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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. jack - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:01 PM

    Can this Gilbert guy please get *sshole of the year!
    What a freakn MORON! – how does his idiotic actions fair in the long run for any free agent considering Cleveland?..
    He’s definitely in the club w/mark cuban, al davis, etc..
    d*psh*t

  2. JustTheFacts - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:01 PM

    @TexasMike – Players can’t “tamper”. Tampering is when another team’s management contacts a player. Players are in the Union, so there can’t be tampering or collusion.
    All the LeBron bashers, including Gilbert, sound like the guy in the bar who gets rejected by the hot girl & then says that she’s ugly.
    You can’t stand LeBron because he turned you down. If he changed his mind tomorrow & came to your team, you’d buy his jersey.
    He never said he was going to stay, or that he was going to NY or Chi or NJ or anywhere. That was all the media, showing that they actually don’t know a damn thing.
    That’s where I stand & I’m a Knicks fan!!

  3. Tony - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:02 PM

    Who’s Osama Bin Laden?

  4. TKD - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:02 PM

    Stern is laughable. So he’s going to fine Gilbert for what he said. Fine. Now that there are reports of player tampering in “The Decision”, though the Cavs and Raptor have passed on having an investigation conducted, maybe Stern will get a pair, conduct the investigation and if it proves true fine each of the players, coaches and team officials involved 10x as much?
    If you think that’s going to happen you’ll probably believe I’m going to buy 10 Bugati Veyron’s tomorrow.

  5. mikesporty - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:02 PM

    I agree!

  6. whoitisnt - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:02 PM

    This has nothing to do with freedom of speech.
    This has nothing to do with freedom of speech.
    This has nothing to do with freedom of speech.
    This has nothing to do with freedom of speech.
    This has nothing to do with freedom of speech.
    Got it? Now give it a rest. You just make yourself look ignorant by even mentioning that. This is about contract law.

  7. 60eagles - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:03 PM

    The NBA is a junk league filled with thugs and morons. It has long ago lost it’s popularity with the average fan. Who the hell wants to sit up in the rafters and pay $150.00 for the privilege. And the taxpayers even bought the damn arena for this classless clown, owners and players. It’s a league filled with black players and coaches and white owners. You can have the freak’n NBC. It’s for losers.

  8. Dakjoy - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:03 PM

    I consider myself a great basketball fan. I do love the game. But it is a game. These are boys playing what they love and making a lot of money. This is being taken far too seriously. Perhaps if Gilbert had a better team to play with LeBron, he may have stayed. Gilbert had seven years to get him some help but did he? No. He has no one to blame but himself.

  9. Nina - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:04 PM

    LeBron was exceptionally immature to handle things the way he did, but he does have the right to play for any team that wants his talent. If Dan Gilbert had been less emotional, and waited a day to write something, he would have looked less like a petulant child who had his favorite toy taken away, and more like an actual grownup. It’s a tossup as to who was more immature.

  10. JJ - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:04 PM

    Isn’t something to…… By Wade – Bosch and James willingly taking less money to play together……with out the players UNION knowing of their PLAN.
    These 3 have JUST SCREWED THEIR OWN PLAYERS UNION AND EVERYTHING THAT WORKED FOR OVER THE LAST 30 YEARS TO GET THE MOST MONEY.
    So…..most likely…..they have given the OWNERS THE POWER IN THE NEXT CONTRACT AGREEMENT.
    Isn’t LIFE GRAND. Now players from around the League can HATE YOU TOO.

  11. Bill-Sonora - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:05 PM

    I SECOND THAT!
    TexasMike-
    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

  12. mikesporty - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:05 PM

    LeBron is exactly where he should be… especially after that open letter!

  13. rswads - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:06 PM

    Take this from someone who knows in Lebron’s hometown…….People are going to find out about the true Lebron. When Dan Gilbert spoke about tired of covering for Lebron he meant it. People in Akron know the real Lebron. He (alledgedly) has as many illegitimate children as Shawn Kemp (another real winner) but everyone has kept that part of his life quiet. Tiger Woods got skewered over this but Lebron skates free. Lebron never liked Cleveland. He wore a Yankees hat to an Indians game and openly rooted against the Indians. He stood on the Cowboys sideline and openly rooted for the Cowboys when they played the Browns in Cleveland. You don’t play in a man’s town and disrespect him like that. And there is no question he quit on his team. If David Stern wants to do something for the good of the NBA he would look into the playoff series versus Boston. Anyone with a basketball IQ can see Lebron quit. Even the ESPN and TNT studio crews were shaking their heads and disbelieving what they saw. Yes Dan Gilbert tried to resign Lebron but what choice did he have? He knew if Lebron left the value of his franchise would go down. In a town like Miami the real Lebron will come to the surface. On a police blotter. Adios Lebron..You are a great athlete but you’re a miserable human being. Yes Lebron exercised his right to leave as a free agent but we are goint to exercise our right to make it very uncomfortable for him to step foot in his hometown. If Lebron had left with class the Cavaliers would have retired his number. But he chose to leave as a coward. A simple phone call to the team that paid you millions for 7 years would have worked. But Lebron chose instead in his words “I wanted the day to be about me”. Lastly, David Stern can fine Dan Gilbert but he can’t shut him up and the truth will come out.

  14. wisdomseeker - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:06 PM

    There are many times when it’s better to say nothing and let your actions speak volumes. We have a prima facie case here.
    Another recent one is Tony Hayward, the can’t-shoot-straight CEO of BP.
    President Lincoln said it best: Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.
    There is no doubt in these cases.

  15. Anonymous - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:07 PM

    you know randy, I used to feel that way about the great willie mays leaving the SF giants. you must be from cleveland and need to get over it. As much as we would like, athletes don’t have to stay where we want them!

  16. Turdburglar - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:07 PM

    Everyone involved in this fiasco is a bearded clam. To hell with all these clowns!

  17. Dingleberry - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:08 PM

    Who is Lebron James?

  18. lb - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:09 PM

    Thank Goodness LeBron did not answer the open letter.
    So far we are all expressing our opinion on what this player decided. This is a grown man and he is in his rights.
    What a waste of hated comments.
    Who gives a rats. The man is going to play and make his money anyway. some of you are just plain haters and will always be the way you are.
    -Mr. Jackson is 1001% right and on point
    -LeBron is going to play with whomever he chooses
    -The fine sets precedence to what is wrong
    _The United States of America is in debt to foreign countries up its nose.
    -Hattie is starving – people are dying.
    – Soldiers ate fighting a war not ours.
    AS THE WORLD TURNS—-On and ON and ON. “The joke is on “US”

  19. Adam - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    Why is everyone talking about “Freedom of Speech?” Mr. Gilbert is essentially an employee of the NBA. Freedom of speech can be limited in the workplace, which is essentially what the NBA is. Can he say what he felt? Sure. Is he liable for the reprocussions, as the comments directly relates to his workplace? Yes. I don’t side with either. LeBron made a big deal out of something for his own pleaseure. Mr. Gilbert acted like it was love when it should have been treated like business, which is what the NBA is. Let’s all just stop taking it personally, understand that LeBron has a big head, and move on. It would suite us all the best.

  20. commonsenseain'tcommon - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    I knew some dimwit would play the race card eventually. What about the white players who go through exactly the same process? Or do you think that the black players are intellectually inferior and need protection that others don’t? These players all have agents and lawyers to read and interpret the contracts and if they can’t find good advice while making 20 million a year then they deserve to lose it all and go back to mamma’s rent controlled publicly subsidized apartment.

  21. T - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:12 PM

    cleveland needs to get over it!!! since when does anyone own an nba player???

  22. Mary - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:13 PM

    I agree with you – someone needs to start a campaign to get rid of David Stern. His time has come and gone

  23. Antony Mc. - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:13 PM

    7yrs of almost or one chance to make it. We can’t make his mind up for him, you can’t tell him what too do either, what we can do is respect his decision, if for anything do it for the love of the game, these three guy Wade, Bosh and James are doing what they are doing for love of the game not so much about the money, of course they are getting paid, but not as much as they could get, so stop wining and just think about it. alot of us would do it for money, money, then everything else after money. The Cavaliers had the best player in the NBA for seven years and what does Gilbert do he waits to do things at the end of James contract, TOO LATE DAN. Greatness does not wait for greed, it moves on, plus it is warmer in MIAMI.
    Other great GM’s got the players for there star, not Dan he was just raken in the dough now he is pissed that his money man is gone gone gone.

  24. commonsenseain'tcommon - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:16 PM

    Hw is Barry Obamas second cousin on his fathers side who is a second round draft pick.

  25. Larry Parker - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:16 PM

    The NBA is trying to hide behind this so called Gilbert controversy. The NBA needs to be investigated for their hand in this matter. As they would say in Big Time basketball this is all for entertainment. There was collusive tampering going on from the top of the NBA all the way down to D. Wade. And Jesse Jackson your’re an idiot, Lebron leaving Cleveland is probably hurting more black people then others. Lebron leaving is not the problem it’s the way he did it.

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