Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert has his team back in the NBA Finals for the second straight year and is hoping it can bring a major championship to a city that hasn’t had one since 1964. As his team gets set to take on the defending champion Golden State Warriors Thursday night, a feature by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst pointed out the struggle LeBron James has faced trying to turn the Cavs into a championship team. Gilbert has been a big part of the problem.
The piece is not especially kind to the 54-year-old owner, claiming that while he might be well-intended, his moves often fall flat. Windhorst calls Gilbert “mercurial” and claims that he makes “instinctive and rapid changes, sometimes on a whim.” That obviously makes it difficult to establish a consistent, winning culture.
Gilbert is also kind of a big kid, and apparently just loves practical jokes. But given the stories Windhorst included, it seems like he’s actually pretty bad at actually pulling them off.
“A lover of practical jokes, Gilbert once wanted to dummy up a fake news release that the Cavs were signing Dennis Rodman to a 10-day contract and put it out on April Fools’ Day; he was talked out of that one. After a playoff victory over the Washington Wizards 10 years ago, Gilbert had a remote-controlled fart machine installed under coach Mike Brown’s seat. When Brown went up to the dais for the postgame news conference, Gilbert stood in the back and worked the controls. Brown was flummoxed — although the microphones didn’t pick up the sounds.”
There’s nothing funny about either of those stories other than the fact Gilbert believed they would be entertaining. So he’s basically the NBA’s version of Dane Cook.
That said, given what we know now about Gilbert’s penchant for practical jokes, maybe “The Letter” was actually a prank and we all just missed it. I mean, there’s no way he actually thought posting something in comic sans should be taken seriously, right?
Bravo Mr. Gilbert, “The Letter” was so far on another level of humor that we all missed the job. Well done indeed.