I’m Confused by Dan Gilbert’s Latest Letter and the NBA’s Direction

I just don’t quite know where to go with this one.

  • Dan Gilbert (as I’ve already stated) is the only person in the NBA who seems to want me to be a Cavs fan.
  • Dan Gilbert wrote an email after the trade had already been nixed.
  • The email in question makes Dan look petty again at least to a great portion of NBA pundits.
  • Chad Ford from ESPN tweeted, “Dear David Stern, Dan Gilbert and other petty, whining NBA owners. Go away. Signed, Everyone.” This makes me want to encourage Dan Gilbert.
  • Anthony Lima from 92.3 WFAN tweets, “I know Gilbert’s move looks like it’s anti-LeBron and it’s a temporary moral victory (debatable). But repercussions for Cleveland NOT good” and that makes me want to discourage Dan Gilbert.
  • Then I have trouble reconciling the fact that unlike the letter after “The Decision” this was a private email leaked to make Dan Gilbert look bad.
  • But this email was written after the deal was already killed by David Stern.
    • I already said that
  • Now I’m talking myself into circles over this thing.
  • I hate how little the players seem to care about fans.
  • I hate how little the players seem to respect teams that are willing to pay them money to play basketball.
  • I hate how we easily justify a player’s motivations to chase rings in the most glamorous locales as if as fans we should really care about the weather outside of an arena on an off-day.
  • I have absolutely no idea how to stop this most natural of quests by the players who seem to have all the bargaining power even after the lockout.
  • People honestly think Dan Gilbert should be quiet and just make his larger BRI split money.
  • The owners signed the CBA too so I can’t necessarily disagree.
  • The NBA is a free market except that it isn’t.  The Lakers deal was OK, but the fact remains that even if the Cavs wanted to trade for Paul and offered a superior deal of draft picks, matching salaries, Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson it couldn’t work because Chris Paul wouldn’t stay in Cleveland.
I am conflicted. I don’t know what anyone can do to fix any of it.  I am pretty sure killing trades doesn’t solve much of anything.  I think I may just boycott any nationally televised NBA games that don’t include the Cavaliers (all of them.)  We’ll have to see if I miss them.  As I’ve stated all along, I have no interest in being an “NBA Fan.”  I want to be a Cavs fan.
Anyone else wrapped their head around this past the Comic Sans jokes that are oh-so-funny?
  • mgbode

    2012 Minn 1st rounder unprotected, Bledsoe, and cap-filler. that’s what the Clips offered but NO wanted a bunch of mediocre players to doom them to stay in the 7-10 West seed range?

    you blow a team up and rebuild. that’s how you get better. and the above trade would likely give them 2 top10 picks in what is expected to be a ridiculously deep draft.

    getting 1 likely 20s draft pick (Knicks) and 4 mediocre veteran players with no upside is a terrible value.

  • Ghost

    The Hornets dont have time on their side, thats my whole point. NOLA isnt going to show patience and support a 60 loss team while they accumulate picks. I dont blame the Cavs for going the route that they’ve gone, but I dont blame the Hornets for trying to remain viable either. Its all a crapshoot either way, dozens of teams have tanked for lottery picks, like the Wolves, and look where its gotten them. Nowhere. I can respect a team that is willing to keep trying instead of just giving up and hoping they hit the lottery in the draft.

    LeBron may have killed professional basketball in Cleveland. No matter which route we go, the odds of this team winning a title anytime soon are astronomical.

  • christopher

    Agreed that it’s a crap shoot either way but the odds are better IMO landing talent through the draft than attempting to attract free agent talent or now trade your already mediocre talent (Odom/Scola/Martin) for additional picks.

    Good point with Minny ans how they’ve never put it together which I think just shows no matter which way you decide to rebuild you need the right person navigating the ship.

  • Ghost

    I like that the Cavs are going this route, because I think they have the luxury of doing so. The fans love Dan Gilbert, and they’ll stick it out for a few years in the hopes that it will land them the next LeBron James or whoever.

    I hope they strike paydirt soon though, because 4-5 years from now if this is still a 60 loss team, the Q will be 2/3 empty every night.

    The Hornets though, dont have that same luxury. If they cant make it work in New Orleans, where are they going to go? They cant go back to Charlotte, OKC has a team now. What does that leave? Seattle…maybe?

    If people dont think its a good trade, thats fine, everyone is entitled to their opinion on the matter. But it still doesnt give the league the right to kill the trade because they are pissed off about the Lakers getting another star. That was my original point before I got sidetracked.

  • Wacman

    This was pretty dirty. The only reason this trade got vetoed is because Paul wanted to go there. The thing is, what team (other than the Nets last year) is going to trade for a guy who won’t resign with them? Very small group that. So since Paul has free agency after the season, and NO wants to get value for him, they don’t have a choice but to send him somewhere he wants to go. That’s not vindictive by Paul, that’s just using leverage (the same thing the owners used from day 1 of the lockout).

    I know people are (for some reason) against players getting what they want, but in a with only 12 people dressing for competition, one big player can make all the difference in comparison to every other major sport. That’s just the nature of the beast. Regardless of how the owners felt, they’re definitely putting their noses in other people’s business. The respect I’ve had for Dan Gilbert (though the timestamp shows he didn’t get the email in before the decision) has dropped because I don’t want our team looking like this. It’s not that I’m worried about getting free agents, it’s that I’m worried about getting ANY players to want to come to Cleveland.

  • mgbode

    @Ghost – yes, I agree on that point. I don’t like the league vetoing it. I think we are all in pretty much agreement from that side.

    (side note: if the Lakers traded Pau and Odom for Paul, then I think this would be a better trade for NO (they could then shop Odom or West to fill in at guard). It’s really the 3rd team in Houston that really makes this a bad trade for them.)

  • Devin

    Why did everyone just skip over 215in614 ‘s brilliant point?

    “abolish max contracts for individual players. leave the salary cap in place…problem solved…”

    That seems so simple. Let the free market solve the problem.

  • Wacman

    @Devin What problem? The “free” market was in effect until Stern tampered with the deal.

  • Guest

    I’m with Devin and 215in614. A real honest to goodness solution would be to abolish the max contract.

    A lot of people on this board have pointed out that star players in basketball are way more important to a team’s success than in any other sport because there are only five guys on a court at a time (and only 12 that dress for games). If this is true, how in the hell do Pujols and A-Rod sign 10 YEAR contracts in their THIRTIES for WAY more than star basketball players can make under the max contract? Lebron is making less than half what A-Rod and Pujols make. So do Dirk, Dwight Howard, Derrick Rose, and every other star in the NBA who signed a deal after max contracts were instituted.

    So if the max contract depresses the amount the big stars can make to WAY beneath their value, why wouldn’t they choose to play for the big time teams in the big time or warm/”hip” cities for only slightly less than the max contract that their current team can offer them?

    Chris Paul’s choice is one extra guaranteed year in NOLA for slightly more money…or LA with Kobe and maybe Howard for slightly less money. Come on. Really people. Come on. That’s not a choice. If I were Chris Paul, I’d be on the red-eye to LA as soon as I hit free agency.

    NOW…if his choice was between a 10 year 200 mill deal with NOLA and a 4 year 60 mill deal with the Lakers (the most they could pay him and stay anywhere near the cap without gutting the rest of their roster), then he’d have to think about it. Hard. And stay in New Orleans and by some more Mardi Gras beads with that 140 mil extra he got for staying in New Orleans. And you know what? It would absolutely worth it for New Orleans to pay him that because stars are everything in the NBA.

    No max contracts. Keep the salary ceiling and tough luxury tax rules. BOOM. Problem solved.

  • russ

    Players will go where they want no matter what, so sorry cleveland and all the other teams that no one wants play for….. chris paul is not staying in new orleans after this season so why stop the hornets from getting players for him instead of nothing.

  • Devin

    Ughhhh… The problem of no players outside of big market ever signing any where else? You know, the one where short sighted people (read players) think of our city as a turd in the poo family of Milwaukee, minneapolis, San Antonio, Indiana. Even though we’re supposed to listen to these players lie about how much they love playing in these cites only to later hear from pundits “What were they supposed to say while they played there?”.

    The max contract is almost an impingement to free ageancy and is helping create this lunacy. If one big market team could outbid another and spend 30 million a year on one player… this whole super team thing goes away. Then it becomes supply and demand. There are only so many superstars you can pay so much money. That is, at least if you still have a salary cap amongst the teams. (Kudos to the nfl at least in recognizing what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.)

    Then the players might genuinely appreciate when a city shells out millions of dollars to keep them there, or becomes the higest bidder. There is a big difference between taking 3 million less and ten million less a year.

    This is all just big buisness anyway. But at least it’s getting exposed now, where in the past they covered it up and you could try to pretend that being a fan meant something.

    After the last couple years the way sports are going, I don’t think I’ll ever be a fan the same way anymore.

  • Devin

    The original hat tip goes to 216in614 for the comment at No.33 I just wanted to identify my typo and give credit where it was due.

  • Joe Carter

    It is all about salaries and age of players and the fact the Hornets are owned by the owners. If they are going to sell the team they don’t need to load it up with over 30 year old players with large salaries. They need young players and draft picks. The Hornets GM is crazy. I would rather had the draft picks we got for Lebron than the players the Hornets received.