Now that Kyrie Irving is gone, Cleveland’s focus will once again shift to LeBron James’ impending free agency. Can the Cavs – both the organization and their fans – make it through another season-long soap opera surrounding James’ 2018 whims?
“It can’t get any worse than The Decision,” Cleveland’s 92.3 The Fan host Andy Baskin said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “The other thing is, there’s a championship behind it. I think that if he leaves at the end of this, people will say, ‘He did what he said he was going to do,’ and they’re going to blame Dan Gilbert for not doing enough.”
Gregg Giannotti, for one, does not understand how or why Gilbert is so incompetent. He’s isolated the best basketball player in the world, again.
Is he just a jerk?
“Dan Gilbert is nowhere near a jerk,” Baskin said. “The people that work for him, all the ushers, these people all got championship rings after they won. They all love him. Dan changed the culture not only for the Cavs, but for the city, investing money back into downtown. The issue is Dan becomes the bad guy because he’s doing everything LeBron wants. LeBron never has to take the blame for anything. So when it’s all said and done, have a championship and maybe look like an idiot, or pretend like you know everything and can do everything right and be a genius. In the end, he got LeBron to come back. He had one bad moment with one bad letter. That’s really what it is.”
Still, when asked about James’ current relationship with Griffin, Baskin said, “I don’t think it’s great.” But why not? James and Gilbert buried the hatchet in 2014 and won a title together. Now they’re on the outs again? Why? Is it because Gilbert fired David Griffin?
“I don’t even think it’s the Griffin firing,” Baskin said. “Look, if you were LeBron, you’d still be mad about the letter. LeBron wants to control everything. He is. He does. He controls everything without having to take the blame for anything. Ask the folks in Miami that. They’ll tell you the same thing. He’s the best basketball player that any of us here in Northeast Ohio have ever seen – and we got to watch Jordan crush us all the time when I was a kid. But LeBron doesn’t have to take the blame for anything. He never does. And in the end, people will blame Dan for it. Dan (set) himself up with that stupid letter, and it will always go back to that. Look who much money the Cavs pay in luxury tax. Look how much Dan goes above and beyond to try to make sure LeBron is happy. He does it so much so that, in the end, if LeBron leaves, Dan looks like a fool.”