Open Letter To Fans From Majority Owner Dan Gilbert
Dear Cleveland, All of Northeast Ohio and Cleveland Cavaliers Supporters Wherever You May Be Tonight;
As you now know, our very own Lebron James, is no longer a Cleveland Cavalier, and will be joining the Miami Heat.
I absolutely did not agree with the way this was done. To go on national television to make a “decision” just was not in good taste! Cleveland, I personally apologize that all you amazing fans had to see things unfold this way.
What I do want to make sure of is that, we as a top notch organization send Lebron James off the right way. I personally want it to be known that we did everything we could to retain King James. I will make this clear. Lebron gave us seven amazing seasons on and off the court. He conducted himself in a manner that would make many very proud at all times. He came here to Cleveland just 30 or so minutes away from his hometown in Akron, Ohio as just a young teenager. Along the way, we have watched Lebron grow from a wide eyed teenager, to being an NBA leader on the court as well as a respected father off the court.
People need to understand two things. The first being, this is a business. Players will come and go. They will do what is best for themselves, as well as their families. Coaches do the same. General Managers, as well. When a player is as gifted as Lebron James, there are many outside circumstances that we just do not see. He has obligations to fill, not only to himself, but also to his endorsers. That is all I will say about that. The business side of things can be ruthless. Do you really think I became a billionaire without any under the table secret handshakes? OK, enough about me. Moving on…
The second part I want to help you understand is this. Lebron James, although many see him as this indestructible hero, really is not much different than you and I. Never mind the undeniable, amazing talent he possesses on the court. Right now, it is not about that. Lebron is 25 years old. He has lived in the same region for 25 years. Sure, he can take a private jet anywhere he wants, at any time he wants. I understand that. I am just saying, it is easy to assume things like that from the outside looking in. Truth is, as much as I hate to admit it, maybe Lebron does need to spread his wings and fly a little. Maybe moving on is the best thing for him. Maybe it will be the worst thing. I cannot look into the future. This, I just do not know.
When one door closes, it gives an opportunity for another door to open. The loss of Lebron, is more like a double sided door closing, in your face, then jamming up, but nonetheless, another door will open. Who knows, just throwing it out there, but say in 2014 the Cavaliers might actually draft the possible heir apparent to Lebron. Yeah Cleveland, I know what you are thinking; Dan, we will never ever be in the NBA Draft Lottery again!
The good news out of all this is that the ownership team and the rest of the hard-working, loyal, and driven staff over here at your hometown Cavaliers promises to not go anywhere until we build you a champion! You have given so much and deserve so much more.
In the meantime, I want to make one statement to you tonight:
“I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE WORLD ENDS!
You can take it to the bank.
“Some people think they should go to heaven but NOT have to die to get there” is a lyric by a local band that has been stuck in my head all day. It is irrelevant to this letter, so please disregard.
I know that sending Lebron off in a positive light will teach the children of the future to always understand that no matter what changes in life, negatives can always be turned into positives.
For anyone that actually believes this is some part of the “Cleveland Curse” you are simply wrong. There is no curse. I’m feeling frisky tonight, so let us break that down together. Earnest Byner fumbled. Players fumble all the time. The timing was just terrible. John Elway drove 98 yards on a great defense. Well, unfortunately he is John Elway. Trust me Cleveland, I hate him too. Oh and, “The Shot”, Michael kinda did that to everyone. That was in the first round of the playoffs. Try being the Utah Jazz. See? No curse.
In closing, Lebron you are always welcome back home in Cleveland. Yes, I said home. I know you have said you are an Akron kid, bla bla bla, but we all know that once you play for any of our three major sports teams, you are a Clevelander FOREVER! Pretty sure you don’t tell Cudi, or Bizzy Bone, or whoever you listen to that you rep Akron. Come on now. Seriously! Ok, these strawberry daiquiris’ are really starting to kick in. Anyways, someday, I promise you will understand.
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….
Follow me on Twitter @cst_coryj