After watching prodigal son LeBron James(notes) return Thursday night as a marauding conqueror (or conquering marauder, whichever you prefer) and lead the Miami Heat to an utterly dominant 118-90 throttling over the Cleveland Cavaliers, it's understandable that Cavs owner Dan Gilbert would be a little emotional after the game.
After all, Gilbert had just seen The One Who Got Away tenderize The Ones Who Are Here Now. He watched helplessly as James wiggled his ample talents all around the dance floor to the tune of 38 points, eight assists, five rebounds, a steal and a block, then briskly sashayed out of town with a championship hopeful, leaving behind a busted, rudderless 7-11 Cavs squad.
Plus, he's the guy who feverishly penned a Comic Sans screed decrying James' "cowardly betrayal" in the wee hours of the night after LeBron announced in his widely assailed "Decision" special that he planned to leave the Cavs to join the Heat. Feeling and expressing powerful emotions is kind of Dan Gilbert's forte. (Well, emotion and financial services/mortgages/Fatheads, I guess.)
Likewise, it wasn't too surprising that Gilbert would take to Twitter to share the winter of his discontent with the Cavalier faithful — after-midnight 14-character spleen-venting is well-worn territory for Dan, too. This time around, though, the two-part early morning missive was less "St. Anger" and more "Melon Collie and the Infinite Sadness."
Believe in me as I believe in you, fellow Danny Boy:
At 1:38 a.m. ET, Gilbert delivered Part 1:
And then, six minutes later, followed up with Part 2:
First thing's first: You are a liar, Dan Gilbert. In those Tweets, you expressed your feelings with words and through no other form of artistic expression. You may not have expressed exactly what you wanted to express or done so as eloquently as you might have hoped, but you unquestionably used words. You better not pull that kind of tease-and-fail-to-deliver stunt again; next time, we better see a mixed-media collage or hear a straight-to-your-webcam acoustic cover of a Dashboard Confessional song or something.
Also, neat trick there, Dan, borrowing Michael Jordan's words to align yourself and your fans with the greatest of all time — because if God's on your side, and LeBron's against you, then just where does he stand, hmmmm? It's a sneaky rhetorical move, but I kind of dig it.
Of course, I'm sure a lot of Cavs fans wouldn't be particularly psyched at drawing inspiration from MJ because, well, y'know, and referencing a Jordan brand commercial just brings the focus back to Nike, which is aligned with LeBron James, which means AAAAARGH THEY WIN AGAIN WHY DO THEY ALWAYS WIN.
There are probably a lot of Cavs fans out there who appreciate Gilbert's public outreach to ensure that they know he's one of them, that he rises and falls with the team's fortunes just as they do, and that his emotional investment runs as deep as his financial one. Right now, though, I'm sure way more Cavs fans would prefer that Gilbert focused less on emotional alignment, and more on divorcing himself from the vicissitudes of fandom and building a more talented roster that doesn't prominently feature the likes of Joey Graham(notes) and Ryan Hollins(notes) or count Mo Williams(notes) as its go-to offensive option.
Rebuilding takes time, of course, and many Cleveland fans will wait, because they are a resolute bunch, if nothing else. Here's hoping Gilbert rewards their patience.
- Dan Gilbert