Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert is known in this town as a guy who will do anything to make sure his organization is at the top of the NBA in all aspects of the game, not just with the product he puts on the floor (though his Cavs are sporting the best record in the NBA). When is comes to public relations, Gilbert has rarely made any sort of negative waves over the last four years.
The first “slip-up” if you want to call it that, came on the night of March 21st, when at a bar mitzvah at the posh Townsend Hotel in suburban Detroit (Birmingham, MI), a physical altercation took place in front of the eyes of 300 people between Gilbert and former business associate David Hall, who worked under Gilbert as the Vice President of Rock Financial, a part of the Quicken Loans family.
Reports had the two men nose to nose screaming at each other before things got physical. It wasn’t immediately known who started the altercation and how things escalated to a physical nature, but today, Gilbert’s lawyer places the blame on an “intoxicated” Hall. It’s turned into a he said-he said situation with both sides pointing fingers.
Jeffrey Morganroth, who represents the Cavaliers owner, claims an unnamed lawyer of Hall’s called him last week and threatened to go public about the fight if Gilbert didn’t buy Hall out some of his investments in Gilbert’s companies.
“There was a very minor confrontation and Dan Gilbert defended himself,” Morganroth said. “No one was even close to getting hurt. There was some physical contact initiated by David Hall, but no punches.”
“What appears to be going on here is David Hall is trying to overblow a very minor confrontation that David Hall caused in an effort to pressure Dan Gilbert to buy out Hall’s minor shareholder investments in affiliated companies,” Morganroth said.
Todd Flood, Hall’s lawyer, responded by saying “This is a Monday surprise to me. David Hall did what was appropriate. He’s the victim of a crime and he took the matter to the police.”
This obviously has zero affect on how Gilbert runs the Cavaliers franchise, but since he is such a massive public figure in Cleveland, it obviously deserves mentioning. What’s interesting is that if Randy Lerner or Larry Dolan (especially Lerner) were involved in a fracas of this kind, people in this town would be up in arms. But since it’s the golden boy Gilbert, it has flown under the radar.
Just something to ponder.