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Friday , Dec , 09 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Did Dan Gilbert block Chris Paul trade to Lakers?

Dan Gilbert sent an email to David Stern, Adam Silver and several of his fellow owners to urge the NBA to block a proposed trade that would send Chris Paul to the Lakers.The following is the email in its entirety:

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The NBA has blocked the trade sending Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers. And Dan Gilbert, the controversial owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, could get the blame.

Gilbert, who lambasted LeBron on the Cavaliers’ website for The Decision and was a notorious hardliner during the lockout, sent a scathing email to Commissioner David Stern criticizing the trade.

The league, of course, is the temporary owner of the New Orleans Hornets, Paul’s current team. And Gilbert felt Paul ending up with the Lakers would be a 'travesty'.

I can see this from both sides. On the one hand, Paul is a free agent in July. He can sign where he likes, and he will, no doubt, sign with a major market such as Los Angeles or New York.

So the Hornets should cut the best deal possible. And many analysts felt that’s what they did on Thursday.

On the other hand, the NBA just locked-out the players for five months, in part, because of the discrepancy between have and have-not markets.

And the day they ratify the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the team the league owns trades the sport’s best point guard to its glamour franchise.

The optics weren't good. Then again, neither is the optics of nixing a trade.
 
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Saturday , Sep , 17 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Dan Gilbert Thinks Bloggers are ‘Sad and Pathetic’

Dan Gilbert took to Twitter to deny he helped derail collective bargaining agreement negotiations. "Some of these NBA 'bloggissists' flat-out make stuff up and then try to dupe readers into believing their fiction is real. Sad & pathetic," Gilbert wrote.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: At least Dan Gilbert didn’t write a venom-laced letter and publish it on the Cleveland Cavaliers’ website.

The always outspoken owner of the Cavaliers didn’t like reports he was responsible for the impasse between players and owners at Tuesday’s bargaining session.

So Gilbert responded, calling the speculation by bloggers ‘sad and pathetic’.

The loan tsar is ripe for criticism on many things, however, he’s not responsible for the breakdown in negotiations. The players were overly optimistic about finding a quick solution; the owners are determined to get a hard cap.

The league’s issues are far greater than Gilbert. He was just a convenient scapegoat for what happened on Tuesday..

--Oly Sandor


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Saturday , Apr , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

LeBron: Cleveland wasn’t my city, the Cavaliers weren’t my team

If you tell LeBron James that Cleveland was his city or the Cavaliers were his team, prepare for a quick correction.

The Akron native didn't wait for the end of a question Friday when a reporter referenced Cleveland as "your city." James' message was that he can't disown something that was never his. "It wasn't my city. It wasn't my team either," he said. "I was just a player, you know, I helped get that franchise to leaps and bounds that they haven't seen before.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: This looks like LeBron James once again dumping on Cleveland and the Cavaliers.

We’ve seen this before from LeBron. He has an entourage that puts Vinnie Chase to shame and The Decision, last year’s TV event where he announced where he would sign as a free agent, revealed much about his character.

James is from Akron, Ohio. Akron and Cleveland aren’t the same. A a rivalry exists between the two. Cleveland never showed James much love as a prep phenom’.

Then there’s Dan Gilbert, the Cavaliers’ owner. The Decision was bad, but so was Gilbert’s response, publishing a letter that was unprofessional and personal.

Perhaps Gilbert’s ego exceeds LeBron’s. Perhaps working for the business mogul wasn’t a walk in the park/Quicken Loans Arena.

And James correctly points out that the Cavs' had several elite players before him: Brad Daugherty, Larry Nance, and Mark Price.

So maybe Cleveland was never his city; the Cavaliers never his team. Fair enough. Maybe this wasn’t the match we thought.

Here’s the question: Can we move on?

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Mar , 30 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Dan Gilbert on beating LeBron and Heat: ‘Not in our garage’

Dan Gilbert after his Cavaliers beat the Heat: 'Not in our garage!!'

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Dan Gilbert would have to say something.

The owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers just couldn’t stay silent after last night’s 102-90 win over LeBron James, his former franchise face, and the Miami Heat.

Not after last summer’s shenanigans. Not after LeBron James announced he was taking his talent to South Beach with ‘The Decision’.

Of course, Gilbert did respond last July. His on-line letter to Cavalier fans attacking James is the thing of legends (and not in a good way).

This season, he’s been quiet –and with good reason. His Cavaliers have struggled mightily, flirting with the record for consecutive losses, while James’ Heat, despite some ups-and-downs, are at the top of the Eastern Conference.

Last night was Gilbert’s moment. It was Cleveland’s moment, too. His tweet, while subtle and restrained, hit the mark.

Hopefully, Gilbert and Cleveland got closure on James. Hopefully, they forget the past and focus on rebuilding. Something tells me otherwise, though.

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Jan , 26 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Cavaliers not interested in Gerald Wallace?

The rumors about Charlotte Bobcats forward Gerald Wallace coming to Cleveland died as quickly as they started. The Bobcats are indeed interested in moving Wallace's contract, but they wanted a first-round pick from the Cavaliers in return, according to a league source. That's not happening. The Cavs are trying to acquire first-round picks, not trade them away — and certainly not on a 10-year veteran like Wallace.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Nothing against Gerald Wallace but he wasn’t a fit for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

After all, the Cavaliers need to tear this thing down and start over. This means one thing: fire sale. All veterans must be dealt for draft picks, expiring contracts, and blue-chip prospects.

Acquiring a veteran with a contract – Wallace is owed $22 million over the next two years – is wrong. It’s a distraction. It’s a quick fix. And Cleveland would be making a move for the sake of making a move.

Instead, owner Dan Gilbert needs one thing: patience. This means holding off on typing a Net-letter to fans when things turn out poorly. This also means trusting the people he hired, bottoming out, and building for the future -exactly like Executive Sam Presti did with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Quick fixes like Wallace and his big ticket aren’t the long-term answer.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Jan , 15 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Cavaliers interested in Gerald Wallace?

The Charlotte Bobcats have discussed a trade to send forward Gerald Wallace to the Cleveland Cavaliers, a league source told Yahoo! Sports.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Cleveland Cavaliers must do something. And fast.

Earlier in the week, Team Dan Gilbert was routed by the world champion Los Angeles Lakers. In fact, routed doesn’t do the score justice: the Cavs’ scored 57 points, while the purple-and-gold had 112.

It’s time for change. After all, this is the NBA. Pro basketball teams aren’t supposed to double each other.

Is Charlotte’s Gerald Wallace the answer, though?

Sure, the swingman defends, hustles, and stuffs the stat sheet, but he also carries a big ticket – Wallace has two more years at $22 million on his contract – and isn’t a superstar.

This, however, may be a deal driven by both ownership groups.

Michael Jordan, the new Don of the Bobcats, needs to shed payroll until a new Collective Bargaining Agreement can be ironed out. Sending Wallace to Ohio will cut costs and appease owner Dan Gilbert, who’s Cavaliers haven’t done anything significant since losing LeBron James.

So this trade may be about the men in control of the Bobcats and Cavaliers: Jordan and Gilbert. And not the basketball court.

--Oly Sandor?


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Sunday , Jan , 02 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Cavaliers interested in Wizards’ Andray Blatche?

The Cavaliers have inquired with the Wizards about Andray Blatche, according to Bob Finnan of the News-Herald.
 
 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Desperate times, desperate measures.

Since losing you-know-who last summer, the Cleveland Cavaliers have been searching for a player to give them an identity. They want someone to be the face of the franchise, and help owner Dan Gilbert and Cavalier-nation turn the page.

Money is no object, either. Gilbert will spend his considerable resources. And the Cavaliers have cap space to burn.

This is where things get tricky and dangerous. The Cavaliers could easily trade for a decent talent like Blatche, give him superstar billing, and hand him an exorbitant contract.

Instead of rebuilding through the draft, the Cavaliers would then be married to a talented but troubled four-man. After all, Blatche has had his share of off-court issues.

For instance, he once solicited a prostitute, who turned out to be a police officer. He has feuded with coach Flip Saunders and displayed unprecedented selfishness in his quest for a triple-double.

Recently, he fought teammate Javale McGee outside a Washington nightclub. Both were suspended for one game.  

Perhaps, the Cavaliers should step back and be more selective than Blatche.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Dec , 05 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Cleveland interested in Philly’s Iggy?

But they might be able to acquire “LeBron Lite.”

League sources indicate the Philadelphia 76ers are attempting to trade guard/forward Andre Iguodala. There is no active dialogue between the Sixers and Cavs right now, but a source said it was one to keep your eye on. Things could heat up toward the trade deadline.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Something has to give –and soon.

The Philadelphia 76ers are 5-16. They’re disjointed. They’re dysfunctional. And fans are tuning them out for the city’s other sports teams.

It’s time to start over; turn the page. This means one thing: trading former franchise face Andre Iguodala.

While not a superstar, ‘Iggy’ is good enough to command a package of young talent and desirable contracts. The 76ers would be out from his big-ticket. Player and team would be free to start over.

Enter the Cleveland Cavaliers.

They have the resources to afford Iguodala’s contract. They also have the resources to satisfy the 76ers’ trade demands.

The athletic swing would make the Cavaliers more competitive. He’d also give Dan Gilbert’s squad an identity and a leader in the post-LeBron James era.

Expect Iguodala to get a change of scenery. And Cleveland makes the most sense.

--Oly Sandor.


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Thursday , Dec , 02 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

LeBron James and The Return to Cleveland

The Heat have changed team policy and will not release details of the team's itinerary for the trip to Cleveland. Miami will play the Cavaliers on Thursday night. It will mark the first time LeBron James has played at Quicken Loans Arena as a visiting player.

The Heat typically release the team's travel schedule, hotel location and pregame workout plans as a courtesy to select media outlets that cover the team for home and away games.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s time.

It’s time for everybody to move on. Cleveland. LeBron James. Dan Gilbert. Ohio.

Good or bad, right or wrong, James decided to swap the cold of Cleveland for the warmth of Miami. He announced his decision on national television -treating the people who raised him like the loser in a television dating show.

That, however, was six months ago. No matter how things ended, Cavalier-nation can’t justify harassing James or his family when The King and his court return to Cleveland tomorrow night.

This will be their first meeting since the infamous decision took place on ESPN.

Fans should boo; nothing else, though. Anything more will make it difficult for Cleveland to shake its reputation as a second-rate city full of blue-collar meatheads.

(For the record, I think this reputation is undeserved.)

Right now, James and the Heat have problems-big problems. This group was supposed to contend for the NBA Title. Instead, they’re sitting at 10-8.

Maybe the city of Cleveland and the Cavaliers are enjoying a little Karma.

--Oly Sandor.


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Sunday , Sep , 19 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Dan Gilbert: no regrets slamming LeBron in ‘The Letter’

In an interview with the Detroit Free-Press, Cavaliers' owner Dan Gilbert spoke about his controversial open letter released the night LeBron James announced his decision to sign with the Heat. "No, not really," Gilbert said. "I just expressed what the Cleveland people were feeling. Unless you're from Cleveland and experienced what they have experienced since 1964, it's hard for the rest of the country to grasp."

Gilbert was subsequently fined by the NBA for the letter.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Of course, he has no regrets over declaring viral jihad on LeBron James

Dan Gilbert is an Alpha Male. That’s how he built his lending business. That’s how he bought the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Gilbert doesn’t tolerate losing. Not in the boardroom. Not on the basketball court. So James announcing he was ‘taking his talents to South Beach’ had to sting.

After all, the Cavaliers instantly became a lottery team. The franchise’s value dropped dramatically. Cleveland and the state of Ohio were also treated like a losing contestant on a reality television show.

Simply put, filthy rich guys like Gilbert aren’t used to getting treated this way. They aren’t used to getting embarrassed. This prompted Gilbert to publish The Letter, attacking James for The Decision.

He won’t apologize. Or even admit to being over the top. When Gilbert attacks, there's no retreat.

Such a concession would go against who he is.

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Aug , 11 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

LeBron James is ‘taking notes of everyone taking shots at me’

Don't think for one min that I haven't been taking mental notes of everyone taking shots at me this summer. And I mean everyone!

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: LeBron James is taking notes, keeping score, and wants revenge on those who spoke out against ‘The Decision’ to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat.

Please. ‘The Backlash’ to ‘The Decision’ was avoidable.

Suppose James dispensed with the dog and pony show known as free agent wooing, privately broke up with Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, and signed with the Miami Heat on July 1st.

Suppose he held a presser in South Beach, where he respectfully explained his choice to join the Heat and not re-sign with the Cavaliers. Suppose he thanked Cleveland, Akron, and Ohio.

Of course, there’d be some backlash. There’d be some talk of his diminished legacy. There’d be some talk of his shortcomings as a player. And there’d be some talk of him turning his back on the state that raised him.

Life would eventually go on, though. And the backlash wouldn’t become ‘The Backlash’.

By going on ESPN, by hiring Jim Gray, by playing with the hearts and minds of Cavalier fans, James instigated and asked for the criticism. 

‘The Decision’ created ‘The Backlash’. The sooner James realizes this, the better off we’ll all be.

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Jul , 28 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Jay-Z mad at LeBron James?

"Jay never expected LeBron to sign with the Nets. He knew that no 25-year-old kid with James' profile was going to spend years in Newark," the source tells Gatecrasher. "But he's ... at least disappointed, that LeBron didn't consult with him." Still, our source says, "I don't think it's going to affect their friendship."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: The trail of jilted suitors grows.

Apparently, the 'Greatest Rapper of All Time' and 'The King' are at odds because New Jersey Nets minority owner Jay-Z felt friend LeBron James should have talked with him during free agency.

Jay-Z wasn't expecting to sign James, but did expect a phone call.

Of course, Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and the state of Ohio didn't receive this courtesy, so why would Jay-Z?

Unlike Gilbert, Jay-Z isn't expected to release a scathing letter via the Nets' website. Would he, however, take a subtle dig or two at James on his next single?

Probably not, but getting Jay-Z's official side of the story would be interesting.

--Got thoughts?

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Tuesday , Jul , 20 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

LeBron James slams Cleveland Cavaliers, Delonte West, and Dan Gilbert … Literally

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: They are the villains. No doubt about it.

Naturally, wrestling fans are comparing the Miami Heat’s Three Kings of Chris Bosh, LeBron James, or Dwyane Wade to WWE’s New World Order of Scott Hall, Hulk Hogan, and Kevin Nash. 

In fact, in this video, James/Hogan is body slamming the Cleveland Cavaliers mascot, former teammate Delonte West, and former owner turned foe Dan Gilbert.

Of course, Commissioner David Stern assumes the role of corrupt referee, which NBA fans - especially supporters of the Portland Trail Blazers and Sacramento Kings - will find slightly ironic.

Watch the video below and get at us with thoughts on the Three Kings/NWO.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Jul , 17 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Dan Gilbert and Cavaliers should pass on Matt Barnes and Brad Miller

The Cavaliers have been in contact with free-agents Matt Barnes and Brad Miller, according to league sources. Brian Windhorst writes that Cleveland would have been interested in signing Miller even if LeBron James had re-signed.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: How exactly does Matt Barnes and Brad Miller fit owner Dan Gilbert’s caps-locked and bolded text declaration that his Cleveland Cavaliers would win a championship before the ‘self declared king’ LeBron James?

No offence to any of the parties involved. This won’t work.

Barnes and Miller are established veterans. They need to join a contender on the verge of a championship.

While Gilbert needs to take a deep breath, exhale, and not react to ames doing his organization, fans, and state of Ohio dirty. And reacting is exactly what the outspoken owner would be doing if he signed Barnes and/or Miller.

The billionaire must realize established superstars won’t sign with the Cavaliers. The crème de la crème of NBA talent want palm trees in January, not snow. And they want a sexy city, not Cleveland.

This, of course, is sad. Ohio is a sports-mad state. Cleveland is a sports-mad city. Gilbert – despite his recent outburst – will spend his own money to win. Byron Scott is a talented, established coach.

Fair or unfair, right or wrong, there’s currently an unkind view of Cleveland.

Gilbert should do himself a favour by empowering an executive to repeat the Oklahoma City Thunder model, where the team builds through creating cap flexibility and drafting well.

Or, perhaps he should open his own team`s history books for a better example.

For instance, in the early to mid-nineties, Cleveland used the draft to craft an excellent young team. They picked star center Brad Daugherty and shooting guard Ron Harper, and swapped Kevin Johnson, their seventh selection in the 1986 draft, for small forward Larry Nance.

So Gilbert needs to be patient and take the slow, steady route and not react. This means passing on Barnes and Miller.

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Jul , 14 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Dwayne Wade: ‘everyone’s shooting for’ Lakers, not Heat

Dwyane Wade isn't ready to buy into all the hype about the Heat, who added LeBron James and Chris Bosh last week.

Wade says the Lakers, who have won the NBA's last two championships, are the team to beat.

The Lakers are the champions and we know the Lakers are very good," Wade said Wednesday. "That's the team that everyone's shooting for and they should be. Not the Miami Heat. The Los Angeles Lakers."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Call: You can’t fault Dwyane Wade for trying.

In fact, you have to admire the superstar’s failed attempts at running a little smokescreen interference and deferring public enemy number one status to the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers.

Yes, the purple-and-gold is still the team to beat. After all, to be the champs, you have to beat the champs.

No, the Miami Heat – with the controversial way The Big Three of Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade were assembled - is the team everyone will be shooting for.

No doubt about it.

Everyone - your granny, pastor, milkman, and even dog - has an opinion on The Great Free Agent Chase of 2010, culminating in LeBron James breaking up with Dan Gilbert, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and state of Ohio on national television.

Very quickly, the Heat has become the NBA’s undisputed villain in a plot that’s part Shakespeare, part Vince McMahon WWE. 

If Wade thought the attention was bad in 2007 following their NBA Title win, then he hasn’t seen anything yet.

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Jul , 13 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Zydrunas Ilgauskas following LeBron James to Miami

Zyrdunas Ilgauskas is following LeBron James to the Miami Heat.

The veteran center, who started playing for Cleveland in 1997 and has never suited up for another NBA team, expects to sign a two-year contract with the Heat later this week, agent Herb Rudoy said Tuesday. The two-year deal would come with a player option for the second season, Rudoy said.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Today, the Miami Heat added an additional piece around The Big Three of Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade, signing long-time Cleveland Cavaliers centre Zydrunas Ilgauskas.

(No word on whether Cavalier owner Dan Gilbert will write a letter about Ilgauskas swapping the cold of Ohio for the sun of Florida.) 

This move makes sense for a few reasons:

1) Ilgauskas can still play. He’s massive. He’s skilled. And he can take opposing fives out on the perimeter with his range.

2) With a true centre like ‘Big Z’, Bosh will get significant minutes at the four-spot, his natural position. This will surely please ‘CB4’, who doesn’t want to battle the beasts of the Eastern Conference.

3) Ilgauskas has chemistry with James on-and-off-court. The veteran Euro will help ease the transition to Miami for his younger friend, especially with all the hoopla surrounding his free agency.

--Oly Sandor.


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Monday , Jul , 12 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Jason Whitlock: Rev. Jackson ‘wants to wet his beak’ on LeBron

Yes, this is an attention grab by Rev. Jackson. He heard about ESPN’s impressive ratings for “The Decision” and, like a mafia don, wants to wet his beak. Why let Jim Gray and ESPN executives have all the fun exploiting LeBron’s naivete?

There’s enough of LeBron’s carcass for Jesse to feast, too. And Gilbert’s childish letter to Cavaliers fans in the wake of LeBron’s departure gave Jackson the opening he needed to break out his knives and forks.

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Monday , Jul , 12 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Jesse Jackson: Dan Gilbert ‘sees LeBron as a runaway slave’

``Jesse Jackson criticized Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert on Sunday, saying Gilbert sees LeBron James as a "runaway slave" and that the owner's comments after the free-agent forward decided to join the Miami Heat put the player in danger.``

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Sunday , Jul , 11 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Cavaliers picking up post LeBron pieces with Josh Childress?

The Cavaliers are considering making an offer to Josh Childress, according to sources. Childress has until July 15th to opt out of his contract with Olympiakos.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call:
So it begins.

Dan Gilbert and the Cleveland Cavaliers now begin the monumental task of winning an NBA championship before the ‘disloyal’, ‘cowardly’, ‘narcissistic’, and `self-anointed former king` known as LeBron James.

Word is the Cavaliers are chasing Josh Childress, who is looking to cross the Atlantic and return to the NBA after two years in Europe with Greek club Olympiakos.

Obviously, Childress isn’t a superstar –or even a star. However, he’s a solid rotation player; a versatile guy who stuffs the stat-sheet, can defend a couple of positions, and has no attitude.

This would be a nice beginning, but only the start of a long rebuilding process for the Cavaliers.

--Oly Sandor.


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