|Dan Gilbert's Cleveland Cavaliers just won the NBA draft lottery for the second time in three years. (msn.foxsports.com)|
The Cleveland Cavaliers are familiar with this situation. They were here in 2003 and again in 2011. Now the Cavaliers have won the NBA draft lottery again, giving them the No. 1 pick in June's draft. It would make them seem lucky and happy if it wasn't failure that brought them here so many times.
The history is well known. Cleveland selected hometown hero LeBron James in 2003. James did not win a title in Cleveland and in 2010 he left for the Miami Heat and Cavs owner Dan Gilbert wrote an angry letter to the fan base in comic sans. The Cavaliers struggled without James and took Kyrie Irving with the first pick in 2011. That has worked out well in that Irving has grown into an All-Star caliber talent, but still the Cavs struggle. Now Cleveland will most likely draft Nerlens Noel in June, and rumors are circling that the Cavs might look to restore peace with LeBron and bring him back to Cleveland when he enters free agency in 2014.
These are important times for the Cavaliers and Dan Gilbert with crucial decisions that will effect the immediate future of the franchise. To help, Beats Dimes and Drives has written you a letter (styled similar to Gilbert's, but sorry, no comic sans this time) with a few words of advice.
Dear Mr. Gilbert,
As you know, you again won the NBA draft lottery. You have an opportunity to drastically improve your on-court product in the upcoming season, which I'm sure this fan base is desperately looking forward to.
Clearly the last three years have been disappointing to you all. It must have been hard to focus on basketball when there were so many LeBron jerseys to burn.
You deserve more.
The good news is the pieces are falling into place with a talented point guard and now hopefully a dominate low-post presence in Noel, if that is the direction you choose. Heck, maybe your "former hero" and "self-titled former King" LeBron will even forgive you and give you a second chance.
Wouldn't that be something? Would you even want him back when he disproved your guarantee of winning a championship before him? You would, and should, because the path the franchise has been down isn't getting you anywhere, which is why I would like to offer some advice.
Stop worrying about LeBron. Move on. Of course you would naturally want him back, anyone would, but LeBron seems to consume you, and having him back won't necessarily make that better. Even after winning the lottery you said, "We thought originally after everything had to be reset that it would be a three-year process," and, "For everyone in Cleveland who has supported us through these three years, I think this is for them."
It wasn't the apocalypse. Yes he is the best player in the league, but you could have put together other competent pieces. Instead you fired your coach, Mike Brown, hired another that did worse, Byron Scott, and now just brought Brown back. Not to mention paying Luke Walton more than $6 million (second most on the team) this season for 3.4 points per game.
Instead of blaming LeBron's leaving on the destruction of the franchise, make some positive free-agent moves to bring experienced and proven players to Cleveland. Because ...
I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE IF YOU KEEP WINNING THE DRAFT LOTTERY THAT DOESN'T MEAN YOU ARE RUNNING A FRANCHISE CORRECTLY.
Most importantly, you have a potential great player in Irving and possibly another in Noel. They may not want to be in Cleveland for the rest of their careers, especially if the only thing they are winning is the lottery.
If they leave, it will hurt, but learn from your LeBron mistakes. No letters. No obsurd guarantees of championships. No curses or bashing of personalities.
Focus on how to make the team better without them. It is what should have happened in 2010 and your fans are still waiting.
They are still waiting on that brighter day and that championship you promised them. And I promise you if you keep with these failed promises and guarantees, no one will be listening the next time you pull up a word document in comic sans on your computer.
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