Saying Dan Gilbert is upset that LeBron James(notes) left Cleveland is a bit like saying Will Smith makes OK summer blockbusters. It's an understatement, to say the least. People don't write gratuitously punctuated open letters in Comic Sans without being very upset or a teenager. Since Dan Gilbert is ostensibly a grown-up, it's pretty easy to see that he's angry.
And while you might think that a strongly worded letter on the Internet with a promise for more would be enough to convey one's anger, you would be wrong. Dan Gilbert doesn't operate like that. He's too mad, which is probably why he continued his LeBron rage in an interview with the Associated Press.
"He has gotten a free pass," Gilbert said in a phone interview with The AP. "People have covered up for (James) for way too long. Tonight we saw who he really is."
Gilbert feels James quit on the Cavs during their second-round series against the Boston Celtics, who rallied from a 2-1 deficit to eliminate Cleveland.
"He quit," Gilbert said. "Not just in Game 5, but in Games 2, 4 and 6. Watch the tape. The Boston series was unlike anything in the history of sports for a superstar." [...]
Gilbert also said he believes James quit on the Cavs in Game 6 of their series in 2009 against Orlando.
"Go back and look at the tape," he said. "How many shots did he take?"
Yep, that's a whole lot of angry coming out. Like seven years worth of angry, I'd surmise. I guess that's what happens when you agree to a guy's every wish and command and then he leaves you with a team full of power forwards. Sure, David Kahn loves the idea, but not everyone is a huge fan of surplus.
It's hard to blame Gilbert for lashing out. Surely he feels that he's been let down, misled and left high and dry. That being said, having a team's owner bash its superstar after he leaves probably isn't going to win over the rest of the players in the league.
In Miami, Wade said he was stunned by Gilbert's comments.
"I think I'm happy that I have the owner that I have here in Miami," Wade told The Associated Press late Thursday night. "I'm happy Micky Arison is my owner. I couldn't believe it. I'm speechless. It's very unfortunate and I think it makes LeBron that much better about his decision."
So yeah, the anger makes sense and it is kind of amazing to watch. However, it's hard not to wonder if Gilbert will regret lashing out. At the very least, Cavalier fans are happy he said something, and if you can make them happy right now you're on to something.
For instance, I'm sure Clevelanders will be pretty happy that Gilbert, owner of the company that makes Fatheads, has knocked the price of James' sticker down to $17.41. You might think that's a weird price, but when you consider 1741 is the year in which Benedict Arnold was born it makes a lot more sense.
- Dan Gilbert