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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. idiot - Jul 13, 2010 at 9:34 PM

    idiot, idiot, idiot
    yes, free to go where he wanted to . . . but not free to drag out his free-agency and then announce on national tv . . . also, lebron wouldn’t return a single one of gilbert’s phone calls during the process . . . meanwhile the cavs are stuck unable to move in free agency and build their new team . . . but at least the dousch bag had the courtesy to have one of ‘his people’ call gilbert 5 mins before lebron announced on tv to inform him

  2. dangilbertfrickinrules - Jul 13, 2010 at 10:04 PM

    Hellooooo freedom of speech! they cant just fine him for his OWN OPINION! i mean seriously that dude must be pretty far up lebrons butt so he fined gilbert cuz he didnt want the Princess to get upset and throw the playoffs for the Heat like he did the Cavs! SCREW LEBRON!

  3. charles - Jul 14, 2010 at 12:31 AM

    Lev you just showed how stupid you are. He turned down 128 million from Cleveland to play for 99 million in Miami. Please refraim from posting on here, let the people who know the facts post. As far as stern’s fine if its only 100,000 may as well blast stern in the paper two make it worth the while, hell you saved 120 million, go for it I’d love to see it.

  4. charlescph - Jul 14, 2010 at 12:44 AM

    Give me a break he’s only 25 and just a kid, I was in viet nam at 18 and fighting for this country and again at 20 two tours and I matured. He’s not a kid he’s a man just a dumb one who only finished high school that’s the problem not his age. He has enough people around him to tell him the right thing to do, stop making excuses for the bum.

  5. JJ CHI TOWN - Jul 14, 2010 at 2:23 AM

    Your comments sum it up! Great KEY points.

  6. Sitting on the side lines .. - Jul 14, 2010 at 2:52 AM

    Hi, Caught this thread from another link and just want to chip in with a thought …
    Do you not think that its the vast sums of money these guys are getting paid thats making a mockery of not only this sport but all professional sports ? I’m from New Zealand and really only watch Rugby but our ‘professionals’ are not even in the same solar system as the European soccer clubs or US NBA and NFL etc. There is a different discipline ther, sure there are always problems wherever you go but less extremes. I realize the fan base is different of course but a coulple of the comments have struck a chord with me.
    Someone said it was turning into a sort akin to the wrestling federation and are these guys with all the money and exaggerated life styles really the sort of role models you want for your kids ?
    I’m all for fair pay and reward for what you do but is anyone really worth 125 million ? New talent needs and incentive but lets be serious. This is the sort of thing that prices fans out of what they really love.
    Give sports back to the people who really love them – the fans ! Not the greedy corporations that milk you for every cent you have.

  7. Sixnine - Jul 14, 2010 at 5:32 AM

    Sarl and all you other so call experts, how do you know Lebron quit in any games. Obviously you were never an athlete of any substance, skill or level of success. Lebron has epitomized competativeness, drive, desire to win and team play. Anyone whose been in sports knows all superstar athletes carry a great deal of arrogance about them. Bird, Magic, Kobe and MJ all do. When you put so much pressure on yourself to succeed, when you alone carry the hopes and dreams of a city to finally overcome and win something and you carry this as an 18yo kid to a 25yo young man, I think its okay to be upset and not shake an opponents hand after a loss, well lets see, you play well over 300 NBA games and shake hands, you don’t in 1 Oooooooh bad Lebron. Get over it! Not only do you not see how dangerously irresponsible the owners comments were, you are incapable of applying rational thought that asks, if Lebron was all these horrible things, a coward, a quitter, a narcassistic whatever… how come he was willing to pay the man 125 mill to stay? Hmmmmm could it be because he’s the best young talent in the NBA thats made him more money in 7 years, that if he hadn’t been lucky enough to win him in the draft lottery, he would have made in 25 years. IT seems to be a general concensus that Lebron should not have participated in “the decision”, however none of you have a problem with every sports media writer and outlet promoting this decision for the past two years as though it was the biggist thing in NBA free agent history. Here is some food for thought. Moses Malone & A-Rod, Look’em up! You can call his friends cronies and all the other names you please, but don’t you wish you had a friend that cared about you enough to stand by you, include you in their success and be your best friend since you were in grade school. And why did he not return the owners calls? Did the owner consult with him prior to firing the coach he likes, most successful coach in team history and a coach of the year? Why did Danny Ferry quite? All this occured within weeks of them being eliminated from the playoffs. No one was saying Lebron quit then. Check it: Season Avgs – 29.7PPG, 7.3RPG, 8.6APG, 3.43TO @ 50.3FG%, 76.7FT% Play Off Avgs – 29.1PPG, 9.3RPG, 7.6APG, 3.82TO @ 50.2FG%, 73.3FT% Keep in mind he was playing with an injured shoulder in the semis. Where did he quite? Love the game and quite being name calling biotches with unfounded judgments and a mis-representation of the facts. And stop with that freedom of speech crap! This is not a goverment issue, Thanks Teacher – “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.”

  8. clevelandgetoverit - Jul 14, 2010 at 8:36 AM

    Appears Lebron made a great choice leaving Cleveland since John says people from there would not have a problem throwing bottles at people that do not agree with them. Sad city no wonder they are in the situation they are in now. Sounds like Cavs fans and the wonderful people of Cleveland are nothing but wild animals and thugs. Great job representing your city

  9. calm down - Jul 14, 2010 at 11:31 AM

    So let me get this straight,the owner has freedom of speech but LeBron does not have freedom of choice. When LeBron became a free agent, he owed no apologies or explanations. He does not have to leave Cleveland on Gilbert’s terms, he only has to leave Cleveland on the NBA’s terms. The owner’s behavior was childish to say the least; he’s not one I would want to work for. To say that cleveland would win a championship before LeBron would seems odd. I guess he plans to use his 100+ million (offered to LeBron) to pay off the officials. I don’t know if Gilbert is a native of Cleveland, but he sure has adapted to what appears to be a “Ghetto” mentality. Players change teams all the time but I have never seen bonfires. The city simply marks the shirts of ex-players down to 1/2 off for quick sell.

  10. Dan - Jul 14, 2010 at 3:49 PM

    If you ask most hard working Americans they would tell you they take a whole lot more crap in their job then crybaby LeBron and don’t earn anywhere near the money this spoiled brat does.

  11. Michael - Jul 14, 2010 at 3:49 PM

    Why are you calling people imbecilic douche bag for saying someone is a Nazi? A Nazi has similar aspects to anyone (even a Jew) but can be someone that practices the policies that are characteristic of Nazism. The NBA’s Stern is definitely practicing a totalitarian Fascist ideology in the punishment of Gilbert who did nothing but speak his mind.

  12. OKCThunder - Jul 14, 2010 at 3:52 PM

    He wasn’t saying it literally.

  13. Tam - Jul 14, 2010 at 4:26 PM

    Ummmmm… something to think about.

  14. Chooch - Jul 14, 2010 at 7:49 PM

    I agree.. That guy who made that comment is a tool.

  15. Randy - Jul 14, 2010 at 8:00 PM

    I think LeBron was wrong in how he handled this and Gilbert for speaking in the moment of anger so harshly. Do I think the $100K fine is just, hell no. But that isn’t what bothers me the most.
    LeBron had the right to leave and I believe Gilbert had the right to be angry and speak his mind, but the real idiot are the “people” trying to make this a racial issue. Race had nothing to do with it! If LeBron was white or Gilbert was black, we would not be hearing that trash.
    I am sick and tired of people trying to take every issue and twist it in to a race issue. Just freaking leave race out of it. I don’t care if you are white, black, brown, red, or yellow. We all bleed the same red and feel the same emotions. There was no racism in this issue. PLEASE quit it. This type of hate just makes the situation worse and actually polarizes people who weren’t racist to start thinking and acting racist.
    We are people of flesh and blood and it is time to quit.

  16. hector - Jul 16, 2010 at 9:51 AM

    the NBA is not a country, its a COMPANY you moron, and what that IDIOT Gilbert said deserved an even HIGHER fine…

  17. Tony - Jul 17, 2010 at 9:46 PM

    its alright to express yourself, but dan lied and told cleveland fans that lebron threw games to make them lose, now thats not expressing yourself, thats called lying

  18. Tony - Jul 17, 2010 at 10:11 PM

    Please JJ, are you really serious. Please tell me that youre too smart, to believe in that garbage you posted. Dan told cleveland fans that Lebron threw games to make them lose, that is an flat out lie. Dan, is mad because this owners use and treat these players like slaves and garbage. Lebron is a major basketball star, and made him wait, he wasnt obligated to tell dan that he was going to miami, until he announced it. Lebron dont owe Dan or the cleveland fans nothing, he played hes heart out, he took them to playoffs and finals. Cleveland made tons of revenue, restaurants, bars, the franchise and akron. Hey JJ, why didnt dan stupiod but get Lebron help like every other owner did for their star player, they brung in Ben Wallace, what a joke, guy damn near 40, a washed up shaq that cant even practice without being in severe pain, he had a washed up eric snow, antwon jamison is washed up, please every championship team have a nucleous of three, LA Lakers, have Kobe, kasol, Bynum, ron artest defensive specialist, a seven foot guard off the bench Lam,ar odom, three point specialist derek fisher, farmar, shannon brown, celtics have garnett, paul pierce, ray allen, pheonix had stourdmaire, nash, micheal jordan, had 3 3 point champions, steve kerr, john paxon, graig hodges, dennis rodman, grabbing 20 rebounds a game, scoty pippen defensive player of the year, and averaging over 20 points, horace grant averaging over 10 points and 10 rebounds, bj armstrong, randy brown defense magnet, and they had the best coach phil jackson. Honestly JJ, wopuld you continue to play for a team, that got you no, no ,no damn help, but filled u the stadium for yers off your name, Wade, bash and lebron are just good nba players, lebron finally have a shot at getting a ring. If you really dont understand that JJ, you dont know jack about basketball or sports, please respond

  19. Earl - Jul 21, 2010 at 8:30 PM

    Cleveland you will be beat down continously by the Heat for the next 7 years… think of it not winning one game. No Hate from the Heat just a focus that tey never want to hear your mouth again. Good luck…

  20. Anonymous - Aug 4, 2010 at 1:45 PM

    What Teacher said was right on: freedom of speech applies to government sanctions and your right as a citizen to voice your opinions. In the world of basketball and other sports where you are an “employee” you are bound by contracts that reflect THEM. I work for an agency that if i were in uniform i could not stand on the steps and bad mouth my company…and that is because when you are hired you agree to comply with THEIR rules and regulations. Which means you simply cannot say and do things that negatively reflect your employer. Kind of like “conduct unbecoming”.

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