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article imageNBA: Cavaliers owner says James has free pass, he's a quitter

By Andrew Moran     Jul 9, 2010 in Sports
Cleveland - After NBA superstar free agent LeBron James made his decision to sign with the Miami Heat and join Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert harshly criticized "King James" in an open letter to Cavs fans.
Moments after reigning two-time NBA MVP LeBron James announced his decision he will join the Miami Heat for the next five seasons, Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert issued a letter to the fans where he provided harsh words about their “former hero,” according to Yahoo! Sports.
“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,” said Gilbert.
The owner of the Cavaliers said it was truly disappointing but assured fans his NBA team is now more motivated than ever. Gilbert said the future is promising and exciting.
“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," he wrote.
Gilbert guaranteed fans Cleveland will win a NBA title before the Miami Heat do, saying “you can take it to the bank.”
In a phone interview with the Associated Press, Gilbert said James “has gotten a free pass.” He said too many people have covered up for James for a long time and that “tonight we saw who he really is.”
Gilbert also said James is a quitter and urged people to look at the tapes, not just Game 5 against the Boston Celtics but also games 2, 4 and 6. He believes James quit in Game 6 of their playoff series against the Orlando Magic in 2009.
“Watch the tape," he said. "The Boston series was unlike anything in the history of sports for a superstar.”
That said, Gilbert is not upset over James’ decision to leave. However, he said, “it's the disrespect. It's time for people to hold these athletes accountable for their actions. Is this the way you raise your children? I've been holding this all in for a long time."
Miami Heat guard Dwayne Wade came to the defense of James and said he is happy with James signing with the Heat, but was confident he would take some flak for his decision.
“I'm happy Micky Arison is my owner," he said. "I couldn't believe it. I'm speechless. It's very unfortunate and I think it makes LeBron that much better about his decision.”
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