Cavs' Owner Dan Gilbert Slams LeBron James in Open Letter To Fans

Tom DelamaterAnalyst IJuly 8, 2010

GREENWICH, CT - JULY 08:  LeBron James and ESPN's Jim Gray speak at the LeBron James announcement of his future NBA plans at the  Boys & Girls Club of America on July 8, 2010 in Greenwich, Connecticut. James announced during a live broadcast on ESPN that he will play for the Miami Heat next season.  (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Estabrook Group)
Larry Busacca/Getty Images

Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert has pulled no punches in a stunning open letter to Cavs fans.

WKYC-TV sports anchor Jim Donovan read excerpts of the letter on Thursday's 11 p.m. newscast. The station posted the text of the letter on its website.

According to Donovan, Gilbert said that the fans of Cleveland did not deserve the act of "cowardly betrayal" James committed in bolting for the Miami Heat.

He referred to James as "the self-titled, former King," and guaranteed—in capital letters—that the Cavaliers would win an NBA championship before James and his new teammates do in Miami.

"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," Gilbert wrote.

Strong stuff from an obviously angry and emotional owner. The plot thickens.

(UPDATE 11:59 p.m.: The text of the letter was also posted on the Cavaliers website Thursday night.)