Has Dan Gilbert Set The Tension Off Again For The Cleveland Cavaliers?

Seven years ago, LeBron set the world, and many of his former Cleveland Cavaliers jerseys, on fire when he announced on ESPN’s “The Decision” that he was taking his talents to South Beach. He would team with Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and company on the Heat for four years, winning two NBA Championships during that time. But when he decided to leave his hometown Cavs, it didn’t sit well with disgruntled Cavs’ fans and team Chairman Dan Gilbert, who, respectively, burned his jersey and issued a scathing letter bashing the team’s former all star, part of which is below:

Dear Cleveland, all of Northeast Ohio and Cleveland Cavaliers supporters wherever you may be tonight;

As you now know, our former hero, who grew up in the very region that he deserted this evening, is no longer a Cleveland Cavalier.

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.

Four years later, James returned home and everything was all love once again. James brought home the city’s first NBA championship in 2016 and Cleveland was the center of the NBA universe. But after losing the championship this year to the Warriors, the ripples began to form through rumors. James would be leaving for the Lakers in 2018. The team was trading to bring Paul George or Jimmy Butler to town. Two major acquisitions that would give the Cavs the additional superstar needed to combat the Warriors and win back their trophy.

But then today Gilbert stepped into the spotlight and announced that the contract of team GM, David Griffin, would not be renewed and that they would be looking for a new GM. 

The Cleveland Cavaliers and its General Manager, David Griffin, have mutually decided not to extend Davids current contract, which ends June 30, 2017.

On behalf of the entire organization, I would like to thank Griff for his leadership and many contributions during his time here, including most recently, his role in the franchises first NBA Championship.

We have no announcement at this time related to new leadership of the Cavaliers basketball operations group, but we are confident our current front office will continue to aggressively explore and pursue opportunities to improve our team in the weeks ahead.

Well apparently Gilbert forgot to ask the best player on his team, and the planet, about the move prior to it being completed and James, a big Griffin supporter, obviously wasn’t happy about it. So he took to Twitter to let everyone, including Gilbert, know his thoughts on the situation:

LeBron James on Twitter

If no one appreciated you Griff I did, and hopefully all the people of Cleveland! Thanks for what u did for the team for 3 yrs! We got us 1

Could this be the beginning of another rift between James and the Cavs, pushing him further West? Or will the rumored arrival of George or Butler make everyone, including James, put the tension to the side to challenge the Warriors for the title? Time will tell but we have already seen that LeBron is more than happy to take his services elsewhere when he’s not being heard.