By Michael Rosenberg
July 09, 2010

George Steinbrenner is from Cleveland, and I like to think he served as an inspiration to Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert. As you have probably heard, Gilbert wrote a letter to Cavs fans after LeBron James announced on national TV that he was bolting for Miami. If you haven't read it, then believe me: This is the greatest letter ever written. Also, it is completely insane.

Let's jump into the mind of a billionaire who just watched his very expensive basketball toy fall apart.

Dear Cleveland, All Of Northeast Ohio and Cleveland Cavaliers Supporters Wherever You May Be Tonight;

As you now know, our former hero, who grew up in the very region that he deserted this evening, is no longer a Cleveland Cavalier.

This was announced with a several day, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up culminating with a national TV special of his "decision" unlike anything ever "witnessed" in the history of sports and probably the history of entertainment.

Clearly, this is bitterly disappointing to all of us.

OK, so Gilbert has established himself as the jilted lover in this scenario. He is bitter, he is disappointed, he is bitterly disappointed, and he doesn't even have the composure to hide it. The man is hurting and he is lashing out.

Since most of the nation seems to agree that ditching Cleveland on ESPN was heartless, we're on board with Gilbert here. We're willing to overlook the fact that Gilbert would have cut off his left ear to keep LeBron. He's jilted. He's been used. We feel his pain.

The good news is that the ownership team and the rest of the hard-working, loyal, and driven staff over here at your hometown Cavaliers have not betrayed you nor NEVER will betray you.

I am picturing Gilbert bawling and saying "The love of our life just dumped us on national television, and he said we're fat, we're ugly and we're bad in bed, but dammit, I will never, ever, EVER leave you!" then hugging his teddy bear.

I guess we are supposed to give Gilbert credit for not moving the team. OK, fine. Thanks for not moving the team.

There is so much more to tell you about the events of the recent past and our more than exciting future. Over the next several days and weeks, we will be communicating much of that to you.

You simply don't deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal.

You have given so much and deserve so much more.

The man still has tickets to sell, but more importantly: he has secrets to tell! Everybody in the NBA knows that Cleveland has genuflected before King James for seven years. It started before Gilbert bought the team and got worse as James became older and more emboldened, and Gilbert feared losing him.

Now Gilbert is promising this will get ugly. He is going to tell you about the time LeBron demanded that his teammates wear King James boxers, and the times LeBron was caught licking pictures of himself, and that time that James slept with Tiger Woods. Gilbert already popped off to the Associated Press that James "quit" on the Cavs in the playoffs. Gilbert is just getting started. Watch out, LeBron. Here comes Hurricane Dan-o!

In the meantime, I want to make one statement to you tonight:


You can take it to the bank.

YOU TELL 'EM DAN! That's right! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? You want a championship so badly, you don't even need any damn PLAYERS to do it! You're going to win one on ANGER, man!

Clearly, Gilbert has completely lost his senses. Miami might not win next year. Or the year after. But come on, the Cavs have as much chance of beating LeBron to the Larry O'Brien Trophy as your local junior-high team.

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 "motivation" to previously unknown and previously never experienced levels.

Um ... I want to believe, but really now: YOU HAD THE BEST PLAYER IN THE LEAGUE. Wasn't that motivation enough?

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.

Dan's got me back on his side! That's awesome. Alas, I have absolutely no idea what it means. Was LeBron supposed to die this week? Is staying in Cleveland like dying? Somebody, please, help me out here.

This shocking act of disloyalty from our home grown "chosen 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.

Yes, play the Children Card. Because, as we all know, Gilbert bought the Cavs because he cares about children.

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 "curse" with him down south. And until he does "right" by Cleveland and Ohio, James (and the town where he plays) will unfortunately own this dreaded spell and bad karma.

Just watch.

Bad things are going to happen to you, LeBron! Baaaaad things! Like, um ... next December, it's going to SNOW in South Beach! Just a light dusting, but still: SNOW in Miami! And bad, bad, baaaad things will keep happening until you do "right" by Cleveland and Ohio, and do you know what that means? Uh, neither do I. LeBron's only value to Cleveland was as a basketball player. What is he supposed to do? Walk around town handing out Ju Ju Bees?

Sleep well, Cleveland.

Because I never will again!

Tomorrow is a new and much brighter day....

How, I have no idea!

I PROMISE you that our energy, focus, capital, knowledge and experience will be directed at one thing and one thing only:

DELIVERING YOU the championship you have long deserved and is long overdue....

... and isn't coming to Cleveland for a long, long time.

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