Friday, July 9, 2010

Cavaliers Owner’s LeBron Letter Way out of Bounds

After last night’s ridiculous LeBron James announcement special, I can certainly sympathize with Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert.

But the open letter Gilbert posted on the Cavs’ website last night was far too, ahem, cavalier. He missed a great opportunity for his organization to really score some points.

Gilbert’s defiant championship prediction is a decent touch (the all-caps shouting notwithstanding). But the rest of the letter is full of childish, petty name-calling.

Guess he’s playing to the fan base, including one Esquire writer. And that makes sense—to a degree.

The only problem? Fans in the immediate north-central Ohio region aren’t the Cavs’ only target audience.

Millions of people worldwide have been following this silly, sorry saga. Talented players Gilbert will need to deliver on his championship pledge are paying attention, too.

In that respect, he comes across as a bad boss with a serious credibility issue. What would he say to loyal players he’s traded in the past? Should those guys be crying “betrayal,” too?

Gilbert and the Cavaliers could have come away looking much better than the “narcissistic, self-promotional” man (Gilbert’s words) who spurned them. It was a chance to show some class and capture the admiration of a wide swath of the American public.

We love a noble underdog. Sponsors do, too.

But thanks to Gilbert’s letter, the Cavs appear less like the lovable little guy than an angry also-ran.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great insight. I couldn't agree more with your analysis.