To say Cleveland Cavs owner Dan Gilbert is not happy with the choice Lebron James made in the ESPN spectacle of announcing his intention to join the Miami Heat is an understatement. Gilbert’s comments resonate as if his ungrateful child left his home and never bothered to thank him for the love and support he received.
Dan Gilbert is on record saying to The AP that it’s “accountability time” for (Lebron) James. “He (Lebron) has gotten a free pass,” Gilbert said in a phone interview with The AP. “People have covered up for (Lebron) for way too long. Tonight we saw who he really is.”
Gilbert even went as far to say that Lebron quit on his team during this year’s playoffs. “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.”
Perhaps the most surprising statement Dan Gilbert gave is his proclamation of a championship for the Cavs before the Miami Heat will obtain one. “We will win a championship before (the Heat) do.” Gilbert continues “It’s not about him leaving, It’s the disrespect. It’s time for people to hold these athletes accountable for their actions. Is this the way you raise your children? I’ve been holding this all in for a long time.”
In an age where NBA players are cut and traded often without any warning, no one cries about the loyalty an NBA franchise should have for an athlete on their payroll. There is often less concern about what an athlete goes through in a trade. In fact, many believe the financial compensation athletes receive is enough to deal with the emotional aspects of being traded. Athletes are expected to say the “right things” during press conferences and not sound like an ungrateful individual. Nevermind the fact their families are divided and the realization of where to live after their player rights are traded to a new town. No one cried for the former Miami Heat player Michael Beasley when he was unceremoniously traded to Minnesota (minutes after Lebron’s decision) from his former team the Miami heat for a unknown second round draft pick next year. Beasley was moved just to make room for the salaries of Lebron and new acquisition Chris Bosh and the resigning of DeWayne Wade. If Beasley complains he will be viewed as a crybaby and another spoiled athlete. The average fan expects Beasley to get over it and feel blessed he can play in the NBA. This is considered nothing less than a business move on the part of the Miami Heat.
What part does Gilbert not understand that Lebron’s decision to play elsewhere is just a business move. Lebron gave Cleveland what the franchise was severely lacking before his seven year tenure, excitement about basketball in Cleveland and the opportunity to win a championship. The championship did not happen however Gilbert has something to build on despite the loss one of the most talented players in the league.