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Cavs Rumors: Dan Gilbert Told People He Wants LeBron James to Leave Cavs
- Updated: June 30, 2018
It’s not a secret that the relationship between Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and LeBron James has not been a very pleasant one. The two are widely believed to have a working relationship but nothing more.
In a report from ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, it appears that there is a lingering animosity between the two as evidenced by Gilbert wanting to rebuild the team in his own image without James in a Wine and Gold uniform.
“According to a couple of owners I’ve spoken to and a few executives I’ve spoken to, Dan Gilbert is known for not being particularly fond of LeBron James. He doesn’t mind the thought of LeBron James leaving at all. As a matter of fact, I had one executive tell me, ‘Excuse me, I can’t wait until he leaves, because I’ll get my team back.’ This is something Dan Gilbert has actually echoed.
“That is an exact quote from my sources that said that Dan Gilbert said that.”
For Gilbert to want his team back, he is acknowledging that he feels James has taken over control of the team from him. He also believes that he can build a championship-caliber team without its franchise player.
Based on recent history, however, the Cavs have never been a winning team without James in the lineup. In the 12 seasons that Gilbert has owned the team, eight have been with the Akron native and the Cavaliers have a 433-223 record in that span. They have also been to eight playoffs, five NBA Finals appearances, and won one championship. Without James, they are a woeful 97-215 with zero playoff appearances.
When James left for the Miami Heat in 2010, Gilbert wrote a scathing letter about James to the fans. Despite returning to Cleveland four years later, the enmity between the two continues to simmer and could resurface if James bolts for another team.