Looks like Stephen A. Smith will have to go somewhere other than Quicken Loans if he wants a mortgage. From the Cleveland Plain Dealer™s Branson Wright.
Q: What™s the long-term plan for LeBron James? There have been rumors James will leave for the New York Knicks.
A: The œLeBron is disgruntled/is leaving stories did not come from LeBron or anyone else in his camp.
It came from short-term thinkers and media entertainers posing as journalists. These people want to boost ratings, sell more newspapers or believe the west and east coast cities are in some way superior to places like œCleveland or œDetroit and can™t figure out why anyone (with a big name) would want to stay there. They are dead wrong and we will prove them wrong.
Q: Why did you fire coach Paul Silas and do you have any second thoughts about firing him with 18 games left in the season?
A: No second thoughts at all. None. The team was in a nosedive at the time Silas was let go. We had lost nine out of 12 games (including a six-game losing streak). We looked horrible in nearly all of the losses and even two of the three wins. There was little to no communication going on with the players. In some cases none at all. We were 34-30.
There was no openness to listening to the assistant coaches or GM. For some reason, still unknown to me, Paul had decided he œwanted out. He told several people around him that he œwanted out including some reporters. It was a surprise to me because Paul and I did not even talk more than four to five times during the three weeks we owned the team and he was coach. We never had a negative exchange during those conversations. We never told Paul who to play or when to play anyone. That silly nonsense [reports he was passing notes to Silas during games] was simply started by TV or newspaper entertainers who should really stick to fiction writing and not present themselves as sports journalists.
Q: Is it true that you passed notes to Silas during a game asking him to play certain players? Why have rumors persisted about you as a meddlesome owner?
A: Obviously, that is completely false. Can you imagine an owner doing that? It is so absurd, you have to laugh at it. Then again, the œESPN Entertainer who said it is the same guy who made up the story about œJim Paxson being fired within 48 hours when it was completely untrue and never even discussed here at all. He is also the same guy who made up stories about œLeBron™s mother not liking the new ownership team. This guy, lets call him œJohn A. Doe is an entertainer, not a journalist. Most people who know basketball realize what a phony this guy is and how he primarily blurts out fantasy on a daily basis. Unfortunately, the Internet has sprung up a bunch of these lazy characters that just read each other™s nonsense and rewrite the same story with a few new adjectives. They don™t do any real work. They never called me or anyone else for comment. They never asked me if any of this BS was true or not.
Sooner or later, enough of their garbage is written that you become labeled a œmeddlesome owner or a œspoiled rich kid or your team is now œDan™s house of horrors.
At first, I became angry at it. Now I just laugh it off. I am too focused on the real job of building the Cavaliers into a championship organization than to spend my time paying attention to these muckrakers.
Thank heavens a news organization like ESPN is able to keep things balanced by having a truly unbiased commentator like Greg Anthony sitting alongside Stephen A. Smith. And what a shame it is for Dan Gilbert that all basketball studio shows don™t prominently feature the wit and wisdom of his hand-picked advisors / potential employees.