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How the reconciliation between LeBron James and Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert came together

Jul 11, 2014, 4:25 PM EDT

Now that LeBron James has made it official and has decided to return to the Cavaliers, the details of how it all came together are beginning to publicly become known. And not surprisingly, it took a certain level of contrition on both sides.

Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert had a lot of apologizing to do for his ill-received letter that lived on the team’s website — intentionally or not — for the last four years, and James reiterated his regret for the way he announced his decision in a nationally televised special.

From Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

For four years, the letter had come to define Dan Gilbert, and the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers wanted to wash away the shame and embarrassment and guilt of it all. So Sunday, Gilbert sat down with LeBron James and his inner-circle and tried to absolve himself of a most wretched moment in time.

“We had five great years together and one terrible night,” Gilbert told James, and so started the process of reconciliation on Sunday night in Miami. “I told him how sorry I was, expressed regret for how that night went and how I let all the emotion and passion for situation carry me away. I told him I wish had never done it, that I wish I could take it back.”

And soon, James told Gilbert that he wished he had never done “The Decision” on cable television and that they had made mistakes together, that they could move past it. From James and his agent Rich Paul and business manager Maverick Carter, the air of peace hung heavy in the South Florida air, the process of returning to Cleveland had begun in earnest. Soon, they had stopped talking about the past and talked about the possibility of a future together and for the first time – truly the first time – the possibility of reunification had become genuine.

You can imagine just how sorry Gilbert was, especially once LeBron returning became a real possibility. As for James, as he stated in his letter announcing his most recent decision, he wasn’t about to hold a grudge — as long as Gilbert was sincere, there would be nothing stopping LeBron from coming home.

  1. reesesteel23 - Jul 11, 2014 at 4:30 PM

    Did they hug at the end too?

    • k3nn3k - Jul 11, 2014 at 4:43 PM


    • spursareold - Jul 11, 2014 at 4:44 PM

      Double bro back tap.

  2. loungefly74 - Jul 11, 2014 at 4:49 PM

    many funny memes are being created regarding this situation. one I saw was a Notebook movie poster recreation. James was gossling. ..Gilbert was mcadams. ..hehe!

    good for these guys to move on. I like that.

  3. garypagetwo - Jul 11, 2014 at 4:52 PM

    so .. All these writers on this website all Copy and Paste other peoples material ?

    • antistratfordian - Jul 11, 2014 at 5:19 PM

      Yes, but these guys work for you. You can just sit back and wait and they’re out there scrambling to find you all the best stories to present to you. They’re almost like your secretary. It’s very convenient.

    • asimonetti88 - Jul 11, 2014 at 6:12 PM

      That would be the entire purpose of an aggregate blog.

  4. bigtganks - Jul 11, 2014 at 5:08 PM

    I don’t buy it at all. Gilbert comes off as extremely desperate which is fine. My question is, HOW in the world is this on their site for FOUR YEARS?? Nevermind the fact that it looked absurd with his guarantee of who would win first since LBJ went to the finals EVERY YEAR in Miami and won twice, and Cleveland had the top pick 3/4 years… Nevermind that they went from the best record in the league to the worst minus one player… But to say “I feel really bad and wish I could take it back”… That was up for FOUR YEARS! I understand if he wrote it, he said it, he lets it go after LBJ/Miami win… But to say “I feel really bad and wish that hadn’t been hosted on our site up until a couple days ago” makes no sense. You say something once, you can say you wish you hadn’t. You steal something once, you can say you wish you hadn’t. If you do something more or less for four years, then a couple days later say you feel bad is complete lip service. But LBJ is by far the bigger and better person and a true role model, so he forgives and moves on.

  5. calkinsrob - Jul 11, 2014 at 5:23 PM

    didnt you just post an article where gilbert said he did not regret this letter?

    • BrownsTown - Jul 11, 2014 at 5:36 PM

      In their defense, no one put the story right in front of their face, so it’s excusable that they were shouting in the echo chamber.

  6. thetooloftools - Jul 11, 2014 at 6:11 PM

    This is a very rare case of where two wrongs do make a right.
    I’m very proud of both James and Gilbert.
    I just hope and pray that the Cavs don’t move Wiggin’s trying to get Kevin Love or anybody else. “LeBronz’ Boyz” are going to be a major force to be reckoned with for a long time if everyone can stay healthy plus LeBron won’t have to play so much and can get some rest during the regular season and “let the kids run”.

    • 22yearsagotoday - Jul 11, 2014 at 6:23 PM

      Philadelphia is quietly building a monster roster that will contend in 3 years when LeBron loses a step.

  7. bronx77 - Jul 11, 2014 at 7:41 PM


    I completely agree that they shouldn’t get k. Love. In his essay Lebron said he wanted to bring a championship to Ohio. If they get Love, more people will just say he teamed up with another star. Keep building around Lebron Kyrie and Wiggins please.

  8. patw20 - Jul 11, 2014 at 8:32 PM

    So all this love for him going back to Cleveland. ..I can’t help but think that if they won the championship…He would have stayed in miami….

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