Anyone that knows me knows that I am a die hard Cleveland sports fan. It doesn't matter what sport, if Cleveland has a team I follow them without fail. So what happened last night was just the latest disappointment in a lifetime of disappointments. I grew up following Cleveland sports so I expected LeBron James to chose to leave because that is what athletes do in Cleveland. So believe it or not this isn't going to be the greedy athlete screws over a city post.
Don't get me wrong, while I understand James choosing to leave, he did screw Cleveland over. The way that he broke up with us on national TV will never be forgiven and earns him a place near the top of the list of most despised figures in Cleveland sports right behind Art Model. What happened afterwards though I think is much worse and should have Cleveland and Cavs fans feeling embarrassed and angry.
Dan Gilbert, the owner of the Cavaliers, posted an open letter to Cavs fans late last night after the announcement that was filled with childish name calling and finger pointing which was more fitting for a 12 year old than a millionaire businessman and NBA owner. His rant, posted below, in my mind did just as much damage to the Cavs and to Cleveland's reputation as did Lebron's choosing to sign in Miami in front of millions of viewers and provides another reason for players to want to stay away from Cleveland.
It is bad enough that we already have to deal with the less than flattering rust belt image, the "mistake by the lake" moniker, the burning Cuyahoga River, and crappy winters. Heck even the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, one of the few Cleveland landmarks, holds their induction ceremony in New York instead of on location so who wouldn't want to move to Miami if given a choice? But to top it off our NBA team will now have to deal with one more hurdle, a childish and vindictive owner with no grasp of reality. Seriously, a championship in Cleveland before Lebron wins one in Miami? Whatever you are smoking, I want some...
So Dan Gilbert thank you for making me feel embarrassed to be from Cleveland.
Dear Cleveland, All Of Northeast Ohio and Cleveland Cavaliers Supporters Wherever You May Be Tonight;
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.
Clearly, this is bitterly disappointing to all of us.
The good news is that the ownership team and the rest of the hard-working, loyal, and driven staff over here at your hometown Cavaliers have not betrayed you nor NEVER will betray you.
There is so much more to tell you about the events of the recent past and our more than exciting future. Over the next several days and weeks, we will be communicating much of that to you.
You simply don't deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal.
You have given so much and deserve so much more.
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"
You can take it to the bank.
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.
But the good news is that this heartless and callous action can only serve as the antidote to the so-called "curse" on Cleveland, Ohio.
The self-declared former "King" will be taking the "curse" with him down south. And until he does "right" by Cleveland and Ohio, James (and the town where he plays) will unfortunately own this dreaded spell and bad karma.
Sleep well, Cleveland.
Tomorrow is a new and much brighter day....
I PROMISE you that our energy, focus, capital, knowledge and experience will be directed at one thing and one thing only:
DELIVERING YOU the championship you have long deserved and is long overdue....
Oh and Dan, whats up with the Comic Sans font (see original link above), did you not have Wing Dings available?