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#pounditFriday, September 17, 2021

Dan Gilbert expresses gratitude in statement about LeBron’s departure

Dan Gilbert

There was no Comic Sans letter this time.

The Cleveland Cavaliers issued a statement late Sunday evening from team owner Dan Gilbert about the departure of franchise icon LeBron James. Rather than criticize James in an angry and bitter letter like he did after James left Cleveland last time, Gilbert instead took the opportunity to express gratitude towards James for bringing the city and franchise a championship.

“We will always remember the evening of June 19, 2016 as the Cleveland Cavaliers, led by LeBron James, ended the 52-year drought delivering the long elusive championship that many thought they would never see… A championship that united generations of Clevelanders, both living and passed,” Gilbert said.

“Virtually anyone with roots in Northeast Ohio paused and felt the memories of the past and the utter joy that the burden of the so-called ‘curse’ was finally a thing of the past. Cleveland, Ohio was the home of a championship team for the first time since 1964. Words do not express the meaning and the feeling this accomplishment brought to the people of Northeast Ohio.

“None of this would have happened if LeBron James did not agree to come back home and lead the Cavaliers to the promised land. The entire Cavaliers franchise thanks LeBron for that precious moment and for all of the excitement he delivered as he led our team to four straight NBA Finals appearances.”

After thanking LeBron for bringing the Cavs a title, Gilbert then praised James for his contributions and commitment to the area, and wished his best to the James family.

“LeBron is a family man, first. We wish his kids, his wife Savannah, his mother Gloria, and LeBron himself nothing but the best in the years and decades ahead. LeBron’s connection to Akron, Cleveland and all of Northeast Ohio will most certainly endure as his commitment to the region and his support of many important causes has been impactful to so many kids and families.

“LeBron, you came home and delivered the ultimate goal. Nothing but appreciation and gratitude for everything you put into every moment you spent in a Cavaliers uniform. We look forward to the retirement of the famous #23 Cavs jersey one day down the line…”

Gilbert not feeling hurt this team is an incredible change to the way things were last time around. It is quite clear that James is leaving on amicable terms and that his positive legacy in Cleveland is cemented, which is exactly how it should be.

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