Dan Gilbert Releases Scathing Statement Regarding Lebron James' Departure

Hell hath no fury like Dan Gilbert scorned. The majority owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers has released a statement regarding LeBron James' departure to Miami where he calls out the Akron native. Here is the letter in full which will likely heighten the rivalry between the former King and the Wine and Gold for years to come:

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:


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

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Dude is a loon, if he thinks the cavs will win before the heat.

Then to say, u can take that to the bank? Wth? Dan plz. PUT the bottle down lol

The Browns suck, the Indians suck, and now the Cavs suck. Just end it now all you Cleveland wanna be die hard sports fans. I kinda feel sorry for your town. The owner of the Cavs seems to be all hopped up and Crystal Meth. I will tell you this much.........The Heat will win a championship way before your beloved Cavs. Seems like an act of desperation to not lose any fans and revenue. Kind of pathetic. LBJ gave your city 7 seasons, yeah 7 and this is how you treat the man that single handedly turned your franchise around? Don't be mad at LBJ, be mad at your owner. Seems to me LBJ made the right move getting away from Cleveland. Before I go, GO STEELERS!

This is what happens when you refuse to get top-of-the-line sidekicks for a top-of-the-line player like LeBron James. This is what happens when you are abjectly unwilling to make the necessary trades to get top-notch players to turn a franchise centered around one player, with no credible support whatsoever, into a TEAM!

You had Carlos Boozer, Jermaine O'Neal and Amar'e Stoudemire to pick from. You should have offered the WORLD to get Chris Bosh to join the Cavs. You might have even precipitated a shocker if you had the courage to snatch Dirk Nowitzki from Dallas.

Michael Jordan was on his way to becoming the top dog, but before he got to the very top he and the Bulls lost twice to the Pistons in the Eastern Conference Finals. Then all of the bit players stepped up their game and made an organization of one man into a TEAM, and soon they were all household names (Jordan, Pippen, Grant, Cartwright, Paxson).

You, on the other hand, had an excellent team back in 2007, making it all the way to the Finals, with only the Spurs being the road block. Then what happened? The Cavs went from being a championship-caliber team to "Who are those guys?" LeBron's support went from being a step away from being among the most-recognized starting 5s to being inconsistent bit players. Case in point, Zydrunas Ilgauskas went from a 15-PPG top sidekick to half that this year. And I'm pretty sure that it bothered LeBron to the point where he probably thought the team needed new blood or he was outta there.

In other words, your team was going BACKWARDS! From a Finals contender to a 2nd-round playoff team that can't get past Orlando or Boston. The team needed one or two new sidekicks for LeBron. What this team needed was to become a TEAM again! It took 7 years for M.J. to get to the Finals and win. In 4 years, LeBron and the Cavs got to the Finals, but in his 7th year there the franchise is on a downward slide, while he still puts nearly 30 points on the scoreboard every night.

See the difference? The Bulls kept their engine going, while the Cavs let theirs rust. And that is partly YOUR fault! You too were starstruck enough to the point that you thought the team didn't need big changes and that LeBron could carry the team on his own. This may surprise you, but LeBron's departure is an admission, from him, that he needed to be with a TEAM again, because the Cavs were no longer the TEAM it was in 2007. It slid back to being a one-man franchise, and without new blood, it was destined to lose yet again to Orlando, Miami (with D. Wade and Bosh) and Boston, even if LeBron scored 40 points per game in the playoffs.

Miami got themselves a top-of-the-line player in Chris Bosh, proving convincingly that Pat Riley intended to build a new TEAM, one with a greater potential to make the Finals than the team they had last year. LeBron decided to bring his one-man show in Cleveland to an end, and go where he can be a TEAM PLAYER! I'm pretty sure he understands that the Heat is D. Wade's team, but he is going to do what what he does best, whenever he can. If they can function like the Boston Celtics, and they get a Rajon Rondo-type of player to join them, they WILL be a force to reckon with.

You could have had this kind of TEAM, too, if you were willing to trade for the players Miami, Chicago and New York got. But you didn't. It was all about trying to keep LeBron, with nothing in return. Why should LeBron return to the same team, if that team has no top sidekicks and looks to be a shoo-in for another playoff loss even if LeBron scored 50 points in every playoff game? The fact that he had problems in this past season's playoff series against Boston only exemplified the downward spiral of the team, and that he'd been there too long. That lack of support can suck anyone's motivation dry.

You think you can rebuild your organization without LeBron, but it takes a lot more to build a TEAM, which you have not had in 3 years. If you weren't willing to build or rebuild a TEAM around LeBron, how do you expect us to believe you will do it without him? It took a lot of courage for LeBron to sacrifice millions to leave, because he though it more important to win with a TEAM, rather than a franchise of one.

I am in agreement that he should not have strung the public along to make this announcement in such a public forum. Unfortunately, I happen to believe he intended all along to stick it to you for not having the courage to make trades to get him the kind of support that is worthy of the Celtics and Lakers of old and new, the Spurs and even the Heat of 2006. The Heat had the courage, and that's why he left.

Consider this: If he had decided to stay, would you have said all the things you are saying about him right now? It says more about you than it does about him! What his departure says is that he had the courage to give up millions, give up being the center of attention, give up being a bird in a cage, and give up being a one-man show, to be part of a TEAM, in an effort to win a championship.

And what about Shaq? With LeBron gone, I have no doubt that he will be leaving as well. You made a big mistake relying on a legend who is past his prime, and I'm sure I'm not alone when I say this: He ain't staying on that sinking ship. He's taking his retirement tour elsewhere. I hear that Boston and Atlanta are at the top of the list.

This is what happens when you refuse to build a TEAM around your star player. Good luck trying to build one without him, fat chance though it may be. I happen to know. The Knicks tried building a team around Patrick Ewing, but the inconsistency from the other players was its biggest detriment. They haven't been the same since he retired.

Your 5000 word essay on Lebron James just wasted my time.

Do you even know anything about the Cavs? If you did, you would know that LeBron ran that show. He was catered to and called all kinds of shots. Cleveland traded away draft picks and spent every last penny they had trying to make him happy.

So before you go on a tirade, get your facts straight.

...Who were these players the Cavs traded to make him happy?

From what I've been reading, even from others in the know, what you're saying is not what I'm getting from them. I must sympahize, though, that you are still letting off steam after watching LeBron leave. The fact remains, though, that Miami had a 5-star player with a ring (D. Wade), and they were the ones who grabbed a 4-star player (Bosh). They were hellbent on building (or, in Wade's case, rebuilding) a TEAM. Cavs had, at best, a 3-star sidekick and another whose stats seem to be heading south. They had forgotten what it took to make it back to the Finals.

Cavs ceased to be a team after 2007, and became just another playoff-worthy roster. 60 wins does not guarantee that you will make it to the Finals, and one man can't do it alone. Even Jordan had a spectacular TEAM alongside him.

The writing was on the wall, and it was time to make more changes. LeBron waited long enough for Dan to do that, right up to the last day. When he felt he was being screwed over, LeBron decided to screw him back.

And since when does an organization resort to making a CARTOON to try and keep its best player? When I first heard about that (if I heard correctly from ESPN), I knew they were going to lose him.

Be that as it may, it looks as if Miami now has a TEAM, with 3 guys averaging well over 20 points a game. If they make it to the Conference Final, it's a step in the right direction. I stand by my assertion that Gilbert should have grabbed another top player when he had the chance, and LeBron gave him all the time in the world. If LeBron had stayed, he would have had nothing but glowing things to say about him, but his phony incendiary outburst revealed his true colors, and may have scared many other first-rate players away, and probably for a very long time. Who would want to play for that sore loser? What a grouch! Chris Bosh probably knew beforehand. Be that as it may, Dan Gilbert has only himself to blame.

It took a lot of courage for one man to cease to be THE man, and go elsewhere and SHARE the spotlight. That is giving up a lot, including potential comparisons to Jordan. If he had stayed, people would STILL have criticized him, for wanting to continue to hog the spotlight. Damned if he did and damned if he didn't. So, if he becomes another Charles Barkley (one of the best never to win the big one), so be it. If he wins only one, so be it. If Miami's Three Amigos become a dynasty, so be it.

And by the way, if I didn't mention it already, I'm from NYC, and I did NOT want him to come play for our sinking ship. He needed to be with a TEAM, and it looks like he is part of one.

One man alone doth not a TEAM maketh. One man alone doth not a championship bringeth. One man alone doth not necessarily greatness maketh.

Here's the evidence: When Shaq left L.A. and Phil Jackson took a year off, Kobe languished for 3 years until Pau Gasol and Derek Fisher joined him. Paul Pierce languished for years at Boston until they brought in Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, who themselves were languishing with rosters they could not rightfully call TEAMS. Charles Barkley and Karl Malone, do we even have to explain their suffering?

Without the TEAMS that Jordan, Magic and Bird had, even without the coaches they had (especially Phil in Chicago) even they would have languished. Great players do not make great teams. Witness LeBron on a mediocre squad for 7 years, as demonstrated by that 120-88 loss at home to Boston. Even on a bad night for LeBron (15 points), a roster like the Cavs isn't supposed to lose by 32 at home. They didn't step up at all. THEY ALL QUIT, you can't blame LeBron for that! And in that last game, despite 9 turnovers against Boston's defense, he still had a triple-double! So, I don't buy this utter putrid nonsense that LeBron quit out there, when he averaged 29 in the playoffs. The rest of the roster (which I don't call a TEAM because in his last 3 years LeBron never had a TEAM) quit.

Bird, Magic, Jordan, Hakeem, Duncan, even Kobe and Pierce, all had lousy nights, but their teams stepped up, on more than one occasion. Cavs didn't step up. Period.

That's the difference between a TEAM and a roster. They had great teams, LeBron had a roster, nothing more. None of those other Cavs would have been starters for Boston, L.A., Orlando or Phoenix. He needed a great supporting cast, he didn't have one. He recognized that he wasn't going to get one, so he left, because great players do not make great teams; great teams make great players, and in some cases, great teams make great players even greater. LeBron didn't have a great team. He didn't even have a team, period. The closest that squad came to being a team was in the 2006-07 season. Downhill ever since.

It was a bad idea for him and either ESPN or Nike to arrange the announcement the way they did. A simple tweet or press conference would have sufficed, but I happen to believe his intent was to rub salt in the wounds of only ONE man, who because of his failure to trade 1 or 2 of his bit players for another star player (LeBron waited until the last minute, but it never happened), and his behavior an hour and a half after LeBron's announcement, might have scared any potential future superstars away from the organization for years to come. Though many sports reporters had criticism for the arrangement of LeBron's announcement, they had equal or more criticism for Dan Gilbert's utter lack of profrssionalism and sour grapes. Remember that when another star player, like Chris Bosh, refuses to play for the Cavs, or even says publicly that he would rather play in Europe than for this grouch.

Courage. It took a lot of it for LeBron to be so willing as to give up his crown and abandon a roster, in his home state, to play for what looks to be a TEAM taking shape. It took a lot of guts for him to abandon the idea of being THE man (on a declining roster with no clutch potential, no less), to become one of 3 on a team still being put together. It took even more guts for LeBron to abandon the number 23 (no one could ever wear that number like Jordan did; in fact, I think it was a CURSE for LeBron) to wear number 6. That is the number of 'The Prisoner'. Like Patrick McGoohan's character, he chose not to be a prisoner anymore, and made his escape.

Call him courageous for stepping off the throne to be a team player. Call him a traitor for abandoning his home turf. But the fact remains, on paper and in reality, that if he had stayed he would have been no better off than this past season. Even if Miami doesn't win one, at least he won't end up like Karl Malone, playing his entire career with one team, coming up empty, then going to a championship-worthy team VERY late in his career and retiring with nothing. LeBron had to make his move NOW, to at least give himself the chance of winning. If Shaq had stayed in Orlando from 1996 onwards, he would have had no titles right now. It took him 4 years and Kobe to mature to win his first. If Dan Gilbert (who I hear hasn't even owned the organization for as long as LeBron was there) had done his job, all this would never have happened.

Bottom line: One man alone doth not a TEAM maketh. One man alone doth not a championship bringeth One man alone doth not greatness maketh. Great players do not make great teams; great teams make great players and in some cases make great players even greater. On paper and in reality, LeBron did not have a great TEAM. On paper and in reality, he did not even have a TEAM anymore! On paper, now he does! If Pat Riley and the Heat owner play their cards right with the rest of the franchise, and clean up that bench, he will be all for the better of it.

A waste of time, my first assessment may be; but the reality is this: At this point, Cleveland is in a worse position than it was before his departure (not that it made much of a difference compared to his final 3 years there), because they had 2 months to prepare for it, and did NOTHING! LeBron is in a better position now than he was before his departure. And if Miami is still making more changes, he may be better still. The rest will be up to Miami's Big Three, to get along and play like the TEAM it appears to be. L.A. has a team, Boston has a team, Orlando has a team, Oklahoma is trying to build a team, and Chicago is trying to rebuild their franchise into a team. Miami has made this postseason's biggest move yet, and they are not yet finished. That's the bottom line.

If Gilbert can't get a leg up with what he has left of this organization, I guarantee you that within the next 7 years he will do what the Seattle Supersonics owner did with his franchise: MOVE IT, right out of the state! He'll look like a complete hypocrite if he does, but I'll bet that the temptation will be excruciatingly unavoidable.