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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. Anonymous - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:18 PM

    tell that rat lebron when he comes to cleveland bring the national guard he will need it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. JJ - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:18 PM

    Now that the integrity of the game is gone.
    I wonder how many franchises will FOLD before they realize the fans are tired of this CRAP David Stern is Feeding US.

  3. Ohnonotagain - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:19 PM

    Bill , your comment is right on. The difference between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat? Self-disciplined players, and a great and deep supporting bench. Maybe these guys can grow up in a hurry, but it could be that they will simply be the same guys who couldn’t make the grade against a bunch of old guys leading a star supporting cast times three.
    LeBron isn’t a star to me anymore, not for leaving Cleveland – I understand that, but for the way it was handled. Kobe gave L.A. a championship, and he was the man with some pretty good players around him. These guys, well none of them think they are good enough to be the mainstay that way…

  4. dennis - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:19 PM

    Today the NBA is a joke! Stern…James…no difference! Bring back Larry & Magic!

  5. GilTempleton - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:21 PM

    I just hope, for the sake of everyone involved (epecially Cleveland) that this can be the end of it. I think Dan was within his rights to say how he feels, with a motivational purpose. I think James was within his rights to go wherever. But now let’s get back to the jobs at hand…playing the game to win and win “the way you play the game”.

  6. LJonesy - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:21 PM

    LeBron James is a spoiled, egotistical show pony who doesn’t give a crap about anybody but himself. Somebody will give him a hard foul that will sit him out for awhile…would do him some good to maybe sit on his A$$ and appreciate what he has

  7. bill - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:22 PM

    careful…you might get fined

  8. JJ - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:24 PM

    I agree.
    Watching Larry Bird and Magic Play is what drew me to love the game.
    Now we have garbage.

  9. bull's fan inMA - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:24 PM

    Finally! He deserved to be fined and anybody who is a professional knows it/case closed. No you do not get to say anything you want to about an employee who chooses to leave your employment. Imagine if you moved from your job to a competitor and your boss had tried to keep you by offering you more money.Then you felt you had a better opportunity at the other company and left( probably w/o a hr long special). Next thing you know your boss is emailing everyone calling you a traitor and accuses you of doing a poor job while you were there. Bet you’d wish there was a David Stern to fine his ass for you too.

  10. Mike - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:26 PM

    Why is everyone so blind? This was planned to a huge extent. The three of them were having dinner before free agency began and they just wanted to make it look like they were interested in other teams but knew they were jointing the Heat and I am sure Riley knew about it the whole time as well. As far as Stern goes he is a scumbag as well because he loves all of this, it brings the NBA exposure before next season begins and brings a whole new market of interest with these three together. It’s all a big sham and your all blind as bats!!

  11. Thomas - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:26 PM

    Let’s remember that this is basketball folks. We need to refocus our efforts on other things than thinking about LeBron leaving. WHO CARES when kids are starving, people losing their jobs and can’t pay their bills. Please let’s reevaluate.

  12. J T from the Big Easy - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:30 PM

    Hey Doug what about all those fans that ( BOOED the man )! You think that this guy should have to suck that up and dealt with it? It is not the man’s fault his owner could not supply him with one decent player who could consistently knock down a damn free throw.. You want to stop the man from trying to exercise his righta, for less money.. No!! what would have been selfish was to take the most money and possibly never win a championship… Fairy Tales are just that,, pipe dreams Hey here’s a thought, why don’t you play for the Cavs along with all those other big mouth fans… The simple truth is you all are HATERS and don’t deserve a championship… When the Heat weren’t winning, they did not boo their guys… Gilbert’s an AS. He doesn’t deserve to Win anything…

  13. hmcsp - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:30 PM

    Every team is bought. Its a game with the owners of all sports. What is the big deal. Kareem was picked by the Bucks, 2nd yr they won the championship, but went 4 more yrs winning nothing. Kareem went to the Lakers and the rest is history. Do we hate Kareem too? You are loyal to a great owner, a great owner will build a championship team. Cav’s owner does not seem like someone I would want to work for and he showed alot of arrogance thinking LeBron would stay and make money for him indefinitely, when he wouldn’t invest it back into the team.

  14. America has gone to the dogs - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:30 PM

    Man…Jesse Jackson owns Stern. I say to Gilbert – way to go…speak your mind. This race crap has gotten so bad since obama came into office that he’ll cry racisim when he isn’t elected in 2012 and will refuse to leave the White House. He’ll have the black panther’s guarding all the exits with batons. Wake up American…our country is falling into the abyss. Vote the bums out in 2012 and stop spending your money on the nba. Invest it in your kids education, so they will be stronger members of society and not the dumbass sports figures that you all so blindly follow every season.

  15. ohnonotagain - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:30 PM

    Absolutely right on – if we are just paying to see some talented players do their thing, then they should stop expecting to sell us anything else. No off court interviews, why should we care? If we are supposed to think that they have something special besides the ability to throw the ball in the basket, then they need to look at some kids younger than they are who are facing real danger everyday in a much more mature fashion. Truth to tell, the LeBron spectacle made me an anti- LeBron fan, just too creepy. Multimillionaire can’t figure out how to make a career change without disrespecting the people who admired and supported him. My nephew is helping to build schools, keep his buddies from being killed while being the best dad and husband he can be. No tears for LeBron over this, don’t blame him for changing jobs, think it was really crass to do it the way he did.

  16. rswads - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:31 PM

    Antony Mc
    If you are going to comment on here get your facts straight. Gilbert didn’t own the team the entire time Lebron was in Cleveland. And it was Lebron who put the team in a perilous position because when he signed his 1st extension he only re-upped for 3 years. The Cavs were over the salary cap from the previous regime and couldn’t go out and sign a big time player to pair with Lebron. Dan Gilbert paid the luxury tax for 3 straight years trying to trade for a partner to Lebron. Dan Gilbert is one of the best Owners in the NBA. He built the nicest practice facility in the NBA out of his own money for Lebron so Lebron wouldn’t have to drive to downtown Cleveland. Gilbert allowed Lebron’s posse to travel on the team plane to away games free of charge. Dan Gilbert is a self-made millionaire. For you to call him out and say he waited until the last minute to motivate Lebron to stay is inaccurate and ignorant.

  17. Mark - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:31 PM

    Ok, people your not allowed to give any opinions about KING JAMES.. None… It’s KING JAMES. They’ll head your head chopped to pieces..

  18. Mark - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:32 PM

    Ok, people your not allowed to give any opinions about KING JAMES.. None… It’s KING JAMES. They’ll head your head chopped to pieces..

  19. Jon Hawk - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:34 PM

    Stern had every right to fine Gibert, just to bad it wasn’t more. If a player had said that about his owner, what do you think the fine would of been???
    Go Stern….

  20. EdG - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:34 PM

    Who is Hattie and what does she have to do with any of this???

  21. Non NBA guy - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:35 PM

    It isn’t about whether David Stern had the legal / contractual right to fine Dan Gilbert, it’s about whether he had a moral or reasonable reason to fine him. I honestly believe that Dan Gilbert’s constitutional right to voice his displeasure at LeBron’s decision was usurped by David Stern, even if he had the contractual right to fine him for it. JMO

  22. rick - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:36 PM

    NAZI?? Stern is as Jewish as thy come…how moronic of you to call him a Nazi…You need to have a lobotomy…

  23. fred - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:38 PM

    lets fix lebrons mom with stern since sne screwed eveyone on the cavs team

  24. Michael - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:41 PM

    Who really gives a darn about how the people in Cleveland feel? They should be happy that LeBron stayed there as long as he did. What if you, as an employee had an opportunity to go to another company for personal growth and development, would you refuse to accept the offer because whatever city you live in would be hurt by your departure…. I think not!
    He has no obligation to Cleveland beyond going to work everyday and providing the best service that he could provide… an d we all know that he did that, every night while he was there!

  25. ukiddinme - Jul 12, 2010 at 10:43 PM

    While I am not a fan of David Stern or Mark Cuban, it seems that Gilbert was treated with a lot of restraint. His fine should have been significantly higher to achieve parity in treatment. Clearly, Gilbert should have been disappointed that LeBron did not choose to stay with the Cavs, but who can blame LeBron. Gilbert did not provide the support needed to deliver a championship. Owners are first to declare professional sports are a business until a star player shows an interest in another team…does Favre sound familiar?
    There is one place Gilbert should look to determine who is to blame…IN THE MIRROR!

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