Owner Of Cleveland Cavaliers Writes Crazy Open Letter To Fans

We think of fans as “customers” and consider team owners to be responsible for providing a good product. That does not explain why I am a Chicago Cubs fan, but it does require me to post this open letter to fans from Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert.

It is, uh, really honest… That’s good, right?

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.

Just watch.

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….

Dan Gilbert
Majority Owner
Cleveland Cavaliers

So, Cleveland, are you indeed planning to sleep well?

Oh yes, and we thought we’d mention that NPR is obsessed with the fact that the letter was written in Comic Sans.

You can watch the disaster continue to unfold (in a few minutes) via live video stream of their press conference.

Open Letter to Fans from Cavaliers Majority Owner Dan Gilbert [Cleveland Cavaliers]
Cleveland Cavaliers Owner Writes Open Letter To Fans — In Comic Sans Font [NPR]

Comments

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  1. namcam says:

    the drive, the fumble, the exodus… at least they still have the rock and roll HOF!

  2. areaman says:

    The owner seems hurt. Hopefully he won’t drunk dial Lebron James later.

    • goodpete says:

      Nah, he’ll just Facebook stalk him and complain constantly on Twitter:

      @kingjames Why did you leave me!?!?!?!

    • ExtraCelestial says:

      Right?? I totally got the jilted ex-lover vibe when they were reading it on ESPN. Bitter much? Teenaged relationships rarely (and shouldn’t) last. He’s totally the type to start some rumor about his ex being inadequate in the bedroom.

  3. Mike says:

    Dear Mr. Glibert:

    In your letter dated July 8, 2010 you said:

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

    I am not a gambling man nor a rich man Mr. Gilbert; but I have a KFC Double Down and two Cheerwine doughnuts that says this prediction is incorrect. Shall we make it a bet?

    Best Wishes,
    Mike on behalf of all Consumerist Commenters

  4. watch me eat says:

    I think that this letter shows a complete lack of class. They way Lebron notified the city of Cleveland and his former team, including the guy who paid him millions of dollars, also showed a complete lack of class. Did Lebron learn from Dan, or is Dan imitating Lebron?

    • HeyApples says:

      I think the owner was obligated to do this to rally his fans. It may not be P.C. but it is exactly what Cleveland fans are all thinking and feeling.

      • watch me eat says:

        So is it necessary to disparage the guy who carried your franchise for the last 7 years in order to rally the fans? What ever happened to taking the high road? I honestly think the way Lebron handled this is disgusting, and I agree that I would not want my children to emulate this, but come on. The guy has a big “Chosen1″ tattoo on his back. He calls himself king. What would you expect from him.

        • HeyApples says:

          A politically-correct, feel-good “good bye and good luck” may have sat better with the press, but to his fanbase, his audience, it would have been seen as a show of weakness and capitulation.

          • BStu78 says:

            “Politically correct” doesn’t mean “stuff I don’t like”. His letter wasn’t simply classless, it was borderline insane. I can’t see how anyone would want to play for him after this unhinged rant. Even if I had found James expressing his autonomy in selecting his working environment suspect, this letter would only make me sympathize with Lebron. Who can blame him for not wanting to work for someone so demented, hostile, and unprofessional?

            • Madaline_7 says:

              LBJ promised to stay here. He left. Talent was brought here, and he still couldn’t pull it off. It was arrogant for him to make that announcement here, in the town he promised never to leave. Cleveland fans are crazy… Dan Gilbert said everything that the Cleveland fans were thinking.

        • Randell says:

          Carried? Carried them to what? NOT winning a championship? I could have done that. This team had the best record int he league and had home court, yet James failed when it mattered. Great ones do not fail when it matters.
          I remember a similar incident with Michael Jordan and the owner of the Bulls. MJ seemed to think he knew everything and bitched the Bulls didn’t have the players to beat the Pistons, and wanted the GM fired. I guess Bulls management knew a little bit more than their employee did about it.
          LeBron has never wanted to build anything. he wants the easy way out. He was driving a Hummer in high school that was worth more than what his mom made in 3 years. He was a cheater, skirting the system then, and remains one. Cleveland is better off without him. I will now cheer for Cleveland and hopefully watch LeBron blow out his knee.

      • SteveinOhio says:

        I can tell you from the scene of the crime, this letter is seen as justified and I have yet to run into someone who follows sports in Cleveland that is anything other than thrilled to see we have an owner who BADLY wants to win and whose anger about LeBron’s betrayal is palpable. A generic boiler-plate release would have been pointless and possibly detrimental. I guarantee more people buy tickets this season as a direct result of this letter.

  5. AstroWorn2010 says:

    The use of Comic Sans leads me to believe that he may be speaking the truth. All great documents are written with this font.

    • pjorg says:

      Yep, you just won a follower.

    • Excuse My Ambition Deficit Disorder says:

      Yes, I believe the Bible was written in Comic Sans…hence all the followers/believers.

    • Cicadymn says:

      A little known fact: Our very own Declaration of Independence and Constitution were written in Comic Sans.

      The Bill of Rights was in Wingding though. Probably why there’s so much confusion on them.

  6. LINIStittles says:

    Shouldn’t he just be happy that everyone in Cleveland didn’t just up and move out of Cleveland?

    • P_Smith says:

      I’m getting visions of Robert Irsay when you say that. It’s the same city, so I wouldn’t be surprised.

  7. grapedog says:

    I like Comic Sans…

    • AstroWorn2010 says:

      It’s the correct font when used to describe a fella who’s career is putting a ball in a hoop.

  8. goodpete says:

    I know this guy has a lot of money invested in an NBA team. But he really has to realize that it’s just a game.

    Okay, it’s not just a game, it’s just a business. Regardless, he needs to not cry around so much. Everyone knows that Lebron James is self-absorbed. But that’s pretty much true of every NBA player these days. Team owners don’t care about how their players act off the court. If they did, then they might have cause to complain in this sort of situation.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I can understand him being upset more than I can understand the fans being upset and burning LeBron’s jersey in the street. It’s just a game! It’s like LA rioting after winning the championship. I don’t get how people devolve so much when their favorite team gets more points than the other team.

    • common_sense84 says:

      Self absorbed? He has to go with the team that gives him the most money.

      That is not self absorbed. That is called common sense.

      The owner of the Cavs is a dumbass who was unwilling to offer LeBron top dollar because he thinks LeBron should happily take less money in a league where you career can end at any time just because LeBron originally came from ohio. The only reason LeBron left is because the owner of the Cavs was unwilling to pay for him to stay.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        Uhhh…the Cavaliers were offering him more money, actually. And he still turned them down. There goes your point.

        • GuidedByLemons says:

          Between salary and endorsements he will easily easily save enough money on taxes (since FL has no state income tax) to offset the lower salary. To argue that he left money on the table is disingenuous (or misinformed) at best.

          Of course, he’ll probably get fewer endorsement offers since he handled this with so little class and turned himself into the most hated man in sports overnight.

          • Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

            …unless you happen to be a fan of the Miami Heat.

          • pecan 3.14159265 says:

            But you can also argue that he’s made enough money and will continue making enough money that money isn’t the deciding factor – it’s the fact that he wants to win championships.

          • Sudonum says:

            Sports players do pay income tax in all the states where they work, so he’ll be paying state income tax on wages made on all games played in all states except FL (home games and Orlando) and TX (Dallas, San Antonio & Houston) I believe.

            • GuidedByLemons says:

              This would be a good point except that I was only talking about the actual tax savings, not inventing imaginary non-savings from irrelevant out-of-state games.

      • tonberryqueen says:

        LeBron didn’t leave over money.

        He left because he wants to win an NBA championship, and with the Heat’s new player acquisitions, Miami looked like the best place for him to go. The Cavs kept getting close and falling short, and after seven years, LeBron got tired of waiting. (He doesn’t want to wind up waiting forever like Paul Pierce with the Celtics. Or, worse, waiting like Pierce, but then never actually winning the championship.)

  9. dolemite says:

    Lol Good Lord, you’d think this was written after Obama appeared in a video burning an American flag with one arm around Osama, and the other one giving the USA the finger. “The Chosen One we have waited so long for has abandoned us, after all we have given to make him the King….oh woe is me…/plays Amazing Grace while saluting a flag with tears running down his face.”

    It’s basketball. Grown men throwing a ball throw a hoop, and getting paid insane amounts of money to do so.

  10. Kishi says:

    It’s a great move. Guy just mobilized thousands of angry, hurt basketball fans to his side- and by “side” I mean “ticket queue”.

  11. tedyc03 says:

    In other news, the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers was arrested on suspicion of stalking LeBron James. After his arrest, he said “he can’t leave me! I made him who he is! Think of the children!”

    Seriously though. If I write this letter about my ex, you call me a jilted lover who might commit homicide. If you write this about your basketball team, you’re what exactly?

  12. Putts says:

    Anybody who has ever left their job to pursue a better opportunity elsewhere has lost any right to be outraged over this move. Don’t get me wrong, LeBron is a douche for a lot of reasons, including the media spectacle that he made of himself over this decision, but he’s not a coward or a traitor for moving.

    On a further note, as an Ohio resident, I’m sick of hearing about this. I’m glad LeBron’s gone, but I’m still stuck with all of the Cleveland fans.

  13. adrienna says:

    Of course he’s upset – his major investment just lost all its value (like my house! I’m trapped in Akron). Luckily he’s building casinos to help ease the pain in his wallet.

    Comic Sans was the first thing I noticed last night when I read the letter. Blech.

  14. Putts says:

    Also should mention that the same man who wrote this letter owns the company that produces the Fathead wall posters, and the price of the LeBron James Fathead has been reduced to $17.41. 1741 just happens to be the year that Benedict Arnold was born. Childish, but still amusing.

    http://www.fathead.com/nba/cleveland-cavaliers/lebron-james/

  15. ttw1 says:

    Loyalty Dan? Give me a break. What if he had blown out his knee and couldn’t play, was 40 years old instead of 25 or was a journeyman instead of a superstar? Where would your loyalty be then, Dan?

    Yeah, that’s what I thought.

    • grebby says:

      Dan Gilbert has zero credibility on the topic of loyalty after firing Mike Brown, who delivered the best record in the NBA for two years.

      Lebron James is a free agent. “Free” is the key word. His contract with the Cavaliers was over. He was under no obligation to stay with a team that had the best player in the NBA for seven years and couldn’t manage to win a title.

  16. longdvsn says:

    I’m still shocked LeBron would be so concerned over that extra few bucks to leave his hometown team. If the Cavs were willing to work with him, he should have made every possible effort to work out a deal with them and even made sacrifices to keep him there.

    I’m a Minnesota guy and Joe Mauer is a prime example of the right thing to do…All-Star baseball player who took a slight pay cut to stay with the hometown team where the fans love him for more than just his abilities in the game. That’s class!

    • Mike says:

      “I’m still shocked LeBron would be so concerned over that extra few bucks to leave his hometown team.”

      You do know that LeBron would have made $30 million MORE dollars if he stayed in Cleveland thanks to the NBA salary cap rules. He took a pay cut to go to Miami actually, even when you factor in the lack of income tax in Florida.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        Correct, and now he has to pack up all his stuff and buy a house in Florida. That’s going to cost money.

    • satoru says:

      I’m not sure why people think athletes need to be ‘loyal’ to their hometown team in some way. I mean sure you grew up there and such. But at the end of the day everyone needs to take care of themselves first. More money is, well, more money. Regular people do this all the time, going to other cities for a better job or opportunity. Athletes also have generally a fairly narrow window of time in which they can capitalize on their talent. So it’s pretty common these days for them to maximize their short term gains, since future gains are very uncertain especially if injury occurs. Being in a major city like Miami, could open up other financial opportunities or investments as well.

      Heck, there could be other banal reasons. Maybe he wants to move somewhere warmer? Maybe he wants to move to a bigger city (no offense to Cleveland. I live in Boston and think it’s a bit of a small city).

      • RandomHookup says:

        Considering LeBron has already made a boatload of money from playing and endorsements (which aren’t likely to dry up when his playing days are over), I don’t think you can use following the money as the line of reasoning for his actions. He’s pretty much made more than most people could ever make in a lifetime. I think it’s about his “legacy”…he wants to win championships, so he went to the team where he could do that (not that doing that would hurt his earning potential).

        There was some writer a while back that suggested LeBron take the NBA equivalent of “$1 a year salary” and sign for the minimum allowed for someone of his experience. That would let his new team spend the money on acquiring other key players to surround him and have a better chance of winning a title. The belief was that LeBron would make more than enough on his endorsements and other activities to support a “Michael Jordan-like” gambling problem.

    • DanRydell says:

      He didn’t go for money, he went to win a championship – something he has failed to do with Cleveland, and apparently thinks he is incapable of in Cleveland. Just like when Michael Jordan got tired of failing to win championships with the Bulls and went to… oh wait, nevermind.

      It is nice when a player stays with the same team for his entire career. As a fan, I like those players a lot more than the guys who come for a few years and then leave. As the New Jersey Devils are trying to sign Ilya Kovalchuk, I’m worried that it could mean we’ll lose someone like David Clarkson. Kovalchuk is a much better player, but Clarkson is a Devil.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        He played with the Bulls the majority of his career, but he came out of retirement to play for the Wizards in 2001. The Bulls at least had two stupendous players, Scottie Pippin and Dennis Rodman, to back up Michael Jordan. I don’t think there were many Cavs players who could match or at least come close to LeBron James’ skill.

      • BStu78 says:

        Its just like Shaq leaving Orlando. Shaq went on to win championships, Orlando did not. I don’t think their own wrote crazy letters in Word 95, either, though.

    • Excuse My Ambition Deficit Disorder says:

      It’s Miami dude….I can’t see what’s so much better than staying in smelly, freaking cold Winter weather in Cleveland compared to the very hot women and ocean views in Miami…come on. Lake Erie must have great ocean views too…right…

    • Fineous K. Douchenstein says:

      Lebron is taking less money to go to Miami. Only the Cavs could have offered him the most money, by NBA rules.

    • BStu78 says:

      Joe Mauer plausibly thinks the Twins can put together a winning team. They’ve done it before and he’s had good talent surrounding him. He is obviously optimistic that the team will do better maintaining this. When he grew up in Minnesota, he no doubt remembers two World Series champion Twins teams from his youth and a team that remained a contender when he was in high school. I doubt Lebron has such fund memories of the Cavs teams of his youth. And since they landed him, they’ve failed to put the pieces around him for a winning team. He knows that great players can’t win on their own. In basketball, all the best have played with other hall of fame caliber players. Dan Gilbert hasn’t shown that his organization can get those kind of players around Lebron. A last ditch effort to convince Chris Bosh was simply too late. Lebron has nothing to apologize for in deciding to move on. Teams have rarely shown loyalty to their players. That’s why players in all leagues fought for free agency.

      And another thing about loyalty and the Twins. Before Mauer re-upped the team was threatening to abandon his hometown until they got them to build a new ball park for the Twins to make money off of. What loyalty was there? And before we rush to extol Mauer’s selflessness, he signed the richest contract ever for his position.

    • dolemite says:

      If I knew (or thought) I had the talent to better myself at a different position, and the opportunity came along, I’m pretty sure I’d take it.

    • Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

      Actually, Lebron would have had to take a pay cut to play with his buddies Wade and Bosh in the Sunshine State, unless the Heat were able to negotiate a sign & trade, which meant the Cavs may have got something (dead-weight players, a mid-level exemption etc., not like I know the nooks and crannies of the NBA’s salary cap, but it apparently means something to teams that want to spend money on players.) Let’s see whose fans boo louder when the Heat have to visit them: Cleveland’s or Toronto’s.

  17. Boo LaRue says:

    This is just… BIZZARE.

  18. NarcolepticGirl says:

    Awesome letter.
    Lebron James is ridiculous and so is ESPN for allowing a one hour special for Lebron’s 30 second answer to which team he was going to.

    How many Championships has he won? Oh, none?

    The nature of pro teams is to trade and be traded.

    But I admit, I would probably be a little upset if Pierce left the Celtics (the only team he’s played with since he started 12 years ago).

    • Nogard13 says:

      Pierce was a free agent and you can bet he would’ve left had Doc Rivers, Garnet, or Allen retired. He came back because everyone else is coming back.

      Don’t hate LeBron for taking advantage of the rules set fourth by the NBA and agreed upon by every NBA team owner. The guy wants his legacy to be about championships, not about how many years he played in Cleveland. I’ve quit jobs in the past in order to move to other jobs that gave me more opportunities, if not more money, and I’m sure most of you have done the same.

      Hate the game all you want, but LeBron did nothing wrong.

      • NarcolepticGirl says:

        I know. Like I mentioned, players move on and are traded all the time. So, I fail to see the big deal about just that.

        But no one (especially someone who has zero rings) has requested an HOUR LONG program to himself to announce where he’s going. That’s just plain arrogance and just embarrassing.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          I agree that it was ridiculously ostentatious, though I should mention that he made that deal with ESPN partially so that the revenue from all of the ad time during the hour was donated to the Boys and Girls Club – that’s $1 million. It was egotistical, but a lot of kids benefitted from it whether you watched or not.

  19. Nogard13 says:

    “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.”

    Wait, you just fired the coach, who happened to have the best record in the NBA two years running, and who won 61+ games in the last two seasons. Where was your loyalty to the coach? Or, are employees loyal to their employers but not the other way around?

    You know what you can take to the bank? The fact that if LeBron didn’t perform up to Dan Gilbert’s standards he wouldn’t have been hired or offered a contract, regardless of how loyal LeBron wanted to be to Cleveland. It’s a business for Mr. Gilbert but it’s a game for LeBron. LeBron wants to be on a championship team while Mr. Gilbert is mad because his team will (again) be irrelevant, with empty seats, and he won’t make any profit off of LeBron attire (such as jerseys).

    I’d have a lot more respect for him if he just came out and said he’s mad because he’s going to lose money instead of being a hypocrite and blaming LeBron for not being loyal.

    • Caffinehog says:

      I think they dumped the coach to give LeBron what HE wanted. This year, they’ve done lots of changes to the team and organization to make him happy… then he up and leaves. I understand that this is a business, and Mr. James is just trying to make money. However, he ended up costing the Cavs a lot of money and effort by leading them on.

  20. jsl4980 says:

    Dan Gilbert failed Cleveland and Lebron by not bringing any talent in to help them win championships. All Dan Gilbert did was lead a team to last place in the NBA, win a draft lottery by luck, and force Lebron to carry the team for 7 years. He had a responsibility to keep Lebron in Cleveland and he failed miserably. Fans should be mad at him not just Lebron.

    • Buckus says:

      So bringing in Shaq and as much other talent as he could muster to Cleveland without going broke wasn’t enough. I’d say he made a pretty good effort to put talent around LeBron. That being said, Cleveland is not a very attractive destination for NBA players, and that didn’t help.

  21. drburk says:

    I wanna see the Lebron stays letter he had written up if Lebron stayed. I bet it used the phrase “take that Miami, you may have sunshine, pleasant winters, beaches, beautiful women but we have Lebron and the Rock and Roll hall of fame”.

  22. PsiCop says:

    So, James’ several-day build-up of his “decision” culminating in an unprecedented special televised presentation of his signing decision, is somehow NOT “narcissistic” or “self-promotional”? Huh? Really?

    Are you sure you guys REALLY wan to go with that?

    All of the criticism of Dan Gilbert’s open letter … here and elsewhere … misses the point entirely, which is that — on this count at least — Gilbert is 100% correct. His assessment of Lebron James as “narcissistic” and “selfish” is dead-on-balls accurate. (That’s an industry term.)

    The sports media are doing themselves, and the NBA, a disservice by turning the entire NBA into “The Lebron James Show.” If something happens to the guy … whether it’s a personal implosion, an accident, illness, severe injury, or anything else that takes James out of play … ratings will plummet, because the media-appointed “be-all and end-all” of NBA basketball won’t be playing.

    If this sounds like a strange claim, it shouldn’t be. It has happened before in other sports. I need only say “Tiger Woods and golf” to make that point. Golf has suffered since the departure, and dismally-poor return, of its media-appointed icon. The sport of golf was not well-served by having been made, by the media, into “The Tiger Woods Show.” It’s a mistake they ought not repeat.

    While Gilbert’s letter may be more than a little immature, the fact is that he has a point! That the media are in an uproar over it — since they were collectively complicit in James’ juvenile, narcissistic display — is understandable. They don’t want to have to face that they’re in this up to their eyeballs, too.

    But facts are facts. Gilbert said something that desperately needed to be said. Maybe he should have done a better job of it, but that the mass media have dug their heels in and are fiercely ignoring that Gilbert is more right than he is wrong, tells me all I need to know about them.

    And that isn’t good.

  23. Excuse My Ambition Deficit Disorder says:

    It seems that Mr. Gilbert needs to take a nap as he seems a bit grumpy. I think it’s more interesting that you posted this at 1:45 and the “live” video stream was at 1PM….bummer…

  24. nbs2 says:

    Until I found out that the letter was written in Comic Sans, I was with him. Now, I don’t know who is right.

  25. captadam says:

    Hmmm …

    LeBron James is a megalomaniac. Dan Gilbert is, too. Two rich megalomaniacs are now having a public tiff. Whoopee.

  26. Sparty999 says:

    Are you kidding me? The same guy that tried to hire away the coach from his Alma Mater (Michigan State–Tom Izzo) remember that… oh wait, it was like 2 weeks ago… he has no room to talk about being disloyal. Yeah, it’s a shame… but walk the walk Mr. Gilbert…

  27. Smashville says:

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

    Well. Yeah. Michael Jackson is dead and Elvis doesn’t play basketball.

  28. Fineous K. Douchenstein says:

    Bringing in an over-the-hill and overweight Shaq who slowed the team down counts as enough? He brought in a name, rather than talent. Shaq was already falling out of his prime when he won that last championship with Wade.

  29. MustWarnOthers says:

    This is nonsense.

    Like him or not, he’s been there 7 damn years. SEVEN years.

    He came out of high school to become one of the most hyped up sports stars, in any sport, ever.
    He proved his worth and lived up to the hype, only to have a shlt Cleveland owner do a terrible job in building the right foundation for a championship winning team.

    Look at the numbers Lebron James has put up on both sides of the court. It’s a damn shocker when he doesn’t get a Double/Double or a Triple/Double.

    If you’re the owner of a team with a multi-mvp player, and you can’t get the right help, you’re a complete and total franchise owner failure.

    Shaq? really? Shaq is one or two steps away from retirement, how could he possibly fathom that was the answer?

    Dan Gilbert should have addresses that letter to himself, about himself. He’s the one who let Cleveland down.

    • gamehendge2000 says:

      Your comment applies to 29 NBA teams every year, each of which is a total franchise failure.

    • SteveinOhio says:

      The Cavs may not have won the title, but they had the best record in the league 2 years in a row. The talent assembled on the team was sufficient to win, but simply didn’t come through. More talent would have lowered the degree of difficulty, but this was doable even with the current roster. This is not unlike how Peyton Manning’s Colts failed in the playoffs year after year. He stuck it out with them, and they eventually came through and won it all. LeBron turned his back on his team, his hometown, and his fans to go play ball in Miami instead.

  30. WinHac says:

    What a Wacko.

  31. FireproM2k says:

    This is ridiculious. Lebron doesn’t owe anyone but Lebron. These people wouldn’t give one crap about him if he couldn’t play the game of basketball better than any other. I say play for who pays you the most money or who gives you the best chance of winning a championship, or who makes you happy. You are under no obligation to “fans” who wouldn’t care about you if you weren’t such an athletic freak.

    This is coming from an Eagles Fan, in sports you sometimes lose one of your favorite or best players to another team. Either you cry about it like a little girl, or you man up and keep following your team, I mean it’s a business after all.

  32. wellfleet says:

    I’ve won as many NBA titles as LBJ. His one-hour spectacle and the whole circus preceding it is like telling your high-school girlfriend that you may or may not break up with her and that she’ll find out your decision at Prom. Who the eff does something like this and who would want to play with/trust someone like that? Not me. The Miami experiment will fail. When LBJ said now he doesn’t have the pressure of taking the winning shot every night, that told me everything I need to know. Elite players want to take that shot, want that responsibility, relish that burden. Happy trails, doucher.

  33. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    “and driven staff over here at your hometown Cavaliers have not betrayed you nor NEVER will betray you.” Oh, so that means they will betray. Ok.

  34. RavenWarrior says:

    Would you care for some cheese with your sour grapes and wine, Mr. Gilbert?

  35. Aaron Poehler says:

    What’s this have to do with what this site is ostensibly about? Utterly unimportant sports blather.

    • SteveinOhio says:

      Head honcho of a company reaching directly out to his customers in a way that is over the top, but exactly what we needed to hear, thus preserving goodwill.

  36. MustWarnOthers says:

    Except for the fact that there’s only one league MVP. Ignoring that, I guess you’re right.

  37. Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

    Hey, Dan Gilbert, can you teach Richard Peddle or Larry Tanenbaum (the closest to head honchos at Make Me Laugh Sucks at Entertaining…er, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, who own the Toronto Raptors and Maple Leafs and a billion+ dollars worth of real estate around the corner of Bay and Lake Shore) how to write an inspiring letter like that? After all, we were also betrayed by our franchise player, who also bolted to the South Beach to be with his buddies, all because he “wants to win.” Granted, in Toronto, home of the Loser Sports Teams, he would have no chance in hell, but it still feels like a kick in the gonads. I’m pretty sure, however, they’d choose Times New Roman as their typeface, as opposed to Comic Sans.

  38. SteveinOhio says:

    I love our owner. This is the letter everyone here would have written, and the owner did it for us and let the whole world see it. He’s rightfully pissed and he wants to go out and kick the guy’s ass. He won a LOT of goodwill here in Cleveland for this. We don’t really care if the rest of the country likes it or not, this expressed our feelings exactly, and we’re the people buying the tickets and loving this city.

  39. Incident8 says:

    How binding is a personal guarantee from a team owner that we “can take to the bank”. If I legally bet on the team to win and they loose, would this open letter be considered in some way admissible in a law suit to recover losses?

  40. Hardwired says:

    My response is this: To Cleveland, sorry. Other than that, who cares? I’m shocked people even WATCH the NBA. I mean c’mon, run, travel, slam dunk, etc: STUPID.
    College hoops is where the action is. Anybody who thought he would stay in Cleveland was just fooling themselves. Let’s see…Hmm…Miami with your friends or Cleveland winters? Yeah, “the decision” must have been tough.

  41. ap0 says:

    LeBron shouldn’t have made such a spectacle out of this, but he’s after a championship and “just give it one more season” probably isn’t gonna cut it for him now. He looked really, really uncomfortable in the ESPN special, though. I don’t really think it was his idea.

    Also, LeBron’s player salary isn’t as much as his endorsement money. That’s where sports stars make the real bank nowadays.

    • Randell says:

      Which is why whoever orchestrated this whole thing is an idiot. His brand is on par with Tiger Woods about now except in one city, and even there, he isn’t top dog (Dwayne Wade is)

  42. P_Smith says:

    It’s interesting to see the different reactions of owners.

    The Dallas Mavericks made a trade with the Phoenix Suns in 2001 to get Steve Nash, and three years later, Nash leaves as a free agent to go back to Phoenix.

    Read Mark Cuban’s after losing Nash, his words and his reaction:

    http://blogmaverick.com/2004/07/03/steve-nash-part-1/

    Cuban is one of the most rabid, overemotional and overreacting owners in the NBA, and loses his most valuable asset for which he gave a lot to get, yet when Nash left, he wished the player well.

    Gilbert has just made himself look like a complete idiot.

    .

  43. Piddles says:

    It wasn’t like LeBron got elected to the Cavs. He was drafted out of high school as the number one pick. 7 years is a long time in modern sports to stay with the same team. I could see it as betrayal only if the Heat were the Cavs arch-rival. They aren’t so get over it, Dan Gilbert.

  44. Berries_n_Brains_Cereal_is_Zombilicious says:

    Sports today are so uninteresting because of the media over-hype and childish attitudes of the players and the greed of the coaches. I try to ignore sports, but it seems to be able to get far too much attention than it real;y deserves.