There’s no shortage of observers who thought ESPN’s presentation of LeBron James’ abdication of the throne aka “The Decision” was some of the worst TV of all time. Still, it wasn’t Tom Shales who dissed James’ televised kiss-off to Cleveland as “a narcissistic, self-promotional build-up..unlike anything ever ‘witnessed in the history of sports and probably the history of entertainment”, but rather, Dan Gilbert (above), whose open letter to Cavs fans ranks as one of the more remarkable outpourings of a franchise owner scorned. Here’s a few highlights :
“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 œmotivation 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 œchosen 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 œcurse with him down south. And until he does œright by Cleveland and Ohio, James (and the town where he plays) will unfortunately own this dreaded spell and bad karma.
(ADDENDUM : while we’re still trying to figure out exactly how Cleveland intends replace James’ production without getting wildly lucky in the draft or pulling off the free agent heist of the century — several times — any thoughts the above press release was the handiwork of a hacker went out the window when Gilbert kept going. And going.)