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Wednesday, October 31st, 2012 at 10:40 am  |  19 responses

Cavs Owner Dan Gilbert Wishes He Had Traded LeBron James


Imagine: The Decision, Dan Gilbert’s insane letter, Cavs fans burning #23 jerseys, and so on. None of that would have taken place had Gilbert had the foresight to trade away LeBron James when he wouldn’t sign a long-term extension in Cleveland prior to becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2010. Dan Gilbert also wishes he wouldn’t have guaranteed a title for the Cavs prior to LBJ winning one in South Beach. From the Plain Dealer: “Looking back now, that probably was not the most brilliant thing I’ve ever done in my life,’ Gilbert said. That infamous letter the Cavaliers owner wrote to fans after LeBron James left for Miami in 2010, the one in which Gilbert declared in Comic Sans that the Cavaliers would win an NBA title before ‘the self-titled former ‘king’ wins one’ wasn’t his finest moment. Particularly now that James is collecting his first ring for winning the NBA championship in June. ‘If you’re going to predict something that doesn’t happen and you’re going to do it publicly, you’d for sure take it back,’ Gilbert said. ‘When that happened, when they won, it was the end of the end of the end of that whole thing. Now there’s nothing more to talk about. In a way, it was like a little bit of a relief. If they didn’t win it, it would’ve been still another thing of who’s going to win it [first]?’ [...] The entire experience, in fact, taught Gilbert a valuable — and pricey — lesson about how to handle high-profile free agents in the future. NBA teams no longer can wait for another decision from free agents. ‘The big lesson was if a player is not willing to extend, no matter who they are, no matter where they are playing, no matter what kind of season you had, you can not risk going into a summer and having them leave in unrestricted free agency and get nothing back for it,’ Gilbert said. ‘It’s not the player’s fault. That’s on ownership.’ Of course, Gilbert also theorizes that acting first, trading a franchise player such as James — as Orlando did with Dwight Howard recently — instead of waiting for a free-agency decision might have backfired, as well. ‘Had we done that, the whole thing would have been crafted as, I’m sure the player or whoever would have said, ‘Of course I would have stayed. You guys screwed up and ruined the whole franchise,’ Gilbert said. ‘You’re in a no-win situation with that.’”

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  • Caribbeancop

    Dan should just forgive and move on. hold no pain

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULAvG4WxQp0 CubicleDunker

    Dan Gilbert sounds like a bitter ex-gf. Move on, you have Kyrie fcking Irving now. It’s like complaining that you used to date a Victoria Secret model and now you only date a playboy model

  • http://twitter.com/NaijaAdditude E.Meezy

    Wait people dont realize LeBron did a sign and trade and the Cavs got a trade exception. All this shouldas, wouldas couldas for what Gilbert. Get over it and move on. High profile free agents will not b coming to the Cavs unless LeBron want to come back to end his career in Cleveland.

  • Irishway’s

    He Still Mad!!

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Verified Account

    This guys still with that?! Fuq Gilbert. I hope LeBron drops 50 on the Cavs., and hope Kyrie bolts town after his contract expires. Never would want anyone to play for an emotional owner

  • charliewinning

    Not a Heat fan but I was happy to see Gilbert have to eat his words when the Heat won. That was about the only satisfaction I got from seeing them hoist that trophy. I can’t stand Gilbert almost as much as I hate Donald Sterling.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    did none of you actually read this? Gilbert actually owning up to the LeBron situation being his fault dummies.

  • C-Mac

    Dan Gilbert wishes a lot of things… Sure you just owned up to your shortcomings as an owner Dan. Bravo. Unfortunately for you (and Cavs fans), it’s about two years too late for that. I’m tired of still hearing about the whole LeBron leaving Cleveland thing.

  • BRAVO

    LMAO for this dude the past will HAUNT him…….FOREVER

  • Downtown

    Haha people go sign with mark Cuban in Dallas all the time…

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Verified Account

    mark cuban makes a scene… but Gilbert went down like an emotional female. writing letters, wishing bad on people, straight disrespecting

  • SuperAr82

    I like the current Cavs starting lineup more than the ones with James on it. If they can develop, and upgrade their bench, then they might have pretty good team in the next couple of seasons.

  • Bravo

    Respect you used my last name “BRAVO”

  • Ugh

    Dude, you’re a total hypocrite – you just wished bad on Dan Gilbert two times over (at least). Do you actually engage your brain before you type?

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Verified Account

    Fak u & Dan Gilbert & his son

  • MikeC.

    What Gilbert said about FA’s being traded before hitting the market is already coming true. Harden got shipped out so OKC wouldn’t have to deal with it. We’ll likely see more trades and less FA movement.

  • Ugh

    Well, that answers that question.

  • Ugh

    Yep. Everyone, including Gilbert, learned from ‘The Decision’. It was probably the single most important influence on free agency in the modern NBA.

  • Brownjesus

    He was probably asked the question by the reporter. Im pretty sure he didnt call up the media just to tell them this…

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