Jesse Jackson, never missing an opportunity to stick his nose into things, has weighed in on Dan Gilbert's reaction to LeBron James signing with the Miami Heat.
"His feelings of betrayal personify a slave master mentality. He sees LeBron as a runaway slave. This is an owner employee relationship -- between business partners -- and LeBron honored his contract"
Now, I agree with Jesse to an extent. LeBron did indeed honor his contract. He played out his seven years as he was required to do. When it came time for him to make a move, he could have easily forced a sign and trade to Miami that would have given him the larger sum of money that Cleveland was offering. He did not do that. He took a smaller salary and went on his merry way. While I agree that Lebron was completely wrong by not calling Gilbert himself shortly before his overblown press conference, it doesn't make how Gilbert reacted okay. Gilbert's letter was immature, unprofessional, and seemed almost mentally unbalanced. Gilbert has not backed down either. He has since made comments that LeBron quit in last two games as a Cav. Again, it did seem that way. He was out of sorts, that can't be denied. But, it then came out that LeBron had just recently found out that one of his teammates was sleeping with his mother. That could have a played a part in not only his performance, but why he left Cleveland.
Jesse, what Gilbert is so upset about his is bankbook. This isn't about racism, it is about the almighty buck. For the past seven years if not all, almost all games have been sold out. LeBron's jersey is a top seller. The Cleveland games became a big part of the nationally televised game schedule. All of this lined his pockets. Without LeBron, all of this gone. Cleveland will be very lucky if they even have a winning record at the end of next season. It is going to take years for this franchise to make up for this loss. The biggest reason is that Gilbert didn't have a plan B. He is a wealthy man who is used to getting what he wants and just thought he could throw some money at LeBron and he would keep his gravy train rolling down the tracks.
Dan Gilbert is acting like a spoiled child who is not getting his way and lashing out in ways that make him look like an idiot. That doesn't make him a racist. But these comments coming from Jesse Jackson certainly makes him look like one.
David Stern, NBA's commissioner:
On LeBron James: "With respect to LeBron's departure from Cleveland, a couple of things. One, he was certainly entitled to do that. I think he's both a terrific player and a very good person. Had he asked my advice in advance, I might have suggested that he advise Cleveland at an earlier time than apparently he did that he was leaving, even without announcing where he was going, so we could have eliminated that. I would have advised him not to embark on what has been come known as 'The Decision.' I think that the advice that he received on this was poor. His performance was fine. His honesty and his integrity shine through. But this decision was ill-conceived, badly produced and poorly executed. Those who were interested in it were given our opinion prior to its airing."
On Dan Gilbert: "I think that remarks by Dan Gilbert, the owner of the Cavaliers, catalyzed as they may have been by hurt with respect to the manner and the fact for himself, his team, and particularly for the people of Cleveland, though understandable, were ill-advised and imprudent. I have notified Cleveland that they will be fined $100,000 for those remarks under my power as Commissioner."