LeBron James seems to have cost Dan Gilbert more money. The Cleveland Cavaliers’ majority owner was fined $100,000 on Monday by NBA commissioner David Stern for his open letter to fans that appeared on the team’s website.
The NBA, generally, has the right to fine teams and/or its players for unsportsmanlike actions or activities. According to Stern, Gilbert’s LeBron letter, penned after James’ announcement that he would play for the Miami Heat next season, was “ill-advised” and “imprudent.” Stern explained that, while he understood Gilbert’s disasppointment and pronounced determination to win (as evidenced by the letter’s capitalized and bolded championship guarantee), he felt the letter went “a little bit to the extreme” and also took issue with Gilbert’s follow-up interviews.
In his rant, Gilbert wrote, “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. 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.”
Stern didn’t place all the blame on Gilbert, however. The commissioner also took issue with James’ decision to air his announcement on ESPN without telling Cleveland in advance.
"Had he asked my advice in advance I might have suggested that he advise Cleveland at an earlier time than he apparently did that he was leaving," Stern said. "And I would have advised him not to embark on what has become known as 'The Decision.' I think that the advice that he received on this was poor."