Apparently no one ever told Dan Gilbert the trick of typing that really mean letter/email/text and then putting it in the draft folder until the next morning when cooler heads will decide if sending/publishing is a good idea. I'm guessing that at some point tomorrow, he will definitely wished that he had learned and utilized that trick.
The link to the ESPN copy of the letter
I linked to the ESPN version because the one on the cavs website is in a such a ridiculous font, no one should have to sit through it.
I get it, I've been disappointed and felt betrayed by a player. "Clearly, this is bitterly disappointing to all of us." In the Heat of the moment, the decision is hard to understand and accept from the Cleveland perspective. But Gilbert goes on to say, "You simply don't deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal."
Cowardly? Betrayal? Really? Okay. Lebron was honest from the beginning, he was entertaining options to go play somewhere else. It was all over the news each time he met with a team. Its been public knowledge for years that Lebron desires to be an international superstar and a billionaire. He never promised to be in Cleveland for ever. Cowardly would have been lying, and then having a hidden announcement about his plans. But he looked Cleveland straight in the eye (through the tv set) and announced his plans. That's not cowardly. Was it, as Gilbert says "narcissistic, self-promotional"? yes. but not cowardly. Also, one can feel betrayed without actually having been a victim of betrayal. A fine distinction that Gilbert doesn't seem to comprehend at this moment.
It is after these statements that Gilbert seems to really lose his cool. "some people think they should go to heaven but NOT have to die to get there." Oh Dan, so over the line.
I get the point, you're pissed. You want to reassure your followers that the team will use this as motivation to keep fighting and that you will deliver the much anticipated championship to Cleveland. But the letter was not written by a confident man, who is in charge of his emotions and team and message. It does not inspire hope. It comes across as a petty attempt to lash out at someone who hurt you. If the team can rebound with out the "chosen one" then why put this much effort into destroying his image and publicly admonishing him.
I say all this from the outside though. I'm not a Cleveland fan. I'm barely even a basketball fan. So this personally does NOT affect me. Its a lot easier to be objective and logical when you have no emotional attachment to the situation. When B Favre came back I was pissed. He looked us right in the eye, promised to always be a packer and wiped a tear from his cheek. And now he's a friggin Vicking. I think if I ever meet him someone will have to forcibly stop me from punching him. Or at least screaming in his face real loud. (okay, lets be honest, if I ever see him, I'll prob just burst into tears and curl up in the corner - but a girl can dream). So on some level, I get the passion that Gilbert is/was feeling, but at least you weren't lied to. At least you didn't take a day off of work to cry in front of a computer feed of the press conference. At least you don't have a copy of that crying press conference on dvd and didn't rewatch it once a week that summer before he came back and broke your heart. Take comfort in that. and as always, Keep it classy, Cleveland.