do hope the Rocky curse put on Cleveland has put on its shoes and is heading down south! Thank you for getting it!

  2. Eugenia - Jul 13, 2010 at 1:53 AM

    I agree with Jessie Jackson. Slavery is OVER!!!

  3. Anonymous - Jul 13, 2010 at 1:53 AM

    HEY U.S…..! Guess what? We are morons for not participating or accepting of EU Football!! Pretty much all Americans would deny no matter how embarrassing it is to be propositioned in the shower by a bunch of Europeans looking to suck some prime grade American sausage! But, to be honest soccer REALLY SUCKS ASS! Europeans love it because it is the only thing they have and are good at.

  4. Eugenia - Jul 13, 2010 at 1:55 AM

    I agree with Jessie Jackson. Slavery is OVER!!!

  5. Crash - Jul 13, 2010 at 2:01 AM

    I gigled at this at first but then I thought this wasn’t funny dude, those people were forced to commit suicide and some murdered……sad.

  6. Anonymous - Jul 13, 2010 at 2:03 AM

    I agree with Kim. Business is Business! No employer will give you a dollar unless he/she can make three dollars off of you.

  7. where'sTRUMP - Jul 13, 2010 at 2:07 AM

    Last week, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned, Byron was unexpectedly contacted by one of his sources with an unusual and awkward request to immediately be given back certain documents, highly unflattering to Welch, that had been provided to Byron without conditions, during the course of his research.
    “Welch can not sue with these documents out there,” an insider explains. “He’ll be laughed out of court!”

  8. Theresa - Jul 13, 2010 at 2:10 AM

    And what part of LeBron did NOT return any of Gilbert’s phone calls or text messages did you not understand. To say why is everyone upset that LeBron didn’t call Gilbert is saying your’re clueless and don’t know the facts of what transpired. Since the season ended, Gilbert called LeBron and texted LeBron – how often, that I don’t know. But LeBron, still an employee of Gilbert’s then, did not bother to call him back or text him. I’m sure Gilbert was wanting to get a feel of where James stood. Sounds like James already had his mind made up and took the cowardly approach not being able to address the matter head on.

  9. Tony Del - Jul 13, 2010 at 2:11 AM

    Labron is without a doubt a basketball star and Cleveland wanted to control him and when they didn’t get their way they bad mouth him.
    If I were a superstar basketball player their is no way I would go to Cleveland. Don’t be dupped it wasn’t were he annouced his departure it’s that he announced his departure.

  10. joe - Jul 13, 2010 at 2:29 AM

    jesus man! free speech is one thing. but to slander someone? you prolly wouldnt like it, if it was your name being trashed instead of his.

  11. Theresa - Jul 13, 2010 at 2:46 AM

    Alan, you need to reread the article in which you respond. Your reply is to ‘anonymous’ yet you address your your comment to me. I never once mentioned anything about Cincinnati. I don’t pay attention to southern OH – but I can talk about NE Ohio sports. so please make sure you properly address your replies.

  12. Spiker715 - Jul 13, 2010 at 3:24 AM

    Way to go Lebron! See all the crap that your greed and lack of loyalty have caused! This is what free speech has come down to? Does anyone really think that that if the Cav’s owner was black he would have been fined? No way!! I never call the race card however, with all the “slave owner” talk going on right now, it’s no surprise that the spineless Stern had to do something to calm everyone down. People in many lines of work are bound by contracts however, since it’s a black basketball player with a white owner all of a sudden Cleveland is a plantation. It’s sickening! Lebron’s lack of loyalty will come back to haunt him!

  13. SAY IT - Jul 13, 2010 at 3:29 AM

    Kim you are SOOOOOO RIGHT!!!! I say every Cleveland fan black and white should demand ticket refunds because they should refuse to support and owner who treats his players this way. Now I understand why Gibson and Mo are sucking up. Can you imagine what he would say about them if he said those riot inciting comments about his STAR player. I agree, no NBA player will EVER want to come there. I just feel bad for Byron scott. He didn’t deserve this.

  14. rafa420 - Jul 13, 2010 at 3:30 AM

    Funny story and do u guys still think Lebron is better than Kobe Bryant? count them 1,2,3,4,5 rings. one team. one owner, several coaches. Lebron is a rich dude and great for the highlights but the fact of the matter is that Kobe has heart, broken finger, bad legs, less than stellar teammates and still keeps on trucking. So yeah keep focusing on the drama some Ohio city creates but the fact is that the LAKERS are the world champions, back to back world champions. Oh the water may be cold in LA but the air is nice and dry.

  15. chubb - Jul 13, 2010 at 3:32 AM

    Yes, he may have been withing his rights to voice his opinion, but didn’t the word “unprofessional” cross your mind? He must set the standard not bow to personal feelings. He deserved a stiffer fine.

  16. TELL THE TRUTH - Jul 13, 2010 at 3:32 AM

    You are EXACTLY right Dakjoy. I totally agree.

  17. Anonymous - Jul 13, 2010 at 3:47 AM

    bunch of bitterness coming from bitter fans. Stern was correct for fining him for what he said, period. it was incendiary, ill conceived and not well thought. Lebron finished his contract and his time in Cleveland, lived up to his obligations and decided to move on. his hour long t.v. “special” was ill conceived and poorly contrived but bottom line is he had the right to call it quits after honoring his contract. deal with it and move on. concentrate on rebuilding and quit crying about being betrayed or whatever way you wish to label it.

  18. Tom Wylde - Jul 13, 2010 at 4:04 AM

    LeBron James has a right to leave Cleveland 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!

  19. David - Jul 13, 2010 at 4:08 AM

    I am so glad that Gilbert said what he did. When the Cavs went down to the Celtics, it seemed obvious that Lebron had not given 100%, and that he was already planning to go to another team. If the Cavs had won the championship, he would have been obligated to stay. How many times have we seen Lebron take over games, even against really tough defense. Where was that Lebron during the series with The Celts? You could tell by the look on his face and the body language that his head just wasn’t into it.
    Yes Lebron has every right to choose another team. But, not returning phone calls or texts to Cav management,and announcing his decision on an ESPN special was unprofessional, self-centered and completely lame. The Cavs players, management, and fans deserved to see Lebron leave it all on the floor during the playoffs, even if his intention was to go to another team.

  20. edwardo - Jul 13, 2010 at 5:37 AM

    This little twerp should resign, he lets leboob and company walk all over the cavs, and the league rules and even Federal tampering laws and then fines the Owner? Gilbert is a ego maniac too, but the owners should fine the commissioner, who has become a buttboy for the union and Jesse Jackson.

  21. bobbymac - Jul 13, 2010 at 5:52 AM

    how about fining d wade for his ripping of the bulls trying to keep others from signing with them how about le bone throwing games and faking injuries no that would be to hard for this dillweed

  22. Skids - Jul 13, 2010 at 7:13 AM

    When is someone going to fine that a**hole Jesse Jackson for his comments? Like anyone gives a sh*t what he thinks.

  23. Neil Whipkey - Jul 13, 2010 at 8:39 AM

    If Gilbert was correct in the things he said about James (i.e. “….a quitter…”, then why would Gilbert want to keep James around? Could it be because of the money Gilbert made?
    Gilbert is being both two faced and a jerk.

  24. ken covert - Jul 13, 2010 at 8:45 AM

    Does Jesse get a 10% finders fee???

  25. GregLTampa - Jul 13, 2010 at 8:46 AM

    I think the whole thing is what it is….entertainment. I enjoy listening to people argue and make comments about things that do not really matter, it’s amusing!!!

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