An Open Letter to Dan Gilbert
First, we the fans of the Cavaliers want to thank you for your letter condemning the actions of LeBron James. No matter the opinions of the pundits- we appreciate your passion and agree with your statements regarding James. With that being said there are a few points we would like you to discuss with David Stern:
1. Salary Cap Issues: While David Stern certainly does deserve some credit for the success of the league- the fact is he truly hasn’t helped the game other than broadening the popularity overseas. Virtually anyone could have rode the coattails of the Bird/Magic rivalry then the phenomenon that was Michael Jordan. Stern should have forced the players union to give on some of the salary cap issues including following the very successful plan of the NFL. NBA teams should have the ability to franchise players to assure they have the ability too, at the very least, get market value for players that leave.
2. Free Agency Time Frame: Having free agency after the draft is absolutely ludicrous. Teams cannot possibly prepare efficiently through the draft without knowing their needs. Stern needs to clean up the entire process. It is as ridiculous as the MLB All Star Game deciding home field in the World Series. In many respects David Stern is as clueless as Bud Selig.
3. Players: The NFL yet again leads all of the major organizations regarding player conduct and accountability. We ask that you push Stern to create some of the formulas used by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Yes, they are very strict but the reputation of the League isn’t good and was only made worse by the free agent scandal labeled the decision. The NBA must take control of it’s product and image. The image of the league is that of thugs and heathens.
4. PED Testing: There is little doubt the landscape of the league would dramatically change if performance enhancing drug testing was enforced to the Olympic level. There are obvious reasons why Stern doesn’t want this too happen. The league should give it’s players six months notice to clean it up and then drop the hammer. There is little doubt that a good portion of the league would currently test positive.
5. Officiating: While it is doubtful there are global conspiracies to fix games in the NBA (although it has been proven officials have been on the take), the officiating is absolutely atrocious. Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals drew incredible ratings and what did the fans get to see? A game where the officials swallowed their whistles (I.e. “let the players decide the game”) resulting in a wrestling match that ended in a low scoring, 83-79 affair. This type of officiating limits the skills the game is built upon.
Mr. Gilbert, we hope you take these things to throne of David Stern. We know you can be a great asset in the massive project to fix the game and protect it’s most valuable resource- the fans.
Regarding the self proclaimed “Chosen One”- we are all now fully aware of what type of person he truly is. He is without a doubt one of the most self-absorbed individuals in all of sports-a lofty title indeed. Now James is in his natural surroundings in Miami. James will fit in well there and prove to be more like Tiger Woods than we could ever imagined. As previously stated, we appreciate your honesty on James and can only ask for more. We are intrigued to learn more about a player who not only tanked games but also lacked the common decency to share his “decision” with an organization who treated him very well. Even more importantly, LeFraud failed to share his decision with teammates whom he went to battle and shared a locker room with. This sums up James more than anyone can. He is a fraud just like Woods and we ask that you bring that all too light-including the stories on the not so lady like Gloria James.
The way this entire fiasco went down doesn’t solely fall on the large ego of James but also on the league, Pat Riley and David Stern. A fight in the stands in Detroit, drug convictions, hell even murders by players cannot bring down the league; however, the suspicions of games not being played to win or meant to lose changes everything. Chris Bosh sat out games that had playoff implications, James obviously quit during the playoffs. Need we say more? This falls directly on the league and Stern. Regarding Pat Riley- it doesn’t take a long diatribe to describe one of the dirtiest players in the game. Pat Riley resigned from his position with the New York Knicks via fax, yeah a fax. Riley also fired Stan Van Gundy so he could get credit for a title with the Miami Heat. Riley may be the only human on earth that is more self absorbed than “King” James.
Finally, while we love your passion and appreciate your promise to win a title before the Heat; Cavs’ fans realize this is highly unlikely. Just promise us you will put your large bank account and your full energy into building a team that will make us proud and will be sustainable. Although we all hated the Detroit Pistons- we respected their teamwork and work ethic (minus Rasheed Wallace). Our hope is you build a team like the Pistons, where substance reigns over style. A team that will worry about winning more than dancing, championships more than Jay-Z and a team that will not be hob-nobbing with the opponent. Mr. Gilbert- bring us a team that epitomizes the blue collar work ethic of the great state of Ohio. Also, please make sure LeFraud is barred from all sidelines at The Ohio State University. I’m sure Coach Tressel will not have a problem doing that.
PS- If Stern is fining you and the bigoted “Rev” Jessie Jackson is throwing barbs, you are doing something right.
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