Skip to content

Cavs owner Dan Gilbert: Now we're going to build the right way

Sep 7, 2010, 9:50 AM EDT

Thumbnail image for dgilbert.jpgDan Gilbert is putting a much better spin on LeBron James leaving now.

Not the right one, but at least one that sounds reasonable and lacks Comic Sans font.

In a story about rebuilding the Cavaliers at the News-Herald, here is what Gilbert said about the effort.

“We weren’t as focused on the long term (before James left),” he said. “We’ll build the right way. It’s absolutely refreshing and challenging and we’re all looking forward to building the Cleveland Cavaliers into a premier team.

“We didn’t achieve the ultimate goal (with James). It can’t be a one-person show. We have to have a team approach and a team effort to make it happen.”

It sounds good, but he’s wrong.

He’s right that you need to build a team. But he’s wrong about this — you need a superstar or two. Look at the NBA champions in the last 30 years: The Lakers had Magic and Kareem, then Kobe with Shaq and Gasol; The Celtics had Larry Bird with McHale and Parish, now KG as part of the big three; the Bulls had Jordan and Pippen; the Spurs had Tim Duncan; the Rockets had Hakeem the Dream; the Heat had Dwyane Wade and Shaq.

You get the idea? You need a superstar. The only ream really not to have one was the 2004 Pistons and they were a defensive juggernaut with some quality offensive players. And they are the exception.

Now, you have to do a better job putting quality players that fit the system around your superstar — that is where the Cavaliers failed. What was the system? They had a defensive minded coach in Mike Brown then gave him defensively limited players like Shaq. Gilbert is right that there was a focus on the short term, but there had to be because the goal was to win now and keep LeBron.

So go ahead and think long term, Gilbert. But you still need some superstars. Sorry, it’s just how you really win at the top level of basketball.

  1. Justen - Sep 7, 2010 at 10:05 AM

    No love for the Pistons? They fielded champions and perennial contenders in the 90s and 00s without one of the media’s beloved ‘superstars.’

  2. Justen - Sep 7, 2010 at 10:10 AM

    Haha, either someone edited that pretty quickly or I missed a paragraph on the first read :P

  3. Bob Blick - Sep 7, 2010 at 10:44 AM

    He may be thinking you don’t try to build around 1 player and allow that player to dictate nor to try to make quick fixes to fit that player’s whim. Cleveland needs to build a solid team first (I think they have a better team than people are saying) and then they can bring in a superstar or top player.
    The guy was burned by laquit and you have to think he is not going to allow something like that to happen again.

  4. Sam - Sep 7, 2010 at 10:56 AM

    Did anyone notice that with the seven teams that were mentioned that every team that has won a title since 1984 was named – the same year Stern became commissioner? Take out the Heat and it’s even worse. Before Stern, you would only need to go back nine years to find seven different teams. For me, it’s a question of why there is only a handful of teams that have won a title under Stern and why there is a disparity amongst teams.

  5. Colin Zvosec - Sep 7, 2010 at 11:17 AM

    Pretty sure Gilbert said nothing about there being no need for superstars to win a title. Also fairly certain he knows you need good players to win. Don’t see how he’s wrong here? The way the Cavs built around LeBron was wrong, and now they’ll try it a better way.

  6. John - Sep 7, 2010 at 11:48 AM

    Another Kurt article. Another article bashing the Cavs organization. yawn. It’s getting old Kurt. Maybe you should read some of the articles about how LeBron read the organization hostage by people outside of ESPN. But that would interrupt you giving LeBron a reach around while bashing Cleveland.

  7. Sguy2130 - Sep 7, 2010 at 12:31 PM

    -You completely took Gilbert out of context. Anyone who watches the NBA know superstars are key to winning year in and year out. He never said “We need 8 mediocre players to win a championship”.
    -If you want to make a more rational interpretation you could have said something like Gilbert realized that he can’t let a superstar run the show, ask for players then bolt from the team he promised a championship when the players he asked for don’t work out, aka, not a ONE-MAN Show.
    -I think probasketballtalk might need some “superstar” writers because this crew isn’t getting it done.

  8. Sguy2130 - Sep 7, 2010 at 12:32 PM

    -You completely took Gilbert out of context. Anyone who watches the NBA know superstars are key to winning year in and year out. He never said “We need 8 mediocre players to win a championship”.
    -If you want to make a more rational interpretation you could have said something like Gilbert realized that he can’t let a superstar run the show, ask for players then bolt from the team he promised a championship when the players he asked for don’t work out, aka, not a ONE-MAN Show.
    -I think probasketballtalk might need some “superstar” writers because this crew isn’t getting it done.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

Woodson, D'Antoni's coaching futures
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. D. Williams (4194)
  2. D. Wade (4015)
  3. K. Love (3848)
  4. L. James (3324)
  5. G. Dragic (3243)
  1. C. Anthony (3164)
  2. S. Curry (3150)
  3. D. Howard (3148)
  4. R. Rondo (2934)
  5. D. Lee (2904)