Thoughts On Cleveland Cavaliers’ Owner Dan Gilbert’s Reaction To LeBron’s “Decision”
I’ll keep this brief, because there’s been TOO MUCH ado made about the entire situation. As a matter of fact, this won’t even be in column form, but more or less in response form.
First of all, Spike Lee was 100% correct and speaks for most sane fans of the game, no matter what team they root for. I posted a link to his call into SportsCenter on Friday and he spoke for nearly 10 minutes about it in reaction. 100% perfect. He speaks for me as a Knick fan also — even down to not hating nor booing him when I see him at MSG in December.
But to Dan Gilbert? I can’t really knock him TOTALLY. I do think he’s playing himself by going public with this rant of his. He has every right to feel that way, even if he isn’t completely justified (I taunted the Cavs and their fans for years for thinking that roster of washed-up, overpaid, D-league all-star role players was FORTUNATE to have the records they had the past two years and even getting as far as they did on LeBron’s back since 2006), because Gilbert certainly has a lot of the blame here. If not most of it.
The Cavs made the Finals in 2007, swept, but made it. Fell back to the pack in 2008, then got bounced… errr… EMBARRASSED last year vs. Orlando and embarrassed further in May 2010 by an aging Boston team. For all the hype, you would’ve thought the Cavs were in line for a three-peat heading into June 2010, not also-rans (which is really what they have been for the past 7 years). Again, I don’t blame LeBron for leaving. What did then-GM Danny Ferry and Gilbert do? Continue to balloon the cap by bringing in has-been players who were nothing but shells of their former selves. Shaquille O’Neal is chasing the next magic carpet ride to the Finals (irony is he is probably begging to go back to the Lakers or Heat, teams he’s basically burned bridges with over the same issue — coming into camp out of shape and then pointing/GIVING the finger to the team once he moved on to the next one like his last name was Carter). Antawn Jamison was always one-dimensional in Washington and now he’s OLD and one-dimensional. Zydrunas Ilgauskas’ best years were spent imitating Bill Walton’s prime years (NBA historians will get that and die laughing immediately). Mo Williams is a JOKE and will be fully exposed even to the casual fan’s eyes next season.
What did Gilbert expect?
Even Kobe Bryant, the best player in the league, needed a couple of GOOD players (the anti-Kobe sect out there, ever hypocritical and self-contradictory will attempt to diminish a Kobe accomplishment and augment his teammates’ accomplishments in the same breath by saying “he couldn’t win it alone” and then say his current teammates are basically Dream Team II, when Gasol was an afterthought in Memphis, Odom and Artest are in the last year or two in their primes and Odom has been dogging it since he left Miami — and neither of the latter two are all-stars, as the haters suggest, all in an effort to say Kobe has a stacked deck — Gasol is only the best PF/C in the West because the talent level at that position is injured or diluted and he’s playing with Kobe now). The Lakers’ bench was laughable for most of 2009-2010. There has to be something said for the intangibles even when your best player doesn’t have his best game (another anti-Kobe slur was that “he’s selfish and doesn’t make his teammates better” — another shot down argument — because Gasol was considered “too soft” and Artest was said to be a potential train wreck for the team and these are guys Kobe lit a fire under and brought the best out of and put them in position to help the team win.
Lost in all the “he shot 6-24 FG in Game 7” nonsense is the fact that he had 10 CLUTCH points when it mattered and his so-called “soft” and “head case” teammates made clutch shots to seal the deal.
That’s what Jordan did. Kobe does it also. LeBron didn’t do it in Cleveland.
And he won’t in Miami, either, because it’s Wade’s team.
But for Gilbert to go on this tirade and this “defame LeBron at all costs” campaign, it’s just reaching scorned girlfriend proportions. He speaks of “covering” for LeBron when he was in Cleveland. Look, he sped down I-71 at 110 MPH many times and got off for it. Swept under the rug. I told people all the time, “Don’t fall for this image that Nike and the NBA are pushing about this guy, he is NO angel and he’s not perfect”. You fell for it with Jordan, you fell for it with Kobe before 2004 and you fell for it with LeBron. The guy has had two children out of wedlock — THAT WE KNOW OF — by two different women. No mention of this. Kobe does this, the vile hatred would reach unheard of heights. LeBron goes out and racks up an $800 tab and leaves less than $10. No one hears about it. Gilbert covers for him. He does other shady shit that never gets heard of outside of northeast Ohio. Why are you covering for him anyway? That’s not your job. Don’t put that on blast because he left. That’s just like a chick standing by, knowing she has grievances with her boyfriend, he cheats, he doesn’t clean up, he has nasty habits that she hates but didn’t speak about — UNTIL HE LEFT HER FOR SOMEONE ELSE, then she has a tirade for the ages. Who wants to hear that shit ha? Same way I don’t want to hear a woman bitching about how she got owned, I don’t want to hear Gilbert sounding the same way.
SN: Anyone else notice how EVERYONE is using the “scorned girlfriend” angle with this LeBron-Leaves-Cleveland story ha?
By the way:
The shit LeBron got away with and never got exposed for while in Cleveland would’ve been thrown in his face EVERY DAY here in New York. And we would have STILL cheered him. That’s why we’re BETTER than Cleveland fans in every sport. They’re showing their asses now, but we would have never stood by and gave that nigga a pass with the shit he was doing to begin with. If we saw him at the bar and not leaving tips, he would’ve heard it. If he got in my boy DK’s cab and left a $3 tip (if any tip at all) on a $45 fare to Kennedy, we’d let him have it. If he sped up the FDR or down the BQE or weaved around the tankers that seemingly don’t move for 15 minutes at a time on the Cross Bronx, we’d let him have it.
AND STILL CHEERED HIM.
And if he left in an understandable matter, yeah, we’d be pissed, but we wouldn’t be acting like babies such as Gilbert and the Cleveland Fan has done.
Embarrassing, the whole lot of them.