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

    Here is a Post from Cleveland’s very own Boobie Gibson. It’s players like this that give hope to the game.
    >>>>Cleveland Stand Up
    What Up World,
    This Message is Directly for the fans of Cleveland from your adopted son, The one and only Boobie G. As you know i was born and raised in Houston, TX. Never once stayed outside the state for more than two weeks and the time I did, that was for basketball. But after two years of college at the University of Texas I decided to make the jump. You can just imagine how fast my mind was racing going to a city so many miles out of my comfort zone not knowing one single person. But I thank God it was Cleveland! Because From day one the city embraced me and made me feel like I was home. My Second HOME. And as time went on I began to see why we connected. Cleveland is a never die city, city of loyalty, hard-workers, passion, desire, and toughness. A lot of the same characteristics I have in me and that inspired me. So I made a promise to myself that every day I stepped foot on that basketball court I would show the world what Cleveland was all about. Leaving everything i had on the court. So no matter what obstacle was placed in front of me, I would bust right through it. No matter how high, I would get over it. Or how wide I would get around it. N I hope I did that and will continue to do that. I said that to say, I know right now emotions are high, and people are confused about the way things went down. But I’m here to say DO NOT FORGET THAT WE STILL HERE. and WE GONE GRIND!!!! The Cavaliers haven’t went anywhere, just lost a piece. Everything in life happens for a reason, Some which we dont understand and never will. Somethings we cant control, But the thing we can control is our passion and our love for city of Cleveland and state of OHIO. And that every single night we take that we floor We Will represent. Blood SweAT and Tears. We will go hard. Just like you. From the bottom to the top, this organization is committed to winning and we wont stop now….. Cant stop now. I LOVE you. We Love YOU. And together We gone make it HAppen. O H I O. Hang in there.
    As for me on another note, I’m in LA working on my game so that i may be a key part of this movement next season. The family is doing great. MY wife to be is in the studio every day and night trying to create the best album of her career. Cutting no corners putting her heart in it like never before. With so much new emotion to show the world. My son Daniel Jr. is 4 months now. Everyday he gets bigger. We took him to the doctor yesterday to get two shots. And lil man did not shed a tear. even laughed a little bit. Tough lil dude, something like his daddy LOL. The rest of the fam is back home in Houston working with the DGib Hoops Foundation-Shooting for Success. Helping mainly inner city youth to meet new friends, become more discipline, athletically and academically so that one day they may qualify for scholarships and go on to college and be whatever they want to be. Following a living example. ME… Well thats enough for today, yall stay tuned for my next post and remember if you believe, you can achieve. ANYTHING
    Cleveland Stand up
    1LUV,
    BooBie

  2. Jason - Jul 13, 2010 at 12:25 AM

    Ok. I totally agree that Gilberts letter did nothing to hurt the NBA, if anything the fine keeps it in the news cycle one more day.
    Prefaced with that, STOP WITH THE FREE SPEECH COMMENTS! Americans only have the right to not have the US government stifle their free speech. Any other corporation, organization, or nation that you associate with, definitely DOES have the right to limit your speech. I get tired of people that skipped Civics class in High School.
    Since Gilbert owns an NBA franchise he is part of an agreement that says that he can run a team in the way that Stern says is good for basketball. If he doesn’t like it he is FREE to give up his team.
    As I said before I think Stern’s actions hurt the NBA more then the Gilbert letter, but Stern was well within his rights as an American citizen and basketball commissioner.

  3. tejano2k - Jul 13, 2010 at 12:27 AM

    Spoken like a true t-shirt fan. Just don’t jump on my beloved Lakers’ bandwagon. Stay with the Heat…I’m sure they have a lot of t-shirt fans now. Back to Gilbert…What did he say that was so bad that he should get a $100k fine? How does that justify a guy like Cuban getting fined for saying he wouldn’t mind LeBron playing for the Mavs? Ticky-tack, Stern. Loosen up that man thong!
    There’s not a lot about Cleveland that I like, but I really hope the Cavs have it in ‘em to beat the Heat next time they play.

  4. Mark - Jul 13, 2010 at 12:33 AM

    Freedom of speech is a right guaranteed by the government to its citizens. Dan Gilbert wasn’t imprisoned or fined by the US government, nor by any State or City government. However, any organization – non-profit can fine its members, excommunicate them, or remove them from membership per their rules (including rules of decorum). It is scary to think how poorly educated someone has to be (if an adult) not to understand what freedom of speech is! Dan Gilbert can decline his membership in the league and can then bad mouth James, any other player, Stern or the NBA without being fined (or imprisoned). Regarding the term Nazi, this gets thrown around so much that it seems to mean a person we want to de-fame. Maybe it should be used for those individuals that are fascists or actual Nazis?

  5. Theresa from Akron - Jul 13, 2010 at 12:35 AM

    Kudos on everything you said. Right on and accurate – LeBron was not raised up in loyalty yet you would think that he would feel some sort of obligation to the 2 men in Akron who gave him his chance. If left to the rearing occuring with a single parent, LeBron would never had had a chance in the NBA. It was these 2 men who say the potential and noticed LeBron was OUT of SCHOOL more than attending school. They talked his MOTHER into letting LeBron move into one of their homes so he could be around the influece of a full family unit with love and responsibility. Had these 2 men not intervened in LeBron’s youth heading for disaster, none of us would have known the name LeBron James. So all you naysayers of why the fans feel so betrayed and just get over it, there is far more to this than you’ll ever know and understand. You can’t deny if you had a homegrown athlete that made it to your town’s pro team who made an immediate impact, and then was dissed without a word to anyone, not even a thanks for the support to the fans and like I said the 2 men who made him into a player, and then to publically handle your depature so coldly, are you kidding me, but of course you’d be more than pissed off. It was refreshing to hear an owner speak the truth. It is a shame that LeBron’s image has changed. Only time will tell if he and the trio find trouble at the beach with the women. LeBron is not from that environment – he is from blue collar, not glitz and glam so hopefully he will keep his head on straight for the sake of his two kids.

  6. Queen Dani G - Jul 13, 2010 at 12:35 AM

    i think the gilbert should’ve been fined, i understand wat LBJ did was not classy and could’ve been done a different way but gilbert did’nt have to say all those rude things about him. yes i understand that people have freedom of speech but wat gilbert did kind off embarrassed the nba. if stern did’nt do anything about it im sure people would’ve said why did’nt u do anything about. now idk if LBJ should’ve chose miami cause they dont really have alot of good all around players, they only have wade and bosh (whos ego might get the best of them in future) i think he should’ve chose the bulls cause they have alot of good all around players (rose,boozer,noah) that could’ve helped him win but thats just my opinion. also some people i know were saying that miami’s gonna win the 2011 championship and im like how do u know that when they have’nt even started to play yet? i wish the best of luck to lebron and i hope he wins some rings
    i cant wait to see the game when miami goes against cleveland

  7. Bob - Jul 13, 2010 at 12:36 AM

    I think he is referring to David Stern is acting like a fascist when he fines people for freedom of speech. The Nazis were fascists and they did suppress freedom of speech. I highly doubt Travis meant that David Stern is member of the Nazi party or is a neo-nazi he probably meant he is acting like a nazi

  8. Constitutionalist - Jul 13, 2010 at 12:36 AM

    Teacher,
    You may want to go ahead and re-read the US Constitution. The First Amendment does not only pertain to freedom of speech during the petition of government for the redress of grievances. It says, in part: “Congress shall make no law…or abridging the freedom of speech…”.
    That means that people can say whatever they want to say without fear of persecution, and perhaps prosecution from the government. True, the NBA may have their own narrow-minded rules in place that prevent criticism of this sort, but to suggest that the owner does not have the right to speak his mind in a Constitutionally protected manner is a distortion of the protections afforded American Citizens by our Constitution.
    Respectfully,
    Constitutionalist

  9. Queen Dani G - Jul 13, 2010 at 12:39 AM

    i think the gilbert should’ve been fined, i understand wat LBJ did was not classy and could’ve been done a different way but gilbert did’nt have to say all those rude things about him. yes i understand that people have freedom of speech but wat gilbert did kind off embarrassed the nba. if stern did’nt do anything about it im sure people would’ve said why did’nt u do anything about. now idk if LBJ should’ve chose miami cause they dont really have alot of good all around players, they only have wade and bosh (whos ego might get the best of them in future) i think he should’ve chose the bulls cause they have alot of good all around players (rose,boozer,noah) that could’ve helped him win but thats just my opinion. also some people i know were saying that miami’s gonna win the 2011 championship and im like how do u know that when they have’nt even started to play yet? i wish the best of luck to lebron and i hope he wins some rings
    i cant wait to see the game when miami goes against cleveland

  10. D> Quiney - Jul 13, 2010 at 12:40 AM

    If Gilbert said those things about James in an open letter;What was he sayin the past 7 years in private?

  11. crzy8 - Jul 13, 2010 at 12:42 AM

    If Stern has some rocks he would investigate the obvious tampering. It, also seems obvious to me the Stern is intimidated by the racist race peddler, Jesse Jackson. Lebron mistake was not having any class or dignity whatsoever in changing teams. GHave some class, grow a sack and let the Cavs know your leaving face to face, or at least call them. Lebron James a coward….who, if anyone raised this fool?

  12. Fed Up - Jul 13, 2010 at 12:44 AM

    Jesse Jackson was right that it is a business and everyone has associated rights. Well I am going to exercise mine and boycott the NBA. It is not a game anymore so why waste my time on it!

  13. Theresa - Jul 13, 2010 at 12:49 AM

    You’re an idiot. Fans booed him from the opposing team! If Clevelander’s booed, it was because an obvious performance was far below caliber and not the show of talent they’ve come to expect. It is the FAN’S right to boo too! Afterall, they pay for the admission ticket! LeBron and the Cavs were seldome booed on homecourt and when booed – it was a deserving boo. Go watch some tapes and see for yourself.

  14. crzy8 - Jul 13, 2010 at 12:49 AM

    Lebron is second fiddle in Miami….another indication of his being a childish coward….Nike bills this fool as a SuperStar…..please? He is no Jordan, Duncan, Kobe…not even close. He is six championships from being Scottie Pippen (no disrespect Pippen) He is the second fiddle, How can Nike make him a big part of their marketing? He is the Side Kick……Air Divacs anyone?

  15. trucker 58 - Jul 13, 2010 at 12:50 AM

    no free speach in the NBA? IS THE NBA TURNING COMMIE IN FAVOR OF HIGH PRICE DROP OUTS?

  16. Fed Up - Jul 13, 2010 at 12:50 AM

    Jesse Jackson,Lebron and company were right, it is a business and therefore no longer a game. Well I am going to act in accordance with that jaded philosophy and vote with my wallet by boycotting the NBA. Long live the youth of the country! At least they still love the game!

  17. MIMI - Jul 13, 2010 at 12:53 AM

    Your exactly right, what did he say about him in private. Labron did the right thing to leave Cleveland and those thugish fans. Gilbert and those Cleveland fans are no more than a bunch of thugs. Labron is a free agent and has the right to go wherever he wants too.

  18. crzy8 - Jul 13, 2010 at 12:58 AM

    LBJ = product of the government food stamp program…..whose yo daddy?

  19. Theresa - Jul 13, 2010 at 12:59 AM

    You are right on with the ownership thing of Dan doing all he could with what he had in his 5 years of Cav’s ownership following what was already agreed to with LeBron from someone else! He did do all he could to build that team around and FOR LeBron! That is why the dagger is so deep. I just can’t believe that LeBron expected him to be a mind reader to know that LeBron didn’t want to be the star but rather a role player instead and then that he would take a pay cut! If Dan knew that, he could have and would have brought in that wing man that has been elusive thus far. Right on! So many people not having a clue about this situation as they don’t know the LeBron James Akron boy story and we do.

  20. Ginny - Jul 13, 2010 at 1:00 AM

    NBA? What a joke!!

  21. crzy8 - Jul 13, 2010 at 1:02 AM

    Whose yo daddy?

  22. Levair1968 - Jul 13, 2010 at 1:03 AM

    Amen to that Sister!!! That only showed that he was looking at Lebron as a golden goose for himself. He was pissed at the millions upon millions he stands to lose when ticket sales, merchandising and the like drastically falls. The gall of an owner to try and slander someone because they was looking out for self when gilbert was doing the same is pathetic. Instead of wishing Lebron well and thanking him for the 7 years he DID give Cleveland, as well as putting cleveland on the map, he wants to try and slander the guy. And this argument about Lebron being well payed by Dan…I guarantee you that ALL the owners make out much better than the highest paid athlete, so that argument really doesn’t hold water. I have lost ALL RESPECT for Dan Gilbert. They should have fined his a$$ some lottery picks!

  23. weezilgirl - Jul 13, 2010 at 1:06 AM

    Luke, you are spot on. I cannot fathom what is so hard for people to understand about “free agent”.
    From the reactions, you would think the Pope threw caution to the wind and jitterbugged in the streets.

  24. Theresa - Jul 13, 2010 at 1:08 AM

    If you think he gave it all every game every night – I would agree to that during REGULAR SEASON but you need to rewatch the last 2 years of the playoffs against the Magic series and most obvious the Celtics series this year and then say he gave it his all each night every game. If you have the same opinion, something is wrong with you. He gave up – and for all to WITNESS! Likely part of the overall scheme to ensure a Cleveland loss in the playoffs to ensure he would be leaving. Maybe he thought his giving up during the games would make it easier for the fans to say good riddance since he knew this big stage to flip off Cleveland publically was coming up early July.

  25. mb - Jul 13, 2010 at 1:09 AM

    It’s only because the media WHORED itself out to Jesse Jackson and gave his comment any kind of credibility. Nothing like reverse racism when it doesn’t even deserve actual comment. Jesse Jackson is a sham and embarrassment to civil rights and all black people that have an actual sense of credibility with racism.

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