"I don't think he (Dan Gilbert) ever cared about LeBron. My mother always told me: 'You will see the light of people when they hit adversity. You'll get a good sense of their character' Me and my family have seen the character of that man."
"It's not far, but it is far. And Clevelanders, because they were the bigger-city kids when we were growing up, looked down on us...So we didn't actually like Cleveland. We hated Cleveland growing up. There's a lot of people in Cleveland we still hate to this day."
"If there was an opportunity for me to return (to Cleveland) and those fans welcome me back, that'd be a great story."
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Where do I begin?
1) There's no defending Dan Gilbert's web-letter slamming LeBron James after 'The Decision'. The Cleveland Cavaliers owner must model professionalism for players and employees to follow.
However, it takes two sides to wreck a relationship. And James is acting like he did nothing wrong -like he didn't owe Gilbert and the Cleveland Cavaliers a heads up before taking the air and announcing he was heading to 'South Beach'.
2) I get the Akron-Cleveland rivalry. It's a common dynamic between a small and big city. Now isn't the time for James to confess his feelings for Ohio's big city.
3) James doesn't get it. Cavalier-nation is mad. Furious, in fact. There's so much water under the bridge, the river is overflowing and flooding.
Fans will never forgive-and-forget because they feel James deserted them and rubbed their nose in it with The Decision.
Bottom line: James needs new PR people. Recently, he's made several missteps: the one hour ESPN special, the pulled ESPN article in Las Vegas, and now the GQ interview.
James doesn't realize the public is tired of him. He needs to go underground until training camp. No interviews. No magazine covers.
The only way to quell The Backlash is to handle his business on-court and win an NBA Title in 2011. James must remind folks he's a great basketball player first, and everything else - brand, icon, entrepreneur - second.
With all the people whispering in his ear, with all the hoopla over free agency, with all the yes-men in the posse, this has been lost.
So James should get in the gym, put in work, and deliver next season and playoff for Miami.
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