Blog Entry

Cavs owner eviscerates James for "betrayal"

Posted on: July 8, 2010 11:33 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2010 11:42 pm
Posted by Matt Moore

Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert posted a letter to Cavs fans regarding LeBron James on the team's website tonight, and it is truly shocking. In the letter, Gilbert lays into James (passively aggressively, never once using the word "LeBron" and using "James" only once) for what he refers to as a "cowardly betrayal. " He talks about the ridiculous spectacle of James' television special. He tells Cleveland fans they deserve more than the betrayal they received.

And then the kicker.

You see, he wrote in Comic Sans so that you would know he's serious.

Gilbert's letter is clearly an emotional reaction an emotional situation. The franchise, who they had specifically built the entire organization around, has left them. But to paint James' departure as a cowardly betrayal is a bit much. Danny Ferry had years to build a championship organization around the best player in basketball, and instead always opted for the safe way out. The easy route. The compromise value deal. Acquiring players like Wally Szczerbiak and Ben Wallace and even Antawn Jamison were safe moves that involved no real risk and yet never capitalized on the big move. Meanwhile, James saw the Lakers and Celtics win championships with all out moves to surround their best players with top tier talent.

Gilbert has taken control of his own message, and it's clear. LeBron James is dead to the Cavaliers and the city of Cleveland as far as he's concerned. James may not have wanted to burn bridges in his hometown, but tomorrow, he'll wake up and smell the smoke.

That part of his life is over. Forever.

(Read the full letter from Gilbert here .)


Since: Sep 20, 2009
Posted on: July 9, 2010 6:32 pm

Cavs owner eviscerates James for "betrayal"

LeBron showed a total lack of class by not even calling Gilbert to tell him he was going to Miami.  It is one thing to leave the team, but the way he did it was totally without style and class.  The owner has a right to be teed off, LeBron didn't even give a him a "no thanks"......he gave the dude zip, zero, nada, nichts, nothhing....

Since: Sep 18, 2006
Posted on: July 9, 2010 6:31 pm

Cavs owner eviscerates James for "betrayal"

I'm going to forgive the fact that you probably don't know much about Cleveland sports in particular, given your screen name-- You seem to have bandwagoned your fandom to 3 teams in 3 different cities who just coincidentally happen to have won quite a few championships..
For you to posture about James having "every right to play wherever he wanted," while technically correct, ignores the very reason we did love him so much: We thought he was one of us, we thought he wanted to be here. The only other athlete in my lifetime that has ever said that and made good on it was Bernie Kosar, who engineered his way into the Browns by sucking it up and finishing school at Miami in 3 years so that he could be eligible for a supplemental draft where the Browns had the first pick. We thought LeBron "got it," that he understood how much we loved him, and despite this year's mystifying end to the playoffs, we would forget that and move on, and if he said he wanted to stay, he would have gotten as much time and as many excuses made for him as he needed, because he said he wanted to stay.
Mr. Gilbert absolutely *does* have a right to say otherwise. Gilbert's been a winner in business, and helped build a winner with the Cavs. I can't wait for the whole behind-the-scenes story to come out, but if Gilbert is correct that James never returned emails or phone messages, and only told Gilbert he was leaving via a 3rd party when that un-reality show of his was already on the air, Gilbert has every right to be pissed. 
And I had 0 drinks last night. I kept my Cavaliers attire, but I also burned my LeBron James jersey. Drunkenness has nothing to do with it, it's about betrayal, it's about LeBron guaranteeing he would bring a championship to Cleveland and wouldn't stop until it happened and us believing him (When what he really meant was, he wouldn't stop until the first possible moment he could get out).
So if you're a Spurs fans, and a Cardinals fan, and a Bears fan, don't talk to me about a player having every right to go wherever he wants. You've cherry picked a quality franchise in each sport to root for. I wish I could do the same, but for whatever bizarre reason, I believe in staying with the teams I grew up with. Even more so when I see people who front-run to go root for whatever Flavor or the Month team is out there.
I'm 49, and the last title one of my teams won happened when I was 3, so I don't even remember it. When you've gone through a lifetime without a championship, come talk to me. Until then, I don't want to hear it.

Since: Feb 16, 2008
Posted on: July 9, 2010 6:25 pm

Cavs owner eviscerates James for "betrayal"

Dan Gilbert is from Michigan but is now in Cleveland.  So did he desert Michigan?  Did he betray Michigan by buying the Cavs ins tead of the Pistons?  Was buying an Ohio team instead of a Michigan team a shocking act of disloyalty?

Gilbert needs to shut his damn mouth.  LeBron increased the value of that franchise by $100 millions.  LeBron did that--not JJ Hickson or Mo Williams or DeLonte West.  LeBron could have gone about this process differently but Gilbert has no right to act like this.  LeBron did everything required in his contract--he didn't try to force his way out early.  He can switch jobs just like everyone else can.  Why is LeBron supposed to spend his entire life in Cleveland?  Only 40% of people stay in their home town their entire life so its not like this is unprecedented (gilbery is part of the 60% that moved on).  Gilbert can be mad that LeBron left but act like an adult, appreciate what you got from LeBron, and move on--don't act like a spoiled little kid throwing a tantrum.

Since: Jul 26, 2009
Posted on: July 9, 2010 6:22 pm

Cavs owner eviscerates James for "betrayal"

Gilbert is an idiot.  Put a real second fiddle with LeBron and maybe he would have stayed.  Cleveland is never going to win a title as long as Gilbert is the owner.  Your sour grapes letter is clueless and classless.  Gilbert talks about the chosen one's ego well if the chosen one had chose to stay in Cleveland the whole damn state of ohio would have said nothing was wrong with the 1 hour show and LeBron would still walk on water.  So Gilbert stop being a hypocrit and please move on without all the kid like behavior.  Good luck Miami Heat, and good luck Cleveland.

Since: Jan 2, 2010
Posted on: July 9, 2010 4:56 pm

Cavs owner eviscerates James for "betrayal"

 This article pretty much sums it up. ALL YOU sour clevland fans should be happy for the time James spent in CLevland helping them climb from the ranks of the nba's worst to one of the best teams the last 5yrs. BLAME YOUR FRONT OFFICE for not having the guts to make that big splash in FA. Any  of us in his shoes would have done the same. Your already set for life as far as money goes, your the face of the nba, you have played at an all-star level since coming to the nba, and you gave a city who hasn't doen a thing in sooooooooo long get close to winning it all, all the while your bone head front office won't take a shot at signing anyone. Yeah I would leave for the chance to win for who knows how long too.

Stop bashing james. Was the t.v thing a little much yea, but tell me YOU didnt watch it, or if u didn't wished you could have? Great moment in sports history, a little tacky but still a huge moment. Im happy for the guy. Finally he gets a cast around him. The most interseting thing of all this is LEbron won't have to drop 40, so now we will see his whole game as he is on a real team now, not one which he has to carry night in and night out.

Cavs owner should be ashamed . He souds like a child who got to eat ice cream all day and then finally after 8 bowls his parents said " thats enough " and he cries and screams how much he hates them.  One of the most pathetic statements released, ever.

 From a SIXER fan,best of luck to ya kid!!!

Since: Sep 28, 2008
Posted on: July 9, 2010 3:25 pm

Cavs owner eviscerates James for "betrayal"

How could someone be that bad. He led you guys to finals and the best record in the nba two years straight. I wouldn't yell at him because really they haven't tried to get a supporting cast around him. So don't blame him you left blame yourself.

Since: Apr 14, 2007
Posted on: July 9, 2010 3:02 pm

Cavs owner eviscerates James for "betrayal"

What are you talking about???  Lack of class?  How so?  What is the matter with an owner showing a bit of competitive fire? And James was well paid for anything that he 'gave' them.  I don't see any problem with a team owner circling the wagons to give the Clevland fans some hope for the future.... You think the owner of a team should just sit in the background and write all the cheques?? It's HIS team, he can say what he wants.   

Since: Dec 23, 2009
Posted on: July 9, 2010 3:02 pm

Cavs owner eviscerates James for "betrayal"

If Gilbert and Cleveland actually liked LeBron, they should thank him for the years and wish him well. To call James selfish and betrayor then burn his jerseys... pot calling the kettle black. What did they think they owned him? Are they not selfish to want him to stay? Are they not betrayors for burning his jerseys? 7 years with 1 employer is nothing to sneeze at. Many people switch jobs every 2 years or so.

Cleveland! Gilbert! Thank him! Wish him well! Be sad he left, but don't hate him.

Go Lakers!

Since: Jan 15, 2009
Posted on: July 9, 2010 2:50 pm

Cavs owner eviscerates James for "betrayal"

I thought as James said we had seen a boy become a man, yesterday that man became a boy again.  King Wade in Miami now rules, and Clevelands old king is DEAD!!!  First time I have ever said this, "Go Kobe, Go Lakers!"  - may you continue to be NBA champions!!Yell

Since: Apr 23, 2008
Posted on: July 9, 2010 2:23 pm

Cavs owner eviscerates James for "betrayal"

Thank you Dan! I think LeBron's legacy has been destroyed no matter how many rings he wins in Miami. It seems this ultra egotistical maniac has really screwed himself on this decision. If he really wanted to win now he would have signed with Chicago. I am a die hard Knicks fan, and know even if they signed LeBron it would take a few more moves to make them a real contender.  But if he won just one championship with the Knicks no matter when, he would have been a god and his legacy would have risen to heights that no one has ever seen sans Jordan. Miami is now the most hated team in the history of the NBA hands down. I am a huge hater of Kobe, but now he is even more likable than the three morons in Miami.  I have even thought of disobeying my loyalties to my beloved Dolphins due to "guilty by association" issues with their location.....but I am too loyal to let these losers affect me in anyway.  I am with Dan Gilbert on this and will root for the cavs too especially against the Miami Hated. LeBron is a loser who is afraid at trying to win on his own terms not Wade and Bosh's. 

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