July 24, 2014

@CavsDan: If what looks like might happen does, don’t say anything

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.

  • s-devo

    i agree, i think its about time he ended this between himself and lebron

    it seems that every few months one of them says something negative in the media about the other then everything starts all over again

    i also agree about the letter – it had to be said and it had to be said at that time. the value of his basketball team dropped by 100 million in that 1 hour. i’d be pissed too. i think he went a little too far by guaranteeing a championship before lebron gets one.

    i wonder if that whole investigation into the heat is still going on??

  • JAG

    I hope Dan and his people agree with you 100%. It would be the perfect time to shift the focus in the positive direction the Cav’s are going. Besides the lack of attention would probably have a greater effect on LeBron’s psyche. He lives for that attention.

  • Dave

    My basic take on this: if Dallas wins, I will celebrate for a team that really deserves it. For instance, statistically Jason Kidd is one of the best point guards ever to play the game, but has no championship.

    My answer to this one: if the Heat manage to win it, I’ll cheer like crazy for Z finally getting his ring.

  • MattyFos

    I loved Dan’s letter. It makes sense to Cavs fans. With the new CBA and a possible hard cap looking the Heat have this season to win it all. If they don’t, Dan may make sure they won’t win a Championship (he’s on the committee working on the new CBA. Karma?)
    His letter and his continued tweeting has made me like him more. He is full of passion. I’m not sure if it’s love for Cleveland or hate for Lebron and the Heat… But, I love that he cares. Maybe he only cares about the bottom dollar. But I’d take Gilbert over the Dolans and Lerner all day everyday and twice on Sundays.

    /What’s not to like?

    Oh, and his letter is like 85x better than the letter the Heat owner sent out yesterday… “Come white hot or don’t come at all” or whatever that schmuck said.. When I was reading it I could envision Dan laughing his butt off in comic sans font.

  • http://www.zfcomics.com dgriff13

    agree agree agree agree agree.

  • http://www.brian23.com Brian

    I actively root against LeBron and don’t see the problem with it. Nobody used to get on Boston fans for openly despising and wishing failure upon Roger Clemens.

    Dan should keep quiet in public, but this thing where Cleveland fans are supposed to pretend they don’t care if LeBron wins – supposed to be “above it” or something – seems silly.

  • jimkanicki

    in a town that’s suffered through owners like modell, mileti, dolan, and of course ted stepien…
    and in a league with sacto threatening a re-lo, nola under league mgt., and the pistons entertaining cash for draftpick deals…

    we have an owner who’s done written these checks:
    – $20MM for 400 lb center to help the king get by dwight howard
    – $28MM for aging forward to provide scoring help for king albeit scoring impact predicated on running some plays (high screen and roll) instead of playing 1 on 5.
    – $26MM for fat, old, cancerous PG* in order to get lottery pick which is the #1 pick in this year’s draft.
    – $2.5MM to buyout ineffective ‘defensive guru’ head coach who was unable to control the king and unable to lead team with best record in NBA to playoff finals two years in row.
    – (on the table) $25MM to buyout aging piston salary drain to procure 8th pick in this year’s draft.

    *what ‘smart’ bloggers said at the time.

    so what is the subject for today? the umpteenth expression of concern that dan gilbert might ‘embarrass cleveland.’ puh-leeze.

    i don’t much care that national bloggers get the story wrong. their bread is buttered by access to lebron, their readers might even be ‘heat fans’ if you know what i mean. doesn’t make sense to even have a discussion with them. but when local writers/blogs go anti-dan i’m hard-pressed to find a why. perhaps they’re hoping for a link from woj? lining up a maverick carter book deal?

    when youve got an owner who wants to win as much as his team’s fans, you may well have an owner who’s as emotional as his fans.

    i’ll take such an owner. i could give a rats ass what woj, simmons, kdonhoops say about it… they dont give a rat’s ass about cleveland. so stop the hand-wringing about ‘why might gilbert say?’ you think gilbert cares about JVG’s opinion? he doesnt, i dont, most cavs fans dont… why do you?

  • jimkanicki

    *’what’ not ‘why’ in last paragraph.

    i think i came down on you too hard on you personally here brendon, sorry. target should have been identified to be more broad. harv21 stands guard on proper english; defending dan gilbert is my windmill to tilt at. it’s my ‘niagara falls’ i guess.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Denny

    Gilbert is absolutely going to say some smug, vindictive thing if the Mavs win, and he’ll do it in a painfully public forum (like Twitter). There’s no way he won’t.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Bowers

    Appreciate the comment Jim, and I didn’t take any of that personally. It wasn’t my intent to be critical of anything Gilbert has done, which would be evident by the fact that I’m talking about something that didn’t even happen yet with regards to a possible response to the Mavericks winning.

    I’m a Dan Gilbert fan, and as such, I hope he doesn’t offer a tweet like I described in the post. That’s all really. I don’t think it would be the end of the world or anything, but I just think he comes off better in the end being silent in that situation, than he would with even the best of “zingers”.

  • MattyFos

    “i don’t much care that national bloggers get the story wrong. their bread is buttered by access to lebron, their readers might even be ‘heat fans’ if you know what i mean. doesn’t make sense to even have a discussion with them. but when local writers/blogs go anti-dan i’m hard-pressed to find a why. perhaps they’re hoping for a link from woj? lining up a maverick carter book deal?

    when youve got an owner who wants to win as much as his team’s fans, you may well have an owner who’s as emotional as his fans.

    i’ll take such an owner. i could give a rats ass what woj, simmons, kdonhoops say about it… they dont give a rat’s ass about cleveland. so stop the hand-wringing about ‘why might gilbert say?’ you think gilbert cares about JVG’s opinion? he doesnt, i dont, most cavs fans dont… why do you?”

    ^ Yep

  • Nick

    Is it safe to say the Decision was the best thing to happen to Cleveland yet?

    LeBron is proving he is not a leader, and if he becomes one it will be from shadowing Wade. If LBJ would have stayed, we would have sat around losing in the conference finals year in and year out still. LeBron is being exposed as the delicate ego we all chose to turn a blind eye too.

    For the fans here, we suffered through a tough season, but showed character in supporting our team despite the turbulence. The other sport stars, like Haden, that made appearances have become instantaneously popular, embracing what our home-grown talent overlooked when he left. We also cut ties to our PG that was too slow to keep pace with Rondo, and received the #1 pick in the draft for it. We are back on the rise, and the winter of turmoil has become the summer of hope.

    Why are we still worried about this false idol. He was never the answer, and is struggling to be an ancillary piece to a championship team.

    In the end, the Cleveland Cavaliers and their fans are in a better position today than we were a year ago.

  • LaundroMat

    You are missing “If” in the headline.

    And if you “could care less,” then you care some amount. You “couldn’t care less” is what you mean.

    “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.” If Dirk ends up doing what??

  • LaundroMat

    Sorry, it’s not “If” that you are missing; it’s “it” — I could care less about proofreading.

  • JM

    I’m just wondering if Heat fans will be there before the tip off.

  • Snap

    whats the over under on heat fans showing up and whats the over under for heat fans noise level?

  • GhostToMost

    If Gilbert does Tweet anything, I hope he congratulates the Mavericks and just leaves it at that. Dont mention anything about LeBron or Miami.

    That is of course, IF Dallas does end up winning.

  • Ike

    I agree with every word of this article. Well said..

  • Matt O

    And he posted….

  • Jake

    Key word is believe. LeBron didn’t. Gilbert did. Gilbert still does. Now let’s start a contender with the draft.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Denny

    Of course he did :(

  • Fern

    well what he wrote is true and Dirk and JKidd certainly showed it, but he didn’t need to be the one to say it

  • ben

    Whatever – this is SPORTS! Being vindictive is part of the game and I love it!

  • Hashish

    Nowitski fatheads should be on sale!