It’s quite possible that when the final horn sounds in this NBA Finals Series, a large majority of the twitter universe will be turning their collective gaze towards Cleveland.
If that horn happens to sound on Sunday, those people will be looking at Cavs owner Dan Gilbert specifically to see what he has to tweet about it. If it is the Mavs on top in the end, I sincerely hope he says nothing.
I continue to have no issue personally with the letter he once typed in a font rarely used for publication. I understand the way the letter was interpreted outside of Northeast Ohio, and I could care less. I also realize that the negative connotation of bitterness and spite his message was perceived to include is something that we’ve since worn as Clevelanders over the last year. The material provided as a result became the low-hanging fruit used by wannabe sports comedians everywhere, and a plethora of Cleveland punchlines ensued. But I’m fine with all that too.
What the world outside Cleveland will never understand is why people like me appreciated that letter. Good or bad, politically correct or otherwise, it had to be said both in that moment and at that moment. It was disappointing to see a person from our community, who we all believed in and supported, no longer believe in himself as a leader or a champion. That was disheartening, and the way he Jim Grayed Northeast Ohio in the process hurt even more.
Dan Gilbert needed to step up and speak to that for everybody in Cleveland that couldn’t, and his letter did that. For better or worse, he delivered that message for the city. We appreciated him saying that then, whether his motives were self-serving or otherwise, and to some degree we all dealt with the fall-out from it together. Which I’m also fine with.
The Miami Heat possibly losing to the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals, however, is not one of those moments. This isn’t really about Cleveland anymore, and there’s no part of me that would appreciate Dan Gilbert stirring the pot at the end of this thing to make it that way. As the owner of the Cavaliers, even though he didn’t grow up here, he represents Cleveland now. As such, I strongly urge him to disconnect his twitter account this weekend, just in case.
If Dirk ends up doing Coach Spo’s crew on Sunday, I’m alright with Dan Gilbert wrestling around with Draft Lottery Guru Nicky Gilbert in the privacy of their palatial basement. That’s fine by me, and if he wants to wear a grin tattooed on his face from now until opening night next season that’s fine too. Just please Dan, don’t gloat, and stay as far away from swimming around in the pool of I told you so as possible.
No matter how this thing ends, this is not a win for Cleveland and we would look a little foolish celebrating it as such. So while there’s no part of my fabric that’s rooting for Chris Bosh and company to pull this thing out, I am a bit tired of the constant cycle of Cleveland jokes associated with this series. There’s no need to give them any material for more.
Which is why in this particular moment, Mr. Gilbert, the best thing to say would be nothing at all.