Friday, July 09, 2010

Buy me a ticket for an air-o-plane

or, LeBron's decision gets instant validation.

or, Alex Chilton in reverse.

"lonely days are gone, I'm a heading out, my owner, he wrote me a letter"

The full text of Danny Gilbert's Lebron letter is here. Seldom has such vituperation been written in such an inappropriate for the occasion font!

People, LeBron has every right to go wherever he wants. He was drafted by Cleveland and they had his services for 7 years, during which time, the management totally failed to build a cohesive or reasonable team around him.

LeBron to Miami is a lot of things but it IN NO WAY is a "cowardly betrayal". Gilbert is now pushing into Don Sterling and Dan Snider territory as the worst franchise owner in sports.


Brandon T. said...

Meh. No one is denying LeBron's "right" to leave.

There are two ways of looking at sports, which I think you're confusing here.

1. Sports is a business, in which case LeBron goes to a tax shelter and ostensibly improves the value of his brand. No harm done. In this case, however, the value of Dan Gilbert's rather expensive asset just got halved (at least). He's faced with an insurmountable shortfall in season ticket sales. The revenge game, at this point, is probably about the only thing he's got going for him, in which case he should rant and rave and do what he can to plug this insane revenue hole until he can make a (doomed) run at Chris Paul.

2. Sports is more than a business, in which case LeBron--even acting entirely within his "rights"--just acted in a way that turned many, many people off (not just Dan Gilbert). Michael Wilbon looked pretty uneasy after the announcement, and I have to say the whole thing was bizarrely unappealing. The indentured servitude angle is fine, I suppose, but I (with no Cleveland partisanship at all) will certainly root against him from now on. Surely that's within my rights, no?

David said...

or as the 'Mats once said of Chilton -- He will rape and pillage in a village of his choice

Tho he is hardly an invisible man.

Richard P. said...

It seems to me that this is a quintessential example of "sour grapes".

Maybe Gilbert should have read the wiki article on it first, before writing this rant.

Anonymous said...

This is crazy! The Cavs had the best record in the NBA two years in a row. How can you possibly claim that "management totally failed to build a cohesive or reasonable team around him." His surrounding roster made one NBA finals, missed another by 1(very close) game to Boston, and then lost to Boston after LBJ put up the most pathetic performance of his career (but I forgot, he does spoil us with his play).

To make matters worse, it's clear that 1) LBJ has had this in the works for several years, and 2) he has held Dan Gilbert hostage with his short-term contracts. No proof, but seems to me that he made Gilbert and Ferry believe the Cavs had a great chance to retain him if they made short term moves to improve the roster. This was entirely self-serving as he knew that if he was honest about his intentions, the franchise wouldn't have mortgaged its future to help him win in the short term. Moreover, he made it very difficult for the team to attract any free agents.

He also dragged out his "decision" which made it even more difficult for the Cavs to play in this free agent market. He didn't have the courtesy to personally notify Dan Gilbert about his decision. And, he made the "event" as publicly humiliating as possible for Gilbert and the city of Cleveland.

While Gilbert's letter could have been more professional, kudos for him for showing his raw emotion and passion fro his franchise!

While LBJ certainly had the right to leave, and should not be criticized for choosing to play second fiddle to Wade.....he certainly deserves to be called out for being a self-serving punk who only cares about himself.

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