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Monday, September 20th, 2010 at 9:30 am  |  48 responses

Dan Gilbert: No Regrets About Post-’Decision’ Rant

Gilbert tells the Free Press that unless you’re from Cleveland, you won’t understand his behavior after LeBron bolted for Miami: “We think it’s a blessing in disguise; we think we’re going to focus now on the team approach and not have everything that we do be focused on one man’s decision … In five years we didn’t win a championship (with James), so it didn’t work. So now we’re going to do it the right way … The only people who brag about ‘best record in the league’ are the ones that don’t win the championship.’ Did Gilbert have any regrets about his criticism of James’ decision to go to Miami? Among other things, Gilbert characterized James’ departure as ‘narcissistic’ and a ‘cowardly betrayal,’ and the owner was fined $100,000 by commissioner David Stern. ‘No, not really,’ Gilbert said. ‘I just expressed what the Cleveland people were feeling. Unless you’re from Cleveland and experienced what they have experienced since 1964, it’s hard for the rest of the country to grasp.’”

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  • WangChung

    Gilbert needs a reality check. The Cavs didn’t win in five years cause they couldn’t get a player of Bosh/Gasol caliber.

  • Chris

    That and Lebron was not mentally tough enough to handle the pressure of winning at home.

  • Zabba

    Gilbert’s translation: “I regret bending over backwards to kiss a superstar’s ass. In hindsight, it was not good for the team.”

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    The last time they tasted a championship, was when the greatest back of all of time played for the Browns.

  • Jumper

    Whats his excuse for the 5 years prior to James’ rookie year? Because that didn’t work either. Additionally, they didn’t even have the best record in their conference then let alone the whole L!!

    Danny Gilbert is going to get the awakening he is looking for this year when his team gets rolled on by everybody that Lebron kept at bay in the last 5 years.

  • JTaylor21

    This fu*kboy never got another star to play with Bron instead choose to get over the hill, past their prime Shaq and AJamison then claims that he did everything, OLD MAN PLEASE. Oh yeah F*CK cryland and the cryvaliers.

  • Hussman25

    No superstars will want to play for you now, or Ever! When they get rid of superstars past their prime it’s business and the player shouldn’t take it personally why doesn’t this hold true for owners too?

  • T-Money

    Easy to say after the fact, the truth is he would have kissed LeBron’s ass on July 8 if he had said “I’m staying in Cleveland”. The “right way” is keeping your superstar. Think the Spurs would have won any more ‘chips if Duncan had decided to go to Orlando? He can say what he wants now but Cleveland will be a championship contender again once they get another player of James’ caliber.

  • NJ4Life

    That team was never built around James. That’s the problem. He needed a fisher-esque pg, and a mobile big man who could pass (think webber in his prime). All gilbert did was throw in pieces that sounded good without thinking “hey, maybe shaq/mo williams/jamison aren’t the best fit for Lebron”

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    LIE: The Cavs didn’t bend over backwards for LeBron.

  • WangChung

    @IAMORANGE4EVER: I hope you’re not serious. Name another superstar whose posse got to travel on the private team jet, along with BS job positions within the organization.

  • ClydeSays

    My opinion now is that the Cavs organization couldn’t handle what they had in Lebron. Better franchises figure out how to surround their stars with talent (Spurs, Lakers, Celts) Instead of looking for vet leaders, the Cavs surrounded LBJ with journeymen and limited role players. Instead of a strong leader in a coach, they hired what seemed like a Yes Man in Mike Brown. Ferry seemed to base his signings on what Lebron wanted, not what would get the team back to the Finals. Finally, Gilbert, who happily cashed in on LeBron fever, called out his exiting free agent without so much as a ‘Thank You’ for the millions and millions LBJ brought to the franchise. Sure, this all seems clear after the fact, but Gilbert and crew had plenty of time and money to figure this out while LBJ was under contract with the Cavs. I still think LeBron made a mistake with the weird TV spectacle, but he’s still a young dude with a giant hype machine behind him. I’m guessing it wasn’t his idea to dedicate an hour of air time to himself, but who knows…?

  • wottywo

    Oh lets not forget Danny promised us that Cleveland will win a championship before the new look Heat(lol I’m dying laughing). Old man wake up and come to reality, Lebron made you more money then anyone of your past players or stars put together. Lebron made millions for the city of Cleveland, and you want to down Lebron for leaving? oh wait, that’s right, when Lebron leaves, the money leaves with him. Reality check Danny, you never cared about winning a title, cause if you did you would have attempted to actual get talent and build around Lebron the right way instead of getting players that depend on Lebron to much when the playoffs come.Check this, when Lebron is holding up that gold trophy, the city of Cleveland will wake up and blame you, why do you ask? Simple Danny, because that was Cleveland’s hardware and you let the man that could have won it leave because you didn’t give him the team to win it.

  • WangChung

    whoops IAMORANGE..I misread your comment. My bad.

  • wottywo

    The same of it is, that owners don’t know what the hell they are doing, I bet you any one of use on this site can run a Basketball team better then most owners of the NBA. WHy? Because we have more knowledge of the game then most owners. And instead of looking at money alone, we will actually be trying to win a NBA title.

  • JTaylor21

    @wottywo is right, so many of these owners don’t give a DAMN about winning a chip that’s why they also make trades that make us shake our heads in disgust. I could have ran the cavs and gotten them at least to the finals again, the cryvailers made the mistake of putting to much attention at beating a certain team in the playoffs instead of building to beat any and every team. Like in 08 when they lost to the celts, the next offseason they focused all their resources on beating the celts and forgot about the Magics who beat them. In 09 when they lost to the Magics, the next offseason and entire season was focused on beating the Magic and forgot about the celts, who beat them. So you have to build and focus on beating every team not just a few teams.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Gilbert better hope they draft well because with all of his ridiculous comments he’s only going to get second tier stars to sign in Clevelandd as free agents. and they don’t really have the talent for trades.

  • WangChung

    Is it the job of the owner to win a chip or maintain/increase his team’s profitability? In business terms, the dude who owns the Raps is extremely successful. The ACC is always sold out and the Raps have a rabid fan base to boot. Yet, the team is horrendous.

  • Chris

    Gilbert said. ‘I just expressed what the Cleveland people were feeling. Unless you’re from Cleveland and experienced what they have experienced since 1964, it’s hard for the rest of the country to grasp.’”

    Nuff said

  • http://slamonline.com Krishan

    I was hoping he’d at least regret using comic sans, but whatever.

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    thing is, many of the players brought in by the cavs are those who would be complementary players. Guys that would space the floor, good working w/o the ball or good shooters.. not that its bad at all, but they never managed to bring a player because of his great talent. A player that can score from his iso’s and not coming from Lebron’s dish when he attacks the basket. Shaq? Hell no. Jamison? Could be, but he was also portrayed into a role player. Be a “stretch 4″ and not a Lebron’s robin.

  • http://twitter.com/HarryByrdMan44 LA Huey

    This dude’s from Detroit and acting like he’s from Cleveland. I bet he sells the team before Bron’s contract in Miami is up.

  • MoGotti2

    Cavs basically did all they could, Lebron actually asked for those guys. Any other ‘star’ talent had no guarantee that Lebron was staying with Cleveland (because he wasn’t)

  • http://theurbangriot.com The Nupe

    I’m glad he doesn’t have any regrets about his ‘rant’. A lot of people felt that way (not just from Cleveland) and it propbably going to cause a few more fans to come out to the games because the owner actually connected with the city with his rant, he didn’t try to say all the ‘right’ things for the sake of his business partners. What he does seem to regret is how he’s kissed LBJ’s ___ for the last few years. Cleveland isn’t a good weather or big market city that’s going to naturally attract superstars so they will likely try to take the approach that the Pistons followed. Try to draft well and get some talented players in their prime that can gel well with a ‘team approach’. Mo and/or Jamison will likely be gone before the trade deadline and provide the Cavs with some cap relief and/or some draft picks. It’s not likely, but they could actually be a good team again (think Cavs with Price, Williams, Nance etc.) in 3 years or so.

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    cosign Nupe.

  • http://dsjfklf.com Jukai

    Yeahh, considering my friend in Cleveland is so disenfranchised with the Cavs organization that she’s going to be rooting for the Heat, I don’t think Gilbert speaks for everyone

  • Dagger

    …except Gilbert was born in Detroit and received his education at Michigan State. His PR gambit is winning over people in Cleveland, but that won’t mean anything when the losses start piling up.

  • Robb

    “We think it’s a blessing in disguise…” funny stuff

  • wottywo

    I bet he will regret what he say’s when he sees his wallet in the middle of the NBA season. Lebron brought millions to the Cavs organization along with this businesses that’s around the Cavs stadium. I read something that the Cavs team is worth $400 million dollars with Lebron and I believe like $150 million without Lebron. That tells you why Danny Gilbert is pissed.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    WHO CARES?! NBA drama outside of actual on-court action is played out like the SLAM Top 50.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Just kidding, SLAM Top 50s are cool. But I’m not kidding about played out NBA drama.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    @ Jumper – “Whats his excuse for the 5 years prior to James’ rookie year?” Gilbert wasn’t the Cavs’ owner until right before James’ third year, so what the hell did you expect him to do? And um, they did have the conference and the L’s best record last year. WTF are you smoking? Anyways, I understand where Gilbert’s coming from, he’s just going about it in a really, really stupid way. All dude is trying to say really is that he’s learned his lesson and in the future instead of catering to one superstar’s every want and need, he’s going to make it more about the whole team. But they’re still not gonna win a chip before LeBron does. Sorry.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    As several folks have said, this is pure unadulterated game.
    He tells us that unless we’re from Cleveland we can’t understand the pain of the folks there, but as folks have noted, HE’S NOT FROM CLEVELAND!
    That’s hilarious.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Yeah, I wouldn’t even be tripping off him not being from Cleveland if, you know, he had been there a few years. Maybe gone and visit relatives there as a youth every summer. Gone to college there, SOMETHING. But this dude, to my knowledge, had no connections to Cleveland until he bought the Cavs in ’05.

  • T-Money

    And it’s about time for Cleveland to regain its dignity and keep it moving. A free agent chose to play for another NBA team… Their exagerated, melodramatic response is confirming what everyone already thought: ain’t nothing going on in Cleveland.

  • http://theurbangriot.com The Nupe

    He’s wasn’t born and raised in Cleveland but has been living there the last several years, so I still consider him ‘from cleveland’ in the context of what he’s talking about. Being there for several years gives a good understanding and perspective of what it’s like and for him to express what he feels from know many of the people, fans etc – I get what he’s saying and give him a “pass” for not really being from there. The same way I consider myself an American eventhough I wasn’t born and raised in this country. I’ve spent several months in Cleveland on three seperate occasions (consulting projects), and I actually liked the city, was surprised that it had so much going on. co-workers who hadn’t spent any time there had really negative perception of the city until they spent significant time there as well. IMHO I think besides Chicago and Philli, I’d take Cleveland over any midwest city.

  • http://www.shawnkemp.com Masr

    After the rant this bast@rd had I hope everyone leaves this psycho. I mean seriously he basically just said, “Sorry guys I didn’t give a damn for the team but I have to please my superstar and kiss his @$$ until I can rant if he leaves.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    People, his rant was good for his city. Alot of the Cavs fans wanted to say the same thing about Bron and Gilbert said it for them. This will help the Cavs organization keep people in the seats. Also the Cavs will have a down year, draft a rookie who will eventually become a superstar and things will be different for the team. This will help Gilbert become a better owner in the long run. Lebron did the Cavs wrong, by not being up front with them, but the Cavs organization should have traded him, when they knew he was not coming back, but Cavs will good a good pick this year, over pay for a starting player and I believe the Cavs will get back to being a playoff team. BOOK IT!!!

  • http://www.dontevenreply.com total scrotal implosion

    Cleveland sucks. The city, and the nba team, yea, they both suck. Cleveland the cartoon character is better than the city and team. Although the team has a cartoon in sideshow bob, but thats a different show. But cleveland show is vury funny. Its well balanced and not quite as utterly insane as family man. Peter is retarded. American boy is also a good one. I dont know whos more ghey, the alien or stewie……. Wait…… What…. Oh yea uh cavs owner. He will just have to wait for the next perennial mvp and hall of famer from a surrounding city to be the no1 pick and his team conveniently get the top pick. Itll be a couple years, and by years, I mean never. I wish I could have done this in comic sans. SLAM! We should be able to choose from different fonts and colors. Boy, that kid rawlo sure hates crackers

  • ai come back

    ppl can hate lebrons showboating and his bs ways of makin himself known, thye can hate the way he seems to crack under pressure, or how he cant win a ring, but clevelands never ever gonna find another lebron james, gilbert got love because of lebron, cavs were at their worst beofre came …..its sad that h doesnt aprreciate that

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    @The Nupe: Is Philly considered a midwestern city? I woulda thought it was more kind of East-coastish, but I never been there myself. And having grown up outside of Chicago, hell yeah it’s the best city in the midwest.

  • http://yahoo ddub

    Its hard to get guys to come and play in cleveland ,when the franchise player wasnt committed.He took a three year deal,why would ANOTER STAR COMMITT,when Lebron didnt COMMITT.FUTHERMORE,he had a chance to help them build with him being the focal point,but he turned down a chance to get someone his age or close with Amare,but Lebron didnt sign off on that deal, because he knew he was leaving, so they took A. Jamison,excuse me for misspelling his last name,but you get the point.

  • BK Chris

    I feel sorry for Harrison Barnes or Perry Jones or whatever player the Cavs draft (with their high pick), because there is not going to be a honeymoon period for that guy. He’s going to be expected to deliver right away and will be considered the “Franchise Savior” from the moment he shakes David Sterns hand.

  • feez22

    Ok people this is the deal. Dan gilbert can say what he wants to get the backing of cleveland. the real reason he is mad is NOT because of a damn championship. he is a multi millionaire businessman he could give a damn about a championship. jerry buss the owner of the lakers went to a casino while the lakers were celebrating their 08/09 championship. that should tell you all you need to know. Gilbert is mainly mad because a team he invested his earned money in lost about 150 to 200 million dollars in value in 33 minutes. On top of that dan was going to reap even more rewards and decided to try to build a CASINO so that he can mooch even more money off of the fact that he has lebron. That project is now in peril.The sooner cleveland basketball fans realise that basketball is the SECONDARY concern of gilberts rant the better. He is PLAYING WITH YOUR EMOTIONS for the sake of his business and his wealth. Now that you back him 100 percent he can go ahead with his casino and even though lebron is gone yall will still support him. That translates into revenues. Congratulations gilbert supporters. all of yall are his tools. truth is bleak isn’t it?

  • HEHATEME

    Lebron come back to the Cavs after winning for 4 in 6 in miami. STAMP IT!!!!

  • HEHATEME

    then wins 3 with the cavs with bad knees. STAMP ITTTT!!!!

  • burnt_chicken

    i can’t imagine a boss of mine going off on me because I elected to take a better position elsewhere. And then standing firmly behind his decision to do so, as if he’s in the right. That seems like an elitist, class-based, selfish, money-driven move by an sociopathic egomaniac.
    I TOTALLY remember why I work for myself now…

  • http://www.twitter.com/kevinchung Kevin

    ^ bingo.

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