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LeBron, Heat players respond to Gilbert’s tampering charge

Dec 2, 2010, 10:18 AM EST

Image (1) lebron_decision-thumb-250x191-15508.jpg for post 6206

Cavaliers’ owner Dan Gilbert has allegedly paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to a Midwestern law firm to put together a tampering case with evidence against the Miami Heat and how they lured LeBron James from Cleveland to South Beach.

What does LeBron think about that? Not much, he told FanHouse on the eve of returning to Cleveland to face the Cavaliers for the first time Thursday night.

“I’m here,” James said. “I’m a Miami Heat player representing this franchise, so that’s out of my league. I don’t have anything to do with that. We followed the process like any other free agent, and this organization did also.”

Former Cavalier Zydrunas Ilgauskas had a much better perspective on it:

“That’s chasing ghosts right there,” he told FanHouse while shaking his head. “Let bygones be bygones. There are more important things in life: people dying from cancer every day, kids dying every day, people having HIV, people fighting wars. There are more important things than the Miami Heat going back to Cleveland.

“Let’s put life in perspective, it’s just a basketball game.”

  1. hnirobert3 - Dec 2, 2010 at 10:36 AM

    Sorry Big Z, the only important thing Dan Gilbert cares about is Toby, I mean Lebron, disobeying him.

    Someone clever needs to come up with a Single White Female type of movie trailer for Dan Gilbert and Lebron, called Jaded White Owner.

    • lebronsinsecurity - Dec 2, 2010 at 12:14 PM

      Dude, quit perpetuating this as a racial thing.. I’m black and find it disrespectful to even insinuate that it is.. Just because Jesse Jackson says it doesn’t mean it’s the overall feeling of all black people.. I agree with ibejeph, if Cleveland’s actions of bending over backwards giving preferential treatment that no other NBA star gets is slavery, we need to redefine the word then..

  2. ibejeph - Dec 2, 2010 at 11:20 AM

    Oh wow, so now tampering charges are somehow racist? Let’s not enforce the rules if a non-white is involved…

    hnirobert3, this is not a racial issue, it is a bitter owner who believes that the Heat broke the rules and basically wiped out the value of his franchise by stealing away his star.

    Suggesting it is driven by some outdated notion of slavery is just ridiculous. If anything, the information we are privy to suggests that the Cavs bent over backwards to appease LeBron while paying him tens of millions of dollars. If that is slavery, where do I sign up?

    – a non-white person.

  3. abballfan - Dec 2, 2010 at 12:36 PM

    Tampering charges may not evidence racism but Gilbert’s issues certainly seem to be much closer to racist views. You can’t say a player or franchise value was stolen from him because the player’s contract expired and LeBron declined to renew the contract. Gilbert had no right to additional franchise value from having LeBron as a player. He acts as though he made or owned Lebron just because he was the owner of the prior contract. He had no way to force LeBron to sign with Cleveland even if he was willing to pay just as much as the heat or any other team. Gilbert needs to move on.

    • lebronsinsecurity - Dec 2, 2010 at 2:28 PM

      I agree with you for the most part, I think you made some valid points…I guess the difference in point of views is just the difference on how people actually see racism.. Gilbert certainly isn’t owed a thing from Lebron, I fully agree with that… I just have a little issue with the comparison of an NBA player to a slave..That’s quite a leap.. Just because you have a contract, doesn’t mean you’re owned..But to your point, I can now see how people can make that analogy..

    • ibejeph - Dec 2, 2010 at 5:42 PM

      Perhaps saying his value was “stolen” was poor choice of words but it doesn’t derail my argument. The Cavs lost value when LeBron left because:

      1. Less attendance.
      2. Less merchandise being sold.
      3. National games disappear
      4. They no longer get extra playoff money from deep playoff runs

      Gilbert had no way to force LeBron to sign. No one is contesting that and I never said that. LeBron had freedom to do what he chooses and he picked the Heat.

      However, his leaving negatively impacted the value of the Cavs. If he left beause the Heat broke tampering rules, then Gilbert has a rightful claim to damages from the Heat.

      What is going on is investigation into tampering, not into whether or not LeBron had the right to leave. Everyone is getting caught up in this talk about what LeBron had the right to do and not seeing that it is the Heat who are under investigation.

  4. silencegooddoer - Dec 2, 2010 at 12:40 PM

    Big says it is “just a game.” Yet LeBron’s movie title is “It’s more than a game!” ????

  5. southbeachtalent - Dec 2, 2010 at 3:13 PM

    silencegooddoer, are you serious or are you 5?

    This has nothing to do with race and all to do with a dated econimically-challenged city. Gilbert is angry because his bottom line has been affected, same as all the restaurant and bar owners in Cleveland. Ohio pride’s itself in not being a big city, well this is what happens.

    If your town revolves around a single player that really hasn’t won anything then you deserve to get dumped. Heat by 30!

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