Tag Archives: Dan Gilbert




July 10, 2014

CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Cavaliers announced today that the team and Kyrie Irving have agreed upon and signed a contract extension.  Per league policy, terms of the contract were not released.

“We couldn’t be happier to have Kyrie firmly at the core of our Cavaliers team and family for years to come,” said Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin. “He’s already proven he’s among the best in the NBA and we’re excited to watch his continued growth and success. To know that he is all in and shares our high expectations and championship goals is something we’re extremely proud of. It is a clear reflection of how we all view our future together, with Kyrie fully vested in this franchise and the city of Cleveland.”

Irving was the first overall pick in the 2011 draft by the Cavaliers and has career averages of 20.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 1.4 steals in 33.7 minutes through 181 games with the team. An NBA All-Star in each of the past two seasons, Irving was MVP of the 2014 All-Star Game where he became the second-youngest player to win the award.  Since Irving, the 2011 NBA Rookie of the Year, entered the league, he has the third highest scoring average among all NBA point guards. In 2013-14, he led all Eastern Conference point guards with 20.8 points, while also averaging 3.6 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 1.5 steals in 35.2 minutes per game. He was one of only six players in the NBA with averages of at least 20 points and six assists per game last season.

“We are excited that Kyrie has officially committed to be here long-term with the Cleveland Cavaliers,” said Cavs Majority Owner Dan Gilbert. “The future has never been brighter as we are building the team and franchise for sustainable success. Kyrie is obviously a very big piece of our plan.”


Everyone else is making their prediction on where “The King” is headed, so I guess it’s time for the “The Great Rodini” to make his prediction on where he thinks LeBron James will be playing basketball next season.

After talking to old and new sources, in bars, stores, at the library, via Twitter, through e-mails and of course using my crystal ball, I have come up with these five predictions about LeBron James.


1. LeBron will choose to sign with Cleveland over Miami because of:

The Cavs younger, deeper roster, led by two-time All-Star Kyrie Irving who just committed long term. Add to that #1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins, Dion Waiters, Tristan Thompson and LeBron’s buddy Anderson Varejao. This gives “King James” a chance to win now and in the future. The Cavaliers could also use some of that young talent in a trade to lure another All-Star like Kevin Love to C’Town. Plus G.M. David Griffin has salary cap and roster flexibility to go along with multiple first round draft picks to use in deals to improve the roster. Also, while they’re not the best of friends any more, LeBron knows that owner Dan Gilbert will pay money into the luxury tax if necessary to help the team win.

2. LeBron will announce this “Decision” via social media on his website at LeBronJames.com and on Twitter @KingJames.

“The Decision” TV show was a disaster and LeBron knows that and learned from that. As I’ve been saying for months now, he will use new media to announce this “Decision” and in turn, drive traffic to his website and add more followers to his Twitter account.

3. LeBron’s website headline – “Coming Home – Unfinished Business”.

The headline says it all. He returns home to Akron/Cleveland and fulfills his original promise of bringing a championship to the Cavaliers.

4. LeBron will switch from his old #23 he wore with the Cavs to his new number #32.

He’s returning to C’Town, but since a lot of people burned his old number #23 jersey, why not start fresh with a number he wore in high school his freshman year at St. Vincent St. Mary’s high school and at the McDonalds All American Game at The Q. Plus it forces those who did keep their #23 jersey’s to go out and buy the new #32 LeBron jersey. Just a smart business move.

5. LeBron will convince Ray Allen to come play for the Cavs.

The one area the Cavaliers still need to improve in is their outside shooting and why not bring in the greatest 3-point shooter in NBA history with him to Cleveland since Allen is a free agent.

There you have it, not one, not two, not three, not four, but five predictions about what’s next for LeBron James.

Welcome Home LeBron!


PS – On the slight chance “The Great Rodini” might be a little off and “The Godfather” of the NBA Pat Riley convinces James to stay in South Beach, expect it to be for just one or two years and then we’ll go through this all over again!


Time is winding down for LeBron James to decide on whether to stay in Miami or sign with Cleveland or someone else in free agency. Here are the moves that Heat president Pat Riley has made so far to bolster his roster and try to impress LeBron, as well as Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, in hopes of keeping Miami’s “Big 3” together for a few more years. Is this enough? Will there be other additions? The clock is ticking on Riley to do more, and on LeBron to make yet another decision.

LeBron and Dwyane Wade on the bench


In the NBA Draft the Heat traded for the point guard who led U-Conn to the National Championship, Shabazz Napier. Supposedly, Napier was LeBron James favorite player in the draft. Is he good enough to surplant Mario Chalmers or Norris Cole as the starting point guard for Miami? Or is that still a few years away for Napier?



Shabazz Napier- PG-6’1-180-22–U-Conn stats (18p-6r-5a) (40% – 3FG)


In NBA Free Agency so far, Riley has received verbal commitments from free agents Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger after losing out on the likes of Kyle Lowery and Marcin Gortat while getting non-committals from Pau Gasol or Luol Deng. Here’s a look at what McRoberts and Granger did this past season in the NBA. How much of an upgrade are they over who the Heat had on the bench or in the starting lineup last year?


Josh McRoberts- PF-6’10-240-27 –Hornets (8.5p–4.8r-4.3a) (36%-3FG)


Danny Granger- SF-6’9-228-31–Pacers/Clippers (8.2p-3.2r-1apg) (34%-3FG)


The first day players can officially sign their contracts is Thursday, July 10, 2014. Dan Gilbert and the Cavs, along with Pat Riley and the Heat, are hoping to know before Thursday what decision LeBron has made so it leaves time for either team to go after other free agents if LeBron tells them no.


For those asking me to handicap the LeBron James sweepstakes, I will, but I really don’t know. Only James does, just like in 2010.

LeBron James photo small 11-27-13

I will say this though, the fact that the Cavs, with a group that reportedly included Dan Gilbert, had a meeting with LeBron’s agent Rich Paul, is a good sign. That tells you that the fences have been mended to a degree between the two sides or the Cavs would have never even received a sit down with Paul to talk about LeBron’s future. Are things all hunky dory between Gilbert and James? No, and they may never be like they once were. But, business is business, and I’m sure the two can tolerate each other enough if it meant winning championships and making lots of money.

So with that in mind, I’ll put on my handicapping hat and give you my best guesses on where I think LeBron James could end up.

As far as the percentages of LeBron staying in Miami versus coming back to Cleveland or going to another team, right now I see it this way. Pat Riley and the Heat are still the front runners until “Riles” proves he can’t add the necessary players to Miami’s roster to make LeBron happy. So let’s put the Heat’s chances at 50 percent. As of now they’re still the leaders in the clubhouse. But if he does stay with Miami I expect his contract will be for only one or two years.

Kyrie Irving and Dan Gilbert ROY photo

The Cavs, with an All-Star point guard in Kyrie Irving, plus that young nucleus of high lottery picks, cap space and multiple future first round picks are in second place in my opinion. This young roster has to be enticing to LeBron especially with the addition of Andrew Wiggins, or knowing that David Griffin could take some of those young players and trade them for a proven All-Star like Kevin Love. Add in he could come back home to be closer to his family and his Akron roots, along with it being a great story that would help repair his image even more. All that plays in to me giving the Cavaliers about a 30 percent chance, which is a better percentage than they had in the recent draft lottery. That percentage goes up if none of the All-Star caliber free agents want to take less money to play in Miami, or if Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade can’t agree on how to divide up the free agent money with their  salaries.

So how do I break up the remaining 20 percent that’s left? There are reportedly four other teams that have talked with LeBron’s agent Rich Paul in recent days; Suns, Lakers, Rockets and Mavs. I’m adding a wild card just in case in the L.A. Clippers. Let’s give them each a 4 percent chance of luring LeBron away from South Beach.

The Lakers, only if Mitch Kupchak can miraculously team up LeBron with Kobe and Carmelo Anthony and it is “Hollywood”.

The Rockets, if James would consider playing with James Harden and Dwight Howard with all three getting max contracts, but what would the rest of the team look like?

The Mavs, because Dirk Nowitzki took a pay cut to create cap space for LeBron and maybe one other All-Star caliber player.

The Suns, who were 14 games over .500 last year and failed to make the playoffs in the Western Conference by just one game. Phoenix does have a nice young group of players, but no All-Stars and they’d have to make some serious moves to get LeBron and maybe another top flight free agent.

And finally my wild card out of left field the Clippers, because LeBron’s best friend Chris Paul is on the team. Also they’re a playoff team with a coach he respects greatly in Doc Rivers who is now in charge of pretty much everything. If the league acts swiftly and jettisons Donalrd Sterling, the Clippers could appeal to LeBron, but they’d have to make some serious moves to acquire James.

So there you have my best guesstimate as of today on where “King James” could end up. Tomorrow it may be different, and then change again on Monday and every day after that until he signs. LeBron is truly the only one who knows which way he is leaning. I believe he will give Miami every chance to bolster its roster, so he can stay there for another year or two, but the clock is ticking. If “The Chosen One” doesn’t feel that the Heat have improved enough in free agency, he is going to choose the team that he believes has the best roster and gives him the best chance to win. And who knows, that just might be Cleveland! If so, they’ll have beaten long odds again to win the sweepstakes.


Who’da thunk it right? The Cavs and Dan Gilbert meeting with his agent Rich Paul, about the potential of Akron’s favorite son coming back home. Not me!

Four years ago after “The Decision” there was no way I ever wanted to see him back in a Cavaliers uniform.  Would never root for him again, the fan in me said. However after four excruciating, non-playoff years and a (.313) winning percentage, it’s funny how constant losing will change your mind. How all of a sudden in sports, you’re willing to forgive and forget for wins.

LeBron James photo small 11-27-13

Was he wrong in how he handled free agency in 2010 with the circus-like atmosphere and then the TV special to rip our hearts out? Hell yes, and he knows that. But from a business stand point, let’s admit it; he made the right move as the Heat played in four straight NBA Finals, winning two of them. He became a champion.

If he comes back, and it would make for a great story, does he owe the city and Cavalier fans everywhere an apology? You bet your sweet you-know-what he does.

But he wouldn’t be coming back for just sentimental reasons, or to be closer to home and his family. If he returns to the Cavaliers it’s because he feels they give him the best chance to win because of the roster they have now and for the future.

Will he ever completely forgive Dan Gilbert for that scathing letter he wrote? No, not completely, just like Gilbert and true Cavs fans will never forgive him for the pain he put them through. However the Cavs owner and the 4-time league MVP are smart enough business men to realize that they can’t let those hard feelings from four years ago damage what could be a very successful and lucrative partnership. Plus he knows that @CavsDan is willing to pay into the luxury tax, something Heat owner Micky Arison would not do last year.

The longer Pat Riley and the Heat go without signing a legit free agent to bolster Miami’s roster this off season, the better the chances are for the Cavaliers and all the other teams of luring him away from South Beach. But don’t count “Riles” out just yet. The man has a total of 9 NBA Championship rings for a reason and that’s what scares me.

Plus, as the Cavs roster is constituted today, is their enough talent there for the 2-time Finals MVP to think he can return and win?

LeBron and Kyrie shake hands at Z jersey Ceremony 3-8-14

You’d have two-thirds of a “Big Three” with Kyrie Irving and the 8-time All-NBA first teamer, but who completes the trio? Is it #1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins? If so, how long will that take? Would the 2-time All-Star MVP coming to Cleveland make Dion Waiters a better player and that third amigo? Hard to imagine Waiters being able to play with two ball-dominate players when he can’t even play with one.

So is a trade necessary to bring in a big time All-Star like Kevin Love here to complete the trifecta? You have plenty of assists, but which ones would you be willing to give up for a player who could be a free agent after just one season in Cleveland? Are you willing for maybe a little “Love” to part with the bright future of Andrew Wiggins before he even plays a game for the Cavs? What about a lottery combo package of Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson and future number #1 draft picks? Yes, you have to give up something, to get something in return. But is Gilbert willing to gamble on that, like so many of you do at his casino?

It’s the “Fourth of July” and fireworks will be filling the skies all over this great country of ours, but imagine the fireworks that would occur if “The King” came home and apologized, and then fulfilled his original promise of leading Cleveland to its first championship since 1964. Sure, it may be a long shot, and who knows he may turn his back on us again, but at least there’s a shot. Four years ago I never would have even considered it; in fact I never would have given it a thought. But as free agency is upon us and LeBron James is out there, it’s all this basketball junkie can think about.


FoxSportsOhio.com’s Sam Amico and I were up late on Monday night/Tuesday morning and we discussed the importance of getting a deal done with Kyrie Irving just hours into NBA free agency.

Sam Amico Photo


The season had just come to an end with a 114-85 win over the Brooklyn Nets in the final game of the regular season. But with no post-season to talk about for the fourth consecutive year, the topic that was on everybody’s mind in the Cavaliers locker room was would the Cavs offer Kyrie Irving a max contract in the off-season, and if they did, would he accept? I asked him that very question on that night of April 16, 2014 and here’s how the exchange went –


Fast forward 2 1/2 months and Dan Gilbert and the Cavs did make the offer and Kyrie Irving did say yes! So on the night that NBA free agency began, the Cavaliers started it by taking care of one of their own.

Kyrie Irving and Dan Gilbert ROY photo








Cavs owner Dan Gilbert tweeted out the news that 2-time all-star point guard Kyrie Irving agreed to terms on a max contract extension worth a  reported 5-years and $90 million dollars.

Gilbert used social media to spread the word –


Irving confirmed Gilbert’s tweet with one of his own –

More on Irving agreeing to the contract extension per Kyrie’s agent Jeff Wechsler via Adrian Wojnarowski’s twitter account –

The 22 year old Irving and 2012 NBA Rookie of the Year, will be entering his fourth season in the NBA with a career scoring average of 20.7ppg and 5.8apg.

Irving cannot sign the contract extension per league rules until July 10th.


FoxSportsOhio.com NBA Writer Sam Amico joined me today to analyze the Cavs 2014 NBA Draft as well as look ahead to free agency and where LeBron James might end up.

Sam Amico Photo


It really shouldn’t surprise anyone that Lebron James opted out of the final two years of his contract in Miami, but maybe that fact that he did it six days before his opt out deadline date and two days before the NBA Draft is somewhat surprising.

LeBron James photo small 11-27-13

Per ESPN.com reports, James agent Rich Paul notified the Miami Heat that the 4-time NBA MVP would indeed be testing the free agent waters, just like he did when he had the same opt out clause in Cleveland back in 2010.

While James could still end up resigning with the Heat for more years and more money (about $30 million more over 1 year), this at least gives other teams around the league who thought they had a chance to sign James a legitimate shot to convince him that his best chance to win more titles is to sign with them and not back with Pat Riley in South Beach.

LeBron and Kyrie shake hands at Z jersey Ceremony 3-8-14

The Cavaliers have been rumored to be one of the teams that will go hard after James to try and bring him back to Cleveland where he spent the first seven years of his NBA career before leaving in free agency in July of 2010.

In his time as a Cavalier he led Cleveland to their only appearance in the NBA Finals, but came up short of a championship, losing to the Spurs in four games in 2007. For the Cavs to have any shot at bringing James back to Northeast Ohio two things have to happen.

One, team owner Dan Gilbert and James will have to patch up their differences after what happened because of the “The Decision” in 2010 and Gilbert’s letter that followed.

Two, new G.M. David Griffin must convince James that his new coaching staff made up so far of head coach David Blatt and associate head coach Tyronn Lue along with the Cavs roster he will have come opening day 2014-15 will give LeBron the best chance to win a title in 2015 and for years to come.

During his four years in Miami, James led the Heat to the NBA Finals each year, winning titles in 2012 and 2013. Miami failed to “Three-Peat” though this year, as LeBron and the Heat were knocked off by the San Antonio Spurs in five games.  It is believed that James will end up where he thinks he has the best chance to play for more championships.

So let the recruiting and the “Summer of LeBron 2” begin.


From Princeton to Europe to Cleveland. That’s the path David Blatt has taken over 20 years to be a head coach in the NBA.

David Blatt

Blatt becomes the 20th head coach in Cleveland Cavaliers history, replacing the recently fired Mike Brown.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst is reporting it’s a three year deal with a fourth year team option for the man who led Maccabi Tel Aviv to the 2014 Euroleague championship.

Blatt who has never played or coached in the NBA is known for his offensive mind and he beat out former Lakers point guard and current Clippers assistant coach Tyronn Lue for the job.

David Griffin Photo 5-13-14

In the  team’s official press release, Cavs G.M. David Griffin said, “David is a great basketball coach and a special person.  His abilities to communicate, to build relationships with his players and to foster winning environments at several stops throughout Europe and across the highest levels of International competition speaks for itself.  He brings unbridled passion, energy and creativity to his craft. These qualities have enabled David to reach a level of success that is truly unique. I have watched David’s work for many years. He has an uncanny ability to adapt his system to maximize the talents of his teams year after year. That is why I am very confident he will make a smooth transition to the NBA.  There is a great opportunity to accelerate the progress of moving our team and franchise to the higher level of play we all believe we are capable of achieving. I am excited that the experience, knowledge, skills and leadership David will bring to the Cavaliers is the right fit at the right time.” 

Dan Gilbert Photo

Cavs majority owner Dan Gilbert had this to say about his new head coach, “David Blatt is going to bring some of the most innovative approaches found in professional basketball anywhere on the globe. Time and time again, from Russia to Israel and several other prominent head coaching jobs in between, David has done one thing: ‘win’. He is not only an innovator, well-trained and focused on both sides of the court, but he is always learning and always teaching. Whether you are a top draft pick just entering the league, or a seasoned NBA veteran, Coach Blatt is going to take your game and the game of the team you are playing for to a new and higher level. That’s just who the man is and we are proud to call him our new head coach. We are driven by one thing and one thing only; delivering Cavaliers fans everywhere and the city of a Cleveland the kind of competitive basketball they deserve. I look forward to David’s leadership in helping the entire Cavaliers organization realize our vision.”


The 55 year old Blatt shared these thoughts in the Cavs press release,   “I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to come to Cleveland and lead the Cavaliers as their head coach. After spending a great deal of time discussing the organization, the team and the head coach’s role with David Griffin, I feel strongly about my fit for the job and this team’s potential. This is an opportune time to join the Cleveland Cavaliers. We are going to work extremely hard to achieve the kind of results we all expect and know are possible,” said Blatt.  “I also want to thank Dan Gilbert, Nate Forbes, Jeff Cohen, and many others within the Cavaliers front office, for their belief and confidence in me and what we can accomplish together. This is a proud day for me, personally, but I hope just the first of many more for all of us as we work towards a very bright future. I have always heard about how great of a sports town Cleveland is and have come to understand how much fans here care about the Cavaliers. This makes me feel especially excited and comfortable to join this community but above all motivates me to help deliver in a big way.” 

Blatt will be introduced to the media during a Wednesday, June 25th press conference at Cleveland Clinic Courts at 11am.