First off, Dan Gilbert…. the letter. I gotta say, when I first read it, I loved it (as did Joe Tait). As a Cleveland fan, reading Gilbert’s letter that night was extremely cathartic. It was refreshing to see someone put words to how we all felt and it was nice to see someone step up for the Cleveland fans. And it was definitely cool to see someone release something to the public that wasn’t chock full of platitudes and bullshit jargon. That’s definitely how Dan Gilbert felt, no question about it. But he came off as a jilted boyfriend and if he would’ve waited a few hours (or days) I’m pretty sure he would’ve written something different.
Also, I’m SHOCKED that David Stern let that thing stay up. That’s gotta say something… but I’m not quite sure what.
That being said, Dan Gilbert absolutely has the right to be pissed at Bron-Bron. There is absolutely no reason why Gilbert needed to learn of LeBron’s decision at the same time your or I did. This is an owner who, by all accounts, peddled to LeBron’s every whim. He hired James’s friends, he allowed the pregame rituals and he basically let LeBron do whatever he wanted. That LeBron ignored his calls and texts that night is absolutely shameful. I don’t fault Gilbert at all for being angry. Though as Terry Pluto says, he might want to walk back some of that stuff. “When your heart is broken, your head doesn’t work”
And to all those people ragging on Gilbert and Cleveland fans saying, “if LeBron is such a bad person, why did you want to resign him/cheer for him all these years??” BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT SPORTS IS. You root for the guys on your team until they’re no longer on your team. San Francisco Giants fans defend Barry Bonds. Steelers fans root for Ben Rapistberger. I rooted for that dick head Albert Belle (who did NOT take steroids!). That’s just how these things work. You love your guys til they’re no longer your guys.
Speaking of pissed off fans… stop it with this shit. There’s no need to be bringing LeBron’s mother into this. It’s immature, childish and in unbelievably poor taste. There’s enough reasons to hate on the guy that we don’t have to call out his mom.
Same this all of LeBron Fatheads being slashed to $17.41 (the birth year of Benedict Arnold). Yes, it’s Dan Gilbert’s company and he can do what he wants, but it’s fucking petty. Lord knows that Gilbert has as much reason to be pissed as anyone, but it’s childish.
Look, LeBron isn’t a traitor and even if you think he is, it doesn’t excuse a lot of the ‘jokes’ I see going around twitter about his mom or his GF (and about how he’s probably cheating on her in Miami). While I didn’t want him to leave (um, hello? he’s the 2-time MVP!!), it’s his choice and one could argue that he chose the better position.
But the way he left was a major punk move. I can’t deny that. He didn’t talk to Tom Izzo. He wouldn’t take the calls of Bernie Kosar, let alone the fucking owner of the Cavaliers (but hey, he’ll help recruit Derek Fisher to the Heat). He strung Cavs fans along and then took a dump on them on national television, acting like we should’ve been grateful for all those years (even though he committed 5 year to the Heat, more than he ever gave the Cavs to build).
Ignoring the Cavs and the city before bolting is classless. He had to have known what his departure would do and he could’ve and should’ve handled it better. He could’be taken out a full page ad, thanking the fans (like C.C. Sabathia did). Hell, LeBron wouldn’t have even needed to write the thank-you letter, just paying for it would’ve been enough. He could’ve, oh I dunno, signaled his intentions to the Cavaliers front office and allow them to move forward with their offseason plans. Going out the way he did the Cavs no favors and he burned any bridges he had left (and Dan Gilbert came in and pissed on the remnants).
I dunno, there’s enough legitimate reasons to be angry at LBJ that I don’t think we need to be cracking mama jokes (though, I will say this is funny), ragging on him for not marrying his girl and sending him hate mail via twitter (though I have heard that he’s a terrible tipper… so… ya! EVIL).
As for the Cavs, I’m glad that they didn’t let emotions get in the way and actually completed a sign-and-trade with the Heat. I’ll take four picks and a trade exception (two firsts and two seconds). It’s better than nothing. (Although, it means that LeBron isn’t taking less money to join the Heat).
In my opinion, the Cavs need to rebuild. Tear down and start again. Now, I definitely wouldn’t mind watching a plucky Cavs team get to the playoffs and try to get home court, but they aren’t going to do any damage once they get there. There’s a rumors floating around about a Shaq+Mo for Marvin Williams + Josh Childress deal and I really don’t like it. Marvin Williams is a b-u-s-t and he’s owed roughly $30 million over the next four years (salary from Sham Sports). The last thing the Cavs need to be doing is taking on more longterm salary.
The Cavs need to stockpile as many young players and draft picks as they possibly can and start fresh. I don’t know how the fans are going to react after LeBron’s departure, but I think there’s been enough new fans that Gilbert and co should get some leeway in rebuilding the franchise.
But maybe not. Maybe the Cavs will sink back into irrelevance as the Browns scratch and claw their way to another sub .500 season (Delhomme to Engram baby!! Whoo!!!). I dunno.
But I do know this: life goes on. It’s just sports. They’re supposed to be a diversion from Real Life. It’s supposed to be fun. As Terry Pluto always says, “Don’t let millionaire athletes ruin your day”.