Dan Gilbert, not your Grandfather's owner.
By Brad VanFossan
What happens when you disrespect a billionaire? You get hung out to dry in a letter of utter disdain for the whole country to read. Why was a letter like Gilbert's so awe-inspiring? Because billionaires get disrespected about as often as Cleveland teams win championships.
The only people who thought Gilbert was out of line so far have all been from the four lettered, self-proclaimed worldwide leader in sports, ESPN. Of course no one from Bristol, Connecticut is going to have Gilbert's back, they wouldn't dare lose any in's they have with the King without a ring. The only person who's had the balls to call a spade a spade has been Gilbert, and other outlets in the Cleveland media, but only after Gilbert blazed the trail.
Up until now, Gilbert has been like a quieter, gentler Mark Cuban, another owner who said he understood why Gilbert wrote the letter. My point being, these are the kind of guys you want to own your favorite team. Yeah, you might not like them if they owned another team because of their brashness, but when they own your team, you love them. They are willing to spend money, make trades, sometimes contraversial, and most importantly, they are not afraid to speak their minds, even if it sometimes pads David Stern's wallet.....errrrr, the NBA's petty cash stash.
I'm trying not to mention his name, but Lebron prohibited the Cavs from getting into the draft last month, and making offers to potential free agents before most of the better players available were gone. Dan Gilbert stood pat, holding his breath waiting on the drama queen, thus, this offseason is a total wash. Lebron didn't have the decency to even hint to the Cavaliers what his intentions were. I'm sure he could have said this is between you and me, but you guy's might want to look into acquiring some players and let me secretly plan my ESPN Thursday night party and the big bash with my new two favorite teammates, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh the following night. Doing this wouldn't have been as bad of a punk move, but instead Cling James, as in cling to players that can carry your back, stuck with what he knew best, being a punk.
At first I agreed with a caller on Bruce Drennan's All Bets are Off last night, that no one should show up at the Heat game next year at the Q but then I thought about it some more and changed my mind. I think that us fans need to keep going to games. I know Gilbert isn't hurting for money, but we also need to show him that we want this team to stay in Cleveland as much as he wants to keep it here. I think Gilbert should lower ticket prices slightly and that this gesture would be well received and show Gilbert's sympathy toward us, much like his letter did.
One thing is for sure, if this franchise starts to hurt financially, Dan Gilbert will let us know. He wont' ignore the city's texts and emails, like Lebron did his, and he'll let us know what we need to do to keep our 40 year old franchise. And although we might not win a championship before the Heat like Gilbert guaranteed, I guarantee he will do the right things to make this team fun to watch, and one that the city can rally behind and be proud of. And hey Lebron, although all eyes are on the Heat, the Lakers are still the team to beat!