There have been lots of winners and losers in the last week of free agency, and Dan Gilbert is clearly in the latter column.
Having failed to do enough to keep his homegrown superstar in Cleveland -- to the point Lebron James left $30 million on the table to leave -- you'd expect the Cavs owner would be pretty disappointed in what transpired on ESPN's overwrought The Decision event Thursday night.
But you would never, ever, in a million years, expect the stream of anger and vitriol Gilbert unleashed on the Cavs' website. At least not in -- gasp! -- Comic Sans font.
As you now know, our former hero, who grew up in the very region that he deserted this evening, is no longer a Cleveland Cavalier.
This was announced with a several day, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up culminating with a national TV special of his "decision" unlike anything ever "witnessed" in the history of sports and probably the history of entertainment...
You simply don't deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal.
Gilbert, you'll notice, never mentions LeBron by name. Then:
...In the meantime, I want to make one statement to you tonight:
"I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER ‘KING’ WINS ONE"
Oh, we'll take that challenge! Think we can get Gabrielle Union to tell Gilbert it's already been broughten? But he's not done yet:
If you thought we were motivated before tonight to bring the hardware to Cleveland, I can tell you that this shameful display of selfishness and betrayal by one of our very own has shifted our "motivation" to previously unknown and previously never experienced levels.
Some people think they should go to heaven but NOT have to die to get there. Sorry, but that's simply not how it works.
This shocking act of disloyalty from our home grown "chosen one" sends the exact opposite lesson of what we would want our children to learn. And "who" we would want them to grow-up to become...
Wow. Dying? Never experienced levels of trying? This is the point where we suggest Gilbert might have been drinking. LeBron was an employee, paid for a service he provided for a pre-determined amount of time agreed upon by both parties. While one can argue LeBron could have handled free agency better -- a heads-up call to Gilbert, perhaps, or not leaving town to jilt the team on national television -- one can't argue that he owed Cleveland more than consideration given.
Or maybe Gilbert just put on his thinking cap: what better way to rally angry and devastated Cavs fans than to be one of them? To give them a new enemy? To deflect from the fact that, had the Cavs surrounded LeBron with better talent in the seven years they had him, he might not have taken a pay cut and a risk elsewhere?
Gilber later told the AP James stopped trying during the playoffs and hadn't returned a text or phone call from the team since the season ended.
True? Who knows. But it's galvanizing, and it keeps Ohio on board.
As for ruining the children of Ohio, that's totally ludicrous. But it's also just enough evil Gargamellian nonsense to make Gilbert our instant new favorite owner of anything ever. Even in Comic Sans.