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Cavs Owner Completely Rips LeBron

If it’s any consolation to Cleveland Cavaliers fans, their team owner is just as angry as they are and not afraid to show it.  In an open letter to Cavs fans, majority owner Dan Gilbert called out LeBron James for skipping town.  Gilbert even went so far as to say that his actions are a “cowardly betrayal.”  Here in the sports blogging business, we tend to write with our emotions pretty frequently.  I’m not sure that’s ever something the majority owner of an NBA franchise should do.

However — writing in a font that is clearly attempting to prove to fans that he’s just an ordinary guy —  Gilbert did exactly that.  Mark Cuban has done some insane, over-the-top things in his time as Dallas Mavericks owner and I don’t recall any of it being this harsh.  Gilbert is worse than the jersey burners.  I encourage you to read the entire letter, but I’ve picked out some of the more intense parts.  Let’s analyze them as we go, shall we?

As you now know, our former hero, who grew up in the very region that he deserted this evening, is no longer a Cleveland Cavalier.

This was announced with a several day, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up culminating with a national TV special of his “decision” unlike anything ever “witnessed” in the history of sports and probably the history of entertainment.

I wonder how “narcissistic” the way LeBron went about his business would have been if he announced he was staying in Cleveland.  My guess is it wouldn’t have been.  It would have been a heroic move.  Gilbert and the rest of the Cavs front office would have been singing King James’ praises for raising money for the Boys and Girls Club.  Sour grapes, anyone?

The good news is that the ownership team and the rest of the hard-working, loyal, and driven staff over here at your hometown Cavaliers have not betrayed you nor NEVER will betray you.

There is so much more to tell you about the events of the recent past and our more than exciting future. Over the next several days and weeks, we will be communicating much of that to you.

You simply don’t deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal.

“Cowardly betrayal” could be juuuuuust a bit harsh, wouldn’t you say?  Yes, LeBron said he wanted to put Akron back on the map and failed to bring a championship to Cleveland.  Does that make him a coward?  I’m not so sure.  If anything, part of me thinks it took a lot of guts for him to leave Cleveland and endure the most amount of backlash possible in search of a championship, but I’ll get into that at a later time.  Oh, and about the ownership never betraying the fans; let’s check up on that one in a couple years.  It gets even better:

In the meantime, I want to make one statement to you tonight:

“I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER ‘KING’ WINS ONE”

You can take it to the bank.

The self-declared former “King” will be taking the “curse” with him down south. And until he does “right” by Cleveland and Ohio, James (and the town where he plays) will unfortunately own this dreaded spell and bad karma.

My goodness.  I think Gilbert would do well to get some rest and think about just how good the Heat are going to be before he starts writing checks he may not be able to cash.  I guess he’s saying he guarantees the Cavs will win an NBA title next season.  Unless the Lakers have something to say about it, no team is going to stop Miami.  Cleveland fans will be crossing their fingers for the right ping pong ball come next post-season.

As for the “dreaded spell and bad karma” comment — need I go there?  It’s nothing but a perfect way to sum up one of the most dramatic and unnecessary letters I’ve ever seen an owner write to fans.  I’m not a Cavs fan and I can’t imagine how they feel after losing their savior, but I can only hope they feel a fraction of the embarrassment that myself and plenty of other members of the sporting world feel for Dan Gilbert after seeing this mess.

Source:
Open Letter to Fans from Cavaliers Majority Owner Dan Gilbert [NBA.com]



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  • Jeff J

    I have to disagree with you on this one.

    Imagine you were married to the most beautiful girl in the world. You bought her jewelry, a car, a nice house. You put everything you owned and all of your heart into making sure she was happy. Every night when you went to bed she told you how happy she was being married to you.

    Imagine now you turn on the TV at 9pm, and there is your wife telling the entire world she is leaving you for another man, and she didn’t even have the decency to call you first, let alone tell you she wasn’t even happy any more. She had one of her friends call you a minute before 9 and tell you to turn on the tv.

    You think the letter you write would look alot like Dan Gilbert’s? Mine would.

  • Steve DelVecchio

    I see your point, Jeff, but that’s how you would react in your personal life. No matter how angry he is at LeBron, it’s still business which is the opposite of personal. To the fans it’s personal. Even if the owner feels it’s personal, it’s all business from his standpoint and he needs to act accordingly. He still has a franchise to run and fans that depend on him. Making outrageous claims isn’t going to help anything. The fans will do plenty of that themselves.

  • Jeff J

    I agree the outrageous claims of winning a championship a little over the top, but I think he had to come out with this letter, to speak for those Cleveland fans who are so heartbroken, to show he is with them. He has a franchise to save, and the only way to do it is to get all of those Cleveland fans to believe in him and that he will build them back up. So I agree most of this letter he wrote was personal, but a small part of it was to make sure he keeps the fans interested. I bet the only 2 games they sell out next year will be the 2 against the heat :).

  • Steve DelVecchio

    That’s a good point. I can definitely agree there. He needed to say something that wasn’t “Bill Belichick speak” to let his fans know they don’t need to go jump off a bridge. In order to do that he had to get down on their level, so you’re right about that. I think everyone can agree he could have chosen his words more carefully. The most outrageous part to me is guaranteeing a championship before LeBron wins one. How can you even say that?

  • Jeff J

    Yeah, that part of the letter was definitely outrageous and definitely the only part I found over the top. I think at this point the Atlanta Hawks have a better chance of winning a championship than the Cavs do.

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    However classless Gilbert made LeBron out to be, he undid with that letter.

  • Kevin/Indianapolis

    Dan Gilbert has known for quite a while that his wife LeBronette wasn’t in love with him anymore. She didn’t even return his calls. Yet the sad sack continued to give her money and buy her expensive gifts until the budget was gone and he couldn’t buy anything else. When she decided to quit on the relationship and move out, Dan plays the role of wounded party and claims he never trusted the slut. LeBronette was what Dan thought she was at the beginning. A trophy wife. Nothing more, nothing less. She looked nice his arm, but when he really needed her to be supportive, she was cold and aloof. Now, all he has left is a stupid cartoon and some chalk dust.

    Dan should have dumped LeBronette when he had the chance. Now he’ll have to sell the business just to save face. Live and learn.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RBS2F5ILLQV5ERRLABM65EZR5M Marc

    Although I am not an avid fun of the famous team “Cleavland Cavaliers” but I was really shock when I heard the news that Lebron is already out on the team..I just wish good luck to the team..My cousin is an avid fan of the team..