LeBron James free agency: Cavs owner Dan Gilbert releases statement about LeBron, and it's nothing like the last one

When LeBron James first left the Cavaliers, it led to one of the most embarrassing responses ever by an NBA owner. Cavs owner Dan Gilbert wrote a scathing response to James for his decision to leave Cleveland, and he did so in a Comic Sans font. That statement is still made fun of to this day.

In case you hadn't heard, James has once again left Cleveland. He announced on Sunday his intention to join the Lakers and once again Dan Gilbert has released a statement. This time, however, it is far more professional and respectful. More importantly, it announced an important decision for Cavaliers history: James' No. 23 will indeed be retired some day in Cleveland: 

"We will always remember the evening of June 19, 2016 as the Cleveland Cavaliers, led by LeBron James, ended the 52-year drought delivering the long elusive championship that many thought they would never see... A championship that united generations of Clevelanders, both living and passed.

Virtually anyone with roots in Northeast Ohio paused and felt the memories of the past and the utter joy that the burden of the so-called 'curse' was finally a thing of the past. Cleveland, Ohio was the home of a championship team for the first time since 1964. Words do not express the meaning and the feeling this accomplishment brought to the people of Northeast Ohio.

None of this would have happened if LeBron James did not agree to come back home and lead the Cavaliers to the promised land. The entire Cavaliers franchise thanks LeBron for that precious moment and for all of the excitement he delivered as he led our team to four straight NBA Finals appearances.

LeBron is a family man, first. We wish his kids, his wife Savannah, his mother Gloria, and LeBron himself nothing but the best in the years and decades ahead. LeBron's connection to Akron, Cleveland and all of Northeast Ohio will most certainly endure as his commitment to the region and his support of many important causes has been impactful to so many kids and families.

LeBron, you came home and delivered the ultimate goal. Nothing but appreciation and gratitude for everything you put into every moment you spent in a Cavaliers uniform. We look forward to the retirement of the famous #23 Cavs jersey one day down the line..."

Gilbert's statement echoes how many in Cleveland feel about James now. It's not just that he came back to Cleveland, but that he did so during his prime with the promise of a championship. He delivered that championship, providing something many people in Cleveland had never seen before. 

No matter what happens with James' career from this point forward, he will be a legend in the city of of Cleveland, forever remembered fondly. He left on terms that weren't great the first time around, but he came back and now leaves on the best possible terms. His relationship with Cleveland will only improve from here, as his incredible career continues. 

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