All the actions Dan Gilbert has taken since LeBron James announced his “Decision” almost four years ago to the day should be more than enough for the world’s best hoopster to know he’d be wise to never, ever again seek to be teammates with the Cleveland Cavaliers’ owner.
Since eviscerating The King in a dis letter that ethered him over his “cowardly acts” and branded him “not deserving” of the people of Cleveland, Gilbert has resoundingly remained true to Dan Gilbert in way that now seems to have him widely reviled in most NBA circles.
A New York Daily News piece recently described LeBron James’ former boss as a “non-stop screamer” and the “very definition of a hands-on owner,” so much so he had a more than challenging time finding anyone willing to coach the Cavs despite the team having secured three of the last four No. 1 overall NBA draft picks after he hired and fired coach Mike Brown for the second time in three seasons earlier this offseason.
Yes, we can all agree, he’s no Pat Riley. Though, don’t get it twisted as Riley has deservedly heard more than his fair share of criticism over the years for everything from the way he once “faxed” his resignation to the Knicks to the way he routinely guilts players into feeling they owe even more to their franchises and management when they have the chance to do better for themselves while he regularly seems to take all he can get anytime any negotiations of his own come to the forefront.
The difference? Wherever Riles has gone, be it working the sidelines or in the front office, he develops relationships with his players where they religiously stand by him, attesting to his loyalty and sense of purpose on levels few others in the history of the league can boast of having attained.
When, if ever, have you heard a player or coach describe Dan Gilbert in such admiring terms? In Gilbert’s world, he can only move to remove his verbal assault on The Chosen One from the team’s website just days before he would have him come back to work for him and feel that should be absolution enough.
“The letter was removed years ago from the Cavs.com website, but over the last week, it was discovered that it still existed from this external link to a stagnant archived page,” Cavs director of communications Tad Carper was clearly mandated to tell reporters. “It was on the content management system platform that was used back in 2010.”
One wonders if Gilbert even bothered to remind any of his minions that just five months before he had openly declared he didn’t “regret sending” the letter and if he had to do it again “for sure I would’ve.”
After LeBron and the Heat were knocked off by the Mavs in the Finals during his first season is South Beach during the 2010 season, Gilbert took to Twitter to admonish “old lesson for all, there are no short cuts.”
And yet, Gilbert would have LeBron take such steps, now at the height of his career to again rescue his franchise. “Some people think they should go to heaven but not have to die to get there,” Gilbert wrapped up in his aforementioned missive.
Can you say heaven paging Dan Gilbert?