Dan Gilbert’s Reckoning Is Finally Upon Us
Dan Gilbert is going to finally get what he deserves.
You can feel it too, right?
I don’t want to get off on the wrong foot. I should make myself clear. I hate when people say they don’t like an NBA team — or any franchise in the major three sports for that matter — because they have a shitty owner.
All NBA owners are scumbags. They’re all billionaires sapping off of the labor of people who have spent everyday of their lives working on becoming better at their craft. Owners get the most disproportionately large share of the fruits of this labor. They offer nothing. The only time an NBA owner makes an impact on his team is when, like scumbag owner of the Sacramento Kings Vivek Ranadive, they constantly fuck everything up.
Some of these owners, like Jimmy Dolan or Jimmy Buss and his gang of incompetent siblings, didn’t even make themselves rich before buying a team, they just inherited it from their scumbag fathers. Some, like Joe Lacob or Ranadive, stumbled into billions by getting lucky with some fucking app or startup or whatever it is those scumbags did. It doesn’t matter.
But still, isn’t Dan Gilbert the worst of them all?
It’s that fucking comic sans letter. This guy has the audacity to be one of the worst owners in sports, get lucky enough to get the number one overall pick the year the first born son of Ohio is coming into the league, brutally fuck up for seven years, then write a goddamn comic sans letter insulting him and his family when he leaves for a chance to get just a shred of help and competence?
It’s almost bizarre looking back that people were ever upset with LeBron. Fans despised him for screwing over an absolute piece of shit. And yeah, it bummed out a lot of fans, too. Cry me a river. Being a fan of a team that’s rebuilding is actually more fun than being a fan of a championship contender like nine months out of the year any way.
And it was great. It’s not like I love Micky Arison and Pat Riley either, but the LeBron era in Miami was fantastic. There were four great NBA Finals in a row. LeBron was thriving. Gilbert was suffering. What more can you ask for?
Then LeBron had to go and come back. Fuck.
Now that he made his dramatic return and was welcomed with open arms by the same people who once burned his jersey, people feel that he can’t or won’t ever bail on Cleveland again. Just like he couldn’t leave Cleveland the first time, or would never leave Miami to come back.
I understand why people feel like LeBron would never want to go through leaving Cleveland again — it was a traumatic experience that clearly changed him as a person a lot. But at this point, the three-time NBA champion has made it clear that he can’t be predicted.
More importantly, this time is different.
If you watched the video that The Undefeated filmed of LeBron in a barber shop talking to Draymond Green, 2 Chainz, Charles Oakley and others — and you definitely should — you may pick up on what I’m talking about.
James goes on an extended tangent about The Decision, 2010, and that fucking comic sans letter. And he does a lot to dispel the notion that he “can’t” or “won’t” leave Cleveland again. He makes it more clear than ever that he is still upset about what Gilbert did, and that him returning to Cleveland was in no way a message of forgiveness to that scumbag.
He also revealed that his mother and his wife were both fully opposed to his return to Cleveland in the first place. Neither of them wanted him to work with Gilbert ever again after what he did. That’s what really got me thinking.
The 2016 NBA Championship, the 3–1 comeback — it seemed like the conclusion of LeBron’s master plan. He knew he couldn’t win with the Cavs back in 2010 unless they had some space to rebuild. So he went to Miami to get some of that championship pedigree we hear so much about, and take some of that mounting pressure to win a title off by reeling off a few easy ones (though it didn’t go exactly as planned). Then he returned to Cleveland, more beloved than ever, and slaughtered the despised Golden State Warriors.
But LeBron is a young man! He has got plenty of career left. There is plenty of time to take his plan to an entirely new level. And wouldn’t shoving it all up Dan Gilbert’s ass be the ultimate achievement?
The King has the rare opportunity to leave for a better basketball situation while also screwing over one of the worst people in his life, and actually coming out on the other side as the good guy.
If LeBron announced next year he was leaving Cleveland to sign with the Houston Rockets — quietly this time, probably not on ESPN — and all he said was, “I love Cleveland, I wanted to play there forever. But that scumbag Dan Gilbert drove me out of town;” everyone would take LeBron’s side in a heartbeat — mostly because he would be right.
And Gilbert? He wouldn’t be run out of town with torches and pitchforks. No, he would be fucking guillotined outside The Q.
So every time Gilbert fires a GM LeBron had specifically endorsed without consulting him, every time a former NBA player with no qualifications turns down running the Cavs so he can play in Ice Cube’s 3-on-3 basketball tournament, and every time the Cavs get further and further from the Warriors, think about that. Think about how much leverage LeBron has, and how much better his life would be if he was in Houston, or Los Angeles, or anywhere other than Cleveland.
And think about how LeBron’s mom, and his wife, and maybe everyone else in his life is telling him how he would be right to leave that scumbag in the dust and go make some other slightly less repugnant scumbag very, very happy.
So we could be just one year away from Dan Gilbert getting his thoroughly earned comeuppance at last. On top of that, we get a potential new superteam to hang with the Warriors — LeBron could pair with Harden and CP3, Paul George and Russell Westbrook, or whoever he wants. It would be good for the league, and Cleveland, Ohio running red with the blood of Dan Gilbert would be good for the world.
So there, I gave you all a good reason to root for the Warriors. Don’t say I never gave you anything.