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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. Mark - Jul 12, 2010 at 11:37 PM

    This has nothing to do with constitutional rights, only contract law. Read the definition of freedom of speech

  2. Eric - Jul 12, 2010 at 11:37 PM

    But have you say it, Lebron had no right to choose where he wanted to go. His only choice should have been Cleveland huh? Talk about being a Nazi.

  3. JJ - Jul 12, 2010 at 11:38 PM

    Bend over DAVID STERN……. The ROYAL PENIS is about to enter.

  4. nettkitten - Jul 12, 2010 at 11:41 PM

    A classic case of two wrongs not making a right. Gilbert needed to be the bigger man, here. He’s an owner; the ultimate representative for his organization. Instead of berating LJ for the rotten way that he communicated his choice, Gilbert should have stepped up – told him he would be missed and that Cleveland would always be his town ready to welcome him home at any time, then go on to build his team. Now his petty snarkiness is going to make lots of good players think twice about coming to Cleveland lest they end up making similar decisions and risk getting chewed out publicly, too. Neither of them handled this the right way but in the end Gilbert is responsible for the morale of his club and this was a pretty lousy way to build it.

  5. JJ - Jul 12, 2010 at 11:43 PM

    It seems that some people really don’t get the Lebron James saga.
    The TOTAL Manipulation the Wade Bosch and James …..along with the Miami Heat management……..has SCREWED Other teams OVER that are competing fairly.
    This could affect the league for many years to come.

  6. Anonymous - Jul 12, 2010 at 11:45 PM

    Using the word “Nazi” to describe someone is nothing more than using the “F” word and shows nothing more than ignorance and stupity. The writer should be ashamed of himself for using the word. Right or wrong, he governs the league in a manner that needs to occur.

  7. Jerry - Jul 12, 2010 at 11:45 PM

    Wow. I couldn’t agree with you more.
    It sure seems like “collusion” to me. Planning YEARS(?) in advance to each work you contracts so that they all end in the same year in order to join together on the same team?
    I’m not expert BUT I thought that there were rules against this type of thing?
    This move alone has made the NBA a joe to me when the millionaire players can just join together and form a “super” team.
    It truly has become just like wrestling. Where is the hard fought real competetivness ???

  8. robotmonster - Jul 12, 2010 at 11:47 PM

    Gilbert can speak his mind- the fine is ridiculous. Remember, however, this is the same man who tried to lure Tom Izzo to coach his now sorry franchise. He had no problems with Izzo’s 28 plus years as a Spartan. Gilbert is a greedy hypocrite, and, someone who with his gimmick loan business, got us into this mess, and made himself rich.

  9. JJ - Jul 12, 2010 at 11:49 PM

    ummmmmm ……. you’re right.
    I am now going to go out …….screw a bunch of people over …….manipulate the system………take all your cash.
    And you know something …… that’s ok ….because it’s all about me.
    Not you little people.
    Your Friend ….. only if you kneel before me.
    Anonymous NBA Player / Politician

  10. Steelers1 - Jul 12, 2010 at 11:52 PM

    I’m in Stern’s corner all the way! That embicle “Giblet” is a waa-waa baby, squealing like a stuck pig! He doesn’t have the stones to wish Lebron well in Miami. No, He hollers like there’s no tomorrow. Some of you say Lebron should have call Glibert. I say it’s the other way around. Why didn’t “Giblet” call James if he wanted to have him back. Pushing money at someone who has enough should have told him what Lebron really wants….A RING!!! Hell, I don’t blame Lebron for leaving. “Giblet” wanted to pacify him by pushing money down his throat. It just showed that Gilbert didn’t have a clue what his team really wants. It just goes to show you that money alone doesn’t make one happy! Well, most everyone! Go Lebron and the Miami Heat!!!

  11. Narollah - Jul 12, 2010 at 11:53 PM

    L.J. and LeBron’s camp must have been verbally misleading Gilbert with false gaurantees that he would stay (playing with all-out heart & soul) if certain costly trades and acquisitions be made. Not a man of his word his play proved that he was playing Gilbert, the team, and the fans out of a lot of hopes, dreams. …What a poker player.

  12. tinyterror - Jul 12, 2010 at 11:55 PM

    Whaaaaat? Black athletes? you reverse racist mfer!! Team owners do the same to any athlete. Quit trying to play your stupid race card. Are you gonna claim that black athletes aren’t earning the majority of sports dollars right now? Figure it out Ahole, sports are not about color, they’re about talent. If the heat coulda got Gasol, they would have. duma$$

  13. William Hansen - Jul 12, 2010 at 11:56 PM

    Wonder why the people of Cleveland don’t get a life, to bad they wanted one man to do it all for them, while they sit back and cry their eyes out over james bettering him self. get a life Cleveland.

  14. Thundarr - Jul 12, 2010 at 11:56 PM

    Come on now. I dislike David Stern probably as much as you. However, to call the man a Nazi is going way too far. Do you have any idea what the Nazi’s represented? I think not.

  15. whostalkin - Jul 13, 2010 at 12:00 AM

    Danny’s career is gonzo
    “free” agent don’t mean slave to anybody, including danny boy
    Dan = Mel?

  16. Thundarr - Jul 13, 2010 at 12:00 AM

    Good argument!

  17. OffCrenshaw - Jul 13, 2010 at 12:00 AM


  18. cavssuck - Jul 13, 2010 at 12:02 AM


  19. JJ - Jul 13, 2010 at 12:03 AM

    Ok…..I am done with the NBA.
    Here is my Chant ….
    Go Penguins !!! The NHL is the BEST.

  20. JJ - Jul 13, 2010 at 12:09 AM


  21. tjak - Jul 13, 2010 at 12:10 AM

    Jimee, your an idiot. Lebron has won screw all; have you ever watched Cleveland win the title. Get over yourself.

  22. HAHAHAHA - Jul 13, 2010 at 12:12 AM

    You’re right. LJ can go wherever the hell he wants…he just showed the world he can do so with absolutely no class…and even better…he tried to con the world some more with hiring the interviewer…even more funny than his classless way to leave a town…hmmmmm…what would the other guy with a J as an initial for his last name do…you know…the one that won all those championships and played for a POS owner in chicago? Don’t think we’re going to be seeing a bunch of TV adds of Be like lebron – thank goodness for that at least…good luck to LeBum he’s not going to win any championship with Miami either:)

  23. Antoinette - Jul 13, 2010 at 12:14 AM

    I agree whole heartedly Luke. This is business. To some people disappointing business, but still business.

  24. brad - Jul 13, 2010 at 12:18 AM

    Dude! Obviously you put a lot of thought and effort into your blog. That is a shame!! Because if an idiot never spoke his mind noone would realize he was an idiot. Let’s examine several of your points.
    “Those team owners milk black athletes of their youth and talent”
    Please explain how this happens. Boston series aside…Did Lebron suddenly age 30 years and lose the right to dribble, pass, shoot?
    “Lebron is selling his skills to the right price when it is still time.”
    If you went to a private school and paid good money for an english class… please ask for a refund!!
    “He is a caliber of black athletes who know the business value they bring to the franchise ”
    God! This is just painful!! Please stop trying to sound intelligent..
    We need the Lebron, the Kobe, to stand up to the fat cats who are making so much money.
    Can you get the Lebron or the Kobe cured with a shot of Penicilin?? I am assuming your oppressed mind meant to pluralize Lebron and Kobe.
    Those team owners milk black athletes of their youth and talent, press them like an orange, and don’t care when they go broke or end up in trouble, or on the streets. Lebron is selling his skills to the right price when it is still time. He is a caliber of black athletes who know the business value they bring to the franchise and do not accept being locked somewhere making less when they can earn better somewhere else; the fat cat owners know that all too well. They do not give a damn rat’s ass if they have to ship a player somewhere when their value has decreased or when they want to acquire a better talent. it is all about money and the bottom line, it should be, not only for teams and their fat owners, but for the players too. We need the Lebron, the Kobe, to stand up to the fat cats who are making so much money.

  25. mike villwock - Jul 13, 2010 at 12:19 AM

    this whole farce, exalting a thug in adulation simply because he can play basketball, is ridiculous and shows the ethical decay of american society.

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