In the midst of LeBron-A-Thon ending with the TV non event of the year, let’s just start with Cleveland Cavalier’s majority owner Dan Gilbert’s letter to Cav’s fans:
Dear Cleveland, All Of Northeast Ohio and Cleveland Cavaliers Supporters Wherever You May Be Tonight;
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.
Clearly, this is bitterly disappointing to all of us.
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.
You have given so much and deserve so much more.
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.
If you thought we were motivated before tonight to bring the hardware to Cleveland, I can tell you that this shameful display of selfishness and betrayal by one of our very own has shifted our “motivation” to previously unknown and previously never experienced levels.
Some people think they should go to heaven but NOT have to die to get there.
Sorry, but that’s simply not how it works.
This shocking act of disloyalty from our home grown “chosen one” sends the exact opposite lesson of what we would want our children to learn. And “who” we would want them to grow-up to become.
But the good news is that this heartless and callous action can only serve as the antidote to the so-called “curse” on Cleveland, Ohio.
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.
Sleep well, Cleveland.
Tomorrow is a new and much brighter day….
I PROMISE you that our energy, focus, capital, knowledge and experience will be directed at one thing and one thing only:
DELIVERING YOU the championship you have long deserved and is long overdue….
Ouch! I suppose that felt good to old ‘Danny Boy’. But by responding in this fashion, he’s made himself look even worse than “King Prince James.”
Make no mistake about it. This LeBron-A-Thon which started around the same time as the NBA Finals with LeBron going on Larry King, Nightline, and any other show short of Oprah, (I’m sure they called her) was a farse to begin with. The Celtics were playing the Lakers for godsakes. Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest, Pau Gasol and Derek Fisher were going against Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett. Doc Rivers was trying to win his second NBA title in three years as Celtics coach. Phil Jackson was in the midst of winning his 11th as coach. At that point, personally I didn’t give a damn about what LeBron was going to do. His team was eliminated in the second round of the playoffs. Still he couldn’t resist but to move the attention on to himself.
The primetime ESPN special was also a joke. How vain can one get; Especially since the “Chosen One” that hasn’t won in the NBA? Sure I watched it! It was the ultimate train wreck. I rubbernecked from start to finish and watched James sit uncomfortably as Jim Grey threw James softball after softball questions that he could not seem to hit out of the infield. To hear James tell it, Cleveland wouldn’t be Cleveland if it were not for him. In reality, he didn’t do more than Mark Price, Brad Daugherty, Ron Harper and Larry Nance for the Cavaliers franchise. And two consecutive MVPs or not, the difference between he and Kobe Bryant isn’t even close. Bryant is clearly more concerned about his historical basketball legacy in which greatness is clearly defined by championships. James is more concerned with branding, merchandise and ego. For all of his talents, he thinks more highly of himself than he should. He was created to be that way since he was on the cover of Sports Illustrated while driving that Hummer around in High School. And yea, the story is marketable in a summer where there is nothing but baseball and a boring soccer matches hardly anyone cares about.
That being said: Dan Gilbert’s self-righteous victimized rant came off as if LeBron slept with him for a night but didn’t stick around to cuddle the next morning. This is the same man who would have given his chosen one $130 million for 6 years had James decided to stick around in C-Town.
Gilbert wants to rant on LeBron about loyalty? Hell last I heard James was a free agent as of July 1. This was indeed his time to choose whatever team he wanted to chose. The real issue is that with James’ departure, the value of the Cavaliers franchise dropped faster than a bad stock. Last night may as well be called Black Thursday as far as Gilbert is concerned. Still I’d like to ask him about loyalty when it came to coach Mike Brown who won the most NBA games this past season. I’d like to ask him about his courting of college coach Tom Izzo as if he were going to take the Cavaliers anywhere let alone have the respect of James as well as other NBA players. LeBron never went to college so why would he respect a college coach? I’d like to ask him why he ran out one of the best GMs in the league in Danny Ferry.
Is Gilbert the pot or the kettle that’s all I’m asking here. Now he’s barking off about how LeBron quit in the playoffs throwing the guy under the bus. And any of this talk about leaking more of LeBron’s tresepasses I’m sure has been shut down by a phone call from David Stern.
My favorite quote of his entire letter is this one:
“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.”
Are you serious? Were you just watching The Color Purple Thursday afternoon because it sounded very much like what Celie told Albert:
“Till you do right by me, everything you even think about gonna’ fail.”
Gilbert’s eagerness to court James and willingness to give him a max deal, then slamming him as James headed to South Beach is tantamount to a thug who pursues a woman at the club. After being turned down several times finally fires back with something like this: “F’-U then! I didn’t want your number anyway.”
As much as James is a self-glorified egomaniac, the fact of the matter is that he did indeed give the Cavaliers and the city of Cleveland seven exciting years. He made the team and the city a lot of money. It was an even trade-off. Now that the affair is over, it’s over. Gilbert should turn the page. And if he can’t, he should touch himself and think of the memories.