Tag:Dan Gilbert
Posted on: December 12, 2010 3:18 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:32 pm

J.J. Hickson is unhappy, no longer untouchable?

Cleveland Cavaliers forward J.J. Hickson is unhappy with his role and the team reportedly might be open to trading him. Posted by Ben Golliverjj-hickson

When LeBron James left Cleveland last summer, the Cavaliers immediately transformed from perennial title contender to rebuilding hope-seller. To make matters worse, no one on the roster really inspires much hope, save young, athletic forward J.J. Hickson, who showed out at this year's Las Vegas Summer League and looked primed to step into a role as team centerpiece in the short-term.

Hickson's overall numbers -- 23.6 minutes, 10.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, 9.2 field goal attempts -- are up this season, but his shooting percentage has dipped dramatically -- from 55% last season to 44% -- and Cavaliers coach Byron Scott reportedly hasn't seen the level of consistency that he is looking for, benching Hickson last week. 
Cleveland.com reports that Hickson has struggled with the move to the bench and wasn't pleased with how Scott is treating him.
"I'm not adjusting very good," he said. "I don't think it's any secret. Coach [Byron Scott] knows I'm not happy. My teammates know I'm not happy. But as a professional basketball player, you deal with it as a pro."
Hickson wasn't particularly pleased with how the demotion was handled. "The night I didn't start I didn't know I wasn't going to start until 30 seconds before we went out to go warm up," he said. And he wasn't thrilled with how Scott explained what he has to do to change the situation. "[Scott] said, 'Play with energy,' which I think I do, and that was about it," he said. 
Meanwhile, News-Herald.com reports that the Cavaliers may be reconsidering their position on Hickson when it comes to trades.
Up until now, forward J.J. Hickson has been untouchable in any trade talks. The Cavs might be close to including his name in possible deals. He doesn't seem like a happy camper right now.
Nothing in the NBA tests you mentally like losing, and the Cavaliers have lost six straight games and are 2-10 in their last 12. That discord between new coach and young player should surface at this time is no huge surprise, and this feels like a classic coach/player conflict.  You can easily see where both sides are coming from. Scott, former NBA champion, looks at Hickson as a young player who should be playing to earn every second of his playing time because he hasn't proven anything in the NBA yet. Hickson looks around at his teammates, realizes how bad they are, and concludes that he should be afforded a certain level of respect given his talent, relative to the rest of the group. Eventually, the sides will meet in the middle: Scott will have made his point about effort level, and Hickson will return to the starting lineup, ideally playing with an extra edge. The idea that Hickson was truly "untouchable" in trade talks is a misnomer. Sure, as a promising young big man on a rookie deal, Hickson was a top priority from a roster construction standpoint. But a team as desperate as the Cavaliers with an owner as desperate as Dan Gilbert would trade any and everybody if it made the team relevant, which it isn't right now.  While Hickson needs to work through his issues with Scott, he remains the best asset on the Cavs roster. Cleveland would be foolish to move him, unless it was as part of a larger package for a marquee name. 
Posted on: December 2, 2010 4:37 pm
Edited on: December 2, 2010 4:40 pm

YouReact: Headlines for Cavs-Heat

Posted by Matt Moore

With the big game just hours away and security starting to take shape at Quicken Loans Arena in preparation for the biggest villain return since the Empire struck back, we thought we'd get a sense of what you, the people, thought about this game. We asked Twitter (follow us!) for 10-word suggestions for the headline they wanted to see tomorrow. Here's the best of what we received. Leave your answers in the comments. 

@RockWFNY : "Boos rattle James as Cavs pull off emotional win."

@DrewUnga : "Moon over Miami- Jamario's Halfcourt Shot Seals Win For Cavs." 

@JC_Heat305 : "Utter destruction of Cavliers (sic) Team and Fans. Heat Win By 50."

@bwkemp : "Cavs Fans Civil In Blowout of Heat"

@ComputerSnacks : "Both teams played hard. God bless and goodnight."

@MikePradaSBN : "LeBron James Heat Justin Bieber"

@Chewie93 : "James begs Cleveland's forgiveness; Cavs win a close one."

@MrTrpleDouble10 : "Quagmire at the Q Tops Malice at the Palace"

@SpaceFunMars : "LeBron challenges fans to a game of 1-on-20,000. James wins."

@hatfieldms : "leBron takes his talents back to South Beach after another loss."

@DaAkronHammer : "EPIC FAIL"

@schittone37 : "Children attending game learn new words." 

@TurboLax33 : "LeBron breaks down in tears from incessant booing"

@jsucher : "I don't care what it is as long as it's in Comic Sans."

You can follow us on Twitter at @CBSSportsNBA .
Posted on: December 2, 2010 11:50 am
Edited on: December 2, 2010 11:57 am

Ilgauskas thinks fans need some perspective

Former Cav suggests that maybe we're all going a little nuts over Heat-Cavs Thursday night.
Posted by Matt Moore

Zydrunas Ilgauskas isn't hated in Cleveland like LeBron James is for his defection to the Heat. He may even receive a fair amount of cheers tonight when introduced. He was a career-long Cavalier until this season when he joined his friend to try and win that championship that has held itself beyond his reach. So he's got a pretty good perspective on all the elements, people, and feelings going on as James returns to Cleveland. But with the tampering charges being investigated by Dan Gilbert, Ilgauskas isn't quite feeling polite about the hoopla regarding James' return. As he told NBA FanHouse:

"That's chasing ghosts right there," he told FanHouse while shaking his head. "Let bygones be bygones. There are more important things in life: people dying from cancer every day, kids dying every day, people having HIV, people fighting wars. There are more important things than the Miami Heat going back to Cleveland.

"Let's put life in perspective, it's just a basketball game."
via LeBron James, Miami Heat Teammates React to Dan Gilbert's Tampering Probe -- NBA FanHouse .

I kind of want to hug Ilgauskas after this quote. His comments are in regards to the tampering charge specifically, but this statement needs to be made into T-Shirts, cofee mugs, and gigantic billboards on the sides of buildings. It's completely fine for Cleveland to be upset about this. It's important to them. But it's still just a basketball game.

You have to wonder with the increased security, tension, and pain being expressed over this game, if everyone hasn't lost sight of that fact.
Posted on: December 1, 2010 9:58 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2010 11:18 pm

Tampering and the price of Heat Stroke

The Miami Heat are being investigated by the Cavaliers regarding tampering charges. We look at the burden of proof and the possible fallout. Posted by Matt Moore

And boom goes the Comic Sans.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into a high-powered Midwestern law firm to investigate their suspicions that the Miami Heat broke NBA tampering rules while pursuing LeBron Jamesnotes, and owner Dan Gilbert has privately vowed he won’t relent until he has a thick binder of findings to drop on the desk of the NBA commissioner, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

(via Cavaliers probing Heat's signing of James - NBA - Yahoo! Sports )

As Ken Berger elucidates , this is a sticky situation that 's going to be awfully difficult for Cleveland to prove. The burden of proof is obviously on Cleveland and you're trying to not only prove that the meetings took place but the conversations that occurred without recording or documentation and the context within which the conversations took place.

Still, if the Cavs do plop down the "binder" on Stern's desk, he's going to have to proceed with caution. He was already viewed as a willing participant in the Heat's summer shenanigans. With a thorough report on his desk he'll have to give it the consideration it requires. Not because Dan Gilbert levied it, but because word is that Gilbert wasn't the only owner concerned that something was amiss.

Fines aren't really going to be a big problem for the Heat were they to wind up guilty as charged, so to speak, since they're producing so much revenue thanks to the Big 3. Front office suspensions are hard to see as troublesome since Pat Riley is really the only one in charge, he's pretty much done his job for the year, and it's not like ownership is going to make a change away from Riley.

Which leaves draft picks. The Heat have traded or swapped the most picks they can over the next four years. Removing draft picks would mean losing high first round picks who aren't likely to get playing time on a team obviously committed to the veteran role player approach.

In other words, losing some draft picks and some dough to get LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh for six years, even if they're struggling now?

I believe the phrase is, "Worth it."

Whether it was moral or not, that's another, and possibly irrelevant question.

Boy, the owner talks about the CBA are going to loads of fun when Micky Arison and Dan Gilbert show up at the same time. Awkward.
Posted on: December 1, 2010 8:08 pm
Edited on: December 2, 2010 8:46 pm

LeBron James and his Kingdom of Ruin

As the Heat get set to visit Cleveland Thursday night, and the NBA world turns its eyes on a hurt and angry fanbase, we look at the very real dangers and complicated emotions at work as LeBron James returns to the place he once called home.  Posted by Matt Moore

"Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done..."

And lo, what a Kingdom LeBron hath made.

Thursday night, as you may have heard from a few hundred thousand places , LeBron James returns to a very different Cleveland than he left five months ago. Awaiting him tomorrow night will likely be the most hostile crowd in modern NBA history, and that includes the crowd that engaged in a fist fight with Ron Artest amid the stands in Detroit. The Malice in the Palace was a spur of the moment debacle from a heated rivalry. This is an explosive situation that's been under pressure for an entire calendar season with everything from recession stress to the very personal nature of sports fandom, and how it relates to the city of Cleveland slowly raising the temperature higher. The situation James faces tomorrow night is all together more intense and deeply rooted, and considerably more dangerous than any we've seen since free agency began.

There may have been more disgusting outbursts at games in the league's infancy, given the racist overtones that have marked our country and with basketball having been so closely tied with the African American community since its own inception into our culture. But what LeBron meant to Cleveland, and what he means now, has helped to create a powder keg which is complicated by the current economic climate, a half-century old legacy of sports failure for a town whose culture is drenched in sports revelry, and moral values inherent in the middle of our nation. "You just don't do what LeBron did, and you certainly don't do it how he did it," is the prevailing wisdom in Cleveland.

Whether you agree with what James did, or how he did it, or not, the situation remains. Cleveland fans need to vent, to express their disappointment, hurt, and feeling of betrayal. They need closure, but don't feel like they can have it while the party goes on in South Beach, even if it's turned kind of lame and no one knows why Jamiroquai showed up and is DJ'ing. They really feel like they need this. And maybe they do. The real problem here has been the NBA's compliance with making what is already a looming debacle into something altogether worse.

The league could have done their best to maintain damage control on this. They could have scheduled it for a run-of-the-mill Tuesday night early game in January, or even February. Let things go for a while longer, to defuse, and certainly not put it on TNT. As it stands, the NBA has given the world front row seats and put Cleveland on stage, leaning back and saying "So, Cleveland? What have you got?" This situation was going to be volatile no matter where or when it occurred. But it did not have to be promoted, adding more fuel to the fire.

Why is this important? Because for every plea for reasonable behavior from Ohioans, for every demand of some level of decency from a proud and decent fanbase , there is still that concern. Clevelanders aren't denying the possibility of the unspeakable occurring, because they know it is a very real possibility . It's possible that nothing unfortunate will occur, likely even, given the security measures being deployed by the Cavs and the NBA. But there are any number of other scenarios that could occur. LeBron getting pelted with beer is one of the less scary threats. From people rushing the floor to flipping the bus as it tries to leave the arena, to objects which are not soft plastic and liquid being thrown, there is a distinct possibility of something happening Thursday night which could do significant damage on the scale of The Punch or the Malice at the Palace.

Think I'm overreacting? Read the message boards, the comment threads, the Twitter pages. Realize that large groups of people are planning chants which insinuate some of the downright most disgusting rumors this side of a daytime talk show. But really, just get a sense of how much even reasonable Cleveland fans want to see James suffer. They resist their impulses because they are, after all, reasonable people. But many people in attendance will not be. Man of those people will be drinking.

For James, you have to wonder if he's really going to get anything out of this game. He can't feel good about himself in this context. He may not feel bad about himself because of his massive ego, but he almost certainly isn't happy with so many people openly hating him. James has never fed off the boos like Jordan did, like Reggie Miller did, like Kobe Bryant does. He isn't naturally dispositioned towards anger. He's drawn to laughter and clowning. Part of him may want to punish Dan Gilbert, but on the other, he's walking into a former home as the most hated man in the state.

All of this gets past the fact that at some level, LeBron James is probably a little scared to go to work tomorrow. It's unfortunate, but it is what it is. No one should have to be scared for their safety to go to work, but there's also no heroism in what James is doing. He created this mess and now he has to live with it. Playing under those circumstances may prove to be more than he can handle, and the Heat aren't playing well to begin with.

As for the game itself? Miami should roll. Mo Williams is better than Carlos Arroyo, but it's not leagues. J.J. Hickson is better than Bosh in muscle but not skill. Dwyane Wade and LeBron James are obviously superior to their counterparts and neither team has a legitimate center. That said, that hasn't stopped the Heat from playing terribly at times, nor from Cleveland playing better than expected. And if ever there was an opportunity for an emotional lift, the Cavs may have it. A win would endear this team to the city like no playoff appearance or All-Star birth could. This is all they want, to see the once and never King broken on their home floor, with their venom raining down upon him.

This is Dan Gilbert, fanning the flames and playing the victim while he himself is partially responsible and continues to get rich off the misery.

This is a Heat team wholly unprepared for the vitriol they have inspired the world over, and especially in a quiet Midwestern city.

This is a group of professionals for the Cavaliers who just happen to be caught in the crossfire.

This is a superstar who could have been the next great nexus of talent, fame, and popularity.

This is a fanbase torn and driven to extremes, rising up not as one, but as a stadium full of individuals venting their very personal rage to their former idol.

This is LeBron's Kingdom of Ruin. Long it may reign.

For more coverage of Thursday night's Cavaliers versus Heat game: 

Ken Berger is on the scene describing the mood as the stage is set. 

Gregg Doyel doesn't want Cleveland to give the world the satisfaction by acting out of character. 

Berger also breaks down the tampering charges being pursued by Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, and we try to put them into context

Zydrunas Ilguaskas is pleading for the fans to keep perspective

YouReact with tomorrow's headlines for the game. 

More links in today's Shootaround
Video of LeBron James being booed as he takes the court.
Video of LeBron James being booed during introductions.
Video of LeBron James tossing the chalk.
Posted on: October 27, 2010 12:42 pm
Edited on: October 27, 2010 1:35 pm

Dan Gilbert has no regrets

Posted by Royce Young

Post-Decision, Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert has been pretty quiet sans one Comic Sans outburst. But since Gilbert ranted on LeBron's choice to go to Miami, we haven't heard much of anything from him. The Cleveland Plain-Dealer did a Q&A with Gilbert and asked him if he had any regrets, about, you know.
My letter was to the fans and supporters of Cleveland. People get a little confused because they think it was a general statement to the world or even to LeBron or to whoever. It really was to the fans and supporters of Cleveland, and I wanted to make sure they knew where I stood and where the franchise stood and how we felt, which apparently was pretty similar to the way they were feeling. No, we don't have any regrets. We're looking forward to the future and we're focused on the future and all that other stuff, but I don't really think about it in that way.
No regrets Gilbert says. And he tries to make the point the letter was just to fans and supports of Cleveland. But the reality is, everybody read it. I can write a love letter dedicated to my dog only intended for my dog to see, but if I post it on the Internet, everybody can see it. And everybody can see that I might be a little crazy.

Gilbert's letter definitely won him some points at the time with his Cleveland fanbase. They were upset, he was upset and his letter expressed everyone's feelings. And it came from the big leader which I'm sure fired up Cavs supporters. But in the long run, it might not have been a great idea. Prior to the letter, probably seven out of 10 NBA fans wouldn't have known who Gilbert was. Now everyone does, down to people that don't even care about the league. And their perception of Gilbert and the Cavs isn't a great one.

Gilbert may have accomplished what he wanted to with the letter and good for him not living with regrets, but if he had it to do over, at least maybe he would've picked a different font.
Posted on: October 14, 2010 6:00 pm

Cleveland staying Comic, sans LeBron

Cavs employ worst font in history of world for new floor. Posted by Matt Moore

Come on, Cleveland. You're kidding, right? This is some sort of inside joke? You're not really going to...

Let me back up. Let's say you, like most of America, are not into fonts. Typography isn't exactly riveting stuff. I'm no expert myself. But one that's pretty apparent from every graphic designer, copy editor, and artist I know is that Comic Sans is the single worst font to ever be created. It was part of what garnered Cavs owner Dan Gilbert such mockery when he dropped his letter about LeBron. Sure, you can go over the top and make James out to be the worst villain since the Joker, but you need to do it with a grown man font. Not Comic Sans. And yet, that was his option.

But ha ha, remember that time Gilbert used Comic Sans to drop a tirade on the King? Nice piece of trivia.

It's back. Like a bad batch of spinach, Comic Sans is being regurgitated in Cleveland. Via Ball Don't Lie , the Cavs unveiled their new court today and in one of the images, you'll notice the following:

Jeez, Cleveland. Is that really necessary? I get the "If you've got it, flaunt it" but really? The fans are already suffering enough having watched you fail to surround the best player in the league with the talent to win a championship, and then fail to secure his services for the future, now you're going to punish them with this font being burned into their eyes on a nightly basis? Cruel, Cleveland. Cruel. Cleveland Masochists might make a better name.
Posted on: September 20, 2010 9:28 am
Edited on: September 20, 2010 4:52 pm

Shootaround 9.20: TV killed the basketball star

Posted by Royce Young
  • The NY Daily News on Melo the reality star: "For the past week, Melo has been promoting the show and partying in NYC and elsewhere, telling the Daily News that he’s more focused on fashion week than basketball. One night he was hanging with R&B singer Chris Brown, another night he was checking out the Jay-Z/Eminem concert. You can’t knock the man for enjoying his offseason, but you can assume he won’t be in a Denver uniform for much longer, if at all.  Now that the promotional tour is over - and now that we’ve realized Anthony’s level of commitment to his wife’s work - there is one question the Nets should be asking themselves: How badly do you want this player?"
  • Dan Gilbert told the Detroit Free Press he doesn't have regrets about his letter: "I just expressed what the Cleveland people were feeling. Unless you're from Cleveland and experienced what they have experienced since 1964, it's hard for the rest of the country to grasp."
  • Ira Winderman says he can see Miami eating Patrick Beverley's contract: "From the start, I have viewed the Heat’s payment to Beverley as a thank you for agreeing to spend last season in Europe when the Heat was into the luxury tax (and therefore would have had to take a one-season hit for Beverley with the money it now will pay him over two seasons). With Butler, the Heat seems to be going to great lengths with a player who still has a long way to go in his rehab. Butler could be something special. Based on summer league, even in such a small sample, I’m not sure the same can be said for Beverley."
  • Alan Hahn of Newsday on the youth of the Knicks: "But the 2010-11 team will mark the youngest group the franchise has assembled to open a season in 30 years and fifth-youngest in franchise history. According to research compiled by the Elias Sports Bureau, you have to go back to Red Holzman's second stint as coach in the early 1980s, when the 1980-81 team, comprised of phenoms such as third-year star Michael Ray Richardson, supersophs Bill Cartwright and Sly Williams and three rookies, including Mike Woodson, averaged 24.5794 years of age."
  • Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio News-Express with a pretty terrific James Anderson profile: "On March 14, 2007, nearly all the 700 some-odd souls who call this flyspeck town straddling the Arkansas-Louisiana border home gathered in a small park near the high school football stadium. There, over plates of hot dogs and potato salad, they honored one of their most distinguished citizens. Junction City's inaugural James Anderson Day was equal parts church picnic and civic celebration. Unofficially, it would not be the last."
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