The rift between LeBron James and Dan Gilbert is one that has been well-documented over the years, but despite their ugly break-up during James’ initial departure, those feelings have been far from pardoned by either party despite recent Cavs success.
ESPN’s Steven A. Smith noted that Gilbert would not oppose the idea of James leaving town, which would allow him to gain control of his team once again.
“Dan Gilbert is known for not being particularly fond of LeBron James,” said Smith on the set of First Take. “Dan Gilbert does not mind the thought of LeBron James leaving at all.”
“Matter of fact, I had one executive tell me, excuse me, I can’t wait until he leaves because I’ll get my team back. This is something that Dan Gilbert has actually echoed.”
James recently opted out of the last year of his contract and could potentially bolt for the Los Angeles Lakers, giving Gilbert his wish, but the size of his wallet will also decrease as James leaves town and he’s left with a hollowed out roster with very little promise in its immediate future.
The two parties haven’t seen face to face in a while, as noted by Gilbert being left hanging upon James taking the Cavs on his back for a crucial Game 7 against the Boston Celtics.
Gilbert has been known to love getting the credit, but unlike his baseball team, the Cleveland Indians; all the credit would rest on James as the face of the franchise, leaving little to no spotlight for him to shine through.