Dan Gilbert’s Fiery Furnace

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Never fight the funk, ever.
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Kyrie Irving wants out of Cleveland.

Over the weekend ESPN broke the news that Irving is tired of playing with LeBron James and wants to be traded. His wishlist included Miami, San Antonio, New York, and Minnesota. Another piece by the worldwide leader described how we got to this point. Irving is tired of playing second fiddle to King James and wants to go to a place where he’s treated like the star. Kyrie is 25 and has already won a ring so one can understand why he would want the spotlight and take a jab at being the lone alpha.

This is a huge story in the NBA world, and it should be. It’s also another chapter in an ongoing story that no one else is highlighting.

The fall of Dan Gilbert.

Rewind to 2010. LeBron had made his infamous decision to leave Cleveland and head to Miami. Dan Gilbert, in the middle of the night, releases and “open letter” criticizing James for leaving in such a “narcissistic” manner. He also promised that Cleveland would win a title before LeBron.

Let’s take a minute to LOL at that statement.

Gilbert’s anger was understood. Let’s face it; his star player went on live tv to break up with him. That’s a hard pill to swallow especially if you’re a billionaire who isn’t used to being humiliated.

With all that being said that letter crossed both a professional and racial line that an owner should never get close to. Gilbert is speaking in code but it’s easy to see that he saw LeBron as property and was appalled that he actually flexed his muscle to a better situation. That letter has put a stench on Gilbert that has yet, and never will, leave him.

Fast forward to 2014. LeBron announces he’s returning to Cleveland after winning two titles in Miami. James and Gilbert may not have made up completely but LeBron doesn’t come back for him; he’s doing it for his hometown. Most people were puzzled to see him return after reading Gilbert’s letter but as James and friends explained in a recent “the shop” talk, LeBron believes in one statement.

Progress over Pride.

It’s admirable to say the least. There aren’t too many people who would return to a job were the man in charge was overtly racist upon their exit.

Jump to 2017.

The Cavs lose to the Warriors in five games in a series that wasn’t competitive. Kyrie has stated that he wants out and LeBron hasn’t committed to Cleveland beyond next year. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that James is bouncing after the ’17-’18 season leaving Cleveland with a one way ticket to the bottom of the East.

As you can imagine, Gilbert probably isn’t the happiest person right now. His ride is almost over and the Cavs are about to be bottom feeders. The string of finals appearances are about to be a distant memory and his only excitement will be from having the best odds of landing the number one pick in the lottery. The only thing working in his favor is that he doesn’t have to honor Kyrie’s request. He still has two years on his contract but it would be another bad move (amongst the many others they’ve made this offseason) to keep Irving after he’s specifically said that James is the reason he wants out. Would he really risk a season of turmoil? If his goal is to keep James then he must do everything in his power to make him comfortable, which, he’s already done an awful job at that. Brief recap: Gilbert fired David Griffin, the Cavs GM and a friend of LeBron’s, without consulting James. A move that James didn’t like, obviously.

If Kyrie is a Cavalier this time next year then you can guarantee that LeBron is elsewhere.That is, unless they win a championship.

Many, including myself, would say that Gilbert is getting what he deserves. Beyond his awful moves this offseason as an owner the memory of that letter is will forever tarnish his image.

If there was ever a story to follow this season it should be watching Gilbert burn in the furnace he built and set ablaze.

Feel free to hop in my mentions @mattgarrett41.

As always, thanks for reading.


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Never fight the funk, ever.

Latest posts by Matthew (see all)


Never fight the funk, ever.

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