For instance, there’s his temper. “The Decision begot The Letter.,” writes SI.com’s Todd Jones on the matter of Cavs owner Dan Gilbert’s now-legendary “oh yeah, well fuck you, too!” response to LeBron James bolting Cleveland in favor of Miami in June of 20120. “He makes bold, incendiary statements that fit the perceived oversized injustice. Volume cranked to 11, he puts the rallying call out there in comic sans, a font he began using on interoffice e-mails eight years ago just to be different.” What a treat for Quicken Loans employees!
“For some reason, they really use that as the lens that they see everything through — a comic sans letter that was written about a basketball player,” Gilbert says. “I knew it was unusual and emotional, but it shocks me how much legs it had on a national scale.”
“I’m sure I’m not the coolest head in the world,” Gilbert says. His comic sans diatribe on the team’s website immediately after The Decision wasn’t unique. Other business relationships had ended in less than ideal fashion. In 2007, he fired David Hall, senior vice president of Rock Financial, part of the Quicken Loans family. Two years later, the two men reportedly got into a screaming, physical altercation at a bar mitzvah at a posh suburban Detroit hotel. Police looked into the matter, but charges weren’t filed. A less public outburst occurred five years ago when Comerica Inc., a financial service company with assets of $58 billion, announced it was moving the company’s headquarters from Detroit to Dallas. The bank’s CEO happened to be a Texas native. Gilbert responded by pulling all of Quicken Loans’ accounts from Comerica and transferring them to another bank.
The letter came back at him in June like a vengeful boomerang as James won his championship with the Miami Heat. A snark attack of Twitter jokes flew at Gilbert about him being on suicide watch. Someone rewrote his letter for comic effect. Get over it Cleveland. James obviously made the right decision in leaving, right? Gilbert tweeted congratulations to both teams while not mentioning James by name, just as he’s called him “that player” in public and worse in private the past two years. Pettiness seems entrenched.