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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. p - Jul 12, 2010 at 9:12 PM

    no free speech in the NBA, eh?

  2. maxxi - Jul 12, 2010 at 9:12 PM

    David Stern is a power monger!! He never hesitates to show his self-adulation and power through these ridiculous fines against the coaches. How much money did he get out of Phil Jackson? Way too much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    He has been on his throne way too long!!!

  3. Thomas - Jul 12, 2010 at 9:12 PM

    Dan Gilbert was absolutely in his right to speak his mind… but David Stern was well within his to fine him as well. Any player, coach, owner that speaks his/her mind has to worry about the league coming down. For all the Gilbert letter fans out there… how many times has a player said something about the league or their team on twitter and get fined heavily by the league. Please don’t have selective memory of how things work.
    As the article said, the fine amount is basically chump change to gilbert (wish I had some change) but the real fine was the condemnation by Stern. I think he deserved it.

  4. Henry - Jul 12, 2010 at 9:13 PM

    The fine should have been higher if it was allowed. Gilbert showed the character and integrity of someone with very little intelligence and/or decorum. Professionals, whom there seem to be a lack of on this thread(Nazi??), are required to act in much better ways than the owner of this organization has acted in this situation. Maybe Gilbert will reflect on his ill-advised actions and realize someone in his position is expected to show a better example to the fans of the NBA than the one he has shown after LeBron’s decision.
    To the person throwing the Nazi reference around so casually, you have no sense of history to use this characterization to describe anything this meaningless in this manner. The use of anything pertaining to the despicable actions of the Third Reich should be reserved for that group of people, because we haven’t seen that type of viciousness in the world since then. People show their ignorance with the use of the word Nazi to describe anything they don’t agree with, and never mind that Mr. Stern is Jewish. That just puts you in the category of the idiotic.

  5. CommonSense - Jul 12, 2010 at 9:14 PM

    Nazi? You’re an imbecile.

  6. Bob - Jul 12, 2010 at 9:17 PM

    This entire saga is just another nail in my NBA coffin. I can’t stand the showboat dunks, the double dribbles, the traveling, and the refs who overlook it all to favor the “money” players. The NBA is headed to the fake world of wrestling. Down with the NBA; long live college basketball.

  7. JJ - Jul 12, 2010 at 9:17 PM

    Isn’t this something?
    You can’t voice your opinion after your star player puts the screws to a Franchise….and a City (And I am not talking about the fact…..he is allowed to go elsewhere to play) for years to come.
    And the gutless POLITICIAN Stern ….. who is now running a league like Professional Wrestling. Oh that’s right……this is ENTERTAINMENT.
    It’s ok that Dwayne Wade served as a go-between for the Heat Management and Bosch and James. And all three change to the same agent to make signing together easier and possible.
    Oh…that’s right….players are allowed to talk…..my mistake.
    Or that all three PLAYERS PLAYED SUB-PAR GAMES IN EACH OF THEIR TEAMS PLAYOFF SERIES.
    No conspiracy there.
    STERN……YOU WILL PAY THE ULTIMATE PRICE FOR SERVING THE FANS A PIECE OF GARBAGE.
    WE HAVE AWAKENED TO THE TRUTH.
    WE ARE THE EMPLOYEES OF YOU AND THE PLAYERS.
    IF WE STRIKE……YOU WILL LOSE.
    WE THE FANS ARE GETTING FED UP BY YOU AND YOUR RIGHTEOUS INCONSISTENCIES.
    Maybe Dan Gilbert can’t say anything….or any of the other OWNERS.
    BUT WE AS FANS HAVE THE RIGHT……..SO GET IT RIGHT…..OR MAYBE WE CAN PETITION TO HAVE YOU……FIRED. Or Bankrupt the entire NBA for the Garbage that we are being spoon fed.
    Sleep Well.

  8. id1 - Jul 12, 2010 at 9:18 PM

    WOW. Did he graduate middle school? Is English his second language?

  9. id1 - Jul 12, 2010 at 9:20 PM

    I am speaking to Dan.

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

    Piss on NBA. It’s a big joke with the players, I’m glad ny kid isn’t looking for some good morales and someone to look up to because he would be greatly disapppointed in what is out there in the sports world today

  11. Jimee Johnson - Jul 12, 2010 at 9:23 PM

    Kim is right on the money. Gilebert is a punk, sore loser. Are you? LeBron wins, and losers lose!

  12. luvzcatzdogz - Jul 12, 2010 at 9:24 PM

    I am so tired of people whining about this issue. I used to love basketball, didn’t care who was playing just enjoyed the sport. Yes, Labron did this in a very tacky, non-classy way. That is typical of young atheletes full of themselves. I has nothing to do with his color or being “milked” of his youth and talent. Yes, the Coach has dumba$$ asttack and got burned for it. It’s over and done, get on with the game people. We can’t change it unless we stop supporting the sport and we know that is not going to happen.

  13. bigums - Jul 12, 2010 at 9:25 PM

    We must all keep in mind that LeBron is a 25 year old kid. If you were faced with a tough decision that would tear the hearts of a million + people, how would handle it at that age. Probably the same way that he did. Remember, the public has been looking at this decision for over three years now, it has come to pass, SO WHAT!!! Unless you are a gambler and his decision makes a difference in your life, then you must adjust, otherwise look at the NBA as it is meant to be, ENTERTAINMENT. Pure and simple. LeBron had the right to do what he saw as right for him and no one esle.

  14. id1 - Jul 12, 2010 at 9:25 PM

    JJ sounds upset.

  15. HAHAHAHA - Jul 12, 2010 at 9:26 PM

    Now that is absolutely funny…Sterns fining Gilbert???? And that is after Sterns told the world there would be no pow wow with the players figuring out where they wanted to play with…can anyone say TAMPERING???? Maybe good old David S will figure out they boys did something different than he told them to? Hahahaha…this is way too funny…Go Dan!!!!!! AND BTW….I live in Orlando so I don’t really care where LeBum ends up…if Dan can say it, I can, LJ quit against the Magic in the playoffs, I know, I was sitting court side. I don’t need to watch it on any film :)

  16. [a] proxy - Jul 12, 2010 at 9:27 PM

    BACK TO BACK TO BACK CHAMPIONSHIPS COMING UP FOR THE LAKERS NEXT SEASON…ENOUGH SAID!

  17. Meg - Jul 12, 2010 at 9:28 PM

    Gilbert had SEVEN years to put together the right pieces to win a championship with LeBron there. LeBron owes Cleveland nothing. Gilbert is nothing but a sore loser, and deep down he knows he blew it. If Mark Cuban had made comments like that, he would’ve been fined just the same. People may not like Stern, but he’s and equal opportunity finer.

  18. Sarl - Jul 12, 2010 at 9:28 PM

    I think that Gilbert got his money’s worth in his open letter. While I thought that Gilbert went a little too far in his scathing letter, he was right on point in the way that LaBron handled this entire recruiting process. While LaBron was in his right to pick and choose what team he wanted to go to, the way the Diva handled it was totally wrong. It was worth 100K I am certain for Gilbert to diss his dirt. So many things that Gilbert said in the letter were true. LaBron did quit on the team in the playoff. He did act like an egotistical maniac by putting on that charade on tv. It was ill advised and it tells you a lot about LaBron and his youthful brand of advisers. Gilbert is a gilted lover and that is the way a gilted lover responds to adversity. They strike back with a poisonious venoms like a rattler. The letter was poisonious and venimous. Gilbert gave LaBron and his crony friends the key to the castle and in the end, they sullied the castle and let it bare. I am not surprised by LaBron’s lack of common decency and gratitude. Cleveland fans should have seen it coming. Over the past two years, LaBron has displayed nothing but childish behavior–from his refusal to shake hands in the 2009 playoffs to him and his cronies confiscating the tape of the kid who dunked on him to his quitting in the playoffs and he failed to take any responsibility for the loss. I am glad that Gilbert called his punk azz out. Hopefully LaBron will learn from this experience and it will make his a better man.

  19. OnlynroP - Jul 12, 2010 at 9:28 PM

    It is ALL Bush’s fault! Didn’t ya know? Go buy more Kool-aid! This time, be sure to get the “Jonestown” brand!

  20. Reals - Jul 12, 2010 at 9:29 PM

    Quit being a hater!! If you were in Lebron’s shoes, I’m sure you would do the same thing. His contract was up and he went elsewhere. What in the hell is wrong with him making changes in your career?? Lebron has every right to go where in hell he wants. You people need to quit being so hateful and immature!!!!!

  21. Phil - Jul 12, 2010 at 9:31 PM

    As far as I’m concerned there is no basis for Sterns fine. Both the city of Cleveland and the team gave Lebron everything he wanted and more. For Lebron to humilate the city and the team the way he did on national TV deserved some reaction.

  22. carl - Jul 12, 2010 at 9:31 PM

    the media made this thing as big as it was….and let us not forget that lebron turned this thing into a charity event….

  23. pete - Jul 12, 2010 at 9:31 PM

    you must be one of those pussy miami fans

  24. JJ - Jul 12, 2010 at 9:31 PM

    ADDEMDUM: Correction
    Isn’t this something?
    You can’t voice your opinion after your star player puts the screws to a Franchise….and a City (And I am not talking about the fact…..he is allowed to go elsewhere to play) for years to come.
    And the gutless POLITICIAN Stern ….. who is now running a league like Professional Wrestling. Oh that’s right……this is ENTERTAINMENT.
    It’s ok that Dwayne Wade served as a go-between for the Heat Management and Bosch and James. And all three change to the same agent to make signing together easier and possible.
    Oh…that’s right….players are allowed to talk…..my mistake.
    Or that all three PLAYERS PLAYED SUB-PAR GAMES IN EACH OF THEIR TEAMS PLAYOFF SERIES.
    No conspiracy there.
    STERN……YOU WILL PAY THE ULTIMATE PRICE FOR SERVING THE FANS A PIECE OF GARBAGE.
    WE HAVE AWAKENED TO THE TRUTH.
    WE ARE THE EMPLOYER OF YOU AND THE PLAYERS.
    IF WE STRIKE……YOU WILL LOSE.
    WE THE FANS ARE GETTING FED UP BY YOU AND YOUR RIGHTEOUS INCONSISTENCIES.
    Maybe Dan Gilbert can’t say anything….or any of the other OWNERS.
    BUT WE AS FANS HAVE THE RIGHT……..SO GET IT RIGHT…..OR MAYBE WE CAN PETITION TO HAVE YOU……FIRED. Or Bankrupt the entire NBA for the Garbage that we are being spoon fed.
    Sleep Well.

  25. ThunderThighs - Jul 12, 2010 at 9:34 PM

    If Wade and Bosh came to Cleveland to play with LeBron… Cleveland would be singing another song. I don’t agree with how LeBron went about doing things, but he was well within his rights to play for another team. I don’t understand the giving notice to the Cleveland ownership though… were they not aware of when his contract expired? Yeah, they knew when it expired. Cavs fans are talking out of both sides of their mouths and it’s getting tiresome. If LeBron sucks so bad, if he’s a quitter, if he’s all the other horrible names he’s been called — why are they so sad he’s gone? They should be down on their knees thanking Pat Riley for taking that garbage out of Cleveland, but they aren’t. Woe is me. Give me a break! I’m so tired of hearing these Cleveland people continually crying and whining like spoiled rotten children! We are seeing the true colors of Cleveland! LeBron James is a bad example? Look in the mirror folks!

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