Dan Gilbert has betrayed Cleveland! In fact he has betrayed all of Northeast Ohio. After LeBron James announced that he was leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers and joining the Miami Heat, Dan Gilbert wrote an incredibly shameful and unprofessional note to Cavaliers fans. There are a few reasons why Cavalier fans should be incensed at the owner of the team and why other NBA owners should take note.
First, what NBA free agent is going to want to go to Cleveland now? Would you want to enter into a business relationship with a company and an owner that will publicly murder you if you choose to leave? Dan Gilbert has effectively isolated the Cleveland Cavaliers from the rest of the quality free agent market.
Second, Dan Gilbert claims that the team has “shifted our ‘motivation’ to previously unknown and previously never experience levels;” If the Cavaliers organization had been able to achieve that kind of “motivation” when LeBron James was on the team, maybe they would have had a bit more success. Basically that statement from Gilbert shows that there was an extra level of effort that could have been exerted in order to win and possibly retain James.
Third, along the same lines Dan Gilbert said “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….” What? Isn’t that what the Cleveland Cavaliers should have been doing all along? That so-called “promise” from Gilbert should cause some real concern for the Cavaliers fans since it is basically an admission that the team was not as focused on that as they should have been before this point.
Fourth, Dan Gilbert said that LeBron James’ actions “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.” Is writing a scathing public response to a conflict the “lesson” that Ohio children should learn? What Gilbert is teaching by choosing to respond this way is that if things don’t work out the way you want them to, or if you’re treated in an unkind way, you should tell everyone you know what a horrible person the offender is. Pathetic!
No matter how you feel about the way LeBron James handled things, you should be disappointed, if not disgusted, by the way Dan Gilbert handled things. The Cleveland Cavaliers owner has severely handicapped the organization’s chances of building a competitive team. He has admitted that the team could have tried harder to bring a championship to Cleveland in the last few years. And he set a horrible example for the young ones of Ohio. Be mad Cleveland; just be mad at the right person.